20 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


It is often the case that the most successful judoka are the ones who have the greatest relationships with their coaches. It is crucial to have an unwavering trust that they will guide you to the glory you work so hard for, and during a competition, they are your greatest advocates.

Now there is a difference between an emotional call for an athlete, and a just call. In the case of the -52kg semi final between Odette GUIFFRIDA (ITA) and Amandine BUCHARD (FRA), we saw an important example. It must also be mentioned that the experience and knowledge of the coach can also make all the difference, but we expect nothing less at a World Championships.

Francesco BRUYERE has been the national coach of Italy for many years and has rallied many athletes to great success, and today that happened to be two-time Olympic medallist, 2023 World bronze medallist, Giuffrida.

The goal is to find the connection between the chair and the athlete, a lot of work goes in to building a good relationship. Communication can become one hand gesture, or one word. It is important for their mind too, sometimes they’re too emotional and you need to find the right words in the right moment. We are not just judo coaches, we are like psychologists! We help them act in the body but also in the mind. 

Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) 2024 World Champion of the -52kg category. © Gabi Juan

What we must remember is that we are all human, the coaches, the referees, the supervisors. We have this system in place, because we can all make mistakes. We are all judo experts and so we see the small things, and in the right way we can ask for a review. I think it is important also this relationship between coaches and the referees and commission, we depend on them to make the right decision, but it is our job to know know the rules inside out. Sometimes we are right, sometimes we are wrong, but this is the point. 

It is the coaches role to support the wellbeing of the athlete, it is not their job to also referee their own contests, they need to focus and have us support them. 

Francesco Bruyere, EJU Coach Commission Member © Tino Maric


Author: Thea Cowen