How to improve my current training methods a young coach

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by *chance*, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. *chance*

    *chance* Regular Member

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    Hello everyone! I'm 24 years old (from Germany) and have been an on and off coach for about 2 years now. Even though I like to help the kids in our club, since they're the future, for the first 1 1/2 years I simply didn't do enough.

    I hope I'm writing this in the right section. I just want to give you a view of the current situation.

    Most of the time we are 4 coaches that are not always there at the same time. My father and I have pretty good experience (father has been playing for 40 years, I myself for 17 years) and the 2 women are ok but still lack in many areas themself (we're not perfect in any way either), but I think it is our job to guide them on what to do with the kids in training and to also teach them in terms of coaching.

    I've realized that I didn't take the coaching role as seriously as I probably should. Meaning sometimes I would just let them do easy stuff that didn't require too much advise. Since then I (or rather we, the coaches) have tried to change up the training plan and try to do different exercises every week. We've done it with varying success.
    It starts with the training time. We start at 5 pm yet maybe 50% manage to arrive before 5 pm, let alone be ready on time. Ok sometimes there is a group before us and they end their activities at 5 pm, but we should be ready and waiting by then. But no a lot of them arrive 5-10 minutes late and sometimes take almost 10 min to change. I think we will start locking the gym and anyone who arrives late for a second time will be send home. (we would inform the parents beforehand though and not just suddenly do it of course). I'm sick of waisting almost the first 20 min before everyone is ready and I've made my announcements, just because these kids didn't learn any manners in that regard from their parents.
    Second thing are the smartphones. Twice things have been stolen so we tell them to bring it into the gym, but if they're on it every break or so it just distracts them. We've thought about collecting them before training starts.

    About the actual training I've tried to become less lenient, when the little ones come and beg me to play a game (every single training). We play a game maybe once every 2-3 weeks now.
    I've also tried to be more strict with the people that just do not stop discussing or arguing about certain tiring or boring exercises, because they're in their puberty or whatever and try to be smart with you. I've told them to shut up for once and do the thing for as long as we say and not as long as you want or get out of here. I don't want to make assumptions, but with some of them it's just in their nature it's got to do with their upbringing or whatever. I don't care anymore about that.

    I just wanna say though, when I tell them to shut up, I obviously don't do it regularly or in an overly loud or rude way. I'm not that kind of person. But even I sometimes can't take it anymore and with all this talking and discussing we're just wasting training time.

    About the training itself we usually warm up either with the standard running exercises (sidesteps etc.) or running a few laps as a start. Then we will usually do the standard stretching exercises.
    After that we will either build sort of a circle with different stations, like sit-up, push-ups or jump ropes and so on, to improve strength or flexibility. There we will do each station for about 40 sec and then switch. On other days we will put up the net and start with some footwork, like runinng to the corners of the court.

    What I've realized now and is that we should first improve their movement, because hitting exercises are good and all, but it's not really effective if they can't move well or know how to move best on a badminton court in the first place.

    So I guess we will put more emphasis to get them to a certain level of movement.

    Lastly I would just like to ask how you deal with kids that either don't really listen, are often distracted or just do not have any talent for the sport (and you don't have the capabilities to care for them specifically) at all? Do you have some sort of "punishment" (for the kids that often talk when you're talking) or do you speak with the parents that maybe should wait another year (if they're quite young and just not ready for any club sports)? I don't want to block anyone from playing Badminton, but I also feel bad for them and the rest of the group if can't give everyone a "satisfying" experience.

    Sorry if this a bit much or overly detailed, but I just wanted to give you the best possible insight, so maybe you guys could some tips from your experiences and knowledge. :)
     
  2. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    You're confronted with challenges, and your instinct is to show authority. That is not necessarily wrong, but oftentimes it's much better to cleverly redesign the training and its environment. Let's go through it in detail:

