There’s nothing wrong with diving into a sport recreationally. When it comes to badminton, people can do the same – albeit at the expense of optimized performance. If you’ve got the skills and chops to teach but lack the credentials, you can be a Badminton World Federation (BWF)-certified coach.
After registering for online courses, becoming a BWF-certified coach requires hours of studying online modules, components, and the BWF coaching manual. The online component of becoming a coach involves watching videos. These videos will fill you in on movement basics, the fundamentals of the sport, and strategies. After this, you must pass a face-to-face exam.
Everyone has to start somewhere. For aspiring BWF-certified coaches, the road to coaching supremacy starts with the level 1 certification.
In this article, we talk about how to become a BWF-certified coach, what it takes, and how far you can go career-wise as one. We’ll even fill you in on how much money you stand to make as a certified coach.
What are the Steps Someone Needs to Take to Become a BWF-Certified Coach?
By and large, the steps to becoming a BWF-certified coach are:
- Registration for a BWF course
- Studying the course materials
- Passing the face-to-face assessment
Because the BWF consists of 197 member associations, there may be some differences in the procedures. Be that as it may, you’ll find the three steps rather universal in most curriculums across member associations.
The BWF coaching course consists of an online and face-to-face format. According to the BWF, the online part of the course exists to equip trainees with the theoretical base for badminton.
For this reason, the BWF explicitly states that the online part of the course isn’t enough to certify a coach. The aspiring coach needs to pass the face-to-face assessment conducted by BWF-authorized course tutors.
Lastly, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria to be able to take the certification courses. The only exception is the Level 1 course. For this BWF coaching course, all you need is a basic knowledge of the game. And let’s not forget your love and enthusiasm for badminton!
Let’s get into the steps in greater detail, shall we?
Step 1: Course Registration
The BWF registration process begins as soon as you enter your personal information on the site’s online form. The online form requires you to provide information like your:
- Place of residence
You’ll also need to enter your desired language. The language you select will determine the language your course materials will be in, except for the free videos. As of February 2022, the BWF offers the course in nine languages.
Your information is for certification purposes. It’s also for statistical purposes should the BWF need numerical data for future studies or course improvements.
Step 2: Study the Course Material
The BWF coaching course, as mentioned earlier, has an online and face-to-face component. The online component consists of watching free videos and studying the contents of the coach’s manual.
The coach’s manual consists of modules. These modules contain valuable information about:
- Coaching methods
- The important subject matters to be covered with students or clients
- Planning and delivering coaching sessions
The coach’s manual is only accessible to those who have registered for the course. On the other hand, online videos are free for everybody. In fact, you can look at the level one videos on YouTube right now if you want to.
Step 3: Pass the Face-to-Face Assessment
The face-to-face assessment is under the supervision of the course tutor. Course tutors possess tutor trainer certifications issued by the BWF. What course tutors assess depends on the certification you’re taking.
For example, if you’re taking the level 1 coaching course, tutors will evaluate you based on your ability to plan, deliver, and evaluate training sessions. On the other hand, you’ll need to display your abilities to prepare students for competitions or events if you’re taking the level 2 course.
Are There Different Levels of BWF Certifications for Coaches?
There are varying levels of certifications, each with its own competencies. The differences in the expected competencies for certificate holders necessitate different course requirements for each. The levels of BWF certification based on the BWF’s developmental coaching framework are:
- Level 1 certification
- Level 2 certification
- Level 3 certification
- Level 4 certification
Level 1 certification is for learners who have a basic understanding of badminton. It’s also a course for PE teachers who teach badminton in their respective schools.
Level 1 certificate holders are versed in the basics of badminton coaching. In other words, holding a BWF level 1 certificate allows you to hold badminton classes.
If you’ve already gotten your level 1, you can go for level 2. Level 2 certification is open for coaches who have already represented their countries in national or international events, regardless of if they have coaching experience or not. Players don’t even need to have level 1 certificates.
If you’re a level 2 certificate holder, you’re expected to know how to coach athletes for competitions. You’ll also need to individualize your training plans for athletes of varying strengths and needs.
Level 3 certification requires learners to have level 2 certificates and at least 3 years of coaching experience. As a level 3 holder, you get to specialize. As of February 2022, the BWF has three special populations, namely:
- Elite performance (think competitive athletes)
To pass the certification, you’ll have to demonstrate in-depth knowledge when it comes to coaching the population you’ve chosen.
The final level of certification is level 4 and is open only to those who have extensive experience training athletes. It takes the longest time to be a BWF level 4 certified coach.
Level 4 is the most academic of the four coaching certifications in that you’ll have to submit a thesis in the specialist area you’ve chosen. On top of your thesis, you also need to display the ability to create long-term training programs or plans for the members of your specialist population.
