Using performance profiling to help badminton player improve confidence
With Covid situation happening all around the world, it is a real struggle for any athlete to travel and attend competition. Badminton and tennis players are among those who need to play as many competitions as possible to keep their ranking and gain experiences for bigger tournament. Without the travel opportunity, how can you know if your standard is improving? Quite a number of elite badminton players rely on their coaches to tell them if they improve. While it is OK to do so, it takes away the accountability of athletes to be in charge of their progress, especially if they are in a squad with many talents.
One possible solution is to use goal setting and performance profiling for progress tracking. As explained in the goal setting article, this is one of the very good method to keep your confidence up, even when external factors are not ideal (not winning yet, can’t travel, no coach…)
First step is to evaluate where you are with your skill level. Donie et al., in his research paper published on the International Journal of scientific & Technology research proposed the Badminton Skills Diagnostic Model as follow
Another self-evaluation questionnaire that can be useful to use is the one below. The author suggested to use this in combination with a video of yourself playing against an opponent of the same level to analyse your abilities.
In the book performance profiling, published by the National Coaching Foundation UK, the author suggests an useful technique of doing performance profiling.
After using either the first or second test above to evaluate your technical skill in badminton, you need to evaluate your overall ability in terms of physical, attitudinal, psychological and technical.
Create a table similar to the one below and write down all the qualities that you think are important for the success in your sport.
If you are stuck, you can consider some of the qualities below
Items in the technical column can be taken from the 2 questionnaires above. You do not have to have all the items as listed here. Only take note those that are important to you.
Select the 20 most important qualities required to achieve a top performance. Transfer the 20 qualities to the perimeter of this circle.
Below is the sample profile for a swimmer
It is important to understand what you mean by each quality. Ideally, you will be comparing your chart with your coach to see if there is a difference in opinion. Therefore, you need to be able to explain what you mean by each item.
For example: when I say focus, I mean focus on a single match, or focus all the time during practice….
Please fill in the table below with your definition of each item. Also, you need to rank your current ability from 0-10 with 10 is the highest possible for that quality.
Using your rating scale to score each quality and mark these scores with a dotted line at the right section. Join all the lines after you are done.
Below is a profile of a football attacker
Bring your chart to your coach, or someone close who understand enough about your game and ask them to do the same thing. You will then have a second set of number, which you can put on the chart and shade them (for easy separation). A difference on any quality of two points or more between your rating and your coach’s suggest a mismatch and should be marked by an arrow outside.
Make sure that you and your coach are marking the same thing, by agreeing on the definition of each quality. You should discuss with your coach about any mis-match item. If possible, watch a match you played recently with your coach to objectively evaluate your own behaviour.
Sometimes, it is difficult to know the improvement if athlete tends to use high rating (8,9,10). In this case, it may be useful to use decimals to help discriminate. See an example of a rapid-fire-shooter profile here.
Now that you know where you are in relation with your coach’s point of view, the next step is to set the goal to improve certain areas of interest with a new rating number. Use a different colour to highlight the desired goal. This exercise can also be used for a team setting
By following these 7 steps, you will have a clear idea of where you are and what to improve on for the near future. Feel free to repeat this exercise every 1- 3 months to see if you are progressing in the right direction.