Congratulations to all the athletes in Oceania for your inspiring performances over the last 17 days.
Patrick Mahon is the Judo coach for Sled Dowabobo (pictured left) from Nauru. He has previously trained many different athletes from across the Pacific, but for the London 2012 Olympic Games his official role will be to coach Dowabobo.
He began coaching Dowabobo in Nauru with a unique approach. “It really is a disaster when people start to have high expectations for our young athletes when there is no funding, no training and no training facilities.”
He didn’t want to set high expectations for the young judoka, saying that when the athletes have no facilities, the expectations get too high and they only feel disappointed when things don’t get their way. Instead, his idea was not to focus on winning, or moving on to the next rounds, but instead encourage Dowabobo to concentrate on personal bests.
“Just a few days before his event, he (Dowabobo) was one of the most level-headed guys in the place,” he said.
His method had clearly worked because Dowabobo did very well for his first Olympics; he put up a good fight and made it very hard for his opponent to win. Mahon will continue to coach him for the upcoming 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and then the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
With assistance from Joanne Ollson.