(Photo: BWF)
Humans of Shuttle Time: STEFANIE MÜLLER
Date: 8/14/2023 10:17 AM
Published by : BWF
Shuttle Time Trainer, German Badminton Association

Childhood Days
I was always active as a child and tried out a lot of things. Whether it was roller skating, table tennis, handball, volleyball or athletics, I always liked to be active. I found it exciting to ride my bike through the forest and build shelters. I used to go to sports festivals with my parents and loved seeing so many people enjoying sports and competing.
At school, I loved doing the Bundesjugendspiele (Youth Games) and always got a certificate of honour. I played football in a boys’ team until I was nine.

Tryst with Badminton
I often went to volleyball practice with my father and after practice the adult badminton players of the club would practice. I often watched them until we went home. At some point I asked if I could join in and after I hit the shuttlecock quite well, they asked me if I would like to join youth training. I started with them when I was nine, and I’m still involved in badminton today.
When I was twelve, I got individual training two times a week and became better and better and joined the national youth team. After graduating from high school, I made the leap to the Olympic Training Centre in Saarbrücken. Unfortunately, a serious shoulder injury prevented me from continuing my badminton career.
I thought the speed was impressive and that it looked really cool and I would like to be able to do that. Then I tried out a lot with my brother in the garden and loved throwing myself at the shuttles and somehow still getting them to the other side.

Badminton and I
Badminton has always been part of my life. First as a player, with many beautiful successes and participations in different tournaments, also in European and World Championships, and then as a coach. I have always done this alongside my main job as a physiotherapist. I have worked with players at every age level, from 9 years old to adults, and now I try to pass on my knowledge and experience to other coaches.

Memorable Events 
I remember three events in particular. I won my first international tournament in my youth at Wimbledon. Then I reached the quarterfinals at the World Youth Championships in Kuala Lumpur in 1994. I lost to a Chinese girl and had to go for a doping test. That took a few hours, because I had sweated out all my fluids.
And last but not least, I became German team champion in the Badminton Bundesliga in Germany with my club at the time, FC Langenfeld. And that was nice because we won as a team and to experience what you can achieve when you are also pushed from the outside was sensational.
As a coach, I was there at a U17 European Championship and it was incredibly nice to see how the work with the players paid off, even in the run-up to a match. They were able to implement a lot in the match and won the bronze medal in the mixed.

Developing Badminton in the Community
I started in a small club and was lucky that there were very dedicated coaches there. It was always a good mix of a lot of playing, but also real training. The club also offered a lot of activities, for example Christmas parties, or there was always an event where every sport in the club presented itself and did little exhibition matches. And badminton was always one of the more exciting sports because there was a lot of action on the court.
Badminton developed well over many years and we had great success both as a team and as individuals. I was allowed to sign the Golden Book of the city, became the Sportswoman of the Year in my city and badminton became more and more known here. But there were also difficult times, as we had no more young players and few coaches who provided good training. But for some time now, we have had a coach in children's and youth training who is also a Shuttle Timer Tutor since last year and uses a lot of content from Shuttle Time and integrates it into his training.

Impact of Shuttle Time 
We are still at the very beginning here. I am now starting to go directly to the schools with this programme and to get teachers and students excited about badminton and the Shuttle Time programme. The aim is that the teachers will then also do the Shuttle Time teacher training and then offer badminton in their school.

Lessons from Shuttle Time
Since I come from a competitive sport background and mainly know competition-oriented training, I found it very exciting to get to know methods with which badminton can be taught in a simple way.
The best insight for me was that you don’t have to correct the technique down to the smallest detail, but that it’s about experiencing movement, trying things out and having fun with badminton and that this can be transmitted very well with the programme.
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