Jenny Moore Coaching Week 1200x410 1

Next up talking all things Coaching is Player, Jenny Moore. As a current professional badminton player at Milton Keynes with multiple junior National Championships Titles under her belt, Jenny has been adding to her England Senior Caps with the return to competition.

How did you get into badminton?

My mum was a member of the local club, playing weekly at David Lloyd in Cheshire Oaks. When I was around 6 or 7 years old, she had a club night and took me with her (as nobody was at home to look after me). To keep me entertained she had little hits with me in between playing her matches – and I think from there it turned into a regular weekly thing!

I enjoyed it so much that she then got me involved with the kids club playing badminton, and then got a coach when I was around 9 years old.

Who was your first coach?

My very first coach (who coached at the David Lloyd at the time) was Mike Swindles. To be honest, I’m not sure if he’s coaching anymore! Shortly after Mike Swindles I started being coached by Gavin Simpson and was coached by him all the way from age around 11 to 16. Gavin is still involved in badminton and still coaches – we still meet up from time to time to catch up!

What made you continue with badminton over other sports?
To be honest, I was alright at it haha! I got into the England Junior team for U11’s, and I think that ‘success’ of playing for your country at such an early age was a huge boost to continue playing. I was on the England Junior programme throughout my junior career and won some international tournaments throughout the various age groups – I think this led to the belief that I could make a career out of the sport.

It was also a lot of fun. In some individual sports, you train on your own or with one or two others. However, badminton was seemingly more of a ‘team’ environment – training with groups, playing with your County team every weekend. This created a lot of enjoyment!

What impact did your grassroots coach have on your badminton career?

I would say that Gavin was my grassroots coach as he was my main coach throughout the majority of my junior career. To be honest, he had a hugely positive impact. He always had the belief that I could become a good badminton player, and always pushed myself (and others in our training group) to work really hard to improve. His honesty about what we were doing well (and weren’t) and his work ethic is something I admire (although I probably didn’t as much at the time, I probably wanted him to stop telling me to move faster haha!).

What do you remember most about your first experiences of badminton?
In all honesty, I do not remember lots about it – I have a terrible memory! My first proper memories are of the U11 England trip to Olve Junior Tournament in Belgium, which was my first experience of playing against people from other countries. It was an individual + team tournament rolled into one, which isn’t something that happens very often nowadays at the senior level. The fun experience of that tournament definitely reassured me that this sport was a lot of fun!

When did you progress from your first coach (did Gavin signpost you to new opportunities)?

When I was around 15 I started working a bit more with Colin Haughton. Colin ran a Performance Centre in Manchester with some older players (the likes of Helen Davies and Matt Nottingham) so this was really great for my development as a player to start training with people who were much better than me.

Gavin definitely saw this as a great opportunity for me. That’s something I really appreciate – Gavin knew that I would get better training with Colin and the older players, and was more than happy for me to improve myself by going in this direction (or he just wanted to get rid of me haha!).

What makes a great grassroots coach?

I would say two stand out things: the ability to push players to improve but keeping the training and training environment fun. There are a lot of players who get to the age of 16-18 who just stop playing because they no longer enjoy the sport which is such a shame.

Secondly, the ability to know when to involve other coaches. Often you see a lot of coaches desperate to keep their player for as long as they can. To be honest, more often than not, this ends up hindering the player. The best thing for a player (in my opinion) is to get multiple coaches to watch their badminton throughout their development as not every coach sees the game the same, and will pick up on different things. Allowing the player to progress their career with a coach more suited to ‘county players’, or ‘international players’ and seeing when this is the right time, is a great asset.

Photo credit: Badminton Photo

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