What Other Certified Roles Are There by the BWF?
If coaching clients isn’t your forte or passion, there are other roles under the BWF you can pursue. Prospective learners can also attend training courses offered for the following certified roles:
Line judges, also known as linesmen, are responsible for making calls on whether or not a shuttlecock lands in or out of bounds. Every line judge has one line on the court to watch. Each is responsible only for the line assigned to him or her.
When the shuttlecock lands, the line judges responsible for the lines closest to the shuttlecock communicates whether it was “in” or “out” to the umpire.
Communication is done through hand signals, which can get tricky. And that’s among several reasons why there’s a course for line judges.
To be a line judge, you have to complete a training course. The course material is a manual available upon registration. Once the course is completed, you will be under the evaluation of your national federation before nomination by the BWF. If you’re nominated, you’ll be included in the BWF’s list of line judges.
The umpire is in charge of the entire badminton match. In ensuring compliance with the Laws of Badminton, umpires inspect and approve playing surfaces, the net, and even the shuttlecock. Umpires also ensure that the game proceeds smoothly and that there are no unnecessary delays.
Under the BWF, you can be an umpire either at the national level or the continental level. To be an umpire at the national level, you need to undergo level 1 umpire training. For the continental level, you need to complete the level 2 umpire training course.
The level 1 training course is available in three languages: English, French, and Spanish. However, as of February 2022, English is the only language available for the level 2 certification course.
Course materials for both levels are free after completing registration.
Referees control the flow of the game on the court by ensuring that players follow the rules. The system for referee training and certification is similar to the two-tier system of umpire certification.
As with the case of umpires, referees can officiate games on the national or the continental level. The national level requires learners to complete the level 1 course that’s available in English and French. To be a referee at the continental level, it’s important to take and pass the level 2 certification.
Course materials such as the level 1 and 2 manuals are free, accessible only to registrants.
Even coaches need coaching. And as a coach educator who has passed the training course, you can fill that role.
According to the BWF’s Coaching Framework, coach educators train learners studying for the BWF’s coaching courses. As well, a coach educator can train PE teachers who want to teach badminton in their schools.
How Much Time Does It Take to Be a BWF-Certified Coach?
The length of time to be a BWF-certified coach depends on the level of certification. According to the BWF’s Coaching Framework, the shortest time for any BWF coaching course is the level 2 course which can take as little as six days to complete.
The level 1 course takes nine days to complete. It can be completed in two days. But these will be two full days of two-course sessions. Guided coaching practice sessions will be in between these course sessions.
The level 3 coaching course can take a long time to complete depending on how quickly a learner demonstrates competence in a chosen area. Learning for this course is modular and completion is through research and evaluation, in addition to a minimum of 3 years of coaching experience.
Lastly, the level 4 course takes 12 months. And this is the minimum! According to the BWF’s Coaching Framework, the level 4 course is a postgraduate-level credential, requiring study of a specialized subject area. And as anyone familiar with writing a thesis, these can very dramatically based on one’s motivation, or lack thereof.
How Much Money Does It Cost to Become a BWF-Certified Coach?
The resources for BWF courses are free. But before you get too excited, understand that your coaching certification has an online and face-to-face component. While online resources are free, assessment fees are not.
As well, evaluation by a course tutor is conducted under your national association. Hence, the certification fees will be different depending on the fees set by your national association. For example, the BWF level one certification course offered by USA Badminton costs $300, as of February 2022.
Up North (Canada), Badminton Canada, a member association of the BWF, certifies coaches through the National Coaches Certification Program. Coaching certifications for badminton in the Great White North have different fees depending on the province.
The differences in fees abound. In short, if you’re looking to be a BWF-certified coach, it’s best to check with the badminton association of your country.
How Much Money Does a BWF-Certified Coach Make?
The rates of badminton coaches can differ greatly. After all, a lot of it has to do with the demand for coaching in an area and — let’s be honest — marketing. Generally, however, the latest rate statistics from Glassdoor show that the average badminton coach makes about $45,467 annually.
Sports Websites.org states that the minimum is at $28,000 a year. With certifications, the annual salary can easily climb to nearly $48,000 per year. On the other hand, according to 6 Figr, the range of pay for badminton coaches is from $29,000 to $60,000.
Think You Have What It Takes?
If you’re aching to help people improve their skills on the court, be a BWF-certified coach. The things you take away from your studies will translate greatly to your coaching practice.
Register for your coaching course, and take the steps to become a BWF-certified coach. With experience, you might just see that showing people how to swing a racquet can be pretty rewarding!
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