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  1. #1
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    Default A good coach......

    What are the characteristics that define a good coach?

    thanx

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    Easy answer

    Easy answer:
    good coach = good results
    bad coach = no results

    unfortunately it is the only valid criteria that can be applied and it is the same for all sports

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    hmm..... i think i made the question to vague........

    Ok lets say, what kind of training would you expect from a good coach?

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    In my opinion as a player, i have had a number of good and bad coaches. Of course whether a coach is good or bad depends on how well you work with him or her, I seemed to get along with most of my coaches in the past, although i had to work a bit harder on my own because i was not able to get the results that i expected by just "doing what the coach says". I think a good coach should be a qualified coach, one with experience and a general knowlege of the skills and tactics, other than that i believe it is all up to the player, a player takes what he/she wants from the coach and puts it to their game, then one should see some results. I have actually met a few coaches, and i mean 3 out of hundreds, who say they can guarantee results, honestly i think its bull, without the players' desire to be good, a great coach doesn't have anything.

    Without heat the water wont boil.



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    In addition, a good coach enables the student to learn rather than just teaching.

    It also depends on what level the student is aiming for.

    complete beginners just want to improve. So what's the aim for a coach? He can't physically push people into hard routines becasue they just lose interest. However, without the physical effort, improvement is really hard. So all that the coach can do is hope to have slight improvement, and maintain people's interest inthe game.

    How about the long-time player who wants to improve and finds it difficult? Well, a different type of coach is needed, somebody who is very technical and can spot small details and correct them one by one. But the biggest problem here is the student themselves. Are they really willing to accept being told what they've done for years is actually wrong and now prepared to make the alterations necessary? Can they start from the basics again (or even the 1st time)? I suspect this happens more than people care to admit and the result is either improvement or the person leaves that coach. But i do think think it is difficult to accept that one's own basics are really poor. If the person can accept they have poor basics and are willing to start from scratch, learning is much easier for both sides (this is my personal experience as I've done both).


    It's really important a student can trust the coach as well. So for the long time player, he has to beleive the coach is really pointing out the mistake and make the effort to change. If the student doesn't believe the coach (or thinks "hey, the coach can't be right"), then it doesn't matter if the coach is park joo bong or morten frost, that student is never going to learn.

    Once above that level, my observation is that the knowledge of both student and coach are at a level where learning is facilitated. Some days it might be easier, some days it might be slower. This would be applicable to maybe less than 1 in 20 people who say they have a coach(just an estimate).
    A good coach here is one who can see the student not performing well on some routines but can still motivate them to perform well or change around the training routine to focus on some other aspect of the game leaving the original routine for a later time.

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    Yeah good coaches are hard to find. I play in NY and Chi-Bing who coaches here is awesome. He's very patient with absolute beginners but doesn't hesitate to work the experienced players to their limits. His technical skill is great too - he can just take your shots apart and show you exactly what you're doing wrong. It's all so obvious once he explains it.

    I think attitude of both coach and student matters. The best students i've seen are those who push themselves hard and don't waste time. The best coaches are those who are able to combine criticism and praise in the right amount to keep the students motivated and pushing themselves to the limit.

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    In brief, I think a coach can only do so much. The coach is there just to push you and make sure you are practicing right. The rest is up to the player.

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    i want to revive this thread. which has some really good info but for some reason died of infant mortality. having been through a couple of coaches myself and seen quite a few more. i have a few comments.

    there are coaches at many levels. coaches for teaching beginners, intermediate and advance levels. advance techniques i mean the coaching at the pro or top tournament levels. i cannot comment on these higher level coaches as being neither experienced nor qualified. the national or almost national players among us (Matt? ) can say more about those.

    in either beginner or intermediate levels, i believe the coaches should have good basic skills themselves. i am not sure if everyone pay attention to these, but if you drop by a gym and start watching the strokes of different players, you can tell who has proper training from the start and who don't, and if you pay enough attention, you will also spot players who started learning the proper technique midway in their badminton career. a good coach IMHO should be trained with the proper technique from young. thus their strokes will be "standard", very fluid and consistent.

    i believe this should be for three reasons.

    firstly, in order for the coach to have good technique, he/she must have been through basic training. what he has learned from the basic training he can transfer to his students. by going through it, he will understand the intricates of each stroke. which is by no mean straightfoward.

    secondly, in order to teach at the beginner/intermediate level, one must demonstrate. if the student has no visual image how a proper stroke looks like, there is very little chance he will be able to learn it. if you are trying to tell a student what to do, it is much easier for the student to understand if the coach is able to demonstrate the stroke. human beings are like monkeys, we imitate what we see. it is not uncommon to see students with very similar style of stroke as their coaches.

