A Guide to BWF’s Coaching Framework, Level 1

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Anybody can be a badminton coach, right? Well, the answer is yes and no. On the one hand, coaching badminton is something you can get into if you know the game like the back of your hand. Then again, why be a non-certified coach when you can be more? Why not be a Badminton World Federation (BWF)-certified coach? Being a BWF-certified coach raises your stock in the badminton coaching community, attracting up-and-coming talent and even academies to seek your expertise. To be a certified coach, you need to undergo an intense and rigorous curriculum — starting with the BWF coaching framework for Level 1!

The BWF coaching framework for Level 1 is the foundational level of the BWF coaching curriculum. As the essential course level for aspiring BWF-certified coaches, it covers the basics of badminton, from badminton movement to tactics. Towards the end of the course, students will also tackle badminton strategies for all forms of badminton, from sport badminton to para and air badminton. By the end of the course, students will be Level 1-certified, qualified to coach badminton players and enthusiasts on the basics of the sport.

Are you interested in taking your badminton coaching to the next level? Join me as we take a deep dive into the BWF’s Level 1 Coaching Framework!

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An Introduction to the BWF Coaching Framework Level 1

The BWF’s coaching framework consists of five levels, with level 1 being the second (just above the BWF Teaching Certificate).

The Level 1 Coaching Framework is the curriculum for aspiring coaches who wish to teach badminton above the level of school PE. Its contents cover the basics of badminton, including movements, strokes, and tactics. The Level 1 Coaching Framework also covers the physical fitness aspects of the game like proper warm-ups, cool-downs, and the essential components of badminton fitness. Lastly, the Level 1 curriculum contains movements, skills, and tactics for wheelchair badminton.

Completing the Level 1 course benefits your badminton coaching in several ways. First, you’ll get inside information on the technical, tactical, physical, and psychological basics of coaching. Besides this, you’ll also become a professional at crafting training plans for badminton players and enthusiasts who are looking to up the ante on their games.

After finishing the course, you can also say goodbye to just winging it during training sessions. The Level 1 course consists of structured discussions, activities, and assignments to help you level up how you carry out training sessions.

Lastly, you’ll know what to look for if you’re evaluating your players’ progress. The course’s discussions and activities on player evaluation will equip you with everything you need to know to see if your players are cutting it or not.

Now if those aren’t compelling reasons to sign up for the BWF Level 1 Coaching Framework Course, I don’t know what is!

What’s in the Level 1 Coaching Framework Course?

We now know what you can do once you pass the course, but what’s in the Level 1 Coaching Framework course exactly?

The BWF Level 1 Coaching Framework Course provides a comprehensive guide to fundamental coaching principles in badminton. It covers key elements including teaching proper techniques such as grips, footwork, and positioning; applying basic tactics and strategies; enhancing player fitness and conditioning; nurturing mental aspects like confidence and focus; honing communication and player management skills; and offering effective assessment and feedback for players’ skill advancement and overall growth.

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to the Level 1 Coaching Framework, so I’m going to break down the curriculum’s components into several parts.

Level 1 Movements

Let’s start with the first part of the curriculum — movements. This part of the Level 1 Coaching Framework introduces the fundamental movements in badminton, known in the curriculum as movement cycles.

According to the curriculum, movement cycles consist of four phases. These phases are the start, approach, hitting, and recovery.

The start refers to the moment a player or players change from a stationary position to one that is either ready to serve or react to an incoming shuttlecock. Players will assume different stances during this phase, each covered during this part of the curriculum. The discussion covers the different stances in detail, including the left and right split stances.

After the start phase is the approach. The approach refers to the change in the player’s location and position based on where the shuttlecock is heading. In a way, it’s the “reactionary stage” of the movement cycle.

The approach section of the framework extensively covers footwork methods that a badminton player can employ after performing a split step in response to their opponent’s stroke. These methods are especially useful when the player needs to reposition themselves to hit shots around the head, facilitating effective court coverage and positioning for optimal shot execution.

