Multi Shuttle Survey Results : part 1

Welcome to the summary of the multi shuttle survey
If you responded, thank you for your thoughts and opinions,  if you haven’t yet replied, add to the results
There has been a variety of opinions on some questions, I wonder if you will agree with my observations 🙂
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The background: why the survey is needed, the goal
Who returned: the numbers, the types of coaches
The Questions: all the results, my thoughts

1  How often do you use multi-shuttle practices?

2  Why do you use multi shuttle type practices?

3  Which of these would you use multi-shuttle to develop & improve?

4  What could influence your decision to use multi shuttle when coaching?

5  How useful is multi-shuttle for improving technique?

6  How useful is multi-shuttle for developing power & endurance?

7  How useful is multi-shuttle for developing reaction speed?

8  How useful is multi-shuttle for developing tactical skills & understanding?

9  How useful is multi-shuttle for increasing player confidence?

10  How useful is multi-shuttle for enabling the coach to lead the practice?

Are you a Coach Developer? : a request for action
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Background
Why is the survey needed?
BWF Level 1
extract from the BWFL1 manual

I’ve always been interested in what motivates coaches to practice in the way they do. This includes all types of practice methodologies, not just multi-shuttle.

My motivation came from the lack of information in Badminton Coaching Manuals. There is a sparse amount of information from organisations such as the BWF, Badminton Europe, and Badminton England.

After looking through the BWF manuals only the Level 1 has any information to help coaches regarding multi-feeding.

Within the Level 1 manual, only 2 pages (nos. 35 & 38) out of 240 pages make reference.

That is less than 1% about a topic that dominates your badminton newsfeeds.

 

On reflection, some of my questions could have been better.

If you have experience in creating surveys and are interested in this subject, I’d be grateful for any help you could give.  I’m prepared to credit people for their involvement.

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What’s the goal
To collect your thoughts, start a debate, ask you to explore your current thinking
How do your responses compare to the others?

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Who returned

To date, over 100 coaches have replied (120 as of today)

If you are one of them, I appreciate you taking the time and adding to the discussion.

  • Professional Coach (the sole source of income)
  • Coach (more than 5yrs experience)
  • Coach (less than 5yrs experience)
  • Unknown (no contact or details given)

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I’m very interested to hear what observations and comments you have from the results
Do they agree with mine below?

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Q1)  How often do you use multi-shuttle practices?

I’m surprised that more coaches didn’t choose the “Quite often” (44%) reply or even the “Very often”(9%) in terms of their usage.

If you consider how much badminton social media content contains a multi shuttle practice I thought the response would be slightly higher.

However, as the “Sometimes” response (47%) contains nearly half of the responses, this suggests that coaches are considering where and when to use multi shuttle.  Do you agree?

Are you one of these coaches who takes a moment to consider if multi fulfils the practice aim, or is it your go-to practice in most practices?

Can we assume that coaches do consider if a multi shuttle practice is most effective for the practice and their own coaching aims?

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Q2)  Why do you use multi shuttle type practices?
Improvements in practice

The top reason for using a multi shuttle type practice was that coaches thought it produced an improvement in practice (65%).  I wonder if that’s because the practice allows for a controllable and adjustable process, especially if the coach is also the feeder.  Can a good feeder create practice improvements by the way they feed?

I’d ask you to consider, how often does the scale (the amount) of ‘Practice Improvement’ transfers into a match or even the next session.  Do you find yourself on a ‘rollercoaster’ of muti practice?  You start each session with a level of success, this increases during the multi-session, then the next session you are almost back to the start again.  Is this a process you recognise?

Control of the feeding

An overwhelming response from coaches is that they use multi practices because they can control the feeding in the practice (57%).  I don’t find this a surprise as surely one of the main reasons people use multi is to have the ability to reproduce something in a practice in a controlled fashion.

They may want to remove the variability found in matches, or they may wish to introduce more variability in a way that they can influence.  Both aspects need to have a feeder who knows what they require and with the skills to deliver.

