Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Coach EducationCourtside Conversations

Is your Coach Education helping you?

Has Coach Education given you the coaching skills you need?
Those every day, in-session skills that help you make decisions
Or has it just provided information that is good to know but not explained how, when and why to apply it?
Maybe current coach education cannot provide you with the learning you need
Your Challenge

Find a group of fellow coaches and discuss how the coach education systems you’ve expereinced have helped you.

Badminton Coach EducationHave they shaped the way you coach, been the biggest driving force in what and why you coach as you do?

Or, have they only made a fleeting temporary impact, acting more as additional interesting information, quickly forgotten?

Here are some of the issues to be aware of, plus links to possible solutions.

I’m sure you and your friends will find other issues, but these 5 will hopefully get you thinking.  Focus on where your greatest development has come from and the part the formal coach education has played.


Consider your experiences of Badminton Coach Education
How quickly did you forget or abandon what you were shown in favour of something else?


Please don’t forget to click on the other posts linked here.  They will give some ideas on how to use the education you’ve received.

If you don’t read them you may feel that this post is an attack on formal coach education – it’s not, it’s just to start a conversation.

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The Problems
Future development – none or limited advice
Content – too much technical
Timescales – too short, too congested
Content – general key points without reference to player levels.
Coaching contradictions – how to navigate them
Should you be relying on others? – what to do next 
My Ideal Coach Education System – I’ve answered my own questions 🙂
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None or limited advice about how to develop yourself

Do you collaborateThe purpose of Coach Education is to improve your coaching.

However, most often it’s only a short-term input.  It depends on how good your memory is!

Your greater development will come afterwards, over the next few years.  You must have ideas and a strategy of how to find, understand and then use all the information you find.

improve your collaborationMost coaches will only attend 2 or at best 4 formal Badminton Coaching Qualifications.  If you have attention 3 or more you are the exception, certainly in the UK.

I’d always advise that it isn’t the amount of qualification taken that is important, it’s only a part of development.  Your greater influences will always be elsewhere.  How you find them is a skill in itself.

If you want to explore more about how to collaborate and some of the reasons why you don’t or find it difficult to, then click on these images.

Did you receive advice about…
  • The next course – probably, but did you attend it?
  • How to use the coaching you received as a player – crucially, how to analyse and reflect on it
  • How to use your coaching network – those around you are always influencing you, so it’s best to communicate with them
  • Be careful about innovating – the old ways aren’t bad just because they are old.
  • Managing your development – how to identify what you need next, and how to problem-solve your coaching issues!
What advice were you given about how to mange your future development?

Back to the list

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Most courses deliver lots of technical information (the ways to hit and move), often as much as 70-80% of the content.  Add in the Tactical and Physical information and this could go up to around 90%

There is very little on the how-to-coach skills, the methodologies that you could use.  The essential ‘glue’ between the tech-tact-physical information.

The focus tends to be on WHAT to Coach rather than WHY/HOW/WHY.

Is this your experience?

Do you agree that the problem with Badminton Coach Education is that it places technical knowledge over the ‘how to coach skills?’

Of course, you need this information but once you leave the course you will be faced with frequent choices about what to coach.  Hopefully, you will soon realise that it’s the when, how, and why decisions/choices you have are the vehicle to delivering the tech-tact information.


Reflect on your Coach Ed courses – how much emphasis was given to the ways you coach?

How much time was there on improving your knowledge of delivery (the methodologies to use, the ways you could coach) and developing your skills for checking that learning was taking place, and that your coaching was making a difference (practical understanding, not just asking Q’s)?

Did you leave the course(s) thinking about how important it is to know ‘When & Why’ you do something?

Or, thinking back,  did you leave with lots of information about the components of strokes, movements, tactics, physical, rather than the process (layering) of coaching these components.

I’d suggest that the percentage of ‘components information/key points) compared to ‘how to coach’ skills is out of balance.

