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Englands singles players ?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by dlp, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    Latest commonwealth games results, Haughton and Constable lose to Nick Hall NZ and a 22 year old indian player. Despite home advantage is anyone surprised? No

    Over the past 15 years England have not produced a single genuine world class singles player....Darren Hall has remained our best player from early twenty until 35 years old, in this time the rest of the world has moved on in leaps and bounds and yet Hall has been the best in England despite his age until recently. In the last 5 years Wales have had the top 2 players, looking at the size , history and resources of Wales this is a joke.

    There are many problems which contribute to this, we have had juniors who at 16-18 were as good as any Danes, but in the crucial 18-21 age group when the Danes and Far East move from junior level to world class senior our players often go missing.

    The Danes have managed to produce players such as Rasmussen, Gade and Martin who can play in a style and speed of the far east and add their own great attitude and win world titles. When did you last see an Englishman with footwork and shots of the technical style of China or Indonesia? Surely we need to get these foreign coaches working with our under 15 players where they can teach a style rather than our seniors who are already developed and often appear resistant to change.

    A third part of the equation, fitness, why do our players never have the right sort of body shape and fitness to compete. Whilst lack of technical skill, experience etc are excusable what is to stop any english player having the strength and speed endurance of the world top ten. Often the dominant juniors are tall defensive players who carry on playing a slow one paced game into their early twenties and make no impact on the world stage.

    Then attitude, even at Grand Slams and nationals english players are constantly dismissive of players they beat, show little respect for the officials , oponents, coach, complain at line calls and decisions and generally show no class in their manner on court.

    We have young prospects in South, Ghaffar, Honey etc but whilst these boys are still "develping our no.1 is losing to an Indian of the same age. WIthin the ladies singles despite the efforts of Julia Mann who is a great example of hard work over ability and natural gifts there is NO standard to speak of , hopefully the Chinese women's coach will get some of the juniors up to scratch soon, their is a huge gulf at the top of the womens singles and our teenagers should be filling it.
     
  2. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    Clubs-

    We are let down at grass root level. Clubs are setup to play doubles. This stifles singles. Singles is Rife in the Far East. Show me a club that plays singles over here.

    The club setup is boring. Playing the same teams year in year out. Compare to some of the national leagues in the Far East.

    Selection -

    You hit the nail on the head with your tall defensive player point. Flair rarely comes into it. A good selector needs to be able to spot a good player. How can you spot a good player if you haven't been one yourself? The Junior circuit is voluntary.

    Coaching -

    Show me the good coaches or the regular coaching sessions at County level. If we don't have the players we don't produce the coaches either.

    Attitude -

    Badminton not big enough in the UK to become a celebrity. Stifles motivation in a celeb driven society. Badminton players can go a bit funny if they have to live on the dole and recieve no praise for their efforts. Plus no-one you meet outside of badminton will ever take you seriously.
     
    #2 UkPlayer, Aug 1, 2002
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2002
  3. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    I agree with your points but look at Wales! At the end of the day you can talk about broadening the base of the pyramid but its all about how high you top 5 players can get.

    Yes Denmark has a club system but how does that account for the different development of the age 18 to 22 its down to the coaching. England need a world class mens singles coach to work with the 15 through to 22 year olds , when we have that "Tim Henman" type player then we can argue about media coverage etc, until we produce the goods the public won't follow.

    When does the BAOFE ever come out and take responsibilty for the results, we won the Euro under 19 this year for the 1st time in over a deacade, sure we had lucky but we also medaled in indidual including under 19 mens singles gold, but will we see these players on the world circuit winning in 2 years?
     
  4. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    I have no idea what the Wales setup is. All I know is that when I played for Essex as a Junior we beat Wales?! And I disposed of whoever the Welsh number 5 in the age group was at that time with relative ease so they weren't that strong as Juniors (But stronger than Italy!). Welsh players competed on the UK circuit when I was around (around the same time as Morgan), so obviously they must be doing something right at the 16-21 level to develop their players. Perhaps it is because we are renowned for doubles in the UK where as Wales may not pressure it's players into doubles and may be more focused on singles.
     
