Monday, April 22, 2024
Advice I wish I'd known soonerCoach Education

11. Do not rely on Coach Education to improve your coaching

When I passed my 1st Coach Qualification I was ready to go and coach 🙂
or so I thought ?
badminton coach education
I had a structure to follow and had been taught how to plan a session
I could teach at least 6 basic strokes and knew lots of technical elements
During my examination, I repeated exactly what my Tutor had advised and I passed
However, within 12 months, I faced these problems
  • I’d run out of new ideas
  • I was repeating the same things every few lessons
  • I really didn’t know to ensure that my coaching progressed the players
  • I had no idea how to prevent the critical errors I could see and I started to see plenty
  • I had no one to talk with about my problems and questions
  • My only source of information was Social Media (YouTube and Instagram)
So what did I do?

I signed up for the next coach education course 18 months later.  It was the next level and again, I passed.

I could now understand the critical aspect of more advanced strokes.  I knew how to use different feeding techniques.  I could manage a group of 16 players.  I could write better goals.

I thought about my practice design  (easy – difficult,  simple – complex), but did I really understand what this meant?  We only had 2 hrs to understand these concepts and try them out!

I met lots of other coaches, and we all swapped ideas, this really helped and I learned lots from them.  Maybe more than I’d learnt previously.

I found it interesting that other coaches were experiencing the same problems as I had
They had the same questions as I did  🙁


The next 6 months produced another set of problems
  • I tried to pass all the knowledge I had to my players, I wanted them to know as much as I did, but they didn’t seem motivated to hear the detail
  • My players worked harder physically but it didn’t help them in games, they still made errors and weren’t consistent
  • I could see what I thought was progress in practice, but in tournaments, my players seemed to forget everything
  • I felt under-supported and had no one to talk with, apart from posts of Instagram and YouTube
  • The list of questions (without answers) in my head was growing faster than I could answer
  • I questioned my ability as a Coach, although some practices did appear to work 🙁
What was I missing ??    What did I need to do ??
I then experienced the luckiest moment of my coaching life

I met my future coaching mentor, who very quickly became a life long friend.

The story about our meeting will be the subject of a future post as I’ve plenty to tell you.  It’s been a fantastic journey.

Over the next 6 – 18 months I learnt more about coaching, especially the art of coaching than I had on all of the Coach Education courses.

Most of it was in a practical setting on the court, but also in his house over the breakfast/dinner table.  There was no escaping the learning and challenges!!

The best part was that they were related to the challenges I faced at that time.  Specific to me, my knowledge.  I was involved in my learning, I was asked questions and allowed to explore the answers.

I now understand that my best, ‘sticky’ learning comes from me having questions and someone willing to lead me towards a possible answer
Not telling me, but suggestings and guiding
Coach Education
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My advice to you is split into 2 parts ….
When you attend a Coach Education course
  1. Prepare questions before you go
  2. Make at least 2 new contacts
  3. Look and listen closely to what others say and do
  4. Take notes and record those things that surprise you
How to improve every year
  1. Create a small coaching support group: talk openly and honestly about your thoughts
  2. Find a mentor or at least someone to discuss those questions you have, challenge each other
  3. Consider alternatives, but be careful of ‘creating’ new ways of playing, stick to searching for the best ways of coaching
  4. Be careful of reverting to the way you coached.  Can you really remember what you did aged 9-13 yrs old?
  5. Seek to delivery more by doing and saying less, seek to increase the effectiveness of everything you do.  You’ll have to work hard at this 🙂
  6. Every 6 months review if your players are exhibiting the skills that you’ve been working on – in a competition, not your training
  7. Be careful that your players don’t just become great at your practices, they may have just got used to where the shuttle is going, or you have just been feeding them
  8. Don’t believe that the internet (especially Instagram) has all (if any) of the answers
Your development as a Coach is in your hands, seek out those can inspire and collaborate with them
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Podcasts to help, I hope that you enjoy
Doug Lemov - The Coach’s Guide to Teaching
The Coaching Emperor is Wearing No Clothes" - a conversation with Andy Kirkland
You can read the article here
What to read next 

If you want to read more about this topic the posts below are part of a mini-series, I hope they give you some thoughts.

Badminton Coach Education
Design your own Badminton Coach Education – What do you want from a coach education system?


Badminton Coach Education
My ideal Badminton coach education system – the stimulus, the experiences, the information, my selfish thoughts
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Have you seen these posts? click to read more

One thought on “11. Do not rely on Coach Education to improve your coaching

  • I´ll answer this for you, when I attend a coaches course I try to get near to the person who I believe knows more than I do. In my mind, I know that if I buddy with this person and ask them questions, and I listen to everything they say I have a great chance to get better.

    When my buddy speaks I listen and in my mind, I think: “do these words make sense to me, should I try this”.

    I have found that I’ve developed my senses to find this (SPECIAL) person on the course, so I know I will get the maximum learning. Ok, you may have to talk with lots of people before you find that person, but it’s not that difficult.

    Just hello, introduce yourself and look into their eyes. Then ask them why they coach and what they want to learn from this course. If I like their words and they say something that is motivational I stick with that person. If they are there just to have a holiday, I will find a new buddy.

    You always expect to learn something from the Tutor but believe me the coaches around you may know more, because the Tutor has to follow within the manual and I like lots of real on court ideas. Plus, I can ask my new buddy anything no matter how bad it sounds. Do you ask the Tutor challenging questions, I guess not as you want to pass.

    Find a new friend, a buddy on every course and you will never be short of someone to ask when you have a problem or need motivation. A special buddy will help you always and they could be the person next to you on the course, so say Hello, Hola, Hej, Bonjour, Здравствуйте, Ciao, Привет,and start talking Badminton

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