Virtual Coach – A new tool for improving as a player

A new tool that may revolutionise the way people practise is being launched by well-known Danish coach Thomas Engholm and the recently retired Peter Gade, through the former’s company “Best […]

A new tool that may revolutionise the way people practise is being launched by well-known Danish coach Thomas Engholm and the recently retired Peter Gade, through the former’s company “Best on Court”. This virtual coach will help keep track of practises, matches and help to develop a player’s game.

By Raphael Sachetat. Photos : courtesy of Best on court and Badmintonphoto

If the Hawk-Eye technology has not yet reached the badminton world, technology is about to make a breakthrough another way, on April 19th. This is the date when the new tool will be revealed – a “virtual Badminton coach”. Of course, nothing will ever beat the real thing – to have someone with experience either shouting on the side court while you’re trying your best, or giving you advice when you reach 11 points, but the next best thing could be this application called “Virtual coach”.

The project was imagined 4 year ago by one of the best coaches in Denmark, Thomas Engholm, who had been coaching the club of Aarhus, one of the few clubs in Denmark to have won the national title few times in a row. “It’s been 10 years now that I have started coaching a different way. I have realized that players, especially the young ones, need to be focused and evaluating their own practise, their own matches, in order to improve. Since then, I have started asking the kids to look back at their game, to think of what they’ve done well, or what they’ve done wrong, both at practise and during matches, in order to know what to do better next time. And it’s worked wonders, as the generation I was in charge of 10 years ago, are now in the Junior National team” said Thomas Engholm, a passionate man, who is behind the website “Best on court”, filled with videos of how to train better.

Then of course, with new technology, it became obvious that all the feedback that I was getting from the players through text messages and emails could be all put in one same place and be used in a more clever way – this is when we imagined the virtual coach”.

That was the beginning of the story. The launch, in a few days, after 4 years of hard work, will be the end of the preparation and the beginning of a new life for this tool which could very well revolutionize the sport in the way it is thought. “The players, especially the youngsters, need to know where they are going. I have seen a young girl so proud because she had achieved the goal she had set for herself on the Virtual coach. Had she failed, she would have known what to do to make it work next time. But this is also about getting self confidence, which is crucial to mental strength for future champions. And using it 30 minutes per week is enough”.

The Virtual coach is a set of different tools, to set targets, to assess practice sessions or matches, but it can also be a place where one can write down strengths and weaknesses of their opponents, to use later on. The interaction is another great tool, as a coach can interact with his player through the application, which can be used on a PC, tablet or Smartphone. They can chat, and the coach can simply take a look at his player’s profile, comment on his goals and congratulate him when he reaches his targets. “Since I can’t travel so much now with my players, this is a great tool to be in contact with them when they play abroad and keep communicating, giving advices to them on the road.” adds Engholm.

Peter Gade himself has invested time to overview the project and help the founder of this project.  “Virtual Badminton Coach is an outstanding tool to optimize the very important communication and follow-up between players and coaches.” said the Dane, who as a coach himself for youngsters in Denmark, will certainly be using this tool in a near future.

The good news is that this tool is free for coaches, and only 2 € per months for players, and will be translated into many languages – Danish, English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German

Together with the videos available on and solid coaching, this should become without doubt one of the best tools for young players.

Launch on April 19th

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.