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How Much Coaching Do We Need
July 6, 2013
6:33 pm
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Roger
West Midlands UK
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I did coaching at my old club, outside club sessions, for a regular group of 4-6 male players of varying standards (aspiring to play in higher teams for the club). After three or four weeks (one 2 hour session a week), they were all regularly beating players in the teams above them, and a couple of the men went from being in no team to beating the clubs best pairs. It was a stunning transformation! They really worked hard! However, these sessions eventually fizzled out because players were not proactive with booking courts and arranging sessions. Their standard of play quickly dipped back to where it had been. In my opinion, it takes months to improve technique and install new good habits. It is not a matter of weeks.

Hi Everybody

This topic is nicked from a reply by  Matthew Seeley in the “Kids these days posts”. I hope I'm doing this with his blessing.

As you can see he is bemoaning the fact that players who give up on coaching soon slide back into their wicked ways. He also advocates that a long term development strategy is the only way to cement improvement.

I'd be really interested in your comments particularly on player responsibility and, playing a cheeky devils advocate, the relative values of intense short term coaching sessions. I think Paul may be interested in this one.     

July 6, 2013
9:49 pm
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Matthew Seeley
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Good topic rogerh!

I will try not to hijack this thread! You can all probably guess what I think 😉

I think the main problem I had with this batch of players, was not that they stopped having coaching sessions, but did nothing to actively practice their skills, even though they all wanted to improve and play at a higher standard (they are not just social players – they wanted to be competitive). When the sessions stopped, they did not train amongst themselves, they did not practice at club night, and they quickly forgot the fundamental aspects of the technique that transformed them so quickly from “average” to “good”.

So, without coaching, could they have maintained their skill level? Absolutely! What would they need to do? Well, as far as I am concerned, they absolutely have to practice! Amongst themselves, by themselves, with other friends. ANY practice. Not games at club night (unless they are particularly well focused). To succeed at this, working in the same group is beneficial as they will all remember the technique differently and can help each other out. The more organised players would write down the key techniques. However, without dedicated PRACTICE (not necessarily coaching), they should not expect to maintain these newly acquired skills in their entirety.

I will also state that, at a club level, most players need more PRACTICE, than coaching. However, players often do not bother with either. Sad times 🙁

When does short, intensive bursts of coaching work? In my opinion, it works best with several sessions in quick succession (more than one a week), with a focus on a very small number of things. If the duration of the coaching is intentionally short, make it intentionally specific e.g. movement, or defence, or overhead power shots etc. The goal would be to have an “intensive” course in this one area, over a very short space of time, with not too much time in between sessions for the student to “forget” the technique, or practice it wrong without the coaches assistance. This way, you could get vast improvements to an aspect of your game within a few hours of practice, and there is a good chance that the fundamental technique has been “locked” into place.

July 7, 2013
12:13 am
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Paul Stewart
Cheshire, UK
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I'll hold on answering this until we get a few more responses.

 

Paul

July 7, 2013
11:49 am
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Matthew Seeley
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Just teasing us…

July 7, 2013
6:10 pm
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Dobbie98
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Well the top players train at least 5 days a week. Think you should train minimum 2 hrs a week. The other way To look at it is if your not winning, you should be training. I think the problem is when playing doubles is getting your partner to train & train together as a pair & get as many matches under your belt before the season starts. Then there’s the fitness.

Paul is that enough comments lol : )

July 7, 2013
7:44 pm
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Ed
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I've tried in our club the same thing Matthew talks about. A few of us would love to play at a higher standard, and a few of us are certainly capable to play at a higher standard. And so we did “train” (uncoached) for a few club evenings. But it all watered away. Even keeping pairs together started becoming difficult, people started talking we didn't want to play with the rest no more. So it all came to an end, rather quickly. Pity though, I learned a lot. That's why I'm focusing now more on coaching our youngsters, and for myself I'll check the tournament calendar, and mlay singles and maybe mix.

Cheers, ED

July 7, 2013
9:50 pm
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Matthew Seeley
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Its a shame your sessions didn't keep going. Good luck for your tournaments and whatnot 🙂

July 10, 2013
6:28 pm
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Roger
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Seems like this post has slowed down. Must be the weather.

 

 I personally think that just a small amount of the right coaching can make a huge difference to any player up to advanced.

 

I really want to know why so many social and intermediate players don't conciser being coached when it can make really enhance  their enjoyment of the game.

