Development Groups - Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Development Group?
A Development Group (DG) is a group, supported by Badminton Wales of young talented players who have the potential to develop into players who can go into a High Performance Centre (HPC), represent Wales and take part in international tournaments.
BW has 3 DGs, details of which can be found on the BW website (badmintonwales.net).
How do players get selected?
Normally most players come via county Centres of Development (COD) and / or junior clubs and are recommended by the coach(es) there to a Development Group coach.
It’s also quite common for talented players to be spotted at tournaments and invited for a trial.
The try out is usually for one month to see if the player is ready to join a DG.
Once you are in a DG you will be expected to attend all of the training sessions – this is very important!
What age do you need to be?
Most DG players are aged between 9 and 16.
The coaches would hope that DG players would graduate into HPC players by 2nd year U15.
It’s unlikely that a player aged 17 would still be in a DG.
Do I need to have minimum fitness levels to get into a DG?
No, but you will need to have good fitness if you are to be a successful player. You will have fitness tests done at DG and you will be expected to work towards the standards needed to be a HPC player.
HPC fitness levels are set out in a simple players code which is given to all DG players.
What tournaments should I play?
Because DG players are regarded as talented players, it’s important that each player plays the right level of tournament.
In the beginning, with very young players it would be ok to play Badminton Wales Junior Shuttle and Open tournaments but eventually DG players will be expected to play in Badminton England (BE) tournaments.
Each DG coach will give advice on when is the right time to progress with tournaments.
Is it important to get a grading?
Yes it’s very important to get a grading.
In the beginning the grading will be a Badminton Wales Shuttle or Open grading but eventually DG players will be expected to gain a Badminton England grading.
This shows that the player is competing with the best English, Scottish and Irish players.
Players have to be at least BE Grade E@U17, F@U15 or G@U13 get into a HPC.
Players who are in the BW Talent group are expected to be BE top grade (D,E F) for their age group (see Badminton England website for details of grading system).
Badminton Wales tournaments are in the Events section of the BW website.
What happens if I’m in a DG but I start to struggle with the training?
If that happens (and we hope it won’t) the DG coach(es) will speak to your parents and / or the COD / junior club coach to explain that you are having problems.
They will try to find out what the problem is and may recommend that you leave the DG for a while and go back to the COD or club to develop a little more.
Obviously if this happens at age 15 or more, it may be that you are not enjoying the DG, or perhaps the standard has become too demanding.
Whatever happens, the DG coach(es) will discuss the problem with you to try to find a solution.
The important thing to remember is that the DG door is never closed and if you have to leave for a time to sort out a problem it is possible, if you are ambitious enough, to get back in.
How much do I need to practise outside DG?
The top junior players in some areas of the world can practise every day for up to 4 hours, which can add up to more than 20 hours every week.
Any ambitious young DG player would look to practise most days (on or off court).
That may seem a lot, but we know that to improve and develop into a HPC player this amount of practice is needed.
I’m not in a DG but think I think I might be as good as some of the players who are – what do I do?
Of course we may have missed you for some reason!
Ask your COD or junior club coach to recommend you to a DG coach.
Let them know what tournaments you intend to play and they will have a look at you.
If they agree with you they will invite you to a DG try out.
How do I get into a HPC?
The minimum you will need are:
Be at least Grade E@U17, F@U15 or G@U13 in the BE system (ideally grade D,E F).
Have the fitness levels needed as set out in the players code and have satisfied all of the other requirements in the code.
Be assessed and accepted by the HPC coaches as ready and able for HP.
(Note that these are minimum standards and not entry qualifications, you may have good fitness and grading but might be assessed by the coaches as not yet ready for the demands of HP training).
Good luck with your Badminton!