Coaches come together at Scottish Open Grand Prix

Most eyes are understandably focused on the fast-paced action on court at the Scottish Open Grand Prix, but there is another set of people whose attention is diverted elsewhere.

Every year at the third oldest Championships in world badminton a national coaching conference takes place, giving coaches from all across Scotland the opportunity to learn and exchange ideas.

When they're not taking in the first-class badminton on show, attendees cover everything from shot demonstration to opponent analysis and training drills.

“We watch the games but we also watch the coaches all the time and learn from them,” explained Andy Tremble, a coach at Irvine Junior Badminton Club. “We watch what they’re saying to the players and the instructions they give them.

“I’ve been to the coaching conference for the last five years, it’s very informative and something I look forward to every year.

“Every year there’s something different on the agenda, a lot of the things we discuss are new to us and it’s reinforcing what we already know.

“If we don’t come together we’re not keeping ahead of the game, we learn new techniques and advance our skills, then deliver that to the kids we’re coaching.”

The annual meeting of minds helps develop coaches and in turn aids the creation of Scotland’s next generation of badminton stars.

All are welcome at the event, including those new to coaching, as explained by former player Claire Johnston.

“This is the first conference I’ve attended with Badminton Scotland,” she explained. “It’s interesting because I’m putting on a new hat, I’ve been a player and now I’m becoming a coach so I need to step into different shoes.

“I’m very aware it’s a different mindset so I have to change my way of thinking - hopefully I can take my playing experience and use that to benefit some youngsters.

“It’s fantastic, you get to see different coaches from all over Scotland, you get ideas in your head and new things to try out.

“I came down yesterday and I’m here today and tomorrow as well, Kirsty Gilmour's making it tricky so far but fingers crossed for her!”