AoR coaches provide new archers with a lot of information, both during and at the end of the beginners course. It has been brought to my attention that much of this information gets lost in the overwhelming deluge that is heaped upon people. In addition, as new members get more into the sport they need more timely information fed to them, rather than members having to go out there and find things for themselves.
Unfortunately, with the limited number of experienced resources within the club and the myriad of things that people want to know when they want to know it, it is difficult for the leadership team to effectively and efficiently address everyone’s needs all the time.
It is therefore important that every archer (both new and experienced) takes control of their progress within the sport and the club itself. By becoming more involved with the day to day running, you will gain a higher level of knowledge that you can apply when you need it.
For example, a very, very common event is a new archer presenting me with a handful of arrows with broken nocks or missing fletchings – a common enough event and one that every archer needs to know how to address. Rather than simply passing the arrows to someone else, why not ask how they should be fixed, take a short lesson from one of the experienced archers and do the job yourself. Imogen came to me sometime ago, asked for help, Geoff and I took about 15 minutes out of the shooting session and she soon became a competent Fletcher. She could have left me to do the arrows, but taking this more proactive approach left her feeling good and empowered – another tick in the book and an example of a young archer taking an interest in her sport.
That said, there are still things that we as a club can do to ease the learning process for new archers. To this end, I am considering writing an additional document that will touch on some of the things that new archers need to make themselves aware of during their first year of shooting. Some will be reminders of things discussed on the course and others will be new. Things like:
- What small personal items should be purchased during the bow hire period?
- When should you invest in a club shirt, how and where?
- When should you invest in your first bow, how and where?
- How do you go about setting up your first bow?
- How do you go about finding out about competitions and how to enter?
- What about shooting for County and taking part in National competitions?
- etc, etc.
I don’t have all of the topics and I don’t always have all of the answers. This is where you (AoR’s new members) come in. You have been shooting with us for a short while and you want to get more involved and improve to the next level:
- What do you want to know about?
- What is frustrating you at the moment?
Help me to put together the topics for this new document and I’ll try to find some time to put some answers together and publish it to the website.