Badminton,  iPod Trial,  MYP,  pegeeks,  Technology in PE,  Uncategorized

Mastering skills in Badminton – enhanced by Tech!


I have written previously about a Badminton Unit I trialed last year with Simon Mills where we focused on Mastering skills starting with basic and then moving to progressively more difficult skills as the unit went along.   I should add that these skills came from a book (yes a book!) from our office – Badminton: Steps to success. This unit was harsh – we expected students to Master a particular skill before they could progress and we pushed them hard on peer coaching and had frequent teacher assessment as part of this unit.

This year I am taking my G8 students a step further.  Many of these students were a part of this pilot as G7 students, and the feedback was either very positive or very negative but as the unit is about mastery of skills, it is important for students to recognise that if they want to be good at something they have to earn it.  I gave some examples on my MS PE blog to kids of athletes (old and young) who had worked hard and trained hard – whether you are gifted or not, you still have to train and train hard if you want to be a Master in any sport.  With the Google age this mindset has been deteriorating, many of my students give up when things get hard or they have to work at something that isn’t easy – perseverence is not a skill they are used to anymore.

This time around I have added some new components to this unit.  I spent some time talking with Liz Halina and she was good enough to share her resources.  I have developed this program and am happy to share all the resources with other teachers who may be interested in a similar unit.

1. Badminton Handout (Google Folder) that contains:

  • 12 levels of skills – students have 12 levels to work through.  I had 27 last year and it proved to be too much.  I have taken the challenging ones so the students still need to work hard at this, but this will allow quicker progressions I hope.  The levels are divided into Footwork drills; Grip; Coordination drills; Service; Shots (smash, clear).  The levels are progressive and we will also play games to practice these outside of a skill drill environment.
  • Evaluation sheets – record keeping on peer coaching in game play
  • Level Spreadsheets – to record the work done in the skill drills
  • QR codes that link to the exemplar videos and tutorials
  • Assessment documents
  • Court/Line markings
  • Information on the unit.
  • This information is available digitally to students and I print out and make a booklet that contains the levels, spreadsheet, evaluation sheets, QR codes, images of grip, court lines etc for record keeping.

2. Peer Coaching – the students are divided into pairs every lesson.  The pairs change based on the day so that they get to see a different person each lesson.  The athlete completes the skill drill while the coach watches and provides feedback then they swap over.  This is important so that the coach can practice watching (and also take a break) and the athlete can get feedback quickly after each skill attempt (they have to get between 10-20 skills correct in a row before moving on).

3. Teacher Feedback – 7 of the levels demand a teacher assessment to check technique before moving on.  This involves me watching the students work on the skills while the peer coach stands next to me and offers the feedback and notes, we have a discussion allowing me to see the athlete and listen to the coach.  This has been the most valuable part of this unit in the past – listening to what the coach says and checking that they are really watching and taking notes on their athlete.  This has built up unit specific language and also allowed me to help them to ‘see’ what people are doing and help them to grow as coaches of tomorrow!

4. Technology – this year I am going to trial using Ubersense and CoachesEye in my classes.  We will focus on Serving (Long Serve and Short backhand serve) as well as the Smash and Clear shots.  We will work with our peer coaches and take video, discuss the work against an exemplar film (thanks Liz, Luke and Adrian Hubbard for sharing) and then take another video after practicing to see any change in these four areas.  I will ask the students to create a short screencast and then save this work to be uploaded onto their blogs as part of their reflection assessment.  I have also created a Youtube channel of Badminton movies (I have made and others) to go with this unit.

5. Apps – I have created a class app using that I will share with the students.  I have 4 class iPods, so am taking the big step of asking students to bring their own portable devices to class to use – not done before here at UNIS.  We shall see how this goes, it has taken a lot of time, but I think it will be quicker next time!

This unit will run for 4-5 weeks and this year instead of letting the kids get stuck on levels, I will tell them that each week we will be working on set levels. If you don’t get through, that is fine, but we move next week.  Lessons 1-3 is about Grip and Footwork; Lessons 4-5 is about Coordination and then Lessons 6-9 about Service and shots and Video work.

As always it is good to share ideas and resources, please do let me know if you have any questions about this work.


  • Eduard

    I’m sorry to answer you too late. It was the end of classes and then I had little holidays without internet connexion.

    This little unit I did only for 4 days in their last days before finish the school, then I did only this unit to motivate because they had already played singles badminton year before.

    Yes if they scored higher their grades (matches to 11 points) had higher but also if they played more matches they had higher grades.

    I assessed about the score, and how to play depens on you are attack or defens.