 

Is it the quality of the coaching that's at fault or that players can't be bothered.

 

Please post in your coaching experiences, good bad and downright ugly.

 

 We really want an answer from Paul and he's already said he's waiting for more posts.

July 10, 2013
6:53 pm
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Dobbie98
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On Monday night at my additional new club night they got a coach in as part of your match fees. The new players / lower intermediates took up the opportunity to get coaching. Second half it was intermediate & above. To which only me & 2 others took up the training! The others all played games. But then again I was really happy. The coach ducked teaching the back hand clear. But I was so pleased that the club had paid for a coach. I’m personally taking up every opportunity to learn & improve through need & desire.

July 10, 2013
7:25 pm
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Peter Warman
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Rogerh said:

Seems like this post has slowed down. Must be the weather.

 

 

Hi Roger, I have been on this forum for a number of years and I hate to say it, but this is the most active I have seen this forum in general! Especially for a summer! Last summer it was about one new post every other week and that was generally racket related! The problem with this forum (not this topic but the forum as a whole), is that everyone who posts, generally post long thought out posts which to be fair, makes it hard to reply as they are either completely right or may have a different opinion and acknowledge it.

 

Plus as well, there are only a few “coaches” on here as there are “stringers” so not everyone will have an opinion.

 

I've never had coaching (except two of Paul's weekends, but I mean in general). So for fun, I will roll back the years and give you an answer if you asked me that question (Is it the quality of the coaching that's at fault or that players can't be bothered?). I'd have to say, that for me, coaching would appear to be for county players and players that are already “good” as it were. Aside from the fact of who would pay for this coaching (I'm young child with no money), I would associate coaching with something that people are really passionate about and good at. Also, how do you find out about coaching? If I was a kid, someone would have to implant the idea in my head or let me know the benefits etc. I wouldn't just think, “you know what, I think I need coaching”. A bit of encouragement would help too. But there is no coaching in my area that I know of. So there are a number of stumbling blocks that could be looked at here.

 

I can also relate to that people want to play games rather than coach, there needs to be a healthy balance. As I've got older (shh, don't tell anyone that I get older!), my opinions and views on things have changed. I'm with the people that say “I wish I made the most of badminton when I was younger”. But in fairness, my mindset would not have been the same. You can tell me now, for example, that if I read a book (Chimp Paradox), that it might be a book that might help me a lot, I will take the risk and buy it and try to learn and understand it. Try this with a 17 year old and you've got a completely different answer! Laugh

 

Going back to what Ed said, “keeping pairs together started becoming difficult, people started talking we didn't want to play with the rest no more”. If you had asked me this some years ago, I would have said, yes, this is a problem and most clubs have this problem. You can only get better playing the “better” people, especially if you are playing league matches, so why can't some people take some time to practice together to get their league games better”. This should not be a problem and I can't see why people don't do this at more clubs. HOWEVER, now that I'm a club secretary, I have to now think of the club as a whole. And this issue is something that will needed to be addressed when the season starts as people want a court for match practice. The problem with this, is creating a divide. No matter how big of a difference peoples skills are, a divide would be very bad. Ill feeling would be created and it could cause many problems such as making people feel down as they don't practice very often so does that make them rubbish at badminton? The thing that you have to remember here, is that without the “lesser” people, you wouldn't have a club. You wouldn't have enough members. If you try and create an elite club, you will be low on numbers and you will struggle. So It is important that everyone is happy. I would love some suggestions on this as I think we do need a court for match pairs to practice on but everyone has paid the same amount of money for the same amount of courts and time available. 

 

So maybe the proper answer is that they practice in their (the pairs) own time away from club night? But how easy is that to organise? 

 

Anyway, sorry for the long ramble, but I thought I would throw some ideas into the mix and see what you think of that? Just remember though, Paul's word isn't gospel (sorry Paul Embarassed). He's a darn good coach and I have a lot of respect for him, but Paul is like the rest of us, always learning as a coach and open to new ideas. So rather than wait for Paul to reply, why not throw some ideas around? You don't have to be right or wrong, that's the whole point of a conversation. We may even surprise ourselves (and impress Paul!). Having just written the above about asking myself if I would do coaching when I was younger, I did not know that about myself as I've never thought of it like that. 

 

P.S. As a side note, the problem with writing on the Internet is trying to write something and people not taking it the wrong way, I'm not having a dig or attack at anyone here, this could possibly be another reason that stops people from posting, fear of coming across wrong Surprised

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