    I would very strongly advise against locking the hall. First of all, it can have safety implications when young kids are left stranded. Also, even the most dedicated pupil can sometimes be late if their train is cancelled. Instead, do the following:
    • Ask your kids why they are late. Maybe they're not aware that training is supposed to start at 5pm?
    • Clearly communicate with your kids that from now on, they're supposed to be in the hall, with shoes on and badminton clothing, at 5pm on the dot.
    • When somebody is late, ask them personally why. Make sure to do this every time. If there is a legitimate reason, work with them on removing it. Make it a culture that everyone who is late should provide a valid excuse themselves. The sheer inconvenience and shame may improve your situation drastically.
    • Make sure you actually start at 5pm and not any later.
    • Most importantly, make sure that kids who are late still warm up properly, both for their safety and inconvenience. If they have to warm up while their peers are already on court, they're going to associate being late with having less court time and training partner choices.
    • If you want, you can add (sensible) punishments for being late, like 20 pushups for more than 5 minutes being late. Make sure not to overdo this - the punishment should be short, double as sensible badminton training, and only mildly unpleasant.
    In general, you may also consider splitting your training into two velocities: Kids who do work and are punctual (or have a valid excuse) get to join the elite training, while the others play with beginners and just play without much oversight. This will also help a lot in the other aspects.

    Do not collect smartphones. They're personal property, you're going to have problems if it gets stolen, and in emergencies the kids should be reachable as well as able to call emergency services. Smartphones should not go onto court, and kids should always be on court during training. Make it a culture to bring shuttles, water bottles etc. on to court. A permanent marker can be helpful to allow kids to recognize their water bottle.

    Also make sure the training is age- and interest-appropriate. If some kids come to play a couple of rallies, don't impede that too much. Young kids (below 13) also have a short attention span, so make sure you have plenty of variations of your exercises. Again, especially if you have multiple coaches, consider separating by effort and interest instead of age (or gender).

    In a training with little kids, there should be two or three games every training session. Games should not be football etc., but something badminton-specific. Try redesigning your exercises this way. Play games like Völkerball / dodgeball with shuttles - this will improve throwing motion as well as agility. In the warmup, let (especially older) players compete against each others in 2 teams (or teams of 2/3) in finishing running exercises.

    Kids in their puberty want to be more independent. That is normal. Use it! Let them decide themselves what areas of the game they need to improve. Let them draft training plans for themselves, or suggest the exercises for the whole group. At TV Refrath (one of the top youth clubs in Germany) there is a wall with a small DIN A5 sheet for every child where they themselves write down their badminton goals for the next months. Don't do this with 9 year-olds, but as soon as athletes question your training, let them suggest better!

    I strongly recommend introducing a warm-up ritual which is used every time. That saves you time to explain and enables athletes coming in late to warm up properly. I am not sure why you would ever run laps though - there is nothing in badminton like that. This phase of the warmup should be about 5 minutes.

    There should not be any stretching before the training in badminton. Instead, go for mobility and stability exercises.

    Sounds great! Just make sure not to put the very exhausting exercises at the start of the training; otherwise you'd risk fatigue and therefore injury later on.

    Yup, a huge part of training kids, should be the introduction of proper movement and shot technique.

    These are distinct cases:
    • A certain amount of distraction is normal for young humans. Design your exercises accordingly.
    • Kids who are bored may just want more fun exercises, disguised as games. Again, make sure that everything is age-appropriate. Have a look at KW40 to KW45 in the NRW Landestrainer Tipps der Woche 2016 [German] for an example how extremely technical training can be a lot of fun for kids.
    • If [older] kids who are not interested in training at all, maybe introduce a hobby group that is just supervised, but with lots of game variations instead of technical training. You can and should share the warmup part. If you are in a position to decline students, indeed, do talk to kids first and their parents later that if the behavior is overly disruptive, the kid will not be allowed to train anymore. Make sure to provide ample warning beforehand so that the behavior can still change. Again, I'm repeating myself, but make sure that training is age-appropriate.
    • As someone with coordination difficulties I may be a little bit biased, but I would never ever ever exclude someone from training because they're not good enough. "Untalented" players should always be able to make up their disadvantages with concentration and effort. Support them as best as you can, e.g. by telling them how they can improve on their own at home, especially if the problem is lacking agility, speed or stamina, all of which can be improved by training. Clearly communicate what is lacking and how the players can work themselves on improving. If all else fails, move players to a less-elite training group.
    For personal development, you may also consider doing a coaching certification. There you will learn a lot about teaching (badminton technique and in general), and you will have ample opportunities to learn from other coaches.
     
