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  1. #1
    Regular Member diverdan's Avatar
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    Default Are coaching lessons a good idea irrespective of your level?

    Hi guys. Just thought I would ask this sime question. Is having some coaching a good idea and what would I expect to learn from it?Ive been playing for a few years and think there is definite room for improvement in my game. Would I learn anything from a coach?

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    If it is a good coach, definitely. The thing is without continuous coaching coaching you will forget stuff he/she taught you.

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    Regular Member diverdan's Avatar
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    That's what i thought. I think my game could go up a level. The cost for one to one is expensive so will ask someone else to do it with me.So what would a coach make us do on the first session to assess our strengths and weakness?

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    I played for 15 years and then decided to go for coaching and almost totally changed my game.

    There are some things about coaches I discovered.

    A certain coach may not be the right one for you. They may have a great reputation but their teaching style would have to fit you and vice versa for your learning style.

    It's important for a coach to understand you. That means you have to express your learning objective to them.

    I think those earlier coaches I had come across before just saw me as a "typical" adult learner.

    What is a typical adult learner? I noticed that they usually say "I want to play better" but have no objective in mind. It's very difficult for the coach to push these people because for this group, a lot of them are actually only wanting to improve consistency (they aren't able to express it in such terms though). However, there is no easy way to improve except for hard work.

    Changes in technique are far harder to effect and in fact many adult learners will give up having the coach.

    After having a few coaches, here and there in group classes, I tried a different coach on a friend's introduction for one-to-one, one-to-two students sessions (lasting 1 to 2 hours).

    I got introduced to him and we knocked the shuttle around a bit. I told him my objectives were 1) good footwork because I wanted to play singles again, 2) do the best I could and see if I could get to A grade in HK, AND then asked did he really think I had the potential to do it?

    He reckoned it was possible. I decided to do it intensively for 3 months to break old habits (lessons twice a week) and then do weekly. Yes, it was expensive but I think frequency is important otherwise you forget the previous lesson. Or rather your muscles "forget" the movements.

    I used to write what I learnt in early postings on BC and it was fun as well as physically tiring. I think my learning style was quite intense for the coach as I felt it was expensive and I should squeeze my money's worth out of it. The coach got surprised when I would take out a notebook to write down what he said, scribble drawings of foot placement, body movement, tactics and brought a videocam to record some of the lessons. I was the first student he had who would take notes so that possibly put some pressure on him!!

    The result was I did become a much better player raising my game up a couple of levels with strong basic foundation. That means even if I have an extended break from badminton I still have the insight on how to play a better stroke, get the footwork right, body positioning, etc. I definitely did improve because a lot of people here said I had become harder to play and was a good player (they never said that before I got the caoching!). Although I play more socially now, people still comment that my footwork is good as I can reach many shuttles across an open court. (All that singles training - LOL)

    I wouldn't say I was talented by any stretch of the imagination. My strength is being a hard grafter and trying to dissect a technique down to very small details. I can train a shot for 30 mins trying to get it right. Sometimes I will spend 1 hour on court just to practice a low serve. I am quite happy to practice spinning netshots for an hour.

    As a caveat, I find that western adult learners have a few disadvantages. Firstly, they can be really stubborn and this restricts progress. You can't learn if you are not open minded. Secondly, they can talk too much during the lesson so you end up talking more than "doing". Don't waste too much court time on talking. Talking is only effective up to a point - anymore, and you are wasting precious time when instead you can be hitting the shuttle and grooving the technique. I used to save a lot of the questions for afterwards during warming down.


    In my earlier days, I thought you could only become a good player if you started from a young age and so I thought I missed the boat. That made me miss a lot of years of potentially better games. Well, better late than never. I'm always thinking of the "what if...."

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    You are a really hardworking Badminton fanatic, Cheung... As expected from BC Moderator.. Two Thumbs Up

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    I would say a (good) coach is definitely a good thing!

    They can help in all aspects from shot technique to footwork to tactics...

    Sometimes they can point something out to you and you can go off and practice on your own or in social play, but you will still need to have regular sessions to make sure you are progressing int he right direction.

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    Regular Member diverdan's Avatar
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    Cheers guys! Im going to look into coaches in my area and try them out. I need to think about areas of my game I want to work on. One thing is being quicker at adapting to opponents patterns of play and shot selection. This is one of the many areas I struggle at.

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    One important point to bear in mind is that at the start, your gameplay may go down as you try to bring on new techniques into your game. i.e. you lose games more. This can be demoralising and weaken the confidence in the coach by the student. Keep in mind whether you want short term gain or long term gain.

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    Finding the right coach is firstly very important as with everything in life, different people will like different things, and different things will suit different people. I have recently acquired one on one coaching from a very good player, who happened to be an experienced coach, to see whether I could roll back the years and try And improve again since starting to play again 4 years ago, having taken an 8 year gap since playing county/ part national as a junior. The result is that I've learnt more about myself almost immediately. The COach you choose and whether the understanding is mutual plays a big part in progression. Having a realistic aim and having the approval from the coach is also encouraging as the belief to achieve the set goal from both parties makes the objective clearer. I ve waited quite a while as having a coaching session can be costly. When in uk, I had many opportunities to get coached, but it wasn't till I came to hk this year when I finally said to myself, 'Yes, it's time to see where I am now.' Don't get me wrong, getting coached will not mean and does mean that you ll become a national player who will represent the country lol... As I said, different people will have different goals. My personal aim is to see where I could improve to enjoy my hobbie (badminton) to its fullest. Hope that helps
    Last edited by Babyface; 06-01-2012 at 02:02 PM.

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