One participant offered her help in conducting a test session one day before the actual session to guarantee accurate timing. The exercises used, were not taken from specific literature but from the coach’s own experience acquired when having taken part in training sessions abroad with former international players from leading Badminton nations like China and Denmark. According not only to Ewles and Simnett (1999) but also to Martens (1997), Naidoo and Wills (2000), Thomas and Nelson (2001) and Sports Coach – Evaluation, evaluation is an important process to assess results, monitor effectiveness (the achievement of aims and objectives), ensure appropriateness of exercises and demonstrate efficiency, not only within coaching. These will feed then back into the planning process for a further session in order to progress and improve practice.
Ewles and Simnett (1999) suggest two different ways of evaluation: self evaluation, requiring the ability of self-reflection, and feedback from others. The coach included both methods when planning appropriate evaluation methods for this session. But to ensure an objective measurement of effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness, a questionnaire with scaled items and a column for further comments was designed several days in advance (see Appendix 3). All questions are reflecting training guidelines as well as the aims and objectives the session was intended to target.
Within the introduction the participants were informed about filling out the questionnaire to feedback to the coach after the session. The method of using a questionnaire compared to an interview, was chosen for time saving reasons, as some participants had to shortly leave the venue after the finish. A little reward, chocolate, was given out after answering the question. To ensure objectivity of the participants, the surprise reward was only given out, when all four participants had completed the questionnaire.
As Appendix 4 shows, the feedback from all four participants is positive. They all enjoyed the session and stated having learned something new that will affect their future play. They felt, the session had involved the necessary planning in advance. The exercises may have been difficult, but the coach and the demonstrations were easy to understand. All stated that the exercises were absolutely appropriate. The overall mark of ‘excellent’ was awarded to the session by all four players. One player stated that the session had been ‘very useful’.
According to this positive feedback, the coach’s self-reflecting impressions of the session are very similar. Though a more autocratic style in leading the training was used, the coach provided the knowledge and decided what to do, no disciplinary actions had to be taken and interactive communication was possibly. Positive feedback from the coach through verbal praise as well as guidance throughout the exercises was given several times. Participants were asking questions and getting appropriate answers back; appropriate in the coach’s eyes as this is self-reflection. To the coach’s satisfaction and showing that effectiveness was reached, the players demonstrated within the short match the newly acquired skills.
When mentioning where the exercises came from (not literature but the coach’s experience with international players) the coach noticed positive statements of approval. This statement might have influenced the participant’s answer of appropriateness of the exercises. Positively noticed by the coach was the good time management. The session was intended to last 45 minutes; at the end the stopwatch showed 45min, 42 seconds.
The only negative aspect stated by the coach herself, were evaluated shortly after exercise 2. A few more practices of providing the shuttles to the players would have enhanced the exercise as accurate shots weren’t always guaranteed. This was due to a lack of practice of this exercise, even though a test session was conducted. According to Martens (1997) and Ewles and Simnett (1999), a session plan shall be conducted, including basic information about the ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘who’ and ‘what’ as well as drills, key elements, equipment and time management. Appendix 2 shows the session planner for this training.
Then, according to Ewles and Simnett (1999), the only thing then remaining within the coaching process is the actual doing; conducting the coaching, which took place on Wednesday April 02nd 2002 at 11:45pm at the University sports hall.
EWLES, L. and SIMNETT, I. (1999) Promoting Health – A practical Guide 4th ed. Edinburgh. Baillire Tindall. Givemefootball – The professional footballers association [online]. Available at: http://www.givemesport.com/