Different people join judo for different reasons. For some, it's a competitive sport and their target is to win medals. For others, it could be a recreational activity, something they do for fun. Some may want to learn judo to bolster their BJJ or MMA skills. There are many different reasons.

Whatever the reason may be, there usually is some kind of end goal involved. A competitor wants to become a champion. A recreational player wants to advance in belt rankings. A BJJ or MMA person might want to win matches using something they learned in judo.

It's good to have goals. They serve to help focus your direction and energies. They are also a source of motivation, to keep training. But it's important to not get too caught up or carried away with end goals.

The danger of being end-goal obsessed is that when you come across stumbling blocks that prevent you from achieving your end goal, you can get really upset. So much so, that you might end up quitting the sport. What good will that do you?

So, have your goals but at the same time, really savor the experience. Learn to appreciate the process. Look forward to training, knowing that every time you train, you are becoming a better player. Which in turn makes it more likely you will achieve your goals.

As a coach, if I had to predict which beginners will become successful judokas, I would pick those who clearly enjoy the training. That's a better predictor of success in judo than talent or focus or even attendance. Talent, focus and attendance are all important but enjoying the training is the single most important factor.

If someone enjoys the training, I know they have a bright future ahead of them in judo.