How does it work
Not all archery clubs have trained / qualified coaches – instruction may be given by club members who are happy to lend a hand. At Mayflower we are presently fortunate to have many coaches and generally they manage all instruction of beginners and new archers.
After you complete your beginners course, the onus is on the archer to ask for help. And you will need to ask! Coaching etiquette requires the archer to approach the coach. This is mainly good manners - many people feel they are doing just fine and may be offended by an assertion they appear in need of help! It's also a courtesy to other coaches who may already be working with an archer on a regular basis. So, when considering the options below, remember that you, the archer, will need to take the initiative. There are several opportunities for coaching - not all will suit every archer and your needs may change over time. We'll look at the options available at Mayflower.
After your beginners course you may find that you need a bit of help to progress your shooting or you might be considering buying your own kit and need advice on choices. Established archers may feel they have developed some bad habits which may be holding them back or they may be wanting to upgrade their equipment.
At Mayflower we run monthly, drop-in, coaching clinics. Dates for these are on the web site and they are run by a small team of coaches on a rota basis, so don’t bank on the same people being there from month to month. The aim of these is to provide you with a one off session which helps you work on a particular area of your shooting or to get advice on equipment setup or selection. That said, you have the option to attend as many of these as you wish.
New archers quickly realise that their equipment needs to properly set up and, over time, adjusted and maintained. This maintenance can be costly if you keep going back to dealers for this but once again, help is at hand. All the coaches in the club are trained in basic equipment setup and maintenance and if asked will generally be happy to assist and advise you. In addition, the club periodically runs short, hands-on, workshops designed to teach things like arrow and string maintenance and tuning your bow / arrows. The dates for these will generally be published on the web site and a small donation (presently £1.50) is requested from those attending to cover consumables like fletchings, serving thread, string materials etc.
Ad hoc advice from club coaches
Don’t feel that the monthly coaching clinics are the only time when you can get help. If you are at the hall or the field and coaches are around they will often be able to take questions or even take a quick look at you. HOWEVER, you must remember they are archers just like you and if they are shooting themselves (particularly if they are shooting a round) you should respect their own shooting time and not disturb them.
Ad hoc advice and coaching clinics will for many people be sufficient to meet their needs. If on the other hand you feel you want to develop your archery in a more serious, perhaps more organised way, you might want to think about identifying and working with a personal coach.
For archers aspiring to shoot to a high standard and who are prepared to make a significant commitment to this end, much more than a few ad hoc sessions may be required. A programme of work designed to develop the archer in all areas is necessary. This will include not only input on equipment setup and technique but also on physical training, mental skills and a training programme designed to set and monitor specific goals, perhaps over several years.
Choosing a personal coach is difficult, partly because not all coaches are able to make the commitment of time. A personal coach does not have to be a member of your own club – you are perfectly at liberty to get help from coaches elsewhere. However, your club coaches are a good place to start. Talk to coaches, find out about them, their experience of archery in general, as well as, as their coaching background and think about whether you would feel comfortable sharing your archery aspirations, hopes and fears with them. If you can, then it’s worth asking if they would be prepared to help you on a regular basis and you can then discuss what "regular" means - everybody's needs are different.
Various coaching clinics are available from general coaching and assessments to bow tuning, set-up and string making etc.
General coaching is available outside of the clinics just speak with a committee member for further info.