Lets Get To Know Coach Lee...
With more than 45+ years of being involved in Badminton coaching. I've been fortunate enough to coach hundreds of players and help thousands of people improve their badminton game.
From learning the basics of 'Step 1', knowing how to cover the court without wasting energy, and using multiple grips to hold the racket. These are crucial skills needed to play like a champion.
I've spent years refining my methods to help students become 'unstuck' and progress at a faster level than they could have ever imagined. In my life I've been good at only one thing. Playing badminton and teaching others how to be a complete monster on the court. I am extremely proud of my players who use my advice and continually grow as a player.
Now my focus is to help as many players possible so that they can become a serious contender in any game they play. Where ever you live in the world, I can be your coach in the comfort of your own room. Improve your game using my logical, unique and revolutionary coaching style.
When I was young, I was a Loser in Badminton
My beginnings in badminton didn’t start out great, the training at the school clubs were intense. But even after all that sweat and pain, I was losing really bad...the results were even worse.
I might as well have put my face into my hands and call this period of my life “Loser Lee”. The guy who was a nobody in Badminton and got his butt kicked in every match.
So let’s start when I was in primary school, it was during the time when they were introducing sports clubs to the students. From ages 6-12 I attended primary school in Korea, and during my 5th year there, the school had a special sports program. They offered other programs like football, but I wasn’t interested. Badminton had a mysterious allure to it, so I chose to play this sport
I wasn’t a serious player, I played badminton casually for fun and I was not given special training during primary school.
When I went to middle school (ages 12-15), they had 2 sports club. One was for gymnastics and one was for badminton. I took a look at my body and I was too bulky for gymnastics, so that was out of the question. It made more sense for me to choose badminton.
In addition, I had a family relative who was the captain of the badminton club. He asked me to join the club, and I agreed to join. This was the start of my badminton career.
In Korea, the physical demands of training was very intense. Unfortunately, despite my efforts I didn’t perform very well. I was a joke when I played against other players in a tournament
Did you know? The Original Scoring System
At that time (we’re talking pre-2002 rules), the original scoring system was 3 games for 15 points rally system. Which meant that you had to win 2 games out of 3 to win, but in order to get a point you had to be the one serving.
If you served and you lost that rally, neither side would get a point. And so you give the opportunity to gain a point to the other team. Professionals normally do a low service to restrict the possibilities of return, but because the shuttle flies upward toward the net. It was thought of as a defensive shot, and therefore it made sense for you not to lose a point on your serve.
If the score became 13-13, the first team to reach 13 could decide to play until 15 or ‘set’, meaning they reset the score to 0-0 and whoever reaches 5 points first would win.
If the score became 14-14, first team to reach 14 would get a choice to play until 15 or ‘set’. But this time when they reset the score to 0-0, it would be whoever could score 3 points first.
What I mentioned above is really important because it just showed how badly I was losing to other players. During my 3rd year in middle school I went to compete in the junior national tournaments, my results were an embarrassment.
I was losing 15-1, 15-3 to my opponents, the result of every match would be something like this. Now imagine if these games were using the modern rally system where the opponent would gain a point if I lost the rally. I would be losing 30-1 if that were the case, it was only 15-1 because the opponent wouldn’t gain a pain if I lost that rally using the old rules.
And so I wonder why? Why was losing so bad despite my intense training in my club? The reason was because I wasn’t training well. I didn’t play with the mindset of a winner because it seemed impossible.
Everybody was so much better than I was, how could I even think about winning? I expected myself to lose my matches.
But that all changed when I went to high school... It was during that time that my whole life changed.
I Was About To Undergo One Of The Most Transformative Experiences In My LIFE.
In my 1st year of high school I met a coach. When I saw the way he played badminton, it looked like a kind ‘art’, I was so impressed.
At that time he was like a ‘GOD’ to me, his technique, his hitting styles, and movement. It made logical sense. It made sense to hit the shuttlecock from the front, it made sense to cue the same movement for every shot so you could deceive your opponent.
For example, I remember one time that I hit him a high service. I waited for him to return the shot wondering where he would hit it. When he hit it back, I was never able to return his shot because he was so deceptive.
