The Northeast Region now has nine new Level 1 trained coaches. On Sunday, June 28, Andy Chong, Level 4 certified coach, conducted a Level 1 course with the following participants: Sasha Boyarin, Jeechee Chen, Jennifer Coleman, Marc Lai, Bob Malaythong, Pashupati Paneru, Wee Khin Tam, Jennifer Tang and Tom Yang. Jeechee Chen traveled here from Maryland and Jennifer Tang came from New York City to attend; all the rest are from the metropolitan Boston area.
The course was held at the Maugus Club in Wellesley, MA whose C-level club members were the beneficiaries of the instruction performed by the coach trainees under Andy's tutelage. Andy started with a presentation and discussion for the prospective coaches off court in which he covered the objective and structure of USAB's coaching program, the important characteristics of a good coach, learning and teaching styles, the basics of badminton that need to be covered for novice players, as well as the need for basic first aid and CPR skills. Moving onto the court, Andy described and demonstrated how to observe players, what to look for in order to identify common stroke errors and how to correct them.
Following this, twelve Maugus C-players arrived to fill their 3 courts for the next 90 minutes. Andy started this portion of the course with an exciting doubles demonstration to allow the novice players to see both well executed strokes of all types in action as well as proper doubles movement, with the pairs shifting between offensive and defensive positions as appropriate to the play. Andy then spread the coaches out to work individually with 1-2 players on each court. Proceeding to specific instruction on each stroke, Andy directed the coaches to work with one to two players at a time and then rotated them to the next set of players for the next stroke giving them the opportunity to experience many different types and capabilities of students, all under his watchful eye.
Wrapping up, Andy then took time with the players to elicit their feedback regarding the coaches' performance and then brought the coaches back together for final discussions, questions and their feedback. Both players and coaches were highly enthusiastic about their experience in this. Even experienced, top-level coaches who were attaining their Level-1 certification now only because the course had not been easily available previously reported valuable learning from this clinic.
Beth Sopka, president of the Massachusetts Badminton Association (MassBad), the sponsor of this event, hopes to build on the success of this course to promote badminton more widely in this area. Each of the newly certified coaches will be encouraged to conduct additional Level-1 clinics aimed at other local program coaches as well as school physical education teachers and recreational facility program directors to help improve and broaden the understanding of our sport.
Article submitted by Beth Sopka; please contact her for further information: email@example.com or 617.451.3563