    #2 phihag, Apr 17, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
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  3. drmchsraj

    drmchsraj Regular Member

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    I haven't fully analyzed and weighed in the other points yet, but this is what I was about to say.
    No one fully prepares you to be a coach..there are many situations where you have to improvise or be ready to break it down and prioritize the key aspects depending on the candidate or training level or infrastructure restrictions (equipment sharing, overlapping routines, choosing physical or fitness part over technique etc).

    What about the BWF Shuttle Time programs?
     
  4. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    Shuttle time is one of the coaching qualifications I spoke of, but it is mainly aimed at school teachers who have never seriously played badminton, and thus contains little didactic help.

    Also, Shuttle Time courses are less extensive then the coaching qualifications: The lowest coaching qualification in Germany (Trainer assistent) is two weekends and only covers the very basics. The next level (internationally called Level 1, C in Germany) is 15 days, including two tests. In comparison, the Shuttle Time course is only about 7 hours long.
     
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  5. drmchsraj

    drmchsraj Regular Member

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    Ah, danke! I hoped BWF ST might help me get up to speed. Isn't the certificate valid/valuable?
    Is there a charge to participate?
     
  6. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    If you have never played badminton in a competitive way and/or want to teach kids in school or a club for the very first time, ShuttleTime may be a good and simple first step. If your club or school wants to see a formal certification, ShuttleTime teacher may fulfill that.

    If you want to learn how badminton technique works and how to teach it, go for a "real" coaching course.

    I'm not familiar with the details, but yes, there will be a charge of about 60€. This may be covered by your school/club though.
     
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  7. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    That's OK. But it's important to recognise your own personal limitations. Handling kids is a tricky business. They have different personalities and sometimes different mood swings. It's a bit easier to handle in a group class. But be just aware such issues exist.

    Bad idea. You will definitely lose more and more players this way. Design a different incentive. If I was the lead coach with an assistant, I would make the late comers do a similar warm up or even harder warm up. Ensure it take a similar amount of time so that their can see their disadvantage (not punishment) is less court time. Then I would also tell them (first privately for that group) because I have had to split time up between the on timers, they have been affected everybody's training (not just your time). For their warm up, you can look at exercises which fitness trainers use which do not involve the whole length of court. I think some mild stretches are OK. Later, you can see which individuals are the motivated ones who genuinely are late and the always late ones. As suggested, look for reasons why they are late so that they have a feeling that you are treating everybody in a fair manner. i.e. OK, sometimes you know people cannot help it but everybody has to go through a similar routine of warmup before starting on court as coach is helping them to prepare them to play better, ultimately for competitions, and if professionals do it, then ....(you get the idea)

    Need to ask, how long is your training session? One hour or two hours?
    How many kids attend the class? It sounds large if you have four coaches.

    This is a good idea, but be fair after investigating the reasons.

    You cannot collect them. I am a bit surprised they do not bring them into the gym. Ask them to bring a small bag (or inside their racquet bag) to put their phone in and keep those on the side of your training area. Are there lots of strangers coming into the courts?

    Do you mean you personally only play with them once every 2-3 weeks. That sounds about right.

    Not sure what is the level of your kids. We always have some footwork exercises in the routines but then again, in Hong Kong, it is usaully a two hour session.

    Yup. If they are tired, confirm it and make them sit out for five minutes during hitting shuttle times. Tell them they themselves said they were tired. Make sure when they said they were tired, it was marked down on a register or in front of the group. If they are the complaining sort, yup, in your group talk, talk about complainers. Say "I heard complaints about the training exercises. It's there to make you better. Once you start winning tournaments, we can talk about your complaints. I used to complain myself but then I realised I became a better player after the exercises but it didn't happen immediately. It took months to see the results. The more I did the better I got and the faster I improved....". Show them a video of pros doing oncourt exercises without shuttles as an example.

    a) can't do much with the non-listeners except keep you talks short and sharp. Don't give information overload.
    b) distracted - you can say very loudly, "excuse me, you are disturbing the whole group talk. If you have something private to talk about, take it outside the gym" etc, etc
    c) non-talented - well, this really is how your classes are arranged. If your hall is big, you seperate out the group into two or three different smaller groups according to ability (not gender).
     
