Just So There Is No Misunderstanding

I just sent an email to USA Archery asking to be removed from their list of coaches. Since I am aware that I may be a subject of conversation I thought I ought to go public with my reasoning.

I have spent a great deal of money acquiring coaching certifications from USA Archery and other organizations. Each coach training I received I felt that I had got a fair amount of knowledge for the price. I have complained, though, that there is nothing else. There were no books, no online trainings, no newsletters, no nothing in the way of support for coaches. After making this complaint several times at various levels in the USA Archery hierarchy, for example, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and I started this blog, for example, and we also launched the Watching Arrows Fly Coaching Library, a series of books we hope archery coaches will find very helpful.

When USA Archery started requiring background checks when coaches recertified (every four years) I complained that it was an unnecessary expense because we were not employed by USA Archery and every organization who employs me has their own process, so I have to get checked again. I have been getting background checks for at least 45 years and recently I have gotten so many that I was glad of the new electronic fingerprinting machines as I was afraid my fingertips were going to be come stained from all of the ink pads. (Yes, I am being facetious.) So, this newer annual background check requirement is simply an annual fee I must pay to be a volunteer coach in an organization I am not a volunteer coach for.

Before I withdrew I completed the latest requirement, SafeSport certification, not because I needed the training (I was a mandated reporter in California for decades) but because a refresher every once in a while doesn’t hurt. Interestingly that certification is the only “add-on” I have gotten from the archery organizations and I think it was only because it was required by the USOC.

The reason I withdrew from their program is I was receiving too little back for the amount demanded. I also did not want to be “expunged” from the coaching ranks for not meeting requirements.

I wish USA Archery well. I still recommend that my students join when they want to compete for medals (apparently they have to join to compete at all now—at least temporarily—as USAA has apparently eliminated “guests”).


Filed under For All Coaches

2 responses to “Just So There Is No Misunderstanding

  1. Peter Jukoski

    Steve I am presently a Level III archery coach and I feel like I am on an island since receiving my USA Archery certification except for the person who provided the training has offered additional assistance. USA Archery does not a program to assist coaches and provide a continuing education program for all certified coaches. We need additional training and support periodic regional meetings. It seems like there is a disconnect between the coaches who are trying to really make a difference (levels III and below) and the elite coaches that we hear about but have to wait 2 years to try and achieve that level without any assistance.
    I’m Starting to rant but if USA Archery wants a feeder system of well trained potential Olympic archers they need to put more resources in helping improve the quality of the coaches.


    • I basically have had my say. In my book More on Coaching Archery I wrote a whole series of chapters on what is missing in a coach support system. I will only add that the Egyptians knew that if you wanted a really tall pyramid, you need a very wide base. The same is true for organizations, especially volunteer-based organizations.


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