A good coach can:
- help you learn the essentials of badminton more quickly than you would otherwise,
- keep you from establishing bad habits, and
- provide some motivation when the going gets tough (as you progress).
Here are six key steps to finding a badminton coach who's right for you.
- Ask your playing friends if they know of any good coaches. They may have been taking regular or occasional lessons and have some names to share with you.
- Get names and contact information for local pros from the USA Badminton website, or from the regional coaching directors listed on that site. If you can't find listings for individual pros, explore the listings for badminton clubs or playing locations, and work to find pros from that direction. You might also try the Badminton Central website and its Places to Play pages and Forums to find coaches.
- Play tournaments and see whether any of the top players are teaching pros. They may not want to talk with you during competition, but they would probably be glad to talk between matches. If they aren't teaching pros themselves, they may be able to refer you to some appropriate coaches.
- Attend badminton camps or clinics. These intensive sessions, held over a few days, can help you rapidly improve your play, and they usually have multiple coaches in order to keep the teacher/student ratio at a desirable level. That way, you can quickly meet several coaches, as well as a group of fellow students who may have coaches to recommend.
- Take a single lesson. When you do find some prospective coaches, you might begin by taking a single lesson from each of them, and evaluating which one seemed most enjoyable.
- Take a series of lessons. The real evaluation of whether a coach is right for you can only come after you take a series of lessons from one coach, and then evaluate the change in your game after some time. It is rare to be able to make significant changes in only one lesson, so be patient before you ask yourself whether your coach is helping your game. You should be following your coach's instructions between lessons, as well, so that you can solidify what you learn during your lessons. If you're playing better badminton after three months, congratulations to you, your coach, and your partnership!