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  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    @*chance*

    BTW, since you are also 24 year olds, you are also a role model. If you take also take part in the warm up exercises, this will give the kids an incentive to do them better and shows them by example that you practice what you preach. It's a powerful technique. This will also shutup some of the complainers. Obviously, if you are feeding, it's impossible but for some of those court exercises after the warm up, consider doing it as well.
     
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  9. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    Kudos to @phihag for his comprehensive advice in the first reply!
    It's psychology that can be used with kids anywhere in Life, not just the court: Accountability and proportionate response to poor behaviour. :)
     
  10. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    Also though he shouldn't just be doing it to shut up the complainers..He should do it if/'cos he thinks it is beneficial. And if he doesn't do it with them, i'd be interested in why that is?
     
  11. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    Sounds like they might not have much choice but to be there. Adults might behave similarly if they were in the situation that is unusual for an adult, of them being coerced into doing something that they don't want to do e.g. they were at a job they didn't like/enjoy / didn't interest them, and they weren't getting paid to be there.. And this is on a regular basis.
     
  12. dave010

    dave010 Regular Member

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    I think you should try and understand things from their point of view. First, not all of them necessarily have to be there. Not everyone is going to like playing badminton, especially when it comes to constant drilling over and over again. I sure don't. As a coach, you have the responsibility to train your athletes but your overriding duty is to make the classes an enjoyable and rewarding experience. As children, they don't stand to loose much if they don't follow instructions. They only have to show up and daddy or mommy pays the coaching fees.

    I'm assuming here that you are not training competitive provincial level players or above, in which case different rules would apply. There is no benefit to you or your students if you try and push them beyond what they are comfortable with. Regarding your statement about not wanting to get to know your players well, I think that is a huge problem. One of the most important characteristics of any coach is the ability to understand his/her players and tailor the training problem to suit their strengths and weakness. I see many coaches try and force everyone to do the same thing, and that's wrong on many levels. For example, I am 6' 1" and 165 lbs, and I have my preferred footwork patterns to move effectively at that size. Imagine how frustrating it is if a coach forces me to adopt the patterns of say, a 5' 7" 120 lbs person.

    Each and every one of your players is going to have their own unique personality and style of play. If you move on to coaching high level competitive players, especially in doubles, pairing up your players is going to require a detailed understanding of each player's individual characteristics. To summarize, communication is important here and I believe that making a more focused effort to communicate effectively with your players will help immeasurably in improving the quality of your students.
     
  13. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    An excellent point which wasn't clear before. I think one has to be pragmatic. If it is a beginners class, the job is to make training a little more fun and yet also challenging. Then spot the ones who either have talent or work really hard. There are always some who will not be interested and distract other people. These ones need some strategy to use up less coaching time in favour of the harder workers and improvers.

    I have one boy who plays tennis come down to a few badminton coaching sessions. He doesn't listen, does the routines badly. I honestly don't know why he comes. I hope he eventually moves on to something else because I rather spend my precious time on those who deserve it more.

    Another thing is although beginners are the continuation of the club and the game, just think how many beginners will stay in the game. It must only a few. Plan accordingly.
     
  14. *chance*

    *chance* Regular Member

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    Hey guys, it's been a while. First of all I'd like to apologize, since I sort of forgot about this thread, even though it was me who wanted to receive advise and asked some important questions.
    I'll try to answer of your posts as I can.

    A small update, I've been trying to implement some of the advise you have given me and try a more structured (and divserse) training. But often I've found myself repeating the same exercises and routines, because the number of people that are present in a session can fluctuate from 7 people to over 20. I guess it's on me to come up with pre planned exercises that can be done, according to the number of people and what kind of kids are there (some won't come for 2 weeks and have to relearn what they just learned before that break).
    We train kids to be able (if they want to) compete in their province and of course get good results. Maybe 1-2 of them are talented enough and put in enough effort to compete at higher national tournaments, but that's not particularly a goal.

    Thank you for all of your detailed advise. We've tried talking to them and asking why it's so difficult to be on time sometimes there is no real explanation, sometimes it's "I was waiting for so and so to come." or "We had to walk by foot." Internally I'm facepalming, because it's almost laughable. We've told them that that's no excuse and that it disrupts the training and if it continues for much longer they will not be allowed to take part in that particular session, if they come late.
    The problem is, when you have 15-20 kids and sometimes only 2 coaches, do you want to spend your time and attention for 2 kids, that they do the warm-up properly, while we can't really continue with the rest?