The hitting phase follows the approach phase. This portion of the movement cycle consists of positioning and agility during the actual act of hitting the shuttlecock.

The hitting phase also includes:

  • Lunging movements where a player extends their body towards the court
  • Sideway maneuvers often performed within the midcourt and towards the rear court
  • The demonstration of jumping skills

Finally, the movement cycle discussion ends with the recovery phase. Recovery refers to the player’s movement back to a central or strategic position. During the recovery phase, players reposition themselves on the court from where they can anticipate and respond to their opponent’s subsequent shot.

Level 1 Strokes

The stroke section covers the biomechanics behind shots and returns in badminton. The discussion covers various aspects of stroke execution, including the primary grips commonly used in badminton, an overview of the 20 most frequently utilized strokes in the sport, and suggestions for potential variations.

The discussions on biomechanics appropriate fundamental biomechanical concepts to badminton shots, so you can expect some material on topics like load, arm rotations, and arm flexion and extension.

This part of the discussion also includes 20 of the most common shots in badminton. These include classical and modern variations of forehand and backhand shots.

Strokes are in the Level 1 curriculum to equip coaches with knowledge on movement teaching, cueing, and correction. Because of the biomechanical concepts covered, the section will also be critical in helping coaches keep their trainees on the court and off the injured list!

Level 1 Foundational Tactics

No worthy foundational course would be complete without basic tactics, which is exactly what the Level 1 tactics section covers.

In a nutshell, tactics encompass the combination of strokes and movements that maximize a player or team’s success on the court. It’s all about making sound decisions based on how the game is going and using the techniques covered in the strokes and movements section of the coaching framework.

There are a plethora of tactics players can employ on the court, but for the Level 1 Coaching Framework, the tactics section extensively covers the ins and outs of serves, returns, and rallies.

The serves or service section includes more than the basic types of services like overhead services. The section covers rules for services discussed in the Laws of Badminton. It talks about what counts as a proper serve and the serves that would lead to a fault for the erring player.

The tactics section also contains an extensive discussion of returns. Returns refer to shots needed to bring the shuttlecock to the opponent’s end of the court. This part of the tactical section covers shots, strategies, and rules based on the Laws of Badminton.

Lastly, the tactics section covers rallies. The rallies section is all about the movement cycles involved in keeping the shuttlecock in play. It also contains coaching pointers for avoiding faults and basic techniques for letting rallies go the distance.

The inclusion of the tactics section in the Level 1 coaching course is vital for two reasons. Firstly, tactics play a crucial role in enhancing players’ overall understanding and performance in badminton.

By introducing coaches to basic tactical concepts, the Level 1 course empowers them to instill these principles in beginners and novice players, setting a strong foundation for their development.

Second, understanding tactics from the outset helps players become more adaptable and versatile in different match situations. Coaches trained in tactics can guide players through adjusting their gameplay based on opponents’ strengths, weaknesses, and changing circumstances, contributing to a more competitive and engaging playing experience.

Level 1 Tactics for Singles Play

Play in singles games will differ from what you’ll experience when you play doubles. This is why the Level 1 course discusses both separately. Let’s start with the tactical section covering singles play.

The tactics for singles play has nearly the same content as the foundational tactics section, especially with discussions of service, rallying, and returns. However, it also includes discussions and demonstrations on various singles situations. Some demonstrations will cover circumstances when neither player has the edge. Others will talk extensively about what to do when a player is under pressure.

This section also includes coaching pointers on how to give opponents less time to recover and how to return shots while minimizing the chances of faults.

The Level 1 singles tactics section is a critical part of the course, especially for coaches who want to specialize in helping beginners develop and improve their skills. After all, most beginners will start as singles players, right?

Level 1 Tactics for Doubles Play

The Level 1 tactics for doubles play begin with the distinctions between coaching men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. Both formats share similarities, utilizing front and back positions for attack and side-by-side positions for defense.

