Current training regime

This really depends. There are coaches who are about the same standard as I am making a living. These will charge cheaper than US$80. For ex-professional players, definitely above US$80. This does not include court fee for which we have to pay an extra US$9.

As mentioned before, training fees can be pretty expensive. Here are some ways to look at it and get more value. If you can add to it with more ideas, that would be great.

Here are my thoughts :

– you spend it on something you enjoy. There are other hobbies that cost more: handbags, shopping, hifi, smoking, gambling(!), cars

– it’s not something you always do. My first real one to one coaching period was a summer holiday when I was 17 years old. I had about 6 sessions over 6 weeks. I basically learnt to clear. 6 sessions of just clearing! After that I moved to University and it’s the life of a student living cheaply. No more badminton coaching. In the middle of Uni life, I started with martial arts group which was really cheap and more accessible. Later in working life, I decided to get badminton coaching from a professional singles player. That lasted about a year and a half. Last year, I worked with the present coach for about 3 months (until injury) and just restarted. So over a lifetime, we are still looking at total of 2 years for a person >40 years old…. In the context of things, not a lot compared to a lifetime.

– how much is a badminton lesson compared to other lessons with one on one tuition? In HK, one to one tuition in other subjects can be comparable in price. Once met some Singaporean friends on holiday who moaned a bit about the cost of skiing lessons for their kids. They stopped moaning when I asked them how much they paid for piano lessons for their kids over what period of time!

– you can get better value for money by taking more frequent lessons. Let’s say you take one year of lessons once a week. That’s about 50 lessons. Compare that to 50 lessons in 26 weeks and then not having lessons for half a year. The improvement in 26 week twice a week lessons will be far greater. At present, I am on once and maybe twice a week (our times don’t match up). After my tournament, I will be busier with work and may not be able to maintain classes.

– remember all that stuff I do for cross training, weights and taekwon do? It’s not just to strengthen my body to prevent injury. Strengthening my lower body allows me to do physically more work in a lesson. I can get more work done in a session without feeling physically tired and that means better quality training. The taekwon do class and gym are comparatively inexpensive.

– the pre training warmup. Time and time again, I see people who walk on court using lesson time to warm up. I am guilty of this in the past. This time, I am doing exercises before the session starts to raise my muscle temperature, get the blood moving through the muscles and heighten my brain activity. Thus I can almost go straight into the session just needing a couple of minutes stroking the shuttle around the court just adapting my hand eye coordination. Then we are straight into routines.

– I prepare the shuttles beforehand. All my training shuttles are in tubes. Very quick to push them out and lie them neatly in rows for the coach to pick up and use right from the beginning. I have roughly two hundred of my own shuttles for training.

– if you use the coach’s shuttles and he is coaching someone beforehand, arrive 15 minutes beforehand for your warmup. Give an acknowledgement to coach and his pupil. Do your warm up. Then after your warm up, on his court start collecting the shuttles up to put them neatly into rows. Collect shuttles a few minutes before your lessons starts. This means you save a few minutes of your lessons time.

– during breaks in the session where you walk off and have water. What do you do and what does coach do? I frequently see other people taking their own time in having drink and just standing by courtside catching their breath. Their coach is then picking up shuttles. Not me… I quickly get my drink, run back on court and during the time of catching my breath or taking a break, I am helping pick up shuttles and putting them in a row. During that time of picking up shuttles, it’s a chat time having light discussion about badminton related things.

– try not to talk too much during the actual training! I see adults who take classes talking and discussing when they should be hitting shuttles and practicing what they should be improving on! Verbal diarrhoea also interrupts the rhythm of the lesson – well for me it does. It’s OK to ask one or two questions but to stop and talk for a few minutes is not my style. Coach doesn’t mind though. He still gets paid for talking or training :)

– I take notes post lesson to remind myself of what we did, what tips he gave me, do some sketches of the court for tactics, position, placement of the feet etc. I basically cannot remember all the details from one lesson to the next. So taking notes serves as a good reminder for small tips. I always seem to have something to write down. I had a few notes from last year’s lessons that I forgot.

– you can video some lessons and review. Put it on a tablet and then review a specific point with the coach and ask the question. Then, you can target very quickly where the problem is.

– I focus very hard during the lesson, possibly a bit too hard. Sometimes I criticise myself, sometimes I am self analysing when I can’t do a play. But what is the effect on coach? I like to think this creates positive reinforcement on the coach to help me better. If anybody is trying to teach and the student is doesn’t look keen, it’s tough on the tutor. But, to teach somebody who works hard and shows their keenest interest is so much easier. At the least, showing to be keen won’t do any harm. Then again, I do think this is sometimes coach dependent.

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