Age-specific competitive progress planning in chinese badminton

Dr.Hab., Professor A.V. Gaskov1
Dr.Hab., Associate Professor M.O. Aksenov2
1Buryat State University n.a. Dorzhi Banzarov, Ulan-Ude
2Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow

Keywords: China, badminton, age groups, long-term training system.

Introduction. Passing through a full long-term training period is the substantive content and requirement at the stage of long-term training of elite athletes. According to the definition provided by the "theory of sports training", "a full long-term training period" means a training period that leads an athlete from the very beginning of training and through subsequent regular trainings to achieve their maximum results, all the way to the cessation of training activity [1]. Age is the key factor of sports success and winning competitions [2, 5, 7]. At the same time, it is the main argument for the thesis about the dependence of the training process on age-related characteristics [3, 4, 6].
Objective of the study was to analyze the age-specific characteristics of Chinese badminton players at various stages of athletic training.
Methods and structure of the study. The study is based on the achievements of the leading world-class athletes, opinions of the experts and active athletes. The article is also devoted to the analysis of the full long-term training period from the standpoint of age-specific characteristics: beginner trainings, individual competitive peaks and the retirement periods. Besides, we considered the total years of long-term training. The study involved the Chinese top-level badminton coaches (n=21), as well as the coaches of the Chinese national team (Table 1).

Table 1. Reference data for badminton coaches, %



Length of service

Level of education

Sports qualification

Males  – 71.41


Females – 28.59

International level – 13.83

High – 25.36

Average – 46.59

Initial – 14.22

Less than 10 years – 31 people

More than 10 years – 47 people

Postgraduate – 1.58

Bachelor – 75.34

Specialist – 19.13

IVE – 3.95

WCMS – 12.55

MS – 35.90

Class I – 38.74

Class II – 12.54

Sampled for the study were the Chinese Class-I-plus qualified athletes (Table 2).
Table 2. Reference data for examined badminton players


Number of subjects

Athletes’ qualification (number of people)

Retired badminton players

Active athletes of the Chinese national team

Residents of the provinces

University students of sport faculties

Men – 70

Women – 54

Winners of international competitions – 15

Winners of all-China competitions – 56

First category – 53

When passing through the full long-term training period, the age-specific characteristics of athletes are most pronounced, as they effect the duration and systematic character of the training process. It is important to consider the age of novice athletes, since their development depends on when they start athletic trainings. So, what is the best age to start badminton trainings? It was found that the right age to start badminton trainings should be determined based on the level and patterns of physical development of athletes. The human development concepts contains the term "sensitive period" (Table 3) [1, 3].

Table 3. Sensitive periods of human body development

Sports skills being developed

Sensitive periods of development

Boys (y.o.)

Girls (y.o.)

Response rate



Speed of movement



Speed of relocation






Explosive reaction



Strength endurance



Absolute power




10-13, 16-18

9-12, 16-18








6-9 (OBC) 9-14 (SPT)

6-9 (OBC) 9-14 (SPT)

Balancing ability









Thus, it is believed that the age period from 6 to 13 years is the most sensitive human development period. Moreover, at this age a child is ready for comprehensive development. Badminton and similar ball games belong to such sports where dexterity (technical mastery) is the leading skill. Thus, at an early age, technical actions are mastered through imitation. The ability to imitate and simultaneously coordinate actions is gained by children in the following age periods: from 6 to 9, from 7 to 12 years. Consequently, we suggest taking into account the age-specific characteristics of junior athletes starting their badminton trainings.
The study involved the highly qualified athletes from 14 Chinese teams, as well as the Chinese national team - a total of 95 active athletes.

Table 4. Age limits for active badminton athletes



Beginner trainings (y.o.) Х±SD

Mean deviation SE










Results and discussion. The study has made it possible to determine the mean age of beginner trainings: for boys – 8±1.27 years, for girls – 7.8±0.91 years (Table 4).
The most significant stage is that of sports mastery - the ultimate goal of long-term training. The disclosure and substantiation of this key training stage is of great importance, primarily, due to the need to teach athletes how to act, bring something new, and understand the essence. At the age of 18-19 years, man’s physical development is stabilized. At about 19 years, the functionality of all the bodily organs and systems is stabilized. Man reached physiological maturity. In the period from 20 to 23 years, the physical development process is terminated. At the age of 25 years, a person is in the prime of life. All these stages of human physiological development are necessary to achieve the best results in biathlon. The best option for an athlete is to go through a full long-term training period. Ideal results are not only the goal of the coach, but the goal of the athlete himself. In 1992, badminton was included in the list of Olympic sports. Held once every 4 years, the Olympic Games are the purpose of participation of all countries, especially China. Success at the Olympic Games is, to a certain extent, the highest and most solid assessment of athletes’ skills. According to the results of the statistical analysis, the Olympic champions for the first time included the 20 (the youngest age) and 29 (the oldest age) year-old men [4]. The mean age varies between 24.41±2.36 years. Among women, the youngest female athletes become champions at the age of 21 years, the oldest - at the age of 29 years; the mean age varies between 23.86±2.57 years.
In China, athletic trainings are held at three levels according to the 3-level training model: at the level of communities (local level); at the provincial level; at the country level. On average, male world-class badminton players start practicing at the age of 10.5±1.95 years. At 14.07±1.87 years, they are trained as part of the provincial team. They start representing their country at the age of 18.87±1.55 years. The entire training period lasts 17.13±2.13 years. As for female badminton players, they start their sports career at the age of 8.9±1.48 years, become part of the provincial team at the age of 12.7±1.49 years, and national team - at the age of 17.85±1.69 years. The average training period is 18.6±3.05 years. In general, the data obtained demonstrate that the entire training period, in terms of age, shifted slightly backwards, i.e. became longer (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Chart on comparison of age-specific characteristics when passing through full long-term training

Conclusion. The right age to start badminton trainings in China is 7–9 years for boys and 6–8 years for girls. Male athletes achieve the maximum sports result at the age of 20-29 years, female athletes - at the age of 21-29 years. The average period of long-term badminton training is 18.5 years. Termination of sports career falls on 28.2 years of age.


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Competitive success in modern sports is secured by long-term persisted and well-designed training systems. The study analyzes the age-specific competitive progress planning by the process stages in Chinese badminton using the following methods: summaries of the relevant theoretical and practical national and foreign study reports; and expert interviews geared to profile the long-term training process on an age-specific basis starting from the beginner trainings via the individual competitive peaks and up to the retirement period; with a special attention to the total sport records and accomplishments. Sampled for the study were the Chinese top-level badminton coaches and Class-I-plus qualified athletes. Subject to a special analysis under the study were the age-specific stages in the long-term training process including the beginner trainings, individual competitive peaks and the retirement periods, plus the sport records. It has proved beneficial to start badminton trainings in the boys and girls groups at the age of 7-9 and 6-8 years, respectively, with the sport peaks normally achieved by the age of 20-29 and 21-29 years by men and women, respectively. The total badminton sport record in China was found to average 18.5 years, with the average retirement at 28.2 years of age.