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The training offer for children and young people under the direction of Joachim Klein sparked Fuchsi's enthusiasm for the badminton sport. Driven by this motivation, he steadily increased his training schedule over the next few years. In the following years he met many trainers who helped to mark his path. For his youth, Michael Fuchs named next to Joachim Klein also Manfred Ernst, Johann Niesner and Udo Lehmann as influential coaches. He has many fond memories of the many trips across Germany and especially to Munich for the management courses of the Bavarian Badminton Association.

In the adult sector, i.e. at the federal base in Saarbrücken, he worked with Detlef Poste, Oli Muelbredt (OSP athletic trainer), Jakob Hoi and Jacob Oehlenschlaeger, among others. After the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, he ended his international career and then worked for the Swiss Badminton Association until the end of 2020. Until recently he was Head Coach Juniors there and now "back" and has been the national youth coach at DBV since the beginning of January 2021. Why Michael Fuchs decided to work full-time as a trainer after 15 years of competitive sport as well as a lot more information about his training activities, you will find out in the interview.

Information on Michael Fuchs' playing career can be found here.

What is it that excites you so much about badminton?
"What I love most about badminton is that there are so many different ways to be victorious."

Why are you a trainer? What does the job mean for you?
“I have an incredible amount of enthusiasm and love for the badminton sport. My goal is to infect as many people as possible with the "badminton virus". "

Who shaped you as a trainer?
“As a coach, John Dinesen brought me an incredible step forward. Working together in Switzerland meant we had an intensive exchange and I owe him a lot. "

Are there three central things that you have learned as a trainer?
“As a trainer I learned that every athlete reacts differently to certain methods, coaching or training variants. In this context, I also found that certain things work well for athlete A, but do not necessarily have to work for athlete B. I have also learned to be more patient when it comes to conveying individual technical or tactical content, but also when it comes to overall player development.

What should an optimal training atmosphere for successful training look like?
"There should be a good, positive atmosphere in training, which is characterized by a lot of energy and a willingness to learn and work on the part of the athletes."

What is your specialty?
“In the course of my own playing career I have gained a lot of experience and a certain amount of expertise in men's doubles and mixed games. In addition, I was able to gain some deeper insights into the individual disciplines in different age and performance classes in Switzerland. Nevertheless, I would call the dual disciplines my specialty. "

Where do you see potential in your further development?
“In general, I would still describe myself as a very young trainer - at least when it comes to the years in the trainer business. Therefore, I still see potential for further development in many areas. On the one hand, I would like to continue my education in the entire technology area. An advanced athlete can only be trained further with a clear technical picture. On the other hand, I am always getting to know new teaching methods and approaches. The method case simply never stops growing here. I would also like to learn a few more things in the fields of athletics and psychology. "

From a playing career to a coaching career: what do you take with you?
“In the course of my 15 years as a badminton professional, I have of course made mistakes. I would like to spare my players at least some of them. I would like to consciously use the experiences that I have gained myself and thus accelerate processes in my athletes and shorten or even avoid some “wrong turns”. Of course, the players should and must also collect their own experiences. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that you do not necessarily have to repeat all the mistakes that I have already made "on your behalf". "

"Above a certain level, supposed details can make a huge difference. At various tournaments around the world I have lost one or the other close match due to such" small mistakes ". I want this experience both in tournaments and in training, that is in my coaching and in my training units profitably. "

What are your three tips on how to act as a trainer in training?
“It is important to have a close relationship of trust with athletes without neglecting the distribution of roles between coach and athlete. I also attach great importance to honest and open communication between trainer and athlete. In my opinion, when it comes to conveying values, it helps a lot if coaches also exemplify what is required of athletes. "

Do you have "best practice" exercises for men's doubles or mixed that you enjoyed doing?
“Whenever possible, I did the following exercises in my pre-match warm-up routine. This enabled me to go through all of the game elements that were relevant to me again in a compressed form and thus optimally prepare myself for the competition. "

  • Back field / half field vs. defense / front field -> The goal as a back field player or attacker is to keep the initiative and to dominate the rallies in a "controlled offensive"
  • Box vs. net-> The player puts pressure on the practitioner from the front of the field. This must cover the entire box (double field without front and back field) and play back all the balls with good quality to the net or the midcourt. The aim is to neutralize or even counter attacks from the front field as often as possible.
  • Game opening -> service, service acceptance and 3rd stroke

