My daughter is 9 years old and has played badminton at school. Here teacher has said she is outstanding and has great potential. Where would she fit into Ulster’s Performance system?
Great to hear from you and glad your daughter is enjoying playing badminton. To be considered for selection on the Ulster Performance Stream you would first need to contact the Talent Identification and Development Officer. They would arrange to have your daughter observed using a player profile tool. Subject to a successful report from the profiler, she would then be invited to join the Raw Performance Programme on a trial basis. In order not to put pressure on your daughter and spoil her enjoyment of the sport, it is important this process is kept as low-key as possible.
If not selected then guidance on things to work on will be available to your daughter.
Please note that in badminton potential is easy to define but impossible to measure. High Performance at young ages has been shown to be a very unrelaible predictor of high performance in adulthood. Labelling children as high potential may appear motivating, but can increase pressure and ultimately reduce rather than improve development by raising expectation
I have two children who are improving rapidly at badminton. What are the costs involved in coming onto an Ulster Badminton Performance Programme?
The costs of each of the Performance Programmes will vary and this is a result of all squads having a different commitment in terms of training hours. All squads are currently self-financing and therefore the costs associated with the facility and the coaching will be split across the players in the squad. As guideline it is unlikely that any one session will have a cost to a player/parent in excess of £7-50.
Do you have to be in a Performance programme to represent Ulster?
No. Players are selected to represent Ulster from specific tournament results (see the Ulster Underage Page for more details). The goal of Ulster Team selection policies is to select the best players at that specific time.
In contrast, the Performance Stream consists of players who are training with long-term development in mind and who show the necessary commitment to training and competition.
My son is 12 and is much better at doubles than singles. He would like to be considered for the Performance Stream but is concerned that he really just wants to play doubles – is it still worthwhile applying on this basis?
Anyone is welcome to apply for a place on the Ulster Badminton Performance Stream. However, if a 12 year old player is successful in their application and placed on the Performance Stream they will be required to train and compete in singles.
Even if a young player ultimately wants to become an elite level doubles player they will have to embrace singles match play and singles based training at a younger age to develop optimally. Singles lays the foundation for high level doubles because:
- a player would hit twice as many shuttles
- a player has twice as much court to cover (speed/agility),
- a players has twice as many decisions to make (tactics)
- the pressure of being on their own can build self reliance (psychology)
Some element of doubles training will also be included
Do you need to have a trial to come onto the Ulster Performance Stream?
All players will need to be reviewed before they will be invited onto a Ulster Performance Programme, however this may happen in a number of different environments. For example, a player could be reviewed at a training camp or even within their own club/school practise as long as it is by a Ulster Badminton trained profiler.
Once a player is initially invited to train with one of the Ulster Performance squads they will be offered a permanent place on the squad after the successful completion of a confirmation period. The reason for this confirmation period is to allow a period with little long term commitment to decide from both sides whether this is what the best fit is for the player.
Do I have to be a member of a club to come on a Performance Programme?
It is possible for a player to be reviewed and invited to complete a confirmation training period as part of a Performance Squad if they are not a member of a club, however to be offered a permanent place on a squad players will be required to attend either a Junior or Senior Club in addition to their training. This is because:
- Clubs provide matchplay opportunities for the players to supplement the training the performance stream provides.
- Clubs provide players with an opportunity to learn experimentally in a less structured environment.
- Clubs provide a sense of ‘home’ for players where players can socialise within badminton
- Clubs act as an exit strategy if a player drops out of the system. We need players to be retained within the sport even if the performance stream is not the right environment for them.
How are the players on the Ulster Performance Stream evaluated?
Players will be assessed at the end of each training block (usually 4 months in duration) for progress against their own specific development goals which will have been agreed between the player, parents and lead coach.
Players are also evaluated annually through a Review Procedure. Players are evaluated by a panel of coaches using the player profile tool. The lead coach of a squad will be responsible for recording information on the player using evidence collected throughout the year. The panel will then review this evidence either towards the end of the programme or just after it finishes.
Are there any opportunities for grant aid to help offset the costs associated with training as part of the Ulster Badminton Performance Stream?
Ulster Badminton is currently not in a position where they provide players directly with grant aid; however, we will support players when applying for grant aid from an external source. External sources include local council grants, trust grants (Mary Peter’s) and University Scholarships.