One response stated that if the feeder wasn’t skilful in their feeding control, then the practice would be useless
Player Mistakes

I’m saddened that multi is being used by some coaches (27%) in a response to players making mistakes in practice.  Practice that develops deep learning requires a variety of outcomes and mistakes/errors are part of that.

However, the coaches who used multi in response to errors in rally practices are not in the majority.  So does that mean that there is a group of coaches that value or understand the role that errors play in learning?

What is your view on using multi because players make ‘too many mistakes’ in a single shuttle practice?
Tougher Practices

Badminton practice designIt’s certainly true that multi shuttle practices can be physically demanding and this has been recognised by some of the responses (18%).

Question 4 asked a similar question, “What could influence your decision to use multi shuttle”, here the response was significantly higher (43% ) for the selection of “is an easy way to make the practice tougher”.

I’m confused as to why there are different responses (18% and 43%) to what appears to be a very similar question.

Multi is certainly one practice method to make a practice tougher physically and it can challenge self-motivation.  However, ‘tougher’ doesn’t always mean physically exhausting.  Practice can also be mentally tougher or represent the tough demands of a competitive match.

Indecision or uncertainty of not knowing (having an unsure moment) where the shuttle is going can feel very tough.  However, again I’m not sure if multi is the ‘best way’ to represent the uncertainty found in a real competitive match.  I do agree however that it is great for challenging physical factors.

Click on this image if you want to consider how to make all practices tougher

The physical demands of being a  coach

I was very surprised that more coaches didn’t respond that they used multi shuttle practices because they needed to conserve energy when coaching (7%) or that they lacked the playing skills to compete with their players (3%).

Being active and using one shuttle practice (where the coach returns the shuttle in a rally) over say a 4-6 hour coaching day can be stressful, even harmful on the coach’s body.  Not surprisingly, some coaches (who I know) who are injured did comment that was the reason they used multi-feeding.  The long-term toll of moving, day in, day out, affects a coach.  For this reason, I assumed that this response would be much higher, say around 50–60%, not the much lower percentage reported.

I also assumed (incorrectly) that the response to using multi due to a difference between playing skills (coach & player) would be significantly higher.  Only 3% responded that was why they favoured multi practices.  I can’t explain this unless coaches are all playing their pupils in a single shuttle rally and being comfortable doing that.  However, the evidence on social media does not support this.  We see more coaches feeding than playing rally(s) with their players.

Players expect it

Again I was surprised that only 3% of the responses suggested that a player’s view would influence them.  However, Q4 asked a similar question, and coaches responded (19%) that a player’s request (or expectation)  would influence their decision to use multi shuttle when coaching.  I expected this result to be at least 30-40% being influenced by player expectation?

Do you use multi practices because you believe players expect you to use them?

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Q3)  Which of these would you use multi-shuttle to develop & improve?
There was a clear split why multi is used

The physical components came out top: endurance (85%), reactions speed (82%), and explosive power (70%).

However, one professional coach did comment that the term ‘reaction’ could be misleading.

They suggested that ‘reactions’ (your speed of thinking) may be difficult to improve.  However, they did state that ‘overspeed’ multi shuttle is of value.  It can improve a player’s ability to return the shuttle in terms of technique and confidence (when under pressure).  They pointed out that there would also be an element of getting comfortable and used to this type of practice.  Although the practice may not actually represent what happens in a match and therefore it is probably not developing anticipatory skills, as some players and coaches believe.

multi shuttle

Technique development (79%) scored highly as a reason for using multi shuttle practices.  This may not be a surprise to you given how much is on social media.  However, I am cautious in stating that long-term techniques can be developed only using a single shuttle multi shuttle practice.

To read more about this click here and take Part 2 of the Multi-Shuttle survey that is concerned with discussing the effectiveness of developing techniques.  It addresses both the positives and concerns of this practice type.  Plus it also asks if Technique and Skill are the same or different.

