Performance Stream Introduction

Definition

The Performance Stream is defined as:

“the player development pathway recommended for Ulster players who aspire to win medals at World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth level”

Goal of the Ulster Performance Stream

“To create an environment that gives players the best possible chance to move onto either:

  • the Great Britain World Class Performance Programme, based in Milton Keynes, England
  • the Ireland World Class Performance Programme, based in Dublin, Ireland”

Embedded within the whole sport of badminton

The Performance Stream should be embedded within the whole sport system, developing and maintaining links with schools, clubs, universities etc. This is important because it can:

  • provide additional facilities, physical resources, volunteers and expertise
  • helps players to develop a sense of belonging (e.g. playing within a club) which can aid retention within the sport

This philosophy is reflected in Ulster Badminton’s Playing Pathway, with Performance training being embedded within the pathway.

 Ulster Playing Pathway

1. Primary schools

2. Secondary schools

3. Junior Clubs

4. Adult clubs

5. Raw Performance Squads

6. Emerging Performance Squads

7. High Performance Squad

8. Ireland WCP Programme/GB WCP Programme

 Top to bottom

The design of the Performance Stream is driven by a top to bottom approach. This means evaluating what will be required to medal at future World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth Games, then working backwards to provide a system that works towards these goals. We are taking this approach because, as with any journey, knowing your desired destination is useful!

 Gifted to talented

The Performance stream supports a transition from gifted to talented

Philosophically this is important. Labelling children as “talented” too early in their development can not only put them under pressure, but can also lead to complacency. Gifted young people have to earn the right to be labelled “talented” by committing to a sustained period of committed training over many years.

Structure

The Performance Stream is split into:

  • Raw Performance Squads
  • Emerging Performance Squads
  • High Performance Squad

The Performance Stream should remain as broad as possible for as long as possible, within the financial and resource constraints of Ulster Badminton. This is to enable as many people as possible to benefit from the training opportunities offered with the Performance stream. Please note however that this policy should not compromise the standards expected to enter and be retained in the Performance Stream

Environment

The Performance Stream aims to create a holistic training environment that gives players the necessary support to develop from a raw, gifted athlete to a talented player that meets the entry criteria for the GB World Class Performance Programme or the Badminton Ireland High Performance Programme. We need to take this holistic approach because successful player development can only be built on a solid foundation of holistic development of the person. Consideration is given to technical, tactical, physical, psychological and lifestyle development.

Entry and exit strategy

Entry to the training within the Performance Stream and progression up the Performance Stream is via consistent and transparent selection methods. This is necessary so players and parents understand what is required to enter, be retained in and move up the Performance stream. There will also be flexibility within the system, so players may leave the Performance training environment and re-enter that environment, subject to achieving the required entry criteria.

Processes and Outcomes

The Performance Stream will place an emphasis on development processes, with outcomes (i.e. results) gradually becoming a factor further up the Performance Stream. This approach is necessary to:

  • reduce pressure
  • focus on long-term development rather than short-term glory

 Group Training

The Performance Stream will provide group based training but within those groups the training will provide opportunities to meet individual development needs.  In addition it is expected that players supplement their own training e.g. through individual coaching, club play, sparring with other players on casually booked courts, off-court training. This is because players will have to complete additional training that is not lead by Performance Stream coaches in order to meet the necessary standards

Singles emphasis

The Performance Stream will focus heavily on singles development in the early stages with event specialisation becoming a factor at the later stage.  This is because singles lays the foundations for future badminton success, particularly in the areas of court movement, range of stroke, tactical ability and psychological resilience