I was so curious, so I asked him to do it again and again. Before I knew it, I was on my way to learning the secrets of becoming a world class player.
From Embers to Ash, Decay to Dust
During this period I read a book called “Life and Death” by Socrates, I came to the understanding that I would die someday. That all human life would some day come to an end, that our bodies would decay and become dust. And that it would be incredibly sad to not accomplish anything meaningful.
I sat myself down, and I decided. I wanted to be somebody. I wanted to achieve something in my life. I wanted to have a life where my soul was on fire, my body would become like an ember burning intensely.
If in this life we are all going to die. Why not go 100%? Why not have your body become like an ember, burning until you turn to ash - and yet you have served a purpose? Why should you choose a meaningless existence, to choose to do nothing, and decay to dust?
So I made the decision...
I would dedicate my life to badminton, and become the best badminton player I could possibly be. I finally had a goal I could push myself toward and I would undergo extreme training to achieve this goal.
Training and Flow
I realized that to achieve my goal, I would have to train in a way that people found impossible. I had to do something completely insane that no other humans could do.
I told myself as I was doing this training that I could do this kind of training because I was the son of my parents. And that my parents were the best parents in the whole world. I’m able to do what no other son could do for their parents. This is what I used to justify to myself why I could train in this extreme way.
Every morning I would wake at 5:30 am for my morning run up the mountains. I would put on a weight jacket, and put on another jacket over top so nobody could see what I was wearing inside.
I would do jump-rope workouts with my weight jacket on. Every time when my coach said to do 20, I would do 21 & 22, more than what was required.
One time I was training and i felt something that I never experienced before. I was doing footwork training and my mind was completely focused and absorbed in the training. My body lost its sense of space and time. It felt like my body was floating in the air, like I wasn’t breathing. It was like I was in a river, and the water was carrying me along.
It was surreal, I couldn’t believe it. It was later that I found out what I was experiencing. I was so focused on my activity that I was experiencing something called “Flow” also known as being in “The Zone”.
Did you know? The Psychology Of Flow
The term “Flow” was coined by a Hungarian psychologist named Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It happens when you are intensely focused on the present moment.
One must be doing an activity with a clear goal and experiencing progress, and you must be receiving immediate feedback. When that happens, your actions and awareness become merged, you move on impulse without consciously thinking, your experience of time becomes altered.
Because of my intense training, my mentality in high school began to shift. Whenever I played a match with somebody, I played knowing that I would win. I never thought that I would lose.
Whenever I played against my friends, I already won the battle before the match started. They stood no chance against me because the battle was already won during my training.
Once the shuttlecock left my opponent's racket, I kept this thought in my head. The speed of the shuttlecock will never change, but I can change. The speed of my movement will never be limited depending on how I train.
They Didn’t Think I Could Do It...
In a short time my training started getting phenomenal results. In my first year in high school I began destroying my opponents on the court, people could not believe their eyes. When I was in my 2nd year of high school, I reached the finals of the high school National Championships. In my 3rd year of high school, I went on to win the National Seniors Championships.
Then, when I went to university I became Korea’s National Singles Champion. I won all of the events for Singles, Doubles and Mixed doubles.
Everybody was so surprised, they couldn’t believe it. How could this kid who was an absolute nobody in Badminton suddenly become the Number #1 Player in all of Korea within a couple of years?
But I achieved my goal, I was #1 in Korea and that was everything I wanted in life. If somebody told me to broaden my horizons and play internationally. I would have continued to train hard, represent my country and become the #1 badminton player in the world.
Unfortunately the government wasn’t financially well off during this era of badminton, so they could not send players abroad.
Since I met my goal, I lost my interest in training. But my desire for badminton was still incredibly strong. So like the torch bearer, I passed down the flame to my next ambition in life.
At the age of 23 I became a university badminton trainer, and I became Korea’s national team coach. Which was interesting because I was a coach while all my friends were players. My desire in life was to become the best coach, and I was fortunate to have started so early because I’ve seen so many changes within badminton.
After this I decided I wanted to experience badminton in other countries. My first choice was to go to England, the motherland where badminton was developed.