A good friend and BJJ brown belt Greg Greer was teaching class at Valhalla about a week ago and he did a drill that I hadn’t seen before. My students really enjoyed it and I think it is useful if you want to train your team for competition. Competitions involve noise and distraction. They also often force the head coach to send an assistant coach matside to help if two matches are going on simultaneously. This drill helps build all of those skills and adds some intensity and fun to a class.
Split the class in half and assign numbers to each athlete. There should be a pair of ones, twos, threes, etc. Pair up the ones and have them go live with the other students circled around them. The twos coach whichever one is on their team. When the timer rings the twos start sparring and the threes coach their respective teammates. Continue until the end.
If you want to spend more time on this drill mix up the teams and start over. This works best with shorter rounds. It teaches the newer people how to coach and the center guys to ignore everyone but their coach. Add more distractions by having the whole team coach each player so he has to ignore everyone but the actual person who is designated to coach him.
Consider using this as a method of teaching students how to focus on giving instructions without overcoaching or giving away a surprise to the opponent. A short discussion of coaching practices or before and/or after can be useful.
Brian Jones, PhD