On Placement with Badminton Scotland: Jodie Black

For the last six weeks, Jodie Black has been on placement with Badminton Scotland, working on performance testing for our Regional Performance Squads (RPS) as part of her Applied Sport and Exercise Science study at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

Having played badminton for 10 years, Jodie reached out to Josh Neill, Badminton Scotland’s National Junior Performance Network Manager, knowing he shares similar interests and goals for the future of Badminton Scotland athletes.

Jodie has played badminton since she was eight years old and was competitively involved until two years ago. She now enjoys coaching and playing occasionally, alongside being a fitness instructor and sports massage therapist in Aberdeen. Jodie is in her final year of study, working toward qualifying becoming a performance analyst for high performance athletes, with a focus on women’s health.

During her placement, Jodie has been helping with designing the testing protocol for athletes and carrying out this testing in Glasgow and Edinburgh. She has also been analysing the data to allow valid comparisons across the RPS squads and improve badminton specific key aspects such as agility, muscular endurance and aerobic capacity.

As her placement comes to a close, Jodie reflects, saying: “I have developed both my communication and ability as a result of the placement to adapt in different circumstances which has been challenging but I have managed to overcome”.

Jodie also puts a spotlight on the learning experience and importance of being over-prepared when coaching, saying: “you should expect that things might not always go perfectly – especially when it involves young kids, anything can happen! So it’s important to prepare for that”.

When thinking about her highlights while on placement, Jodie tells us: “Engaging with a wide variety of coaches and players has been a great experience, as well as working alongside the Scottish Institute of Sport to develop the testing protocol. Of course, seeing all my old coaches has been great too!”

Josh Neill, Badminton Scotland’s National Junior Performance Network Manager has been mentoring Jodie during her placement and says: “I want to thank Jodie for her work over the course of her placement, she’s been a big part of the team and her experience as a junior athlete within our system has proven invaluable. Jodie helped develop our fitness testing protocols and delivered our first RPS fitness testing to both the Glasgow/West and Lothian RPS where the athletes all gave maximum effort due to Jodie and the coaches providing excellent guidance and support. I would like to wish Jodie all the best for her future studies”.

Jodie would like to take this opportunity to say a big thanks to Josh for giving her this opportunity and supporting her over the course of her placement.

Jodie adds: “I’d also love to thank all the coaches for helping out and getting involved with the testing to make it more enjoyable, especially Julie Hogg and Karen Stalker who I have known for many years know and they never fail to offer support and guidance. Finally, the kids for giving 100% in effort for me, they were all great to work with and made this experience even more enjoyable”.

Jodie will now return to Aberdeen to finish off her final year in September. We’re delighted to hear she plans to be back in Glasgow soon, saying “I love it down here!”.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Jodie for her hard work, help and support over the last six weeks. All the best with the rest of your study Jodie, our door is always open to offer support and opportunity.