    thirdly, it is much more convincing if the student can see the stroke and the effects of it. esp if has impressive results. i was trying to improve the quality of my overhead stroke the other evening, and the coach demonstrated how to make a really powerful smash, yet he seems so relaxed about it. it was "simple" but very convincing.

    sadly, i have seen many coaches here who cannot do a proper stroke themselves, some even have very poor ones. i just cannot imagine anybody learning from them.

    ok. that's a lot of typing for very little info. let's carry on.

    the other part is that a coach not only need to how to perform the basic strokes, but also should know how to explain and correct an incorrect one.

    this is what differentiate a good player with solid basic technique and a good coach. a coach not only need to know how to do it, he also must know how to teach it. this, as i mentioned partially comes from their own training, if they have been taught and explained the different part of the stroke, they will know it, but also they must go through some coaching training in order to fill up any gaps in their knowledge to be complete.

    the other part that i mentioned is spotting the mistakes. it sounds really easy, but if you try to do it, even though you know how good basic technique looks like, it is much harder to correct a bad one into a good one. i have tried it, and with only partial success, while i have seen my coach spending only minutes and can pin point the problem.

    i only touched on the technical side. there are other mental aspects that others have mentioned. but this is too much typing already. till next time....

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    That part about spotting people's mistakes....

    That is a harder skill than most people imagine and many well intentioned 'coaches' may miss many mistakes.

    Again, well trained players may not make good coaches despite having nice strokes. It takes another skill to spot people's technique deficiencies. Some people find this easier than others.

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    Like Kwun said, there are different levels of coaches. I think the most important thing that differentiates them is the personality. Coaches for kids at development level must be people with lots of patience, good understanding of kids behaviour and physiology. Of course they should be also be skilled in badminton though not the most important. BTW, heard that Zhao Jian Hua, YY first coach was not a badminton player but succeeded in making them top national players.

    For higher level, there is the coach who knows the tactics, analyse the games and opponents skills, able to command the players' respect, a results oriented motivator. They are there to help the players achieve results. This preferably should be a high level player himself/herself who is knows what it takes to succeed.

    Spotting mistakes, one need to be very familiar with the technique. It's not that hard to tell where, say an overhead clear is not right. It could be more difficult to find the why.

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    yes. personality is another thing. and as viver mentioned, coaches at different level has different personality requirement. chatting with a friend over the weekend, he mentions that a coach that pushes and screams at the player is the best for students who wants to excel. while i agree to a certain degree, i think for coaching small kids, more encouragement and love is needed.

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    another thing that i like to point out and didn't is the coaching style and how that matches with the expectation of the students.

    unless at the very elementary stage, most of us will walk into a badminton class having already played badminton for years. for us, what do you think is the best coach?

    one that comes in and tell you to forget everything one has and learn everything from scratch; or a coach who let you maintain what you have and try to improve only some aspects of things? or a coach who listens to the student and only teaches what the student want?

    yeah, so what about the student's expectation? not everyone want to spend time and money and relearn everything from scratch. some wants to have a "crash" course and learn of everything, and "get their money's worth".

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    A coach knowing the right technical information is only a very small part of the package.

    Even when fitness, strokes, experience are good the performance of the player can be the difference between winning the tournament and losing first round. This is largely down to the mental skills learned through training and coaching.

    Then there are qualities which apparently are not even badminton related. Conducting yourself in a professional manner, time keeping, motivating yourself regardless of the level of the player, relating to players and being part of their life not just their badminton, being flexible in approach, improving as a coach.

    Having coached a junior right through from local standard to national under 19 champion and european competition I can say that the process taught me as much as I taught the player. No one , even an ex champion, can say they have the ability to coach at high level until they have done it for a number of years.

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    Originally posted by kwun
    another thing that i like to point out and didn't is the coaching style and how that matches with the expectation of the students.

    unless at the very elementary stage, most of us will walk into a badminton class having already played badminton for years. for us, what do you think is the best coach?

    one that comes in and tell you to forget everything one has and learn everything from scratch; or a coach who let you maintain what you have and try to improve only some aspects of things? or a coach who listens to the student and only teaches what the student want?

    yeah, so what about the student's expectation? not everyone want to spend time and money and relearn everything from scratch. some wants to have a "crash" course and learn of everything, and "get their money's worth".
    At that level, you wouldn't want to forget everything and learn from scratch (the drop in play would be so drastic that you might want to give up). Probably the best way is to have the coach do an assessment of your play and provide a list of possible areas for improvement (you want to improve areas which will give you the best returns (ROI ratio must be high enough to justify your investment). Part of this will also to indicate to the coach what you want too. You might not get all you want as the coach might decide that you might need to get to a certain level before you can do certain things.

