“I Would Have Traded Our Coach for Some Athletic Tape and Ice”: Ronda Rousey Felt Helpless During Her Junior World Championships

Published 01/06/2023, 1:45 PM EST

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Ronda Rousey did great things for the USA Judo team. While an Olympic medal was the highest peak, Rousey won many world championships both at the Junior and senior levels. She, however, was not happy with her coaches and their methods. In her memoir, “Rowdy” described the reasons that made her feel disappointed in the coaching that USA athletes received. Rousey used to note the difference in the coaching her opponents got. She has documented the simple things that other coaches did for their players that Rousey was not getting.

During the 2004 Junior World Championships, Rousey‘s coaches could not provide vital information about her opponents before matches. Although she won the tournament, she didn’t share any credits with her coaches and didn’t hug them even after winning dominantly.

Ronda Rousey observed the difference in coaching


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Remembering the times when she was climbing up her career in Judo, Rousey recounted an incident from a training camp in Spain where she was training with athletes from other countries. She wrote, “I saw the enormous disparity between the resources provided to athletes from other countries and what we had as members of the US judo team. At Castelldefels, USA Judo sent one coach, which was more than we usually had. Other teams had a 1:1 coaching ratio.”

Observing the benefits and the amount of guidance her opponents were getting, Rousey wrote, “I saw my competitors’ coaches observing them intently, scribbling down notes not just about their own athletes but about their athletes’ opponents.”


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Round Rousey had no trust in her coaches. She even thought they could not help her with the things she needed. Rousey didn’t like the fact that the entire US team had one coach and that too was a fortunate event. She further added, “It wasn’t only about coaching. I would have traded our coach for some athletic tape and ice. The French team had a dedicated physiotherapist who had dozens of rolls of tape and a cooler full of ice. “

‘The Arm Collector’ further added, “The Germans, Spanish, and the Canadians had physios as well. The Americans did not. “


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Rousey was left in the dark before her fight.

During the 2004 Junior National Championships, Ronda Rousey asked her coaches if her opponents were left-handed or right-handed. The critical information would have helped her plan her initial moves and defenses. The American coaches failed to provide this information. They cited the reason that they were watching Rousey and didn’t watch her opponents.

Ronda Rousey was left shocked when one of her coaches asked her if she was left-handed or Right handed. This showed that the coaches had not been attentive to her the whole time. These incidents broke Rousey’s trust in her coaches.


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Have you ever had a coach you didn’t like? Let us know.

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Written by:

Akshay Pallav


One take at a time

Akshay Pallav is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his undergraduation from National Institute of Fashion Technology in Apparel Production, he has been a sports enthusiast all his life and has several medals at the University level across multiple sports including basketball, badminton, track and field. He aspires to interview Conor McGregor and Cristiano Ronaldo someday.
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Edited by:

Vineet Nandwana