However, due to the physical differences between male and female players, the content of the section covers strategic nuances for coaching men’s and women’s doubles players.

By comprehending the distinct characteristics of each format, coaches can effectively guide players in their gameplay, helping beginner players and teams make informed decisions on court positioning, shot selection, and overall tactics.

Moreover, this section of the course equips coaches with the ability to foster a well-rounded understanding of doubles play right from the foundational coaching level. As coaches progress in their training and certifications, this initial understanding will serve as a building block for more advanced doubles strategies and tactics that can be explored in subsequent coaching levels.

Level 1 Physical Components of Fitness

The BWF coaching framework places a significant emphasis on the physical components of fitness, which play a pivotal role in nurturing the growth of badminton players. These components encompass a range of factors that impact a player’s physical well-being and performance on the court.

The framework highlights the importance of cultivating these fitness elements, with a primary goal of boosting players’ agility, strength, endurance, and broader athletic aptitudes.

In other words, this part of the discussion teaches you what physical attributes to sharpen and how to do so.

In the Level 1 course, there are two fitness tasks covered — warming up and cooling down.

For the warm-ups, the section includes a series of preparatory movements to prepare the heart, lungs, and muscles for badminton action. It’s also got some of the movements I’ve already talked about like stretches.

Stretches are also part of the cool-down section. The section encompasses tips on how coaches can help players physically “switch off” from training sessions and games. Discussions on light cardiovascular exercises are in this section, including tips on lowering intensity.

In the context of badminton coaching, warm-ups and cool-downs are integral components of the coaching curriculum due to their direct impact on player performance, safety, and overall development.

By emphasizing warm-up and cool-down practices, you can improve how well your players develop their badminton skills.

Level 1 Wheelchair Badminton Movements

The Level 1 Coaching Framework also contains the foundational course on wheelchair badminton movements. Under this section, wheelchair movements fall into three categories: push, pull, and service.

The push is when a player moves forward in a wheelchair. Meanwhile, the pull is when the player moves backward on the wheelchair. The service in wheelchair badminton is the same; it even follows the same BWF guidelines.

The inclusion of foundational movements in wheelchair badminton within the Level 1 coaching curriculum serves multiple significant purposes. It promotes inclusivity by enabling individuals with mobility impairments to participate, ensures player safety by teaching proper techniques, and contributes to skill development and strategic play.

Equipped with the knowledge of these movements, you can empower players to navigate the court effectively, position themselves for shots, and anticipate opponents’ actions. As a coach, you’ll enhance your players’ confidence, motivation, and overall experience in the sport.

Level 1 Wheelchair Forecourt Progressions

This section discusses a series of training exercises focused on forecourt movement and hitting in badminton. The exercises gradually progress in complexity, beginning with simple one-push movements to both the forehand and backhand forecourt.

In this section, coaches will learn how to facilitate simple training routines for moving to a shuttlecock, striking it, and recovering. This section is crucial for coaches since it forms the foundation of tactical training in wheelchair badminton.

Level 1 Wheelchair Badminton Reaction Drills

Reacting to an incoming shuttlecock is essential in a player’s badminton toolkit. That’s why the foundational course also has a section on reaction drills.

Reaction drills equip wheelchair badminton players with a repertoire of skills to return shuttlecocks. This enables players to keep the shuttlecock in play, preventing faults that give points away to opponents.

As a coach, you should know these drills since they’ll also be necessary for developing your players’ foundational skills.

Level 1 Wheelchair Badminton Doubles Rotation

This portion of the wheelchair badminton section focuses on how doubles teams should move on the court. In this section, some drills will train doubles wheelchair badminton teams on how to rotate from back to forecourt. Some drills will also focus on how players should switch from one side of their court to the other.

