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Top high performance coach recounts his 2012 Pursuit of Excellence


Daniel Magee, National Coach, Badminton Ireland recounts his experience on the Institute of Sport’s coach performance support programme entitled the ‘Pursuit of Excellence’

Lee Jay Boc and Daniel

July 13th 2012 - Daniel MaGee, Head Coach, Badminton Ireland pictured with Lee Jay Boc at a pre games training camp supported by the Institute’s Pursuit of Excellence Programme

The Pursuit of Excellence Programme

When applying for the pursuit of excellence programme, I was hoping to get support and guidance to take my coaching to the next level. As a young coach aged 27, 2012 was my first year as Badminton Ireland National Coach.  I felt that this Pursuit of Excellence programme really had everything I was looking for. The programme has surpassed my original expectations and much more. How?


Strength and Conditioning:

One of the support systems I was hoping to avail of was to put a structured S&C programme in place for Chloe in the lead up to the Olympics. Through the support of the Pursuit of Excellence Programme, I was able to go to Belfast to meet with Michael Johnson in the SINI headquarters in the University of Ulster Jordanstown.  What made this activity even more beneficial was that I was able to bring Chloe to be evaluated and help design a programme to tailor Chloe’s individual needs. Michael put a lot of effort into designing a very specific programme with a focus on her needs as a badminton player.



Antonia Rossiter from the Institute of Sport was a huge aid in helping to identify the needs of designing a complete training programme and helped to evaluate Chloe’s training performance. This is an area that needs a lot of thought and planning in order to ensure the Athlete can maximise not only their performance at an event but also their performance in training. Training is what makes a Champion and by sitting with Antonia and designing Chloe’s training in the lead up to the Games we were able to make a lot of critical changes to her programme during the various training phases such as how to measure training monotony and how to plan a player’s week by the volume of training combined with the quality and intensity needed.


"I feel this programme has helped me to improve on areas of the court where I am weak and I believe that if I continue to train with such a detailed physical programme in the future, it will help me reach my full physical potential as a Badminton player" Chloe Magee, 2012 Olympian

Lee Jay Boc and Chloe

July 13th 2012 - Coach Mentor Lee Jay Boc providing technical coaching to Chloe Magee during a pre game training camp


Pre Game Coach Support Camp – The Garda Training College, Templemore, Co. Tipperary

After the above initial programme support, the Pursuit of Excellence Programme then led me to the Garda Training College for an intensive weekend’s training June 22nd – 23rd. This weekend was a surreal experience and took me right out of my comfort zone. I was with a number of prestigious Irish coaches who would be involved in the Olympics and we were able to share various experiences from our own coaching background. During the weekend we all undertook various high stress training scenarios that we aligned with possible problems we may have to deal with at the Games. I learned about the importance of using the x3 P in any problem situation – Pause. Prioritize. Perform. This problem solving process assisted me to manage my performance in the Games.

PEP Group
June 23rd 2012 - Daniel Magee (right) pictured with other PEP Podium coaches working with Garda facilitators at the pre game coach support camp in the Garda College, Templemore, Co. Tipperary


The Garda training facilitators were second to none in terms of making scenarios feel real and they were able to make us think under pressure over the entire weekend. The post weekend evaluation and feedback was a great encouragement and helped me to identify my strengths and weaknesses as a coach. The continued support and guidance from all involved that weekend made it such a memorable and beneficial experience.


Marino Institute of Education BWF Pre Olympic Training camp “A week with Lee Jae Bok”

Last but certainly not least, I was able to undertake a week’s mentorship with Legendary Korean coach Lee Jae Bok. Lee a former Korean National Champion and English National coach was a massive plus to my support programme. Lee has a certain presence that is hard to replicate and can silence a room. His opening message

“Who here is here to do their best??? Some players raise their hands
“Well your best is not good enough you have to give more than your best if you want to find your full potential” Lee Jae Bok

Lee Jay Boc meeting group

13th 2012 - Lee Jay Boc pictured with Chloe Magee and her coach Daniel MaGee at a recent pre game camp


Having a coach like Lee involved with training is a huge plus for Irish badminton. His mentality, work ethic and love of the game demonstrated to the players the intensity you need to become the best you can be.

During the week Lee talked about how to train and how to maximise every last minute of training during the pre Games window. The intensity of the sessions stemming from his cultural routes of growing up and playing in Korea helped bring a new level of work ethic, to not only the young players in the group but also to the Olympic players involved.

The quality of the sessions was a testament to how Lee can help motivate each player in relation to their individual personality. Working with Lee gave me a great education on how to get the best out of each player, how to identify each player’s needs and how to get the best possible training session while meeting the goal of that session in the process.            

The camp had representatives from Portugal, Iceland, Finland, Czech Republic, Egypt and Wales along with Irish Olympians Scott Evans and Chloe Magee. The players trained in Ireland’s accredited European training centre twice a day with a focus on quality practise and match preparation in the lead up to the Olympics.


It was a great to have such a good coach in Lee Jae Bok and to have some of Europe’s best players to spar with here in Ireland” Chloe Magee, 2012 Olympian


In conclusion I have to say that the Pursuit of Excellence Programme is an amazing support for any high performance coach. I feel grateful for the opportunity and support I have been given by all involved. The Irish Institute of Sport have a vision of improving sport in Ireland and I believe that these are the type of projects that make a difference. As a young coach I could not have asked for any more from a coach support programme and I hope to continue to work with the Institute as I realise my performance potential as a high performance coach.



Daniel Magee

Badminton Ireland National Coach

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