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  1. #1
    Regular Member Caffrey's Avatar
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    Exclamation Badminton in Canada is Wrong!

    So I am currently in Canada, particularly in Ontario, and let me just say this... badminton sucks here.

    Coming back from China to here, there is absolutely no government support for it's athletes and all the clubs are in it for themselves.

    Here are a few things I will list so that other Canadians/Ontarians can become aware

    1) The way they teach you to swing is wrong
    So in Ontario, I have been to KC, E Badminton, Mandarin Badminton and Lee's Badminton and most of their players all swing wrong. It's painful to watch - some of them use no pronation at all and only use their wrist, even when they smash. The majority of them don't use their whole body, only their arm or in some cases, literally only their wrist. Especially E's players. For some reason, coaches don't teach their kids properly in this area. It could be because most of them aren't coaches, but players fresh from different countries who know how to play pretty well but don't completely understand how to teach. In China, kids don't touch a shuttle until they swing correctly. Here, a lot of them swing incorrectly and it generates a lot of injuries for them. However, some of them do swing correctly, and these are the kids that you see come out on top. After all, if a kid is using his whole body in a swing against a kid who is using just his wrist with no pronation, unless the wrist kid's arm is a tree, the other one will win, naturally.

    2) The way they train is wrong
    In China and many other highly skilled countries, we train extensively and push our bodies very hard. However, we do this progressively. People here train 2-3 times a week and put their bodies through hell off and on. They don't let their bodies build up to it at all. It's because of this that there are quite a few U14 and U16 kids with knee and elbow braces. It's ridiculous! A 14 year old should NOT be having knee problems! In China we train hard but it is a process. We train a little bit every day and it gets harder and harder but we train in a way that allows our body to grow and get stronger before we take on harder tasks. I remember at E Badminton seeing this one kid who didn't seem to know the proper footwork steps go through a 6-corner drill (moving each bird through all 6 corners on court) with 25 birds each. It absolutely blew my mind. I talked to someone who trains at E Badminton and he went on to tell me that they train like how they do in Indonesia and China. That is not how we train! There are kids who are 14 year olds over there that can beat top junior players here easily and they don't train that hard. They train a little every day and build up gradually. Hell, I took up boxing for a number of years and even BOXERS don't train that hard. I believe it may be because when players from over there come over here they start to put the kids through what they used to do back home without giving much thought to the fact that they started small when they were young and didn't just go ham from the start. It makes me upset to see little ones with knee and elbow problems.

    3) Their mentality is wrong
    Clubs only train their kids to become successful so that their club looks good. They never train with the player in mind. They don't like it when kids from their club go to different coaches to learn different styles/experiences and clubs will not let students train with them if they are from another club at the same time. In China, we go to different coaches for different things. Each coach trains differently and you gain a wide array of skills/techniques/strategy from each one. In addition, with the ability to take what works for you and leave back what doesn't, you get to formulate your own style of badminton. That's why we have many players and they don't all play the same way. Looking back here, its very easy to tell which players come from which club because they all generally play in the same fashion, regardless if that particular form is optimal for them or not. In boxing, we have sparring nights where we go to other clubs to spar against different players and they come to us as well. That way we can gain different experiences and have more exposure. Nothing like that happens here in badminton.

    4) There is no government support
    Provincial tournaments here are anywhere from $80-$100 once a month, and since it is really the only way to play against other people other than your training mates, you must go to them to improve. However, this isn't as bad as compared to the national circuit, where you also have to pay for a flight and a hotel. This makes it so that only the skilled and the rich make it anywhere. There are many fairly skilled players that have equal chance as others to go somewhere but are denied the chance because they don't have the money. Essentially they spend 8ish years training only to give up the sport later on.

    Yup, in case you were wondering, (I'm fairly certain) Michelle Li pays for all her international tournaments herself.

    I am speaking from an Ontarian perspective. I have seen other people (ex. BC) from Canada play as well and although they are good, they still have a lot of fundamental problems. Many of them resort to strength training to get better, which is good, but they don't all have the fundamentals (ie. full body swing) completely down.

    Disclaimer: this thread isn't meant to bash anyone, but simply open eyes. I profusely apologise if I have offended anyone

  2. #2
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    Nicely written article.

    Lots of food for thought.

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    I am not in the position to saywhether the training, the form and swing are right or wrong.. but I have to agree with you .. badminton is not a sport that the government of Canada is putting a lot of focus on. The national sport is still hockey.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahcash View Post
    I am not in the position to saywhether the training, the form and swing are right or wrong.. but I have to agree with you .. badminton is not a sport that the government of Canada is putting a lot of focus on. The national sport is still hockey.
    Very true.

    Let's say if someone born in China was really passionate about ice hockey, they would say the same thing about poor techniques, lack of training, govt support etc in their home country, while praising how good it is somewhere else like in Canada...