    In general we have split the kids in 3 groups: beginners (pretty much all little kids), a core group that actually goes to tournaments or tries to do the exercises (6-7 people) and then the whole rest. That's from 17:00 - 18:30. After that we have about 10 people for the 14-18 year olds with various skill levels (total beginner to more advanced). With them we also split the exercises according to skill, although even the somewhat better players aren't that great and still need to learn a lot.

    We haven't collected their phones. The banks where they are sitting are literally 2m behind the court, we try to implement that they bring their bottles onto court, but they still forget.

    That's a good idea. I'll try to look up games that don't take too much time and maybe involve shuttles somehow.

    We've done that, even though I fear it might become boring, or already is boring for them. I sometimes do the warm-up with them, but I have to be the last one running, because if I have my back to them, some of them won't do it properly. We don't run laps that often, it's more for stamina. I know Badminton is more about short quick movements, but even pros run for like 5-10 mins to improve their overall stamina.

    Sry but why do I then see players stretching their limbs etc. before going onto court, even the professional players? We cut down the overall time though. It's only about 5 min.

    What I also struggle with it that kids, just like in school, just cannot stand beside the court for 1-2 min when we show the exercise and listen. Some just keep talking and then it will become more and more. I try to make the explanation quick, but at a particular age you should be able to listen, but I guess that's how kids are nowadays.

    @phihag: Regarding your post about a hobby group, again we are quite limited in our coaching staff, so it's a bit difficult.

    I don't know if I should tell you this, but I do have a C coaching qualification. Altough it's been a couple of years and to be honest it didn't go into much depth, on how to deal with kids or young adults and how to make it interesting or particularly motivating.

    Ok I think I might have to split this post up into two parts. I'd also like to answer the other people who have contributed here. Again thank you so much for all the adivse. I'm trying to get better, but it's been a difficult road.
     
  15. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    The goal of stretching is to raise the maximum range of flexibility. This is rarely desired in Badminton, where we need control at all times.
    Therefore, after the initial warm-up, mobility/agility exercises are best. The goal of these is to make it easier and faster to get to your maximum range.
    After the training, stretching exercises can be done, to improve long-term flexibility.

    Professional players sometimes do some mobility stuff just before going to court. Given that they just warmed up and played for 0.5 to 2 hours (Lin Dan does even more from what I've heard), that is not a typical example for training though.

    The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. - Socrates

    A certain amount of chatter can be tolerated, but it sounds like you feel it's far too loud. Consequently singling out the troublemakers seems a strategy that can work, but also backfire. I wouldn't do much have most exercise presentations just consist of a demo unless there is a group of players who wants to see the demo, but gets distracted.

    But you need way less coaches for hobby players! After the warmup, you can basically just hand them a shuttle and let them play on their own. For some, that's all they want in a club.
     
  16. *chance*

    *chance* Regular Member

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    Hey there! Sry again for the long absence (it seems to be a habbit haha ^^")

    So in the last months I've tried to focus on splitting our players not only by age but also by ability.
    We try to always have at least 3 coaches there so each group can be monitored well.
    After the summer break we lost some players (who weren't really keen on training really) so we are now able to focus better on the different groups.

    The problem I still face and what I want to ask is: How do I start to actually build a training program for new and advanced players that can also be used by our other coaches, when I'm not available and that all new players start with? Where do I begin with creating such a plan?

    At the moment I'm thinking about what to do in the session a day before. I try to mix it up from the last session or try to strengthen the things that we trained in the last session.

    The thing that is sometimes a problem for me, is that I don't know how many players will be there. Some people just don't come for a week because of the weather, or a birthday or some other reason.

    I need to be able to adjust, which I struggle with.

    Another thing I struggle with is that it's difficult for me to determine what a player that has just begun must know, before he/she can go on to other exercises.

    We have players that have been playing for about 9 months to over a year and they sometimes still struggle to hit a long high serve or a high clear. We try to correct them, show them personally or on video and they might try to do it differently. But the next time they will be back to their old ways. It's like there is no ambition to try something different if the current method is not working.

