How useful is multi shuttle for improving technique?

What do you think are the benefits of using multi shuttle for developing Technique?
Could there be any disadvantages?
Could technique development be more effective by using other practice types?
Quick question : Do you think skill and technique are the same
and can both be developed using multi shuttle?
If you want to jump straight to the short survey, click here and start now.
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Survey Question: How useful is multi-shuttle for improving technique?”
How many of my thoughts do you agree with?
Positives and advantages
Negatives and disadvantages
The survey
What is the definition of a multi shuttle practice
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Survey results –  do you agree?

Multi shuttle surveyEveryone seems to use multi shuttle to develop techniques in isolated (simplified single shot) practices.

Was it always that way, say 20 years ago?  There were skilled players with great technique but did the coaches have shuttle feeding tubes and huge multi-boxes in the 1970’s and 80’s?

In this survey, coaches were asked “How useful is multi-shuttle for improving technique?”

Maybe we should not be surprised that the majority (approx. 80%) consider multi to be effective for improving technique (52% & 29%)

A common sight for most individual coaching sessions is players practicing using a single shuttle that is not returned, do you agree?

I wonder if the response would be different if the question was changed to “how effective is multi for developing a robust game technique”?

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My thoughts 
  • Doubles multi shuttleIs technique multi-feeding more effective at different stages of a player’s development?  If that’s true, what criteria would you use to decide when to use it and when to practice the technique in a different way?
  • Is the theory that by repeating a movement or shot (or a combination of the two), the player will develop a technique that can be used in a match.  Is this is true, is it proven that repetition creates effective and robust game skills?  Does more repetition in isolation (feed-hit, next feed, etc) actually produce an effective game skill?
  • Using multi-feeding can provide an immediate improvement in ‘practice performace’.  However, have you noticed that at the start of the next session and in matches especially, the technique doesn’t seem as robust as it was when compared to the previous practice session?
  • Does technique practice need to be in context, ie having some elements of what happens in a competitive rally?  Very often the shuttle is not returned by the coach and the next shuttle is delivered ‘out of context’ to the shot that has just been played.  E.g. the player hits a clear and the coach feeds to the net using an underarm feed.
  • Once a technique is partly established in isolated practices (reduced distractions such as an opponent, game context, etc) how much more time should be spent practicing without the influences and pressures that happen in a real match.
  • Finally, I wonder how many coaches like doing single shot multi for technique development because they, the coach, can control many elements of the practice.  Multi is definitely highly controllable from a coach’s viewpoint.   Plus the feeder isn’t required to move, therefore it’s less physical for them and maybe they can observe much more.
We need to explore the advantages and disadvantages
Without thought about what we do in practice, all we are doing is keeping players busy and active

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Using multi shuttle for improving technique
Positives and advantages
  • Dansih multi shuttleUsing lots of single shuttles with small restricted movements will certainly give the player a good representation of that stroke or movement.
  • There is often an increased technique performance in practice as the practice is highly controllable.  Coaches, players, and parents often seek reassurance that practice is ‘working’ by looking for ‘progress’.  The controllable element of multi shuttle can provide this.
  • There is an opportunity when using only 1 shuttle to establish key technical underpinning elements.  These critical components can be isolated and established if the coach is knowledgeable.
  • It allows the coach to watch multiple attempts, preparing feedback whilst the player is performing the repeatable actions.
  • The coach can place the feed in the optimum position to maximise technical practice performance.
  • Practice isn’t affected by a player making mistakes as there are no rallies to break down.
  • It can place less physical stress on players.  This is important if players are training many hours a week and not everything can be practiced at game intensity.
  • Players may find it motivational and gain increased confidence as the ‘success’ level can be high in a multi shuttle.  Confidence can be gained even if the feeder has deliberately manipulated the practice to aid/produce player success.
Once a player can perform an effective technique (not perfect),
is single shuttle multi the most effective practice type for further technique development?

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Negatives and disadvantages
  • It’s questionable if once the technique is partly established (a debate in itself) that performing it continually in a multi shuttle way will increase its effectiveness and robustness, especially if it’s hand feeding or coach ‘deliberate assisted’ feeding.
  • The coach/feeder starts every practice and therefore the player is missing an opportunity to influence the practice (1 shot rally.  Have you thought about using ‘player start’ practices to allow at least one opportunity to affect/influence what the feeder may experience?
  • Some people suggest that even in techniques practices it’s essential to have some variability caused by opponent-type decisions (i.e. not feeders)
  • Can a technique ever be thought of as complete if the impact of that technique on the opponent is not experienced/measured?  If the shuttle is never returned, how can the effectiveness of that technique be measured in practice?
  • Do you believe that an element of ‘technique’ includes the early anticipation by the player and that this information is an essential part of the skill (techniques + context) about to be performed?   Where are the anticipation cues in a feeder-led multi shuttle?
  • Can an individual technique be considered a skill if it’s developed through a single shuttle?  Skills could be thought of as a collection of techniques applied in a game context.  Where is the context in a multi shuttle if only one shuttle is used and it’s not returned?   Repetition of a technique is this ‘closed’ context should not be considered as skill training.  Technique and  Skill are different.

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How would you score the usefulness of developing a technique solely using a multi shuttle practice?

It would be great if you could complete the short survey below, it will take you about 4 minutes, that’s all 🙂

Once we have around 50 people completing it I’ll send out the results or publish them here.

Have you completed the survey in Part 1  – click here if you want to do it now.

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I do not agree with all the points above
I’ve made them in the hope that they will stimulate your thoughts: good or bad
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What is the definition of a multi shuttle practice

badminton shuttles

 

If you’d like to read my definition of multi shuttle: click here or the image of the multi shuttle box

 

This post is part of a mini-series.  Click here to see all the other posts.

I hope that you have some thoughts, especially if it’s your ‘go-to’ practice type
It would be great if you could complete the short survey below 🙂
Thanks for reading this far, I appreciate your time and motivation
If you have any comments or  thoughts please send them to me at  contact@badmintonandy.com

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