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    If you think that's bad, you've not been to East Sudan. The badminton there is almost non-existent!

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    Regular Member Caffrey's Avatar
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    Canada in general is notorious for poor athlete support. If it isn't hockey/basketball/soccer then good luck. Other sports like tennis, golf and volleyball are alright because they have a large fan base and usually have wealthy donors.

    Badminton is a rough sport on your body, but you shouldn't have to wear braces when you're 13 or 14. If your body is suffering that much, its safe to say you're doing it wrong. Even boxers treat their body with more awareness/care.

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    To me badminton did get a lot sponsorship cause the game we play. Let say a match with 3 games total only 9 mins break so they can't run any commercial in between much at all. Not like tennis hockey or soccer. Badminton needs to have more break in between games so they can run commercial

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    Regular Member Caffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagame2001 View Post
    To me badminton did get a lot sponsorship cause the game we play. Let say a match with 3 games total only 9 mins break so they can't run any commercial in between much at all. Not like tennis hockey or soccer. Badminton needs to have more break in between games so they can run commercial
    No, it's because of the "consumer base". Many more people play badminton than other sports like basketball here but most of them are very casual; a lot are backyard players (if that even counts). When you register at a club you or through the city or something of the sort there is usually a form you sign and based on the number of forms, Sports Canada determines how many people are interested in the sport. Sadly, most people don't bother signing the forms because they just play in open centers. Because of this, the number of people Sports Canada thinks play badminton is significantly smaller than the amount of people who actually do.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Caffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahcash View Post
    I am not in the position to saywhether the training, the form and swing are right or wrong.. but I have to agree with you .. badminton is not a sport that the government of Canada is putting a lot of focus on. The national sport is still hockey.
    It's actually lacross... but it may as well be hockey

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    Considering the fact you obviously care enough about the situation to open people's eyes and post about it here, maybe there's a way you can help some of them?
    Not sure it's possible of course, but maybe you could give some tips to the players who are open to feedback when you see them doing something wrong. Maybe some trainers would welcome constructive criticism, or you could start your own training somewhere. Just some thoughts in case it would be doable...

    I'm a bit in the same situation, as I have a profound dislike towards some of the training situations around here and the trainers. So I try to do as well as I can myself when I give training and follow as much clinics as possible to learn more. It's only a small thing, but you have to start somewhere and maybe in time you can change things over there. A small ripple can become a big wave someday (hopefully).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffrey View Post
    It's actually lacross... but it may as well be hockey
    Actually... Lacross AND​ hockey are both our co-national sports.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Caffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m3w78 View Post
    Actually... Lacross AND​ hockey are both our co-national sports.
    Really!? huh. The more you know

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    Lacross was identified as national sport because nobody else plays it, it is a kind of trademark. It was practiced by some amerindian before the white came in.
    But quite few people play it, though it was part of sport class when I was a kid. It is quite fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by renbo View Post
    Lacross was identified as national sport because nobody else plays it, it is a kind of trademark. It was practiced by some amerindian before the white came in.
    But quite few people play it, though it was part of sport class when I was a kid. It is quite fun.
    US is thrice as successful as Canada is at Lacrosse World Cup.

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    This is something that Badminton Canada needs to address. They have coach training and education programmes (some still in development) but being a coach only in the UK I've no direct experience of them. Even so, I would say that all their levels below 4 & 5 need a shake up.

    To the original poster, if clearly incorrect teaching is taking place at all these clubs it seems sensible to ask who is doing the coaching and what level are they trained to. Several lower levels are basic only and provide only a few hours instruction, being aimed at teaching beginners. In a club environment I'd expect a coach to be qualified at least to NCCP Competition Introduction level.

  16. #16
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    This is a bit of a sensationalist title.

    I've encountered players from the clubs mentioned, their form was generally quite fine, I didn't notice any no-pronation wrist shots. This was looking at their tournament players, though of course every club has its fair share of novice players that are still learning the technique.

    As for inappropriate levels of physical training, there are certainly some individual coaches out there with unrefined ideas (more/harder is better!) but I wouldn't call it a systemic issue. After all, physical training for sport is something that is well understood across many sports, there is tons of information out there about conditioning, strength training, periodization, etc. This material is all standard in the curriculum for coach certification programs in Ontario.

    As for having a well developed community of players which in turn brings in more funding - what can you do when there are other sports that are more popular? Is it really the government's job to be sending players to the Olympics?

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    I doubt Canadians are training their kids harder than Asian countries do.

    Competition to make it to the top is extreme in countries like China, Indonesia, Korea. The kids work like hell for like 5 hours a day in national level training centers. Supply of kids in badminton is infinite, all of them striving to become pros.

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