As the year comes to a close I am reminded of a few things.

First, the top 3 books I read this year. These books were absolutely awesome but to me they were not life-changing as much as they were validation for my life, the way I live it and the reasons why I do what I do and have what I have (both negatively and positively).  These books, which I’m sure many of you will not agree with if you choose to digest them are not books to make you feel warm and fuzzy. They are not romance novels or historical fiction. These books smack you in the face and give you a dose of reality that you will not want to swallow nor accept.  But just like good medicine, it does not have to taste good in order to be effective but you do have to swallow it for it to work.

So, if you are willing to see things a bit differently and also accept that some of the things that you believe, know and may think that you know or have subscribed to over the years could be 100% incorrect, then check out these three books:

1. “Relentless” by Tim Grover

2. “The Death of Expertise” by Tom Nichols

3. “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck” by Mark Manson

The Path Of Excellence
The Old You vs. The New


This past weekend I was at a judo tournament. It was a new experience for me because we lost more matches than we won. My children did not compete this weekend so that skewed the numbers a bit but still…. we took a beating.

I enjoy coaching so much and being successful that it is super humbling to work at the grassroots levels and watch people on the highway of life.

I get to watch them as some of them drive past the exit called “Normal” and take the exit called “Excellence” while others take the exit called “Normal” and bypass the Road of Excellence.

Taking that exit requires for you to put in more miles; to take your car in for more maintenance. And it requires more service.  The path and the road called excellence is not an “easy” drive and the terrain is not smooth…. not at all.  The camber of the road is uneven and at times jagged.  To call the road bumpy would be a major misrepresentation of the experiences of the journey.

It’s a privilege and a pleasure to help people navigate their way through this terrain. It’s also sad to see people who believe that they can just drive this stretch of road by themselves.   There are so many things that one needs to know that it’s impossible to successfully complete this journey without the right coaches.

Success Bias Early

Junior champs are a dime a dozen.

Not taking anything away from the accomplishment, let’s be clear… many times randomness is the reason that good things happen at that level because the coaching, as a whole, at that level is paltry at best.

I’ve trained Olympians, World Medalists, World Champions and National Champions.

And my goodness, there are differences and levels to this sh*t, believe me. And training junior national champions is the easiest of them all. All you need are parents willing to sacrifice and a child who is willing to do the work.  (Because the pool of athletes is capped at a 24 month window. You compete against 6 years of age, 7 and 8, 9 and 10, 11 and 12, 13 and 14, 15 and 16 and then 17-20.  When you compete at the senior level is it EVERYBODY 14 and above who wants to shoot their shot.)

Another issue concerning the randomness of the outcomes are that the practitioners make so many errors that the style of play is undisciplined and in many cases just a display of unbridled toughness. With that being said, there are so many who win and do well at the early stages and then attribute their coach’s contribution to the journey with why the ride is going so well.  And in some cases this is true and in others it is not.  But here’s what you have to recognize — you me and everybody else knows that when you are traveling a long way it is when you reach halfway mark — the midpoint, where the problems start to show up.

The Point Of No
The Point Of No Return
You know, the point of no return, when you reach that point where you are too far to go back but not close enough to the end to get excited about some type of relief coming. It is here where you need to understand, when to take the car in for maintenance, when to stop for gas because there’s not another station for miles.   It is at this point where you hope that you traveled with someone who packed some peanut butter and bread in the back of the trunk, or checked the spare tire to make sure that it is good. It is at this point where you hoped that someone had the readiness of mind to get an oil and filter change before “getting on the road.”   It is at this junction where you need to have the knowledge to know if you should stay in this town for the night and get some rest or keep driving. Or if you should rest a town before so that you can get up and tackle this part of the journey in the daytime because it’s just safer.  There are many things when it comes to coaching that you must understand.

Some of these things are:

  1. The understanding of development requires just more than Judo knowledge.  It requires, at least, some working knowledge of anatomy, physiology, nutrition, psychology, teaching, learning and coaching
  2. Coaching education is not the job of a local, state or national agency or governing body. Coaching education and the pursuit of it is the responsibility of the coach
  3. To be good at judo has very little to do with judo and more to do with the science and practice of decision making.  What you choose to do and not to do are more important than ukemi, uchikomi and waza

Do You Want To
Travel Alone?

I have really been blessed in my career at a Judo player and Brazilian Jiujitsu player. I have experienced some of the best opportunities available in the area of sport. I have competed at the Olympic Games, competed at the Brazilian Jiujitsu World Championships and fought for one of the biggest MMA organizations in the world. I competed at the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships and had the opportunity to coach at the Olympic Trials in Judo, the World Judo Championships, the Cadet World Judo Championships and the Grappling World Championships.

I’ve also served as the Head Coach for the Bahamas Judo Federation and was able to implement the same program that I am going to offer to you, there, and aided in the process of creating the first ever Olympian in the sport of Judo for the Bahamas Judo Federation. As someone of Bahamian descent, this meant a great deal to me and is one of my proudest moments in sport.

Although I’ve done much in sport, the most joy that I receive is from coaching and mentoring.  

And the most impact that I’ve been able to have on people and their careers has been through Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) coupled with the philosophical approach of Deliberate Practice. This along with a steady and constant approach of hard work, dedication and unwavering devotion over a period of time has been extremely successful in the area of sport.

I would like to invite you to take part in one of the most rewarding, challenging and educational experiences ever in your sporting career. No matter if you are a coach or an athlete, I guarantee you that you will see improvement beyond your wildest dreams.  In  your pursuit of excellence on the tatami, I guarantee I can help you with your journey. And don’t think that because you have a coach already that you cannot utilize my services. Long journeys, long races, and long bike rides all require a crew or a pit to help with the journey. It’s not a one person show. NOT EVER.  There is a group of individuals that work with you and for you to help you get what it is that you need.

I’ve worked with 2-Time Olympic Bronze Medalist, Jimmy Pedro on several occasions with a few of his athletes.  As a matter of fact, I had the pleasure along with Chris Round to work with Jimmy on preparing 2-Time Olympic Medalist, Kayla Harrison for the 2016 Olympics.  If you’d like to see the report you can see it  HERE.

In this sport you need more than one coach… you are going to need several and a few advisors.  I have the pleasure of advising more than a few people internationally and also a handful or parents and athletes in the United States. If you think that I can help you meet your goals in 2018 or would like to peruse the options of us working together to see if its a good fit, please contact my team at 813-501-2827.

For those who are ready to jump on the path to Excellence and are ready to become a client in 2018, please go HERE.  (You already know that space is limited and that I cannot take everyone. So tire kickers and lookie loos, beware!)


Thank you so much for reading this post of the #MarvelousMonday series and I hope you found it encouraging and I also encourage you to pick up my book which is available on Amazon, “Coffee With Rhadi.” 

And of course it is available on Kindle and Audible and in paperback as well. 🙂

Blessings from here to there,

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson