Badminton Life

Jake Downey's Biography, Badminton Books and Articles

It's great pleasure for us to be presenting Jake Downey's badminton books on our site. Jake is very generous in passing down his badminton knowledge to anyone who are interested in Badminton and he is not charging a single cent for it.

My utmost respect to you Jake! Once again thank you for giving us the opportunity to display your books here... Enjoy reading everyone! :)

From Jake Downey


I am the author of many highly rated books on badminton and an international coach with many years of experience in successfully coaching world class badminton players and devising coach education programmes for the BAofE.

1985-97. In 1985 I became employed as England Team and Coaching Manager for the BA of England prior to assuming the position of Director of Coaching in 1986 with the task of planning and implementing programmes for player development and coach education and training.

1990. Received the 'Coach of the Year Award'awarded by the British Institute of Sports Coaches in the category for "Services to Coaching Nationally"

Professional Qualifications

Diploma in PE from Loughborough College (1959)

One year Art of Movement Course at the Laban Art of Movement Centre (1967)

Diploma in Education, University of London (1972)

Master's Degree in Education (Philosophy) , University of Manchester (1974)

Teaching Career

I began professional life as a teacher of Physical Education in London Schools which allowed me to compete in the English badminton tournament circuit. A motorbike accident cut short my career as a top player and with it any chance of England team selection and so at the age of 26 I began teaching and coaching badminton.

1959-67. Taught Physical Education in Inner London secondary schools.

1967-81. Lectured at Hertfordshire College of Higher Education mainly in PE and the Art of Movement (Dance). I taught all aspects of physical education to trainee teachers as well as philosophy and psychology of sport, biomechanics; dance training technique, dance composition, philosophy of art and aesthetics. My other responsibilities included the training of students preparing for the teaching of p.e. to children with physical and mental disabilities. I was also involved in course planning for B.Ed degree syllabuses.

1981. I retired from Hertfordshire College of HE to concentrate on the academic study of sport and developing and writing about my ideas in badminton. My books, Winning Badminton Singles and Winning Badminton Doubles provided the first in depth analysis of singles and doubles and enabled players and coaches to increase their understanding in these games and to improve their performance.

Badminton Coaching Career

Schools Badminton

1962-6. I founded and became secretary of the London Schools Badminton Association which I registered it with the BA of England as the first official schools badminton association.

International Coaching.

I was Coach to the England Uber Cup teams of 1972 and 1975. In addition I was the personal coach to many English world class and international players when they won many international and national titles. These included:

Gillian Gilks (1971-75) European ladies Singles and Doubles winner and All England ladies doubles winner and singles finalist.

Margaret Beck (1971-76) All England ladies singles and doubles winner, European ladies singles and doubles winner.

Paul Whetnall(1974-76), English National singles winner.

Ray Stevens (1976-77), English National Singles winner.

Andy Goode (1980-81), Steve Butler (1987-91), Tanya Groves (1992-94).

1975. Denmark - Held a weekend workshop for Danish National coaches on the "Coaching of Elite Players".

1977. Keynote speaker at International Coaches Conference of the first World Badminton Championships, Malmo, Sweden.

1978. Coaching and lecture tour in Canada and the USA.

1983. Coach/manager to the Canadian national team players for Swedish Championships and All England Championships.

1984: Coach to the Canadian National Squad for their three week programme at the Canadian High Performance Centre in Calgary.

1983. I was appointed as Manager to the England U23 team on their1983 tour of Australia and New Zealand.



1979. I wrote, directed and presented a 60 minute instructional video on badminton coaching for the Ontario badminton association (Canada) for use in schools, colleges and clubs.

1979. I wrote and presented the popular BBC TV series "Better Badminton". This five part series had numerous repeats.


1. 'Better Badminton for All'. Pelham Books (1979). Revised 1975 and reprinted 1982.

2. 'Downey Tennis Notation'. J Downey (1970)

3. 'Teach your Child Badminton'. Lepus (1976).

4. `Badminton Singles` (A framework for badminton - an attacking game). J.Downey (1976). The basis of a new analysis of the logical structure of the game and its application to the development of tactical play. Developed fully in 'Winning Badminton Singles'.

5. 'Badminton for Schools'. Pelham (1978). Written at the request of the English Schools Badminton Association.

6. 'Get fit for Badminton'. Pelham (1980). Written with co-author David Brodie, a leading sports scientist.

7. 'Winning Badminton Singles'. EP Publications (1982).

8. 'Winning Badminton Doubles'. A&C Black (1984)

9. 'Instructors Manual'BA of England (1986)

10. 'Play Short Badminton' National Coaching Foundation 1982.

11. 'How to Coach Badminton'. Willow Books (1990)

12. `Excelling at Badminton'. Hodder and Stoughton (1993)

13. 'Badminton Leaders Handbook`. J Downey (1996)

14. 'Tactics in Badminton Singles, ebook, J. Downey (2007)

Lectures and Conference Papers

1.`Coaching the Uber Cup Team'. Presented to the BA of England coaches conference. Lilleshall (1972).

2. 'Attitude, Performance and Coaching'presented to a conference of tennis coaches. Bisham Abbey (1974).

3. 'Factors which influence the coaching of a top class badminton player`. Presented to a symposium of the British Society of Sports Psychology. Bedford (1975).

4. The training of top players'. Presented to Swedish national badminton coaches. London (1976).

5.`Badminton Singles - a framework for attack'. Presented to the International coaches conference at the first World Badminton Championships, Malmo. Key note speaker to present a lecture/demonstration on the analysis of badminton and the development of tactical play.

6. 'Observation, Analysis and Evaluation in Badminton and Lawn Tennis'. Presented to the NATFHE conference, Chester (1979). Also presented to the Chelmer Institute of Higher Education (1981), and to Sheffield Polytechnic (1982). The lecture was about the use of notational analysis to record games and devise tactical play.

7`The pursuit of perfection in sport'. Presented to the Southern counties Archery Society coaches association. London (1982).

8.`Analysis of Racket Sports'. Key note address at 'First World Congress of Notational Analysis of Sport'. Wirral (1992).

9 'Analysis, Coaching and Badminton'. Key note address to the 'First World Congress of Science and Racket Sports'Liverpool (1993).


Written and had published general articles on PE and Sport and many articles on all aspects of badminton.


Apart from studying and watching sport my interests these days include reading philosophy, biographies and crime novels; practising classical guitar and learning banjo; cycling and swimming; touring around the UK in my motorhome, and riding my motorcycle trike around my home area in Dorset on the South Coast.


All the books listed on this site are free for you to read.

Each book contains the development of my ideas in badminton arising from my practical experiences as a player and coach and from my study of the game. It is true to say that practice guides theory and theory guides practice. Both are necessary in the development of a coach.

Beside each book is a brief summary of what each book contains.

1. Better Badminton for All

My first book written initially for the training methods described in section 2, Training for Badminton. Up to that point no such training went on in badminton, i.e. incorporating the fitness training with the practice of racket skill in movement sequences. The other sections are Learning Badminton, which, though it contains some useful information, is now out of date with respect to the section providing the description of the strokes. Modern technology and hitting techniques have changed since then. The other sections of the book still apply to this day. Teaching Badminton and Competition Badminton. All these sections are based on practical experience of playing and coaching and provide a wealth of well tested ideas and practices.

2. Use your head in Badminton

This was written as a lighthearted cartoon booklet and looks at the essential features of playing to win. It was written for the members of the English Uber cup team of 1972.

3. Badminton for Schools

Written especially for schoolchildren and their teachers at the request of the English Schools Badminton Association. The book contains many ideas and practices which I developed and used myself when a PE teacher.

4. Teach your Child Badminton

A problem solving approach to teaching and coaching through discovery learning. There are numerous ways in which young players can learn all aspects of the game. An excellent book for parents, teachers and coaches who want to try a different approach.

5. Get Fit for Badminton

Written with David Brodie a leading exercise physiologist. Provides an insight into the components of fitness and how to develop them in badminton.

6. Winning Badminton Singles

This is a book written for any serious player, coach and student of the game. It gives an in-depth analysis of the Singles game and provides a detailed account of everything that can take place in the game. It explains how all that a player does in a game, the strokes and tactics he/she uses must be played in accordance with the principle of attack "at all times try to create a situation which increases your chances of making a winning hit".

The book then explains how players can improve their performance to do this. It is a definitive book in that it caters for any new development that can occur in Singles whether in the technical and tactical skill, fitness and attitude of players. It has been translated and published in Japan.

7. Winning Badminton Doubles

This is the most complete book ever written on the doubles game. It provides the same sort of analysis as the Singles game but does so in Doubles. It is based on the principle of attack as the basis of all tactics and what players do in the game. It describes all the situations that can occur in the game and what players must do in each situation.

In addition it informs players how to improve their performance in the game and provides much advice on fitness training and includes numerous doubles practices for use by players and coaches. It has been translated and published both in Japan and Korea.

8. Excelling at Badminton

This book is a must for all keen players and coaches. It has been written as a comprehensive practical manual that they can dip into to learn about any part of the game. For example, it includes much practical advice and practices to help to develop better racket skill and body skill (movement) as well as how to practise successfully. Read along with Winning Badminton Singles and Doubles it will help any player and coach to enhance their understanding of the game and improve their performance in it.

9. Tactics in Badminton Singles

Over the years I have tried out different methods of teaching players how to develop and improve their tactical skill in order to help them to defeat their opponents. In this book which has never been published except as an eBook I have presented all these methods for you, player or coach, to try out.

10. How to Coach Badminton

A useful little introductory book which provide advice on planning lessons, the work of the coach, basic skills, tactics and correcting faults.

11. Badminton Leaders Handbook

Though this booklet was written for the then Badminton England's Leaders Award course in 1996 it is still today an excellent little book for anyone just starting out as a coach. It contains warm up exercises, lessons plans and evaluation and a number of progressive practical lessons.

12. Play Short Badminton

Junior aged children (under 10s) should have the game adapted to suit their needs. This was the purpose of this book so it explains how a shorter court with a lower net and shorter rackets can benefit young children who are just learning the game. A series of progressive lessons and practices are provided for the teacher or coach to use.


1. Children in Sport

There are six articles included here. For many years It has been the concern of many people in sport the way that talented young players are developed in the game. Too often children suffer physical and psychological damage because too much is demanded of them too soon by well intentioned parents, coaches and officials. This series of articles takes a closer look at what goes on and offers advice on how to develop young children in sport

2. Deception

All things being equal in skill, fitness and attitude then deception is the one factor that can make the difference between winning and losing. In this article I have explained what deception is and how to develop it.

3. Mental Toughness

This is a topic that this often discussed in competitive sport but, unfortunately, leaving one none the wiser about what it actually is and how to develop it. We hear reference to determination, tenacity, aggression and so but without understanding what they actually mean and what part they may play in mental toughness. In this article I have provided a complete analysis of mental toughness with numerous examples of what it is and how to develop it in players.

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