USA Badminton Launches National Talent Training Hubs Concept

June 11, 2012, 6:52 p.m. (ET)

USA Badminton Launches National Talent Training Hubs Concept:
Certified Training Centers and Certified High Performance Clubs

Mission Statement
The ultimate goal of the Elite Track of USA Badminton is to develop world class badminton players.  A united effort of all stakeholders Players, Coaches, Families, Clubs, and Tournament Officials will be needed.

USA Badminton as the National Governing Body for the sport will work jointly with the USOC and all badminton community stakeholders to review past obstacles to high performance and design programs to overcome these obstacles.

There are different obstacles to be overcome to create world level badminton in the USA compared with other dominant countries in world badminton. There has not been a consistent funding stream from any source. There has not been one consistent model for high level training. There have been many different sites with different philosophies but none have been able to stay with the 12 to 20 year process of consistent programs necessary to develop and maintain world level competitors.

In an effort to set a common national development pathway aimed at consistently developing and maintaining world level play, USA Badminton with the guidance of the USOC will work with the key stakeholders who currently provide the training and development base for young talent and future Olympic podium badminton athletes. In order for this common national pathway to be realistic for a vast country like the U.S., it is necessary to identify and support, ‘special training hubs.’ These training hubs currently exist all over the U.S. in the form of Clubs, where Junior and Adult Elite Athletes train. 

Background to ‘Training Centers’
Historically, USA Badminton (USAB) has had national training programs at the Michigan Olympic Training Center (OTC) in the 1990’s, Colorado Springs OTC  between 1996-2002, and Lake Placid  OTC in 2001.  However, none of these ‘USAB Training Centers’ produced the concentration of athletes and the continuity over several quads necessary for medal performances.

Following that, a USAB designated National Training Center (NTC) with USOC acknowledgement was based at the Orange County Badminton Club (OCBC) between 2002-2008. The OTC programs followed by the Training Center at OCBC produced the largest number of Olympic competitors in USAB history, but no medal level athletes.  However, for the 2008-2012 quad no center functioned as the ‘training site’ for the 2012 Olympic bound athletes.

As part of USAB’s 2012-2024 High Performance Plan submitted to the USOC, and as part of USAB’s 12 year High Performance Plan, a new program for certification of  Training Centers (TC) and High Performance Clubs (HPC) is announced.

The Director of Coaching & High Performance (DCHP) in collaboration with the High Performance Advisory Group (HPAG) prepared a preliminary outline of necessary characteristics to be designated as a TC or HPC (March-April 2012).  USAB presented this concept to the USOC and it was well received. This was circulated to all Clubs which have been part of the USAB-Performance Club Partnership over the last two years.  This partnership was formed to invite all clubs and all regions of the country to join in elite player development in the USA.

The USAB Training Hubs – Training Centers & High Performance Clubs
The training hubs will provide an environment which young players from families, communities and schools may enter to train under the best conditions with the highest standards to reach their peak performance levels.  The stakeholders mentioned above are invited to work with USAB and the USOC to work together for the best outcome for all athletes in our elite track.

By raising the standards through the certification process, the training hubs will:

  • create a structured training environment with a common goal of excellence, while accommodating uniqueness and diversity in programs
  • develop a culture of dedication whereby athletes commit to world-class performance
  • develop two different player development tracks - one for recreational and one for high performance
  • create a more competitive high performance environment which will motivate the most talented athletes to excel   
  • motivate the development of competitive elite coaching staffs
  • develop club support teams (administrators, coaching staff, tournament officials and other volunteers) in the various training hubs as an integral part of the national performance development network.

Certification Features

  • Meeting key criteria in line with the USOC Training Center Standards
  • National athlete selection process by well publicized criteria
  • Athlete contracts with USAB and  TC or HPC
  • Athlete performance benchmarks
  • Coaching staff benchmarks
  • USAB-Club contracts with performance bench marks

The criteria have been circulated to all clubs. Many clubs have responded with interest in being certified as HPCs. The Orange County Badminton Club has publicly stated interest in being certified as a TC, and other clubs have discussed the possibility. 

          The USAB BOD will review progress at its meeting July 7, 2012 in Los Angeles. 

          Formal Applications for Certification will be posted on the USAB website and circulated to all Partnership Clubs by July 8, 2012. 

          Sites will be offered certification in July through September 2012 for the initial two years of the 2012-2016 Olympic Quad. 

          All Certifying clubs will be invited to a meeting at the USOC with USAB and USOC planning personnel  in November 11-13, 2012. 

Certification will be renewed annually based on compliance with all requirements and performance of athletes and coaches