    #4 UkPlayer, Aug 1, 2002
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2002
  5. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    As an addendum to that, we definitelty do not have a shortage of talent in the UK. As a Junior County in my age group we were stronger than any other European Country apart from Denmark, and on a par with Holland. That's just as a County so there is absolutely no shortage of players from which the current pool of talent has been drawn from. Edge and Constable's strength was extremely noticable at their age of 10 and I am very very surprised that they have not gone further given the fact that they were streets ahead of Juniors in their age groups and the ones above.
     
  6. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    I agree we always beat Wales in junior competition and in terms of depth and doubles Wales are nowhere (even with their imported English rejects), and yet they still have seen Vaughan and Morgan rise above any of our players consistently in recent years.

    Yes we have a history of doubles success but if anything at a junior level the empthasis is on singles, you have to reach a good standard of singes to even get into the top tournaments and the junior england squad, later you may concentrate on doubles.

    Even at ESBA level talented juniors are indulged, if they are winning or are no.1 in England they can get away with murder. It doesn't matter if they are unfit, poor attitude, don't train , bad technique, the coaches won't say a word to these players.
    I feel poor attutude is rewarded in juniors and this is why we end up with such unprofessional seniors.

    We all know a lot of funded junior players who are talented wasters who will never get anywhere longterm but are kept on on the basis of past results.

    They introduced a fitness test a few years ago for eligibilty for international selection, result our top 2 girls and over half the girls in total failed badly, result, they still went on trips. We have to be tougher and widen the opportunity and accessability to Engalnd training and demand higher standards. Both PJB and Lee Jae Bok were frustrated at the attitude of the senior players.
     
    #6 dlp, Aug 1, 2002
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2002
  7. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    I agree both Edge and Constable had the ability at a young age, Constable was beating the Danes up to about 17 I think. But where was the long term plan and development.

    You can watch these 2 guys blow 6 or 7 straight points in a grand slam let alone a world class event. With them its largely the mental game, patience, concentration, shot selection these are their weak points.

    I thought about 3 years ago South was being heralded as the next Hall, totally unfair on him and hes a great player still, but I never saw him getting a game together physically or shot wise to damage a world class player. Yes he covers the court and has a superb attitude but is that enough?

    I'm not having a go at any of the players , just asking why the system consistently fails to turn talent into results.
     
    #7 dlp, Aug 1, 2002
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2002
  8. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    Not all are like this. Amongst those there are also players without attitudes, like South as you mention. But it appears in recent times we have been afflicted with players who have attitudes or the ones without attitudes who just don't have the raw talent to take it any further.
     
  9. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    Ah you wouldn't be the first to ask this and you probably won't be the last!
     
  10. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    I agree, but surely in other countries those players who are talented but unwilling to change are discarded and others brought, and becuase they know that in these countries, they probably modify their attitude anyway.

    I could go on all night!!! Thanks for the input UKPlayer
     
  11. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    hehe no problem, cheers dlp. No doubt this will be picked up again at a more sensible hour!
     
  12. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    When you watch the Chinese teams tour here they bring under 19 singles men who play at 100 miles an hour footwork, play every shot in the book, and sometimes, beat themselves in the process, but even then push our current men, then about a year later you see the same guy winning on the GP circuit and then winning world medals.

    The point is at 19 all the fitness , the shots are there , its just the experience needed, our players at nineteen play a conservative game of little variation or shot range, try to keep the pace slow so they can handle it. They won't be playing a jump smash or reverse slice in case they lose the point. Consequently they don't develop that style of game and don't have the weapons, or don't learn how to use them for later.
     
    #12 dlp, Aug 1, 2002
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2002
  13. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    You've hit the nail on the head there. From personal experience British coaches stifle creativity and flair and focus on bread and butter. This might be a safe strategy to develop someone on the European stage but if you're talking about the World stage you can forget it! Look at a Player like Lin Dan. His shots are amazing yet he lacks consistency. But consistency is one of the things he can develop at this sort of stage of his career. If he can get to that level based on speed and attacking shots, imagine what he will be like when he gets it's all together!!!!
     
