Archers of Raunds have always prided themselves in offering good basic coaching from day one of the beginners course. This was drummed into me by Roy who was my brilliant mentor and senior coach for the first few years of my short coaching career. Now, I work with Senior Club Coach Tony and Candidate Coach Neil to deliver those same high standards that we hope will set people off on the right track with regards to their archery.
Every once in a while, we see someone special come along and it is an absolute joy to be able to set someone off on the path of success. For me, this came early in my coaching career. I’d been working with Ruby’s brother for a while and one day she asked to have a go. From that session, we knew that she could go on to great things. She joined the beginners course, listened, worked hard and the results soon came in great arrow groupings. Geoff quickly took over what I had started and he continues to mentor and work with Ruby today. Yes, she’s been coached by much better coaches than I and those people have taken her on to shoot much better than I could, but I always think of those often frustrating fledgling days when the basics are put in place for the better coaches to build on.
What’s really nice, is when your past beginners (now experienced archers) come over to a new course and share some time with the new intake of beginners. This is something that Ruby ‘always’ does and it is hugely welcome. Sometimes it can even make your day. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was working with a new archer and explaining about using her back muscles to draw the bow for more power and control. Behind me, Ruby watched and listened and then commented that she remembered an exact same conversation that I’d had with her at the beginning of her career and what a difference it made. Well, they say that archery is all about consistency and I guess I’m consistent in my teaching.
Anyway, I was hugely proud of Ruby to learn that she has recently taken her archery to the next level. With lots of records in the bag and a technique that just gets better and better, she spent the last year with the National Talent and Development programme with Archery GB. Last month, she was called back for a profiling day at Lilleshall and she has since learned that she has been picked to join the Archery GB Academy. This is nearing the top flight and some of the best coaching available in the UK. I just know that she’ll embrace the coaching, building on her archery knowledge and develop into an even better archer under their stewardship.
People often ask why I give up my Friday evenings to coach adults and children. This, amongst other similar stories (yes I’m watching Archie), is just one of the reasons. To see the joy from such an accomplishment from someone so young and that you started out on the road is second to none.
I wish Ruby all the success and I’ll keep watching her progress, even though she is now well beyond my basic coaching skills.
If you would like to have a try at archery and you live in the Raunds, Rushden, Wellingborough, Thrapston area, please contact Tony or Martyn on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set something up for you as soon as possible.