Tactical and anticipation (36 %, 35%) were the lowest aspects selected.  This is a similar response to Q8, which asked “How useful is multi-shuttle for developing tactical skills & understanding” where nearly 50% of the responses said multi was of ‘Limited usefulness’, plus a further 14% stated that it was a no use.

If you were one of the 11% of coaches who thoughts that multi was highly effective for tactics & anticipation, how do you react to being in the minority?

Player confidence (56%) and the impact of multi practice has split the responses.  In this question, the split was approximately 50%, however in Q9 when asked specifically about the impact on player confidence, 80% reported a positive outcome (moderate effect (57%) to highly effective (22%).  It could be that I haven’t explained the purpose of this question clearly.  This will be explored further in a future post.

 

The ‘other’ responses

Coaches added these comments in response to which other aspects they would improve by using a multi-shuttle practice.

How many do you agree with?

  • Multi provides a level (and maintenance) of speed beyond what is capable during a single shuttle practice.  Also allows speeds beyond a competitive situation that can develop certain areas (especially in the net area).
  • Multi shuttle can open up tactical opportunities for the coach and athlete(s) to discuss.
  • Your imagination is the limit to using multi’s.
  • Speed around net -movement, racket, good for all kinds of defence/forecourt practice.  Racket speed for attack and racket recoil.
  • I often use it for fitness based training.  I’m looking to move away from multi shuttle for skill and technical development as I know research is starting to suggest that we use more open practices for skill development.
  • Multi is great for developing consistency.

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Q4) What could influence your decision to use multi shuttle when coaching?

It’s great to see that an overwhelming number of coaches use multi shuttle because they have identified an aim for that practice and believe that multi can achieve that aim.

The debate now could be, what aims are best served by a multi shuttle practice.  Are there certain aims and goals that are better achieved using this practice type?  Are there also aims that aren’t served?

At this point, I wish I could refer you to some Badminton Coaching literature produced through research.  Unfortunately, I can’t do that 🙁

Currently, all you have are your own opinions and those of the influencers you follow on social media.  I hope you agree that we need more.

What influences coaches decisions

Technique (45%) and the Physicality of practice (43%) are top of everyone’s thoughts again.  That’s probably not a surprise to you.

I am surprised that more coaches didn’t feel that they were influenced by players expecting this type of training (19%).  Maybe this is because it’s a given that multi will appear in most practice sessions.  However, this is slightly contradictory to Q1 when coaches were asked how often they used multi-shuttle practices and responded ‘sometimes depending on the situation’ (49%).

I also expected a greater positive response to coaches being influenced by the fact that their players had greater playing skills than they did (18%) and that coaches wanted to protect their bodies and reduce the chance of injury (6%).  If a coach’s playing skills aren’t greater than their pupil,  (especially in an individual session) and the coach is not concerned by fatigue or injury, then why do they not ‘play’ or rally with their players?   How do you design your practices if you have an individual session with a player of less playing skills than your own?

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Q5) How useful is multi-shuttle for improving technique?

multi shuttleMaybe we should not be surprised that the majority (approx. 80%) consider multi to be effective for improving technique (51% & 30%)

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”?

If you want to consider this question and others, click on the image.  The post will try to explore why you like single shuttle multi-practice (for technique) and what, if any concerns you may have.  There is a short survey so that we can then compare everyone’s thoughts.

Do you see a difference between the technique in practice and then how it appears in a competitive match?

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Q6) How useful is multi-shuttle for developing power & endurance?

This was the highest-rated effective use of a multi shuttle practice.  Approximately 90% (52% & 41%) of respondents thought that it was highly or moderately effective.

Many commented that it allowed players to experience physical elements in ‘beyond the game’ conditions.  Either in longer rallies (duration & court coverage), isolated repetitions of explosive movements, or experiencing ‘overspeed’ training (shuttles being returned faster than in a game).

If this is one of your preferred uses for single-shot multi shuttle sessions, how have you developed the programming skills (work/rest/specificity) to develop your chosen theme?

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Q7)  How useful is multi-shuttle for developing reaction speed?

I’m interested in what you think is being trained when you use very fast feeding.  The overwhelming response was that multi shuttle is very useful for developing reaction training.