    I know I sound like an old man complaining and of course I don't mean all of the players we have, but it still happens quite often.

    I'm grateful for any help that I receive.
     
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  17. thyrif

    thyrif Regular Member

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    That is always a thing, using the amount of players you have when you we hoping for an even number!

    For longer term, it seems you may be missing a year planning? What are the goals you wish you achieve for each group? And how will you devide the year into blocks of focus to help them repeat, repeat, repeat whilst also learning new things and having fun! This may also help with figuring out what to do, because sometimes it's just starting of half way from last week and just going a step further.

    Make a year plan, set a focus for each week. Then make the detailed exercises the week before or something. Good luck!
     
  18. *chance*

    *chance* Regular Member

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    This is exactly what I'm struggling with. Of course from a lot of training camps I know a number of exercises. But not enough.
    I want to make a year long plan (or longer), but I don't know where to begin.

    What exercises (not just with the shuttle, but also for fitness) are right for starters and which ones are more for advanced players.
     
  19. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    This is normal! Except for a few gifted players, under pressure everybody will revert to their old technique. For every technique, the progression is:
    1. The player can't do the technique at all.
    2. Basic technique under very simple conditions. For instance, the player may have approximately the correct steps to hit a shot without the shuttle, or have the correct (left/right) foot position.
    3. The technique works in training, with very simplified assumptions. For instance, a player may be able to hit some clears that look about right if you throw shuttles.
    4. The technique works with realistic feeding (for shot technique) or a basic movement pattern (e.g. the player can do a scissor jumps not only to the back, but to forehand and backhand in a pattern).
    5. The technique works embedded in a game-like setting, i.e. when playing 1v3 corners.
    6. In training games the player incorporates the technique, especially when there is some focus on it. For scissor jumps to the backhand side, a coach might let players play singles with the restriction "Backhand shots are prohibited".
    7. The player can and does do the technique without being asked, and without thinking (much) about it. In training games it is used without coach instructions. The player can do basic variations of the technique.
    8. Under pressure in a competitive environment, the player still performs the technique. They can now do so in a large number of situations, and adapt it as needed.
    This slow progression is what makes badminton hard, and thus interesting!

    Some players, myself included, need to have literally thousands of repetitions before even relatively basic technique sinks in, just to advance one level in the above list. Even if I were to train badminton 3 sessions every day for 10 years, injury free and always motivated, that time would not be sufficient for the number of repetitions I would need to get to level 8 in all techniques, and thus a world-class player. If you're training for top national / international level, you can simply filter out players who don't have the locomotory gifts to learn quickly

    But if you're training for a lower level, you need to slowly help players advance through the stages. Many players do require a year or two just to learn a basic clear, especially if training is irregular, for whatever reason, and if you can't give them prompt feedback.

    A year-long plan can be daunting at first, so maybe start with a plan for just 3 months or so. Within 3 months, the topics don't really need to change. Start by setting up the basic template of your lessons. For instance, it may look like:
    • Advanced group, 4-10 players (Alice, Bob, Charlie, ...), all can do basic clear, know the rules, know basic terms, technique and strategy. Alice and Dana are better than the rest of the group, should get additional challenges (and are often asked to demonstrate technique). Bob is struggling a little bit, maybe move him to beginner's group, give him simplified tasks, or homework.
    • 2 hours on Monday: 10 minutes warmup, 10 minutes activation, 5 minutes net set up, 10 minutes basic shot warmup (drive / clear / drop / smash), 40 minutes technique, 10 minutes athletic training, 30 minutes free play, 5 minutes cooldown.
    • 2 hours on Friday: 10 minutes warmup, 10 minutes activation, 10 minutes basic shot warmup (drive / clear / drop / smash), 35 minutes technique, 30 minutes free play, 15 minutes athletic training, 5 minutes cooldown, 5 minutes to clear the hall.
    You'll note that there's nothing in there about specific exercises or even techniques, and that the basic template is almost the same. Many coaches even employ a warmup/activation/warmup shots/cooldown ritual. This helps you in another goal; training when you are not there: You only have to tell the replacement coach about the technique session; the players can do everything else by themselves. A well-coached (and coachable) group of players is almost as effective even if you're 30 minutes late.

