Firstly, Non-ranking tournaments, are conducted at half terms (Westgate Badminton Centre have some good templates for these in Hampshire, have a look at the format) these are good ones to start with, don't worry if you loose a few games as I have seen players who have gone on to play County loose many games to stronger opponents when they first start competitions the important thing is don't give up.
When you feel confident you can progress to your County Restricted tournaments. These are restricted to Children who live in the County, these restricted tournaments will give you some idea of how far up the pecking order you are in playing for your County team and most Counties will have scouts at these venues.
Once you feel confident you can start playing County open tournaments which are open to all Children around the Country and of course Gold, Silver and Bronze ranking tournaments which will earn you points very similar to Football leagues. Gain points to move up the ladder from Bronze to silver and then onto Gold. The ranking Tournaments will also give you national rankings and seeding for all future tournaments with Badminton England, so the more you play and do well the higher up the ranking you will go in your age group. Don't worry if you are unsure of what tournaments and how many should you play, your Coach will advise you on this, they will give you a diary list of what ones you should attend.
There is one vital part of the jigsaw you require for your performance to be a success at any venue , that is the support of your parents. They will need to give up most of their weekends and support you financially as each tournament will cost you between £6.00 and £12.00 entry plus fuel and in some cases overnight stay. At our Performance Centre we hold regular Parents workshops for both new and old to make them aware of what involved. There is some sponsorship out there and we at Badminton Alpha do consider applications for sponsorship and support where we can with the Forza product range.
In Summary you can have all the coaching in the world and be technically excellent at the game but to be a good player and improve your game you need competition.
Please feel free to comment, I am happy to give advice.