It’s often seen when someone hit down very quickly from the net, commonly used by doubles players where the feeder delivers the next feed faster than it would be in a match or earlier than it would be expected to come back to you

One professional coach did comment that the term ‘reaction’ could be misleading.  They suggested that ‘reactions’ (your speed of thinking) may be difficult to improve.  However, they did state that ‘overspeed’ multi shuttle is of value for some elements.  What do you think this type of multi shuttle is developing?

I will explore this thought more in another post.

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Q8) How useful is multi-shuttle for developing tactical skills & understanding?

A majority of coaches (62%) believe that a practice using multi-feeding is either of limited usefulness (48%) or of no use (14%).

Does this surprise you?

Are you one of the 11% of coaches who thought that multi was highly effective for tactics & anticipation, how do you react to being in the minority?

If you agree that multi has limited use or is of no use for tactical development?
If that’s you, how do you develop tactical skills with your players?

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Q9) How useful is multi-shuttle for increasing player confidence?

I wonder how many coaches considered their own thoughts regarding confidence rather than assessing their players’ needs.  Does that explain some of the ‘limited’ (21%) responses?

I believe that one of the reasons players like doing multi practices is because it gives them a feeling of competence.  Do you agree?

It’s vital that our players feel confident, especially before important matches or when developing a new skill.  Of course at times ‘struggle’ is important, but a confident player who feels successful (from practice) going into a tournament is probably going to perform better, or are they?

The balance is to increase confidence but also to have this based on training that reflects current skills.  Training that artificially provides confidence should be used carefully and maybe sparingly. The match itself will be the test but feeling confident must count for something.

Multi shuttle feeding is very controllable and therefore it can be manipulated to ensure success.  Would you deliberately do this with the aim of increasing player(s) confidence?  It would mean feeding in such a way that you (the feeder) considered how successful the practice was at any given moment and then adjusted your feed if required.

How often have you adjusted your feeding with the aim (maybe hidden) of increasing player performance and confidence?

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Q10) How useful is multi-shuttle for enabling the coach to lead the practice?

The response to this question did surprise me.  Given that in Q2 over 50% of coaches reported that they used multi because they could control the feeding, I expected more to select the ‘Highly Effective’ options (37%).  However, when the options of ‘Highly & Moderately’ effectiveness are combined the result is maybe more compelling (73%).

Who sets the practice situations, the Coach or the Player?  

Do you agree that most often it’s the coach, who sets and then initially leads?  Hopefully, once the practice is underway the players have multiple moments where they reflect on their performance, the challenges, their development.  Then maybe players could be said to be influencing their own practice with their own internal thoughts.  However, I’m not sure if all players do this, or that all coaches actively encourage their players to do that.

Maybe I haven’t explained the question in the way I hoped.

Control of the feeding

An overwhelming response from coaches is that they use multi practices because they can control the feeding in the practice.  I don’t find this a surprise as surely one of the main reasons people use multi is to have the ability to reproduce something in a practice in a controlled fashion.

They may want to remove the variability found in matches, or they may wish to introduce more variability but in a way that they can influence.  Both aspects need to have a feeder who knows what they require and with the skills to deliver.

One response stated
“if the feeder wasn’t skilful in their feeding control, then the practice would be useless”

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Are you a Coach developer

I like to make these requests for you to consider and action

  • Increase dramatically the amount of information available to coaches
  • Be prepared to have a viewpoint and explain how it’s been developed
  • Openly examine (by engaging with coaches) what is currently being used and critique it
  • Create intrigue in examining the  ‘why, how, what, when’ of different practice types, multi shuttle is only one of many
  • Be prepared to challenge statements such as “it worked for me when I was a player”, “all WC players do this, so should we”

 

If you are responsible for developing coaches you must have an opinion & publish information
To date, there is a worrying lack of information to help coaches at all levels

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Thanks for reading to the end  🙂
I appreciate all your comments and suggestions, so why not send me an email
contact@badmintonandy.com
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