Did you receive enough practical information of how to make coaching decisions/choices/ considerations,
or did you leave with lots of tech-tact information?

Back to the list

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Times scales

The format of most awards seems to be that the first exposure to information is a single day or a weekend (1 or 2 days).  Later courses extend to 6 – 10 days.

Add up the days or hours of each course you have done.  Remember to add in the ‘homework’ time if there was any.

Does the time equal a normal working week of 5 days (40 hours) for an adult?  Or, maybe it was as little as a normal school week of 32 hrs.

Badminton coach education

If you were designing a course for someone to become a coach, to coach one of your players, would you want them to have attended more hours?

When you consider that not many coaches ever take a 2nd or 3rd award, then is a future lifetime of coaching prepared enough from a 2 or 4 day course?

Would you be prepared to complete more hours?
Do you think you should have had more?

Back to the list

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You may have initially thought that the information was interesting, useful to know, or maybe even new to you.

I’m sure you listened to a Tutor talking about what the grips are called, the various parts of a stroke or movements, plus lots more information.

Did it help you with the players you work with?
Helping to solve those specific questions and problems you have in every session.

Consider how much was general in application, almost background information.  Important to know, but eventually the information loses its value if you don’t experience how and when to use it.

I suggested earlier, that there is often lots of technical information, but far less on experiencing how to deliver.

Do you think you attended a course designed to give you information, lots of information but thinking back, hardly any help about how, when and why to use it.

Also, there is less about the reasons why, when and how you would coach the Key important (but factual) points.

The coach education I’ve seen is designed to help EVERYONE
If it specifically solved YOUR problems you have been lucky

Back to the list

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The Contractions

Badminton Coaching ContradictionsHave you experienced advice from other coaches, even Tutors that was contradictory to what you thought, I have.

They may have even appeared during your coach education course!

Sometimes there are good reasons why it may be contradictory.  What applies to one standard of player at a specific point may not apply at another time, or to another player.  It depends on their needs at that moment.

However, there are also contradictions created mostly by coaches.  These often appear as absolutes, “do this but don’t do that”.  Often there is very little reasoning given or the reasons seem to work in an isolated situation, but not to a real game or across a range of playing styles.

Did your Coach Education explore any coaching contradictions?
Did you recive advice on how to navigate them?
Do you want a quick challenge?

Click on this image, it will take you to a short posts that explore some of the contradictory advice I’ve heard from coaches.

Quickly scan the statements and choose between the contradictory badminton coaching advice that is being offered.

Could you accept both or you may decide that neither fits your thinking, hopefully, you will be able to write an alternative option.

You need to make a choice
You need to make a choice

I aim to create thoughts in your mind, thoughts that need resolution.

Therefore I have deliberately tried to write an opposing view between each statement.

Back to the list

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Should you be relying on others?

Presuming that others (your Governing body or Association) will educate you as a coach is both short-sighted and misguided.

You may think that it’s their role to look after you in terms of ensuring you have the best coach education.  Unfortunately, that’s only partly true.

Coaching courses are often designed to deliver information and then test your understanding of that, all within a series of days.  Some require you to submit work carried out away from the formal face-to-face parts.  Remember, it’s general (generic) information to help everyone understand coaching.

No individual courses is designed to help you, your specific situation and requirements

If you are lucky, you may have an Association that requires you to complete a longer course/qualification.  In Spain the Level 1 course requires 145 hrs face to face and 150 hrs recorded coaching in your club.  What do you think about that?

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What to read next – I’ve answered my own question

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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Take ownership of your education

Complete the next qualification (if you want), and consider signing up for other education projects in and outside of badminton, there are plenty.

Badminton coaching

Click on this image and watch the selection of coaching videos that I’ve collated.  I’m sure that you will find something interesting.


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Where to focus attention
More courtside conversations

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

If you’ve had a conversation with a friend, especially about this topic why not share some and send me an email  contact@badmintonandy.com

I’d welcome any ideas for topics and conversation starters.

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