Doubles rotations in wheelchair badminton are in the Level 1 coaching course to ensure that the coaches possess a foundational understanding of the strategic and positional aspects unique to doubles play in the wheelchair format.

By comprehending the intricacies of rotations, you can effectively guide wheelchair players to optimize their court coverage, positioning, and shot selection during doubles matches. You’ll also be able to contribute to their overall skill development, teamwork, and competitive performance on the court.

Level 1 SL3 and SL4 Movements and Progressions

The SL3 and SL4 movement and progressions section focuses on the specialized coaching considerations for players with standing lower limb impairments (SL3 and SL4).

This segment delves into the unique movement patterns, techniques, and skill progressions tailored to these impairment categories, teaching coaches to analyze and adapt techniques to accommodate players’ specific physical limitations while maximizing their potential on the court.

This part of the Level 1 Coaching Framework emphasizes footwork, balance, stroke execution, and court positioning within the context of each impairment category. By knowing the distinct challenges and opportunities presented by SL3 and SL4 players, you’ll be better equipped to provide tailored training, foster skill development, and promote inclusivity within the sport.

This knowledge helps you create effective training programs, cultivate player confidence, and facilitate the overall growth of badminton players in these impairment categories.

What are the Requirements for the Level 1 Coaching Framework Course?

To take the Level 1 Coaching Framework Course, you need more than a knack for whipping aspiring players into shape. You need to meet certain eligibility requirements.

If you’re considering enrolling in the Level 1 coaching course offered by BWF Development, you must be motivated and have a basic understanding of badminton. Whether you have prior experience playing the sport or simply a solid knowledge of its fundamentals, you’re eligible to take part. Also, you’re eligible for the Level 1 course if you’re a physical education (PE) teacher who holds a badminton teaching certificate.

As you can see, the requirements make for an inclusive program that ensures a diverse range of candidates. By joining, you’ll have the chance to refine your coaching skills, contribute to the growth of badminton players, and be part of a community focused on elevating the sport’s standards.

What’s the Level 1 Course’s Format Like?

As with the other courses in the BWF’s Coaching Development Framework, the Level 1 Course follows a specific format. Here’s what to expect when you sign up for the level one course.

The course is structured to accommodate your schedule and learning needs, offering two flexible options. You can choose a comprehensive nine-day course that covers all the essential aspects in one go. Alternatively, you can break the course down into two separate two-day segments. This format allows you to absorb the course content over a manageable timeframe and provides intervals for guided coaching practice between the segments.

This practical approach ensures that you not only acquire the necessary knowledge but also have the opportunity to apply and refine your coaching skills through hands-on experience. Whether you opt for the intensive nine-day course or the spaced-out, two-day format, you’ll benefit from a well-structured learning journey that sharpens your understanding and practical application of coaching techniques in badminton.

How To Get the BWF Level 1 Coaching Framework Manual?

You now know what the Level 1 Coaching Framework is and what’s in it. If you’re feeling eager at the prospect of being a BWF-certified Level 1 coach, you likely want to know where to download the Level 1 Coaching Manual. Here’s how to get the manual online.

First, visit the BWF Level 1 Coaching page. Here, you’ll find the registration page, where you enter your details. You’ll have to enter your name, your login details, and email address. Once you do that, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing a link that redirects you to the BWF Development page. Locate the “login” menu, click it, and enter your username and password. These steps give you access to the Level 1 Coaching Framework Course and the Level 1 Manual.

For inclusivity, the BWF has made the manual available in nearly a dozen languages, including English and French. Also, the manual comes with an online component that covers the theoretical part of the Level 1 course.

Ready To Take Your Badminton Coaching to the Next Level?

By signing up for the BWF Level 1 Coaching Framework Course, you’ll learn what to teach players and develop the skills necessary to assess and evaluate players. Also, you’ll be equipped to design and implement training programs that will develop and improve players who come to you for your expertise.

What are you waiting for? Take your coaching to the next level and sign up for the Level 1 Course!

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