Well, despite a building headache following a very busy week, Friday ended with another successful beginners course. The session ended well with several of the new intake commenting on how much they enjoyed the session and there are some promising archers amongst the group.
Saturday and with a migraine developing it was off to NCAS Junior County Coaching and the hope of a quiet easy session. On arrival, I passed a couple of AoR seniors who had not realised that the hall was given over to the county for the juniors and the news that Tim was unable to make the session. Walking through the door I was met with one of the busiest county training sessions yet and we had over 20 young archers, eager for coaching over the three hour session. With no chance to relax, it was straight into coaching and I’m grateful to the young archers that I was working with for their patience and commitment as they listened and put into practice what was being taught.
A really good coaching session and with stress levels dropping, I headed home to lose the headache before today’s Sunday AoR shoot.
Sunday and with my headache easing, Lauren I headed over the Raunds for her to shoot in the postal leagues Portsmouth. Laptop in hand I’d planned to complete some admin and do some more work on the clubs website and my archery application. I got some work done, but as usual events during the day took over and great events at that.
Four highlights for today and once again all junior archer based – come on seniors share your successes.
- Imogen with only her second week shooting at 20m and with her brand new bow (bought less than 24 hours prior to the shoot) took to the shooting line and opened with an impressive 995, 987 for a cracking 47 for the half dozen. A 42 for her second half dozen took her to a very impressive 89. This was followed up with a 79, 79 and 63 for the next three dozen before fatigue set in and she dropped off to finish with a 36 for the last dozen arrows but a hugely impressive 346 for the shoot – remember that she only finished her beginners course less than four weeks ago weeks ago and she only shot her first 20 yards last weekend and this is really impressive shooting.
- On the Saturday I’d been working with young Ryan and we introduced a number of things for him to work on. Had he forgotten anything overnight (well only his finger tab) but technically, not thing. The opening half dozen saw a little wobble (just 29 scored), but the second half of the first dozen saw his score come up with a nice 41 and he followed that up some solid mid 30’s and 40’s. Consistent shooting throughout saw his score sheet with 70, 81, 74, 75 and 75 and a new personal best shot with a total 375. I wonder who’s scores he’s chasing???
- Ruby Paul shooting with a club beginners bow also put in a sterling performance. I can’t be 100% sure but I think that this was her first full Portsmouth round (Leza correct me if I am wrong) and therefore a personal best but what a way to open your account. She opened with a great 90 for the first dozen and followed that up with a fine 80 and 72. A slight wobble during the fourth dozen saw a 45 posted (probably tiredness) but she bounced back with a brilliant 75 and a wonderful 362 for her first Portsmouth. Shooting with a club beginners bow and arrows this is a fine, fine achievement. It seems that there is more than one good archer in the Paul household.
However, for me the best was to come at the end of the session and yes I was the most nervous and excited person in the room. As many of you will know Lauren went through a tough time with her archery earlier this year and, whilst many youngsters would have packed up their bow and turned to other things, she dug in deep. She’d been scoring in the 480’s and 490’s and had dropped into the 420’s and 430;s early this year. Through hard work she’d brought herself slowly back into the top quarter of the 400’s and today she was on it.
County coaching found a button pressure issue and this was addressed right at the end of the session. With missed balloons, shooting a good 12 inches to the right she’d all but given up. A quick adjustment to her button under the advice of one of the senior NCAS coaches and she banged three arrows into the gold to finish the coaching session. Back home and it was replaced nocking points on her string and full kit check and an early night.
So, this morning. Lauren was a positive and confident as I have seen her in a long time and her shooting was to reflect that. All season she has wanted to crack the 500 and today she began that mission again. She opened with a first dozen of 103 and then followed that up with a 101, 104, 101 and finally a 98 to crack the 500 and set a new personal best of 507.
Big smiles and congratulations all round and a typical Lauren statement “Now I just need to do it all again next week”. This will be a huge confidence builder and I know that she’ll keep this constant improvement going and I’m looking forward to more great scores.
It was great to see so many archers shooting this morning and it made for a great atmosphere both on the shooting line and behind for those of us watching. Thank you to every one of you for contributing to making AoR a great archery club.