    Now, decide which techniques you want. Typically, there should be 2 or 3 separate techniques you want to teach in one session, because you want the players to have large numbers of repetitions. Oftentimes, one technique should be footwork-related, and one shot-related, with the third being tactics, strategy, another shot, or simply absent.

    For every technique, you'll have a number of exercises, typically 1-4, with gradual difficulty. For instance, if most players are at level 3-4 above, do one exercise at level 3 and two at level 4. For instance, a backhand clear series may be a. throw shuttles to play backhand clear b. feed stationary c. feed with basic movement .

    Every additional exercise entails overhead in you explaining the rationale, explaining&demonstrating the exercise, the players finding their partner, and getting used to the exercise. So the more exercises you do, the less repetitions you'll get in total.

    On the other hand, you want to keep training interesting and challenging, so you need to vary the exercises, both in difficulty and in content. After 10 minutes of doing an exercise, everybody gets diminished returns for any further repetitions, because concentration will lack. You can also space out the technique sessions a little bit and maybe play some kind of mostly-fun game (e.g. 3v3) in between. Bonus points for making the game subtly relate to the technique. For instance, 3v3 is a great choice if the technique is doubles serves.

    As to find out what to teach: How about you look at what the players in each group are missing most? If they are a little bit older (say 14+), you can also ask the players what they want to learn. Judge at which level they are right now for the given technique, and work out a number of exercises at this and the next level.

    Now you should have both the general template, and a number of technique blocks with exercises, which together make up the plan for the next session. You can and should simply repeat this plan in every training session for 3 months, especially if you're only training once or twice a week. Advance the exercises as needed.

    For children and/or insufficiently motivated players, you can disguise the repetitions a little bit by using a larger pool of exercises at the same level. So instead of doing backhand clears all the time, also do backhand drops and smashes, even when the technique is mostly the same. Instead of doing single-shot feeding all the time, add 1v2 corners, feeding from the coach, multi-feeding instead of single shuttle, feeding with a control shot, 2v1 players, etc. .
    But typically, repeated exercises are really motivating, because the players gradually become better and notice their improvements. You'll also waste less time (and thus have more repetitions per time) explaining and setting up.

    Now that you have a 3 month plan, you can continually – or every 3 months – adapt it. Rotate out techniques that everybody in the group can do at level 7 or 8, and add techniques that they need/want to learn. You can either have a clear progression of techniques (e.g. basic forehand clear, high clear, smash, disguised drop, sliced drop, jump-smash, identical-looking clear/drop/smash, deception) or rotate through different areas (e.g. lunges, scissor jumps, start, singles defense movement).

    On top of that, also add periodization: During the season, you may want to focus a little bit more on improvements, tactics, and outright play. In the off-season, you can shift the balance towards athletics and completely new techniques.
     
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  20. thyrif

    thyrif Regular Member

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    Great bundle of information there, phihag!

    I would like to add some simple tips to get Chance going:
    - write down your groups level like phihag suggested
    - write down what to train for every session for the 3 months (can be in two keywords: clear, drive)
    - repeat a lot, I often have two or sometimes 3 sessions that build on eachother to have more repetition and allow a better sink in. Make sure you add on and not just do the same exact training to keep it interesting


    And for the exercises, an effective way for training a technique is in three stages:
    - Isolation (no walking, just hitting, even without shuttle if the level is low, then with shuttle)
    - movement: add in a simple movement, an easy shuttle in a fixed different corner (when practising a clear you want them to move back to the base a bit so give them a second shuttle there/at the middle of the net)
    - a match like setting where there is more pressure to get there in time. We have 3v1 or 2v1 sparring for example, where the worker is alone and needs to perform the practised shots whenever they are able, where the others try to keep the sparring going and mixing up the corners.

    And as Phihag said: don't try to do too many different things in one training. If you only have an hour after warm up I would just do 3/4 exercises mainly on the one focus item, mixing up the corners and building intensity. Repetition is key to improvement.
    If you have 1.5 hours, you can have two nice focus items to work on.

    There are also some good YouTube videos on exercises if you need some inspiration. Bwf has a lot but mostly show technique, badminton family has some high level stuff but I think they have some simpler stuff as well.

    Hope this helps, good thread!
     
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