Makings of a Coach: A Story from Lebanon
Where are Great Badminton Coaches?
Coaching is an essential part of badminton. A coach is very important to a player’s growth, which is why having great coaches is essential to the sport. A coach must have a lot of badminton knowledge and should possess badminton skills to help demonstrate any basic badminton stroke. And not just that, but they must also have a passion for the sport in order to properly develop the skills of the player.
We all know that Asia has a lot of amazing badminton coaches but mostly they are concentrated in some countries such as Malaysia, China, Japan and Indonesia. In countries where badminton is still developing, great coaches are hard to find that sometimes the respective countries need to hire badminton coaches from abroad.
This is where the Coach Education program comes in.
In order to develop badminton to every corner of Asia, great coaches need to be easy to find in any country in Asia. The Coach Education program is how BWF and Badminton Asia (BA) generate more high quality coaches, especially in developing countries.
Let’s learn about the Coach Education program through the story of Coach Paul Roukoz who’s currently a Level 3 Coach from Lebanon, with whom Badminton Asia had the privilege to interview.
When Coaching Videos from the Internet are not Enough
Roukoz’s journey to coaching first emerged in 2007 when he was appointed as the new physical education teacher and Head of Sports in one of the best schools in Lebanon. Soon after, he was offered to train the badminton team. After 1 year he was approached by the general secretary of the Lebanese Badminton Federation Jaseem Kanso, and in 2009 they started to create a camp for the coaches in Lebanon (where he also participated in) and learnt how to coach, deliver sessions and more. Since then he’s been a coach for more than 12 years and is now a certified BWF Level 3 coach.
“Before I was training mostly from what I saw from YouTube and Google, just observe how they train. But I was unsure how we should train or what it looks like,” Roukoz says. He then joined the Level 1 course in 2012 and it changed the way he coached.
“After I did my level 1 course, I learned how to write a lesson plan, before I didn’t know how to write a lesson plan in badminton, I didn’t know how to improve my players. So in level 1 I learned those points: learned how to deliver a badminton lesson; how to manage a group/team; how we can observe, how we can evaluate everything”.
Deeper than Badminton
Roukoz shares with us that coaching is not only about the technicalities. “To be a good coach you should always learn, you can learn from the students or from other coaches, from coaches with extensive experiences in training badminton”, he says. “As a coach in a developing country, we can learn much from (other coaches) especially on how they can work with different players and also the challenges that arise from training”.
The Coach Education program, according to Roukoz, has improved him as a coach as he implements the knowledge learnt to his teachings. Now, he’s looking forward to getting a gold medal in an Asian and Arab International tournament. Although it has not quite yet been achieved, the improvement in his players is shown, and there is great optimism for them.
Coach Adoption: Badminton Asia’s Commitment in Developing Badminton
Besides conducting Coach Education training sessions for our Member Associations (MAs), Badminton Asia also held a Coach Adoption program. Through the Coach Adoption program, BA gives hands-on training to selected coaches to be trained in Malaysia.
As part of the Coach Adoption program, every month Badminton Asia invites coaches from developing countries to join an online session where the Badminton Asia Development Team talks about soft skills that compliment the technical skills that coaches can learn from BWF Coach Education program.
Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.
In the first session in 2021 held last week, the Coach Adoption program talked about coaching principles that included:
- Positive benefits of Badminton
- Role of Coaches
- Responsibility of Coaches
- Importance of Coaching Philosophy
- Establishing Coaching Philosophy
- Coaching Styles
Positive Benefits of Badminton
Aside from health and fitness benefits from playing badminton, players are also looking forward to making new friendships, sharing experiences, learning how to work in a group, developing skills, building self confidence, having a sense of achievement, building sporting behaviour and doing all while also having fun. Making a training session fun is even more important when dealing with young players. During the session, coaches shared their experience trying different types of games they usually play with their young players. It’s important that coaches understand how to set a positive tone at the beginning of a training session using fun games.
Role and Responsibility of Coaches
A coach’s job is not only to coach because a good badminton player isn’t one who only masters technical skills but also emotional/psychological skills. As a coach, besides being a trainer, one must also become an advisor, motivator, mentor, supporter, and a teacher. The responsibility also involves respecting participants, building and maintaining relationships, and respecting the sport itself.
Sometimes, a coach needs to go beyond the court life. When asked about their experience in playing multiple roles of a coach, one coach shared that sometimes he even helped his players with their school homework.
The Importance of Coaching Philosophy and How to Establish One
Every coach needs to have their own coaching philosophy, something that a coach believes in that works as an anchor to their coaching style. Some coaches mentioned that they held up honesty as their philosophy. Another coach mentioned courage as their guiding philosophy, that both coach and player need to be brave enough to push higher and higher.
There are two types of coaching styles: autocratic style and democratic style. In the autocratic style, the direction comes from the coach and the player just follows. In the democratic style, the coach assists while giving the player rooms to explore. It’s important for a coach to understand when to deploy which style is more effective for the athlete’s needs. The autocratic style might be more effective to beginner players while the democratic style might suit advanced players better.
The Coach Adoption program involves a lot of shared experiences between coaches because coaching theories is one thing but unexpected factors might be involved in the actual coaching session and it’s good from coaches to learn from each other’s experiences. The sharing sessions also let Badminton Asia know which of our MAs need more improvements and make sure that every MA is developing at their optimum capacity.
In the future, the Coach Adoption program will also invite coaches from developed countries to share their experiences in coaching elite players.
Interested in Becoming a High Quality Coach?
You might be eligible to join the Coach Education or Coach Adoption program. Contact your national federation about the opportunity.
Let’s produce more amazing badminton players by creating more high quality coaches!