Looking for a Remote Coach

QandA logoGot another letter with a very good question:

Hi Steve,
I’m reading your excellent Why You Suck at Archery and am wondering how to go about choosing a remote coach. I’m in Atlantic Canada and in my city there are no coaches higher than Level 2. So I was thinking about getting a coach through other means. Do you have any suggestions on what one needs to look for when looking for a remote coach?

Thanks!

***

This is a very good question! I wish I had an equivalently good answer. The best I can do is point you to the Canadian Archery Federation (http://www.archerycanada.ca) but I haven’t noticed that they keep a list of coaches. Here in the U.S., you can look up coaches on USA Archery’s list (http://www.teamusa.org/usa-archery/coaching/find-an-instructor-or-coach). Other than that, I do know that Larry Wise, M.J. Rogers, and I all do remote coaching. I am sure there are others, I just don’t know who they are.

With regard to negotiating to receive remote coaching, there are a few particulars that need to be covered. The usual things like fees, compound or recurve, etc. are the same whether you are physically together or not. The other ones I can think of are:

Technical Can you hook up in a meaningful way technically? Are you going to use Skype or some other teleconferencing software? For simple issues I have students send me video clips with questions and then I respond via email (I have never liked telephones for some reason and now that my hearing is going south, I like them even less.) The question is simply can you engage one another technically. Video clips, even large ones, can be sent privately via Drop Box or other file sharing programs.

Communication It is hard enough to communicate when we are face to face and we can shoot and physically demonstrate aspects of archery shots. When you eliminate the physical and, at best, muffle the audio and visual, a premium is placed upon being a clear communicator. This is something you will want to pay a lot of attention to while you are negotiating working together. Are communications concise and clear? Do you go back and forth resolving confusion or are you creating even more confusion? etc.

This is something that the archery organizations could do a better job for their members. If the organization trains individual coaches, they should make them easier to find (this is especially true for Canada which is always having to deal with members being spread out a great deal) and one of the particulars they could include on their coach listing is a detail like “Will Do Remote Coaching.”

I hope this helps.

 

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