Paul Stewart is an experienced, advanced British badminton coach who is running a badminton coaching school in Cheshire and Manchester. He is also the founder of Paul Stewart Badminton, a website providing readers great reviews regarding badminton gears and coaching videos.
I found Paul when I was watching badminton videos from youtube and one of his videos regarding stringing caught my eyes. His explanation was clear, easy to understand and his skills were solid. I love his work as a badminton coach.
Today, I am delighted to have the opportunity to interview Paul regarding his story: as a great badminton coach and a badminton stringing tutor.
Q1: I can see that you were involved in a car accident at the age of 25, and ended your player’s life. Can you advise how you recover from the injury and started your career as a badminton coach?
Paul: It took a long time to recover from the accident. I slept on the floor for months as it was the only place I could feel comfortable. I had a lot of physio and didn’t think I would play again. But, I wanted to be involved in badminton, so when my back improved and I had more mobility, I applied to become a basic level coach. It took some time to qualify as in those days, I had to go to university in Leeds to complete several one-day training courses to qualify as a coach.
Q2: What is the main focus of your work now? And where?
Paul: My main focus is on working with intermediate standard players. That said, I am secretly working with two top 40 international players and maybe will be developing this further. The difficulty at the moment is that Covid 19 has affected all of us. In the UK, most venues are closed and many players are not returning to the game because they cannot play doubles in a club.
Q3: What are the most important elements for the future of England Badminton development?
Paul: The development of badminton in England is the responsibility of Badminton England. I have no idea how they will survive given the low-level funding. There has been no discussion regarding badminton returning to the full-scale competition so the only news from Badminton England surrounds the current guidelines for playing in England.
Q4: What is the key component to a successful badminton coach in the UK?
Paul: In my opinion, a good coach has to have several strengths…
- Be technically proficient and understand the mechanics of the game
- Be tactically strong
- Be a good communicator
- Be a good listener
- Understand the pathway to success
- Make learning fun
- Allow players the room for self-discovery
- Understand training principles
- Understand how to get the best from different students
Q5: What is the hardest part of your work?
Paul: The hardest part of my work at the moment is staying positive and continuing to reach out to players even if they are unable to play. Also, planning what is going to happen next, what I will do on social media, what I say on my live calls, who can I talk to develop my skills and understanding of the game.
Q6: What is the best part of your work?
Paul: I love being on the court with players and working with them.
Q7: The Online badminton coaching program! That’s just a new step for the world’s badminton development! How does it go?
Paul: The Online Coaching program I run is for intermediate players in general. There are currently around 80 videos in the library and I will be adding more videos when I can eventually secure enough court time. With this program, the players learn from the videos but they can also ask questions, send me videos and we meet on Zoom or Skype calls occasionally.
They also get access to a lot of live calls I do with the members which I run as a question and answer session. I wish I had access to better courts which would allow me to film more. Other programs like Badminton Family have been introduced where they have great facilities to film and so much court time that I cannot have. They have done a great job but their pricing is far too cheap.
Q8: I can see that you are a UKRSA (UK Racket Stringers Association) Member and Badminton Stringing Tutor, can you share some tips with our readers about badminton strings? and what strings are you using now?
Paul: I enjoy stringing. I was a head stringer for Victor at 5 All England tournaments, 1 World Championship in Glasgow, and 2 Spanish Masters tournaments in Barcelona. I have restrung rackets for many of the top players in the world. I am currently using either Yonex BG80 or Aerobite strings in my rackets at tension 27/30lbs.
There are differences in attitude towards string tension from Asia to Europe, especially for low standard players. In the UK, a beginner would most likely have a string tension around 18lbs. From what I have discovered, in Asia 24lbs may be the lowest tension suggested.
For players wishing to take up stringing, it’s important to learn the various stringing patterns and pay attention to the detail, taking your time to get the pattern correct, without mistakes. Learn a few knots and then experiment with strings. A would-be stringer needs to understand how a string like BG66 Ultimax feels and players compared to BG80.
If they don’t know, how can they advise other players? A final tip would be to take your stringing seriously. Aspire to be as professional you can be, the game doesn’t need amateurs anymore. Always try to improve your standard of stringing.
Q9: When do you think is the oldest age to learn badminton?
Paul: I have taught players as old as 74 on my courses. The is never an age when you cannot learn if your mind is open to learning.
Q10: Can you tell us your favorite rackets, and why you love them?
Paul: My favorite rackets at the moment are the ones I selected to use from the Yonex range, Astrox 100 ZZ. It’s an amazing racket, great feel, superb power and so fast. I also enjoyed Yonex Voltric 80, Yonex Carbonex 21, and Carbonex 8. There are lots of good rackets in the Victor range and I enjoyed Thruster K F, Jetspeed 12, Jetspeed 10, Bravesword 12, Meteor 90.
My first racket was a Carlton 4.3, then 4.1 followed by 3.7X, 3.7S before a switched to Yonex Carbonex 8. They don’t make them like that anymore!
Final Words from Bun
I hope you enjoy reading this interview as I do. I do like Paul’s work and I can feel he is a passionate badminton player and instructor.
Below is the contact info about Paul Stewart Badminton.
- Website: badminton-coach.co.uk
- Youtube Channel: Paul Stewart Advanced Badminton Coach
- FB: Paul Stewart – Advanced Badminton Coach
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org