GB Badminton star, Fontaine Chapman, talks us through an average week at the sharp end of sport

GB Badminton star, Fontaine Chapman, talks us through an average week at the sharp end of sport

Please describe a typical week’s training?

Monday
8am-10am: On-court or physical session.  If I have competed over a weekend then I will rest Monday morning.
12pm-1.30pm: Strength & conditioning session with my s&c coach Brendan Chaplin, followed by soft tissue massage.
5pm-7pm: On-court session with my coach James Vincent (we call him Vinny) and other performance players at Leeds Metropolitan University for attacking training and match practice.

Tuesday
7am-9am: On-court session, which may include some physical exercises such as burpees, plyometric drills or sprints to tire myself out before doing consistency or attacking practices.
11.15pm-12.30pm:  Strength & conditioning circuit session plus core work and sprints
Spinning session 1-1.45pm if I’m not a university lectures.
5pm-7pm:  On-court session with my coach Harry Wright (an ex England international player) and other performance players at Leeds met.  Training & match practice, but mainly matches around competition times.

Wednesday
7am-9am:  On-court session with lighter skills if we’re competing or if we have a university match. Light skills consist of practicing shots and working on our racket reaction speed.
9am-9.45am:  Soft tissue massage.
If I am competing in an international tournament I will leave on Wednesday, so sometimes I may not train.  We often have University matches, home or away, on Wednesday afternoons from 1pm and these can take up a lot of time.  I also coach a junior badminton club in Horsforth in Leeds for 3 hours in the evening.

Thursday
7am-9am:  On-court session with Vinny and the performance group – a tough physical session or match practice if we are competing on the weekend.
9am-9.30am:  Physical cardio vascular session either on the bike or treadmill – it can be continuous or interval.
11am-12.15pm:  Strength & Conditioning with Brendan – 2nd circuit session of the week with core work to finish with (no sprints today thank goodness).
1.30pm-2.30pm:  Either my own on-court footwork session (we call it shadowing) where I will put my music on loud in the hall and work for the hour on footwork patterns, or I may have an individual session with Vinny where I work on specifics.  So it might be a multi-feed session (multiple shuttles are hit all over the court and I have retrieve them), practicing a new shot or developing other skills.
I will then do university work, catch up with my psychologist or do something with my friends.

Friday
7am-9am:  On-court session – routine practices with some match play and fun games at the end of the session.
After the on-court session, we have hill sprints that we must do to finish the week off – it takes around 1 minute to run up the hill (although the boys take around 40seconds!), which we do 2-3 times and then we have 4 sets of very short sprints, with a small incline, to finish off with.
If I am competing on a weekend then I would usually rest on a Friday and only do a yoga session.

Saturday
If I am not competing I will do a recovery session such as hot yoga, or swim/bike/light run.

Sunday
If I do not do my recovery session on a Saturday I must do it on a Sunday.

What is your favourite training activity?
I love strength and conditioning as I can always see improvements in what I’m doing and the tired/hurting feeling you get after it makes you feel strangely good.

What is you least favourite training activity?
Hill Sprits!  I’m more of a shorter-distance sprinter (and prefer the flat), so hill sprints really burn my lungs and legs.  It’s even worse when it’s raining.

What is the single most important or effective part of your training?
I don’t think there is a single most important part as there are so many different aspects of badminton that you need to be good at.  I would say my psychology sessions are vital, though, because if I play someone that is physically, technically and tactically just as good as me, it will come down to who is mentally tougher.

What are your top tips for any aspect of achieving sporting goals?
Never give up!  I know it’s cheesy and clichéd, but I have learnt from injuries and other setbacks that, if you keep working hard and never give up, eventually you start to see results and you will get there.

What activities to you enjoy that are not directly linked to badminton?
Hot yoga.  It’s not something that everyone enjoys doing, but after a tough week’s training or competing there’s nothing better than stretching your body out and clearing the mind.

What’s your guilty pleasure on recovery days?
Shopping and eating out.  I am a typical girl when it comes to shoes and clothes and I have way too many of both (but I have to buy more).  I also love food.  Trying new restaurants and eating different food is always a guilty pleasure.

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