    They did the doubles (i mean selected this partner) and was ok. But I had few problems about the students who they didn’t come or they wasn’t able to play (wound). The next year I will do the same but with 4 students in each group in case they couldn’t play. Therefore they choose which of they play in each match. Strategy as well.

    Enjoy the summer


  • mhamada

    sorry Eduard, I wasn’t clear enough. In this Badminton unit I have asked students to work through a series of levels that are progressively more difficult and work from grip, footwork through to shots. They have to complete these levels with a peer coach assessing and offering advice to them along the way. When they are sure they have Mastered a level, they come to a teacher. The teacher and the peer coach stand and watch the person do the level and assess their work. If they pass, they move to the next level. If they fail, they must go and practice again and perform the Teacher assessment again to be able to move up. However, my experience was that the students often had one level they really struggled with. They might do a Teacher assessment 3 or 4 times and still fail. So, I offered students one ‘out’. This meant that after failing a level with a Teacher 1x if they wanted to they could use their ‘out’ to progress to the next level. However, they could only do this once in the entire unit. Students had to really decide whether to use their ‘out’ or to save it for another possibly harder level, and this was a tough decision. So, the did work on the level but may have missed one on their way through the course.
    I can understand your Doubles work, I tried to avoid Doubles as much as possible as it caused no growth really – if you watch videos of doubles in my class, there is usually one student on each side of the next that didn’t touch the bird really at all. I like your work and attitude in class rubric, but I didn’t understand your points – you mean if they score in the game they got higher grades? If I play in lots of matches I get a higher grade? I can see the motivation, but did you see that this applied to all students? What about skills? Did you assess this too?

  • Eduard

    Hi again, I have one more doubt. I don’t quite understand the last sentence you wrote ” I also found that if I gave the students an ‘out’ – they could up themselves from one level in the course of the unit, that they hadn’t actually completed, that mostly they didn’t want the out, the wanted to move up because they had earned it” This means that you have to tell them OUT when they came to you for the assessment, haven’t you? but then weren’t able to complete the unit and later you gave them the OUT but, however, they wanted by themselves do it good. That implied they had earned it (the levels). Right????

    This year has been my first year in this school. The students had to do Badminton this year again. The curriculum said this. Students are a bit worried about this. However, we played doubles. Theorically, their skills were good. In fact, they were horrible. I givem them basic contents about doubles.

    Furthermore, I split my time doing warm up, tactical double basic and then real game playing doubles.

    the criteria about the unit class were

    Work and atitude in class (2)
    – points done (4). The more points you do the better note you have
    – matches done (4). The more matches you do the better note you have

    This was quite exciting and motivating for them

  • mhamada

    Thanks Eduard, yes after level work the students played Badminton with emphasis to using the skills that they had been working on. Boredom was definitely something that we considered, but with 10 mins warm up games (focus on fundamental levels with footwork/grip) and then level work for 40 mins or so (peer coaching/playing and teacher assessment and guidance) with students on different levels (always had interest if others were ahead of them) and then finish with 10-15 mins of singles games with clear focus on skills and peer coaching along the way (but more relaxed at the end, but we did ask them to keep score and to referee the lines as part of this skill development after the first few weeks). It was important to keep a careful balance between skills and games, and this was a work that had to be tuned over time. We also polled the kids along the way, they didn’t like the levels as it was new and different from other units, but the f’back from students afterwards was a majority really got the concept of individual skill development and found a lot of progress in this unit and the way it was run. I was surprised after so much negativity (perceived by me) in some of our lessons, but it was the negativity about having to work hard and long on something to get it right, not about the unit itself, they weren’t used to this style of work. I also found that if I gave the students an ‘out’ – they could up themselves from one level in the course of the unit, that they hadn’t actually completed, that mostly they didn’t want the out, the wanted to move up because they had earned it. Let me know if you have any more questions, and thanks for sharing.

  • Eduard

    Really awesome this unit!!! I have one question. You have proved (in Japan) that repetition is a cool way to enhance the students’ skills. However, sometimes, students give up quickly what they are doing because is so boring (always do the same or repeat many times).
    When they finish their work of each level either session (do the practice, peer assessment…), do they can play later like a video game? I mean they can access to another difficult level or they can practice what they have learnt playing real matches or modifying games?



  • mhamada

    Liz, great to hear from you! Thank you for coming back to ask me these questions. I am still gathering my documentation from students. I will write it up in a new post but it was very useful for the kids I think however the analyse time on Coach’s Eye and the newness factor was a little overwhelming.

  • Liz Halina

    Hey Mel! How did your unit turn out? Your thoughts on how the students did with the video analysis? Time to implement/use? Skill improvement? Let me know!


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