Hard to believe we are already in April of 2013, but we are and that means Senior Nationals is almost here. We are leaving Friday for Virginia Beach, VA. for the 2-day competition. I’ve always loved going to Nationals as a competitor and as a coach, but I’m not sure which role is more stressful. As an athlete all I had to worry about was me but as a coach I don’t have to worry about myself but I have to worry about all my athletes. This year we have 5 athletes from Denver Judo fighting at nationals. We have 2 fighting in the Visually Impaired (VI) division and Laurie is also fighting in the brown belt division and Ryan is fighting in the Senior division as well. Kedge and Alyssa will be fighting in the Senior division and Greg will fight in the masters division. Alyssa is actually training at her old club at Iowa State University until she can make it back to Denver so she is ours so I hope they don’t mind but we are claiming her!
In preparation for nationals, we have been pushing hard. I’m still sore from the open mat on Sunday and our regular practice on Monday and I’m not even competing. Even though my legs and back are still sore I really enjoy working out and pushing hard with the team. I was able to do all the fitness stations and then did some of the ne waza until my knee started hurting again and even a little tachi waza with some of the smaller people in practice. I’m looking forward to our last practice tonight before we head out Friday morning.
I have always enjoyed going to nationals as an athlete and often went to coach my wife, Heidi, while she was still competing, but it is really exciting to bring several athletes from Denver Judo, which makes for a fun trip. I have always loved traveling as a team so I am really looking forward to this event.
I am also looking forward to the Visually Impaired competition at nationals. Overall, I am disappointed in the number of VI athletes attending nationals but we do have some new people that I am anxious to see compete against some of our veterans and we have a few weight class changes from some of the veterans so I’m anxious to see how everything will shake out! The 2016 games are only 4 years away so we are already preparing for the qualifying events coming next year, so I am really looking forward to see how some of the new guys and girls do at nationals ad the upcoming events in Brazil, Lithuania, and the Para Pan Am’s this summer in Colorado Springs.
I’ll do my best to post to this blog from Virginia Beach if I have time but if not I will post as soon as I get back and will hopefully get some pictures as well.