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  • Writer's pictureTim Swane

The benefit of working with a coach

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

Why pay for coaching when there is a world of free advice out there?

When you start archery you will do a beginners course and be taught how to shoot. For many archers that is the last formal coaching they receive. They progress by getting sporadic, informal coaching support from their club coaches and by listening to helpful advice from club members. This makes progress haphazard and often long term problems with shooting technique are caused by some of the suggestions adopted. Frequently the advice they get is contradictory and has little foundation from sports science.

Typically the novice archer improves rapidly in their first year of shooting because they are getting stronger and more familiar with their equipment. Therefore these technique issues do not show themselves that quickly. However these technique errors will eventually cause their progress to plateau and their scores to drop back. In some cases the archer will end up with an injury and leave the sport.

Working with a coach from an early stage should prevent these problems. The coach will design a systematic development programme, tailored individually for that archer. This will refine their shooting technique in line with their growing strength and improving equipment. Any deterioration in technique will be quickly spotted and fixed. Progress will be planned, monitored and linked to the archer's goals. Long term this should enable the archer to progress to a higher level and remain injury free.

Whether you are looking to challenge for a place on the Olympic team or just shoot a bit better, regular coaching will improve your understanding and enjoyment of the sport. A good coach will not tell you what to do but educate you about archery and act as your critical shooting friend. A good coach will guide your progress but leave you in control. A good coach will challenge your perceptions but respect your constraints. A good coach will value your success but will recognise your hard work in achieving it. In short a good coach is worth their weight in gold.

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