    All in all, personality, knowledge (technical, tactical) of the game and attitude all play a part in being a good coach.

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    I think most would agree that not every champion can make a good coach and even then, as has been reiterated here, one may be a good coach at a certain level and not so at another, because of the different qualities required and the different expectations and demands of both coaches and trainees. Only a few days ago, it was reported that ex-Malaysian National Singles Champion, Yong Hock Kin, decided to end his short stint as coach to the national back-up squad and return as a player despite being 28 years old. He said he found no joy in coaching.

    Sports, including badminton, is so specialized nowadays that you need professional specialists to help you in every department. In skills, tactics and strategies, perhaps the coach can still play an important role but if resources are available, it is best to leave the fitness and mental training, dieting, to the professionals like the fitness instructor, the psychologist and the dietician. Even in the execution of skills they now resort to biomechanics (?) to study an athlete's movements so as to achieve the optimum and perfection!

    Recently, Singapore's talented badminton players, notably Ronald Susilo. Kendrick Lee and Xiao Luxi, somehow failed in their final hurdle at the Singapore Open and the ABC. They lost badly in the finals after having beaten higher world-ranked players along the way mainly because they can't control their emotions. The SBA are now going to employ a full-time sports psychologist to help them and other aspirants achieve their ultimate goal to become champions. Very few coaches have the necessary skills or experience to help their charges on the mental aspects. To a certain extent, this is inborn in that the player must have that passion and will to win despite all odds.

    Coming back to coaches needing the necessary skills to impart to their students, it is interesting to note that Singapore once had arguably the best soccer coach in Choo Seng Quee, who later had to coach the national team on wheelchair because he lost his legs to gangrene as a result of diabetes. Yet he still achieved good results during the then Malaysian Cup competitions largely because of his personal charisma and his ability to inspire his players to give of their best. At the national level, I suppose less stress is paid on skills as every player is required to have a certain minimum standard and maybe more time is taken up with tactics and strategies. In any case, Uncle Choo, as he was fondly referred to, could always ask his best player to demonstrate any skills for others to emulate.

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    hmmm.. the definition of a good coach

    i would have to say it depends on what the player want to achieve and how fast. As i have seen in my short time i have seen parents choose coaches for their children who are completely wrong. as has already been said at that age children need to develop a love for the game. at an older age kids who do not love the game (and i do not mean love winnign) will give up. I however missed out on coaching at a young age as i didn't have enuf natural talent. Now after years of determination which has been bred in by hard knocks i am worthy of a coach and am starting on the satellite. My coach now is my best friend, he has had his share of knocks - after being a scottish national junor player and winning in his younger years he has had to endure a horrendous ankle injury. but i have driven him on and he has repaid the favour by coaching and guiding me. This supports the fact that you must get on with your coach and that you must not fear giving feedback to your coach, especially at senior level yuor coach must listen to what you want to learn and how you want your game to develop. at this level players of a high calibre shoudl be able to recognise what is missing from their game. being able to criticise your game is essential. any good coach will tell you this.

    In short as you progess and your game improves you shoudl have more input to your own improvement and a coach is only there to pick at the finer points. at the beginning of your career a coach is there to make sure you begin with the correct action and other tecnical details. the rest follows and is up to each player top study their own game and then consult their coach on how to improve things.

    Neil

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    What makes a good coach?

    There are several things that make a good coach, and believe it or not a good coach does not have to be a good palyer! I know some very good coaches and they aren't or weren't good players.

    I am a coach myself, but I don't think that I have got what it takes to coach top national players - some have it some don't.

    My current coach at the moment is a very good friend. For players and coaches to work out and produce the results on court (not just the palyer) they have to work together. By that I mean a friendship has to develop, and the two 'get on' well. If you and you're coach do not 'get on', then you should find another coach as this will only mean that you don't want to go to train with your coach, and this affect your results on court.

    A good coach understands where you want to end up in the game and will guide you there, there is no strict guide or any guide in fact as to what makes a good coach.

    I'm currently coaching my Uni Badminton Squad until we get a coach in to do this. I have had five of these players approach me for coaching outside of squad nights, these players I get on with and they do the work at squad nights. There are players who don't do what is asked on squad nights and these I do not get on with.

    So basically a good coach, becomes your friend and ulimately if you do what they ask, they will be the right coach for you. A good coach will listen to you

    Phil

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