I’m Andy and I would like to help you widen your knowledge and increase your enjoyment of this great sport.
In return all I ask is that you share your comments and questions. I love talking with coaches, players and parents when they have something to say and are interested in how to develop themselves. I am motivated by the process rather than the results, although I hope results also come if you use the content you find here.
How my journey began
I started coaching over 30 years ago, hence the grey hairs and tired legs. In the beginning, I knew I had lots to learn and the journey would be a long one. What I didn’t expect was that the older I got, the more I would find out that there was even more to learn. The more questions and thoughts I had, the more my thirst for knowledge increased.
In my late 20’s I was very fortunate to meet Roger Mills, who I am proud to say became my unofficial mentor and dear friend to this day. A man who could not only answer all my questions but also pose at least five or six new ones at every meeting. Having spent considerable time with him, I now understand the art of coaching is to ensure that all work is effective and actually address game-like requirements, not sessions that just keep players busy.
On my travels, I have met many coaches, players and parents who I now call friends. Spending time with them in Spain, Ireland, Wales and Denmark has been inspirational. The best part about knowing them is to be able draw on their experiences and knowledge. I must thank them for putting up with my continual questioning! It has been a pleasure to be in their company and be equally challenged and supported. I even found out what it was like to play in the Olympics!
I'd like to share their inspiration with you and all the things they have shown and taught me. But please remember as Roger once quoted to me.... .."Wisdom cannot be taught"
I was an ok player in my teenage years only ever playing County events. My technique was acceptable but with some huge issues, mostly unknown to me. At the start of my coaching journey, I now realise that I made many mistakes. After a few years, I thought that I had run out of ideas and didn't know how to help my players.
My method was just to repeat the same things over and over. The things I had been taught. It became both frustrating (for me and my players) and also demoralising. Surely there was more to coaching than just repetition and multi-feeding. If you are having similar thoughts, don't worry. There is a way forward!
Do you have more questions than answers?
It is not uncommon to feel like you have run out of ideas!
I did after 3 years of taking my first coaching award. At that time my mind became consumed with how to make my players faster. This then morphed into: why aren't my players winning matches. Finally, I was consumed with the greatest motivation of all, how could I ensure that my young sons (8 and 6 at that time) didn’t develop a pan handle, and also became students of this great sport. If you are a parent or a coach/parent then maybe you feel that same desire to do what is best for them.
What’s in my head right now …?
This is the short list
- How to prevent errors in developing players so that we can reduce time we spend correcting them; establishing effective playing basics
- How to make sessions more like mini matches and still develop appropriate technically skills
- How to help new coaches speed up their development from playing into coaching
- Understanding if multi shuttle is damaging decision-making skills
- Working out what players want from a coach; What do parents expect from a coach. Does the coach realise this.
- Is there such thing as perfect technique, is it wise to seek it, or could it be fraught with pitfalls
How to get hold of me
Why I need your help
Life without challenge, improvement and friends can be dull. I have met so many people with great ideas and words of wisdom and it would be wrong not to share their advice. If you have something that you need help with or another viewpoint then let me know. I want to help you and speed up your learning. At the same time you will be helping me.
This site needs your thoughts and comments
I'd love to hear from you
BWF Coach Level 1 : Tutor
BWF Shuttle Time : Trainer
BWF Shuttle Time : Teacher
UKCC Level 2 Coach
Speaker at Badminton Ireland Coaches Conference 2013 - 2019
Individual coach for over 29 years
Coaching experience at camps in Spain, Ireland, Denmark and Wales