  14. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    Exactly, if you are teling your juniors not to jump smash in singles how will they develop the shot! How many coaches in the uk coach the jump smash from a young age?

    I've seen quite a few England training sessions for the ages up to under 22 over the years I've never seen the smash worked on, other than for consistency/accuracy, let alone the jump smash.

    Is this simply because those coaches did not themselves play a jump smash in their careers. I have coached players who have played for junior england / won junior nationals, i did not play at that level myself. How do I coach ? I watch what the best players in the world are doing and try to replicate it. I am not interested in making peple play like I do, believe me they wouldn't want to! This can be an advantage, of course your own standard nd experience is important when coaching but you cannot be teaching what you did 15 years before.
     
  15. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    At the All England South lost narrowly to a Dane who was then whipped by Lin Dan in 20 mins getting only 4 points. Fine you say, but I think Lin Dan is younger than South, and hes clearly our best prospect, and China have more LIn Dans on the way.
     
  16. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    dlp, I completeley agree. It's amazing that you mention the jump smash because that is the example I was thinking of. That's exactly what happened to me. I went along to a coaching session when I was a youngster playing for Essex and the coach who was then a UK doubles player who wouldn't get past the first round of the AE told me not to jump smash. Even at that stage I totally ignored the idiot. Why on Earth should a young player produce results all the time and then get knocked off the throne at a later date by players who can really play but haven't been going for the results.

    To make a comparison to academia I remember a Uni Professor giving some advice about exams. He said " A 7 year old who is passing his GCSE is not a genius. The exam means nothing. It is how he develops his knowledge of the subject which will decide in later years whether he will truly master it or not."
     
  17. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    We haven't had a Lin Dan in this Country since I've been alive :(
     
  18. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    P.S. If I had kids I'd gladly let you coach them.
     
  19. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    Haven't had a Lin Dan in this country .....

    You're telling me!!!!:eek:

    I'd settle for Richard Vaughan now


    I've practically given up coaching now, I can't be doing with the politics, the top jobs only go to ex players and I've been coaching at a monetary loss for too many years.
     
    #19 dlp, Aug 1, 2002
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2002
  20. andymcg

    andymcg Regular Member

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    Its interesting that you're talking about coaching jump smashes to juniors. I've helped with the coaching of the top junior squad here for a couple of years now, and we're very lucky to have a main coach who is involved with the junior England setup and who I think has fresh ideas and enthusiasm and isn't constrained by old fashioned methods. We spent a reasonable amount of time coaching the jump smash last season, and I imagine we will again this coming season. We don't tell people not to use it at all, but to be careful about when they do use it.

    I also think its a bit unfair to compare young singles players here to ones from China as I'm fairly certain that the ones in China will probably do far more hours training every week. I think the world class program states something like 12 hours a week training (I may well be wrong there!), as it all has to fit in around school hours and exams etc. But the other side of that is that singles players here tend to last an awful lot longer (Darren Hall, Hoyer-Larsen etc), whereas I can't see Lin Dan being around much past his mid twenties.

    Aside from a few exceptional players like Gade, Rasmussen and Hoyer-Larsen, I think the Danes have much the same problem. There doesn't seem to be anyone new coming through to challenge their standard.

    The best young junior I've seen in recent years is Susan Hughes of Scotland. I played in the same county team when she was about 15 and we used to wind her up afterwards if she lost more than a couple of points in any of her singles games. She's managed to make it into the top 50 in the world now at age 19, but she still isn't really up to the same standard as Julia Mann, Tracy Hallam etc. Toby Honey is also an exceptional talent. I saw him win the NE Challenger here last year and though he was very impressive. I haven't seen any of the other promising English youngsters like Rice and Hardcastle play though so I can't comment on them.
     

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