What measures can you take to get a grip on unpunctuality?
“We have an appointment in our training group that all players must be in the hall at least 5 minutes before training begins. In the first 15 minutes of the training unit, the athletes warm up according to their individual warm-up programs, and then it starts intensely a quarter of an hour after the start of the unit. Then I expect every training participant to be able to give full throttle. So if you need a little longer than the 15 minutes at the beginning of the session to be able to give full throttle, you have to come into the hall a little earlier. So far, this appointment has worked really well with very few exceptions. "

What word do you use most often when praising your athletes?
“To the best of my knowledge, I don't have the ONE word that I always use to praise. I would say that I often use “class”, “strong”, “good” or “great”.

Which moments in training put a smile on your face?
"When the penny has fallen among the athletes."

Which advice has helped you the most in your coaching career?
"John Dinesen gave me an incredible amount of valuable tips. His advice on training planning and implementation occurs spontaneously. Instead of meticulously planning a training session in advance, as I did very often at the beginning, I am now much more flexible In my planning for a training unit, I now only define a training topic or goal and an initial exercise with which I would like to work out or achieve this more complex or easier. In the unit I then decide, depending on the quality of the exercise execution, in which direction and how fast I go forward with the exercise variants. "

What advice would you like to give to all trainers in Badminton Germany?
"Practice what you preach" - set a good example!

What has been your most emotional experience as a trainer so far?
“During my playing career as the“ coach ”of the German women's duo Johanna Goliszewski and Birgit Michels at the Sudirman Cup 2013. I was allowed to coach the two girls together with the then head coach Holger Hasse in the fifth and decisive game for the quarter-finals of the Team World Cup . Birgit and Johanna won the game against host Malaysia in the cauldron of Kuala Lumpur and we were among the top 8 nations in the world!

As a trainer, I was also able to experience some highlights during the years at Swiss Badminton with the Swiss youth team. The most emotional experiences certainly include Julien Scheiwiller / Jenny Stadelmann's entry into the round of 16 of the U19 World Cup 2017 or the quarter-finals of Yann Orteu / Minh Quang Pham into the quarter-finals of the U19 EM 2018.

Coach philosophy

“My coaching philosophy is strongly shaped by my own experiences and my personal career as a player. I am convinced that we can only exhaust our potential if the work ethic, commitment and willingness to perform are above average. The following "guiding principles" provide exemplary insights:

  • "The little extras (e.g. additional units, video analyzes, etc.) make all the difference in the long run."
  • “The worst player is our upper limit. -> We want to be or become the best players! "
  • "We need energy, willingness and awareness to work hard (on and off the field)."

Current topics with the central training group U19 at the BSP in Mülheim an der Ruhr
“We are currently working on several things that are primarily related to the subject of mindset and readiness in training. At the moment our focus is on developing an individual warm-up routine as well as on work ethic and commitment in training. Then there is the energy and body language of the athletes in the units. From my point of view, a lot has already developed here in the first few weeks and we have made great progress as a training group. "

“In addition, I always try to remember the concept of“ quality touches ”. My trainer colleague Jeppe Ludvigsen, currently the federal base trainer doubles / mixed in Saarbrücken, has introduced this term in Germany. The main thing is that we complete the exercises with the best possible quality and a high focus on the essentials in the respective exercise. From my point of view, dull "working through" only brings us forward to a very limited extent. "

Scenarios:

Your new training group is completely heterogeneous, how do you deal with this situation?
“I would sort the training group into different levels of performance and assign tasks to groups in the interests of internal differentiation. The aim of the unit should be that everyone gets their money's worth. "

A life without badminton, what to do with your enthusiasm?
"Phew ... that's a very difficult question, which I've honestly never thought about before. I would probably invest my free time in another sport. I need some form of exercise or intensity, otherwise I will become "inedible" after a few days. I could also imagine doing a little more music.

If you now had to decide which stroke and which running technique you would have to perform until the end of your life, which would it be?
“… Laughs, I've never been asked that either! So in running technique I would choose the lunge, theoretically I could somehow cover all corners with that. As a punch I would choose the smash, in the hope that at some point I would learn to hit really hard. "