Tactical Badminton Practices

Do you find it a challenge to create tactical practices?
What are the differences between Tactical and Technical practices?
How do you develop tactical skills in young players?

These were the questions asked on a recent BWF coach education course.  It turned out that they were critical to coaches passing or failing the course.  The coaches needed to be better (become experts) at designing Tactical Badminton Practices.

Are you as good at coaching tactics (concepts) as you are coaching techniques (hitting & moving)
Which type of practice do you find easier to design
– technical or tactical?

My experience is that most coaches are comfortable coaching technical / technique practices, especially in individual (1-2-1) coaching

Do you agree that it is a risk to assume that as players become technically proficient they also automatically become tactical aware?

Tactics are not just reproducing the technical strokes/movements you’ve practised, even if you thought doing them in game-like patterns (sequences) would be enough.

I worry that either coaches don’t have the knowledge skilful or are deliberately avoiding trying to develop tactical ideas.

You may believe that playing games in practice help develop tactics, and in part, I agree with this.  However, my concern is that often a coach delivers this advice verbally either during the practice or at the end.  This direct feedback whilst seemly of value can deteriorate before the next session as it requires the players to remember and of course, listen!

The tactical development through coach direct feedback is variable.

Do you use any other coaching methodologies other than verbal feedback to develop tactical concepts?
Why it’s a difficult challenge
  • One reason could be that most coaches rely heavily on the experiences they had as a player.  If they primarily did technical work ie improving their strokes and movements then there are few or no examples to draw upon.
  • Coaches may find tactical developments difficult to observe.  More difficult than improvements in technique.  How can you establish that there is a tactical development?  What coaching skills would you use?
  • Defining the core components of tactical thoughts is a task that could be challenging for coaches.  Most coach education courses focus heavily on the understanding of technical hitting and moving skills.  They may detail some tactical practices but do not very often define the underpinning elements of tactical thoughts.
  • The final possible and most important is to understand what basic concepts should be introduced to beginners.  I was once asked what is the ‘white belt’ equivalent for badminton tactics.  I could answer regrading the Technical (white-belt skills), BUT what are the earliest, yet most important Tactical core concepts.
Coaches must introduce tactical thoughts and concepts as soon as some hitting and moving skills are partly established
The key aspects of  Tactical practices
  • Tactics are thoughts that need to be created, actioned and assessed – they do not just happen through striking shuttles
  • They happen during rallies, between rallies, and away from the hall – what do each of these practices look like?
  • They can be ‘taught/coached’ (through constraints) but eventually, they need to be actioned by the player in the 3 scenarios stated above
The key is knowing what to introduce first & with which partly established hitting/moving skills
Take action – if you want !
  • Introduce on-court tactics (coach directed practices/examples) with reduced verbal instructions/justifications
  • Decide what tactical thoughts underpin badminton tactics.  Try writing some down now!
  • Consider how early in a player’s development you could introduce develop tactical – during the very first few lessons?
  • Create sessions that are full of these thoughts & concepts.  Then include as many as you can in the technical practices.
To always practice technique in isolation (without a tactical thought) will limit your players
Badminton Tactic Questions
Do you want to read more?
Are you as good at coaching tactics (concepts) as you are coaching techniques (hitting & moving)
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Badminton Coaching Tips
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As always, I’m very grateful if you have read this far 🙂

I like to know if you find it a challenge to create Tactical Badminton Practices.

Or do you have the knowledge to share that could help other coaches?

Why not send me an email  contact@badmintonandy.com

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.

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