Gail Emms has been there, done that, got the medals. She has an Olympic Silver medal, a world champion title, multiple Commonwealth Games medals and an array of other international and national accolades to her name. But that is not enough for the former badminton star, who wants to give something back to her sport.

Since retiring in 2008 Gail has enjoyed a host of ambassador and media roles. Most recently, she has become a coach with Badminton England but admits it has not been an easy transition to make from her playing days, not to mention trying to fit it in with a busy family life.

“It’s very hard to switch from being a player to being a coach. I’ve got so much to learn,” she says.

“It’s very different and I’ve got to remember all the time I’m not a player anymore.”

In order to become a coach, the former number 1 ranked mixed doubles player has had to go back to basics in order to achieve the necessary qualifications.

“I’m getting taught with other people and it is things like ‘this is how to do a forehand drop shot’ and I’m just standing there thinking I can do this in my sleep.”

“It’s about communication and telling people about it how to do things. I just assume people can do it but they can’t so it’s about breaking it down.”

So what made Gail pick now to start coaching? At 36 years old, coaching is by no means her only option for the future.

“I never thought I’d be a coach and I still don’t think it’s the main thing I will do.

I think it’s something that I knew could fit in with my life now and for the future. I thought if I start now, get a few skills and if I like it, see if they like me.”

Having only been with the coaching team at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes since October, Gail is yet to work with the current stars of the sport.

“I’ve been with them for a couple of months but they’ve had so many tournaments I’ve actually only been coaching for a few days. You forget how much you’re away as a player competing around the world.”

However, it has been a triumphant time for Gail and former mixed doubles partner, Nathan Robertson’s successors, Gabby White and Chris Adcock, who last month won the Hong Kong Open in Kowloon.

“I haven’t actually got to work with them yet. I’m still within the lower hierarchy of the coaching team so I guess I’m not deemed worthy yet.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to work with them soon. What I lack in coaching skills, I’ve got in experience.

“In Hong Kong they had a really good draw and they maximised it and that’s what I like to see but it’s really hard to be consistent.

“I might work with them in the run up to the Commonwealth Games and they’ve got to work hard.  That’s a big one for them to win, to say ‘yes we’re here.’

There is a lot of pressure and I want to help them deal with that pressure. They will want to win it but also feel the pressure to win.”

And pressure is something the mum of two knows all about. Not only does she have a wealth of professional experience, having won gold at both the Manchester and Melbourne Commonwealth Games as well as at the World Championships in 2006 to go alongside her Olympic medal, but now she’s also juggling her new coaching role with looking after her three and a half year old and seven month old sons. Gail only coaches one day a week at the moment, which takes a lot of organisation and understanding amongst her male colleagues.

“It’s really hard to be a woman, to be a mum, to be a coach. I have to put my children in childcare and pick them up knackered from being on court all day.

I’m dreading when things go wrong.

If one of them gets ill I’ll have to make sure I can pick them up or it’s down to my other half.”

Since beginning her coaching role with the governing body, there are some major changes Gail has noticed at the top end of the sport.

“It’s a lot more professional now. To be a player now and what is expected of you is incredible. I was just at the time lottery funding was coming in and it was still quite amateur.

“But now, everything is centralised and they have to be accountable for their actions.”

The coverage of women’s sport is something that Gail feels very passionately about. With only 5% of women’s sport making up the total sports coverage as a whole, she recognises that despite the coverage of the Olympics, it’s still a work in progress.

“For any girl in sport now it’s a very hard battle.”

“It’s frustrating if I know there’s something going on our women are doing really well in but newspapers will choose other things over how our British women are doing.

“There’s loads of women’s sport going on out there and that’s great. You don’t have to force people to watch women’s sport but what we can do is leave it up to people with the knowledge of what’s going on.

“There’s a lot of focus on Jessica Ennis and that’s great because she’s amazing but what about the other athletes? They sort of get ignored and that’s not Jess’ fault.

“It’s not just about men and women either. It’s also about different sports that people watch. The Olympics changes the way people think but only for a few weeks in four years and then it goes right back to nothing again. It’s just the whole Olympic thing.”

For Gail, one of the media’s favourite topics of discussion throughout her playing career was whether there was more than an on court relationship between her and mixed doubles partner, Nathan Robertson, with whom she won silver with at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

“Competing in the mixed doubles is different. It baffles people and journalists thought if you slap each other on the bottom during a match there’s got to be something going on between us. It was something different to write about. Nathan and I would always get people saying ‘Oh Gail and Nathan there’s something going on there’ or asking: ‘you’ve been there haven’t you?’ and we would always tell them no. I think it appeals in that way when really it was actually quite boring.”

That’s a question the current doubles pairing of White and Adcock won’t have to fend off. The couple got married back in September.

So will we see Gail, who is intially on a short term contract with Badminton England, taking control and coaching the new Superseries champions all the way to Rio de Janeiro in 2016?

This down to earth champion is taking everything as it comes.

“At the moment one day a week is working for me. Whether I do more in the future I don’t know.”