Jag Racharla's Story
Jag Racharla is 37 years old and lives in Swindon. He is head coach at the Acers Badminton Club.
He started coaching whilst at University taking his Level 1 Badminton coaching course and developed a passion for coaching. He would buddy up with other club coaches and observe them and their junior teams to gain some experience.
After a few years of coaching Jag along with some friends looked into setting up their own club so he could coach more children, more often.
Jag found it very difficult to start a new club as it needed a lot of work pulling together. The main difficulties he faced was not having enough information.
He understands that every club is different, but he hoped there would be some information available for enthusiasts like him to have guides and templates including best practices for clubs. This type of information is now available through Club Matters but unfortunately it wasn’t readily available when Jag was setting up his club.
Venue fees and purchasing equipment were also issues Jag faced.
Fortunately, WASP was able to offer Jag some funding, which enabled him to book courts in advance and pay for equipment. This also allowed him to offer a free welcome session to attract new members.
Coaching has really made a difference to Jag’s life. It gave him the confidence to talk to people about badminton and how they can improve their techniques.
Coaching has helped Jag’s mental health by keeping him busy, developing, planning and tailoring his coaching to individual needs. He maintains records of everyone he coaches and constantly reviews their progress and provides feedback.
The skills he has learnt are abundant, right from gaining confidence in talking to people to planning sessions for a large group and guiding them all the way. Jag has already gained a position in the Wiltshire County team as a supporting coach which he is very pleased with and enjoys very much. He’s recently taken the initiative to form an U12 county team for Wiltshire as there currently isn’t one. Jag puts this down to the new found confidence he’s gained from coaching enabling him to take these steps.
Coaching has enabled Jag to think on his feet and adapt to different situations. “Sometimes you would have thought to do something in advance but as you talk to group and understand their needs you need to change what you had planned. Learning to deal with these situations is another great skill that always surprises me and I never thought I would do something on the go before.”
Jag volunteers to coach in his club when possible. He started the club two years ago with 3 teams (2 mens and 1 mixed) playing for leagues. He then successfully expanded the club to 6 teams (3 mens, 2 mixed and 1 ladies). 5 out of the 6 teams including ladies went up the leagues this season. This was a surprise to everyone, including Jag as this was their first year and many of the members are new to badminton. This is a real recognition of Jag’s coaching and how he has improved performance. He also gives the teams some physical workouts for them to keep fit at home and has organised some parkruns when possible involving their families too.
Through Jag’s coaching he has inspired one of the players to become a Level 2 coach and another volunteer who will be completing the Level 1 course shortly.
Being a coach in sport has helped not only Jag but his daughter too as she now plays international tournaments in the U13 category although she is only 9 yrs old.
Jag would encourage anyone to become a coach, he says “Coaching is for anyone who wants to keep themselves active and have some fun, meet new people, teach people to improve and learn new skills yourself too. You can serve your community by enabling others to be more active, get fit, socialise and have fun through sport.”
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