Zhang Lianying, now the technical coach for Danish Badminton Association, has been the Chinese coach that has assisted the Danish national badminton team for the last 22 years. Zhang Lianying provides personalised training according to the players’ individual strengths and potentials. And often a player will improve his or her techniques after each training session.
In an analysis in Firstpost.com, writer Aparna Popat points to Zhang Lianying as the secret key to Denmark’s strength in badminton.
“During my training in Denmark, I saw Lianying giving the top players several multifeed drills and also advising them on how to play their chinese counterparts. This has surely assisted Denmark, the only European country, to pose a threat to their Chinese counterparts,” shre writes.
Peter Gade, former All England winner and World No. 3 supports her point of view:
“Lianying is undisputably the best coach I ever have had. It’s because of him that I can constantly develop my moves and my net games. Moreover, I am impressed that he has trained our elite players not only in one way. He is a master at finding each player’s strength and making them even better. Therefore, every Danish singles player has his or her own style.” Coming from a badminton legend like Gade, this says a lot.
What was so special about the Chinese system of training? the writer asks.
“Well, one would never really know as the Chinese have always been very secretive about their training,” she continues. “We know that in China there are more than 3,000 government-run sports schools, 20 major programs and 200 smaller programs that have produced nearly all of China’s Olympic athletes. The National Training Centre in Beijing is comprised of a number of large buildings, some modern, some drab. Guards check the IDs of people entering the facility and they are posted outside each building. However, what we do not know is what exactly goes on in these facilities.”
“It is rumoured that the Chinese are insecure about their physiques – especially when compared to those of the western world. However they pride themselves on the fact that they can work harder than anyone else. The children enrolled in the badminton sports schools are made to train about 10 hrs a day – surely harder than anyone else. Some burn out, some get injured, some can’t keep up and the remaining minority of 2-5%, well, become the champions we all know.”