Thursday, June 20, 2024

Letter to my Badminton Coach

What advice would you give to a coach who received this feedback letter from one of their players?
If this letter was from your player how would you reply?

Are you ever asked by your Badminton coach for feedback on how you think you are playing and developing, this player wrote a letter.  This post is the start of a series to explore the different ways coaches and players communicate.  The best Questions to ask, what are the ways in which players and coaches think about communication.

It all starts with this fictional letter below

Coaches  : do you ever ask your players for feedback on how they think they are playing and developing?
Players: are you ever encouraged to write a letter or email to your Coach?

What would say about your current training, the things you would like to change or develop?  Could you describe your thoughts about yourself in training and competition?  Would you ask your Coach for their help or to suggest new things in training.

This (fictional) player has done just that!


I wonder what your immediate thoughts would be if you received this letter from one of your players?

How would you react and what if anything would you say in reply?

To ask for feedback requires an open mind and confidence in your ability to rationally consider all requests.  I try to remind myself that anyone who writes a letter or email has generally spent time considering their thoughts.

I’m also careful to ensure that I’m not upsetting myself when their intention was only to state the fact as they thought about them.  Remember not everyone is out to hurt you 😉

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The player receives individual coaching x2 a week and trains with a group on another 1 or 2 nights


Hi Coach 🙂

Thanks for asking me to write a list of the things I want to improve and do in the sessions.  It’s great having an opportunity to tell you about the practices and what’s happening in my competitions.

I’ve been thinking about what to say and ask for.  I guess I could ask to improve everywhere but I know that it’s not realistic and I need to get my basics right before learning more difficult shots.  However, I think my basic footwork (split, move, lunge) is pretty good and I can easily get to the feeding but of course, I do suffer in the longer multi rallies as you know 🙂

But here is my problem.

Why can I get to all the shots in practice and yet in a game I’m struggling to make a rally greater than 4 or 5 shots.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  I can easily cope with a 20 shuttle practice but couldn’t reach a single smash in my last match or keep the shuttle on the court for a reasonable rally.

Please can we work on my consistency.

Also, I’d really like to start learning new shots and speed up my improvements.  Please let me know what more I need to do.  Why am I not improving faster?

Specifically, my movement is so slow at times in matches.  My last opponent kept cross-netting or crossing flicking me after I blocked and I couldn’t reach either shot.  I thought my movement was ok in these areas as we have worked so much on the 4 corner drills.

Please can we do more shadow or 4 corners multi drill so I become faster and don’t get caught and just stuck to the floor 🙁

My Singles

Maybe if we worked on my singles tactics it might help.  When can we start learning some great tactics that win matches?  I’d really like to know what I should be thinking in a match.  It’s the thinking part that I don’t feel comfortable doing.

I really do like our sessions, especially how hard I work and the number of shuttles we hit.  Although I am confused over why I get beaten by players who just aren’t as fit as I am and they train less.

I hope that this is what you want?

It’s strange to me that the improvements I see I practice aren’t showing in competitions.  I guess that I may be missing something and also maybe my poor backhand is letting me down 🙁

If I’m honest, I am worried about my competition performance and feelings on court. Too often I have no clue where the shuttle is going and quite often I’m so slow at getting there.  I think I’m trying hard in training but is that enough? 

What do you think?

I’m looking forward to our next practice 


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What would you advise ?

Would you be willing to write a reply and let me publish it here?  How would you reply to either the Player or Coach?

What advice and suggestions to the coach of this player.  I’d love to hear your views




3 thoughts on “Letter to my Badminton Coach

  • Ben Caldwell

    It sounds like they need to make their practice sessions more realistic / more like a competition? Lots of multi-feed might be making them faster but they are not learning to move from a realistic stimulus. Just moving fast is useless unless it is with the right timing and reading of your opponent.

    • badmintonandy

      Thanks for your views Ben. I agree with all you say and would add that the difference between a players ‘practised’ movements and those in competition are much bigger than many coaches realise. Aspects like shadow work, coach fed multi (single shuttles), even coach fed ‘decision’ single shuttle work can produce near practice perfection. However, once in a competition everything can seem to fall apart.

      This player may need sessions where the feeder is often trying to beat them. Coach and player should expect mistakes to be made, shorter rallies, ‘harder’ rallies! Yes, it will not be perfect, but is that really the goal?

      How can you learn to read an opponent if they (the feeder): never moves, don’t prepare their (body & racket), are not trying to beat you, and if they are carrying 15 shuttles up their arm 😉

  • Dina Abouzeid Sariñena

    I would answer: “Well I think that you are doing a great jo. We have to keep on working hard, no matter the results now, you will get to your purpose. We need time to fix all that we learned recently and results will come after.”

    Try to motivate the player, because they seem to be frustrated.

    Then during practice, try to change the work to realistic situations playing 2 against one and more conditioned games.

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