Monday, April 22, 2024
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Badminton mini experts

Mini experts – how to coach them?
You have a talented young player in front of you –

do you change how you coach them?


do you coach all your players the same way?

Badminton mini expertsThat’s maybe an over simplistic dilemma faced by coaches, but a dilemma or set of choices nevertheless

An experienced coach once told me that they deliberately adjusted their coaching style (methodologies & content) to suit whoever was in front of them

Recently another coach explained to me that their latest new pupil (aged 11) was highly skilled when compared to others the coach had seen of a similar age.  They could physically move faster and with better coordination/anticipation than most, had a great overhead hitting action and seemed fearless in terms of how they played.

Oh, and the coach also remarked that the player implemented new information very quickly and effectively.

The coach was highly motivated by the idea of having individual court time with this player, especially as it was a completely different coaching experience compared to the ‘normal’ group

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We had a quick conversation…

“You seem to have a mini-expert in front of you”

“So will you be changing your style and content so they get the best chance to improve ?”

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Some of the ideas we discussed – there were many more 
  • The environment – try placing the player in as many challenging (but safe-ish) environments.  Especially those where making mistakes wasn’t seen as a negative but seen as a way to improve. We want fearless motivated players.
  • How to communicate – try giving less explanation and more time doing.  Explanations should focus on external aspects such as tactics, what happens to the shuttle, and the effect on the opponent.
  • Practice situations – try creating situations (real ones that happen in a game) that stressed yet provided winning opportunities.  We defined ‘winning’ in many different forms.
  • Player involvement – try to engage with the player, jointly setting tasks and challenges, especially the difficulty, context, targets or themes.
  • Glimpses – give them glimpses of what can be achieved.  This may mean not sticking to a coaching script of stroke order or technique must do’s and don’ts.

Have you ever thought you had a few mini experts in front of you, did you change your style, methodologies and content?

If you did, what is it that you changed to enhance their skills further.  It would be great to chat with you about your methods, why not email me at

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As always, I’m very grateful if you have read this far 🙂

I’d love to hear your views about how you would coach a talented beginner, a mini expert.

Why not send me an email


This is part of a series of conversation starters. 

Although not in detail, the posts are written to get you thinking and talking with others.