One of my very best students send me the following “Someone has posted now a link at ArcheryTalk to this blog post (the previous post, SR), so I have to ask, with all due respect: isn’t this just free advice? I thought a cornerstone of your teaching was that archery coaches should be paid like ‘real’ coaches.”
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My student is quite correct. I do not recommend coaching for free (except to rank beginners on some special occasions, e.g. fun shoots, etc.). This is part of an effort on my part to make the coaching of archery more “professional.”
That being said … modern marketing requires a bit of stuff to be given away. We are in the age of “loss leaders.” (If you are not old enough to remember these, “loss leaders” were things stores sold at a loss to entice you into their stores. This practice was outlawed in some U.S. states as it gave an unfair advantage to very large stores.) So, think of it as I am building a mailing list or a marketing base. Plus I am not against or above doing pro bono work. Many of the archers in the broader archery community are in countries in which coaching is harder to find than it is here. Heck, in my state of Illinois there are a grand total of two Level 4 coaches listed on the rolls and soon there will be only one, so getting coached even here is very hard and you can’t get one before you know there are coaches (I didn’t know there were archery coaches until I was in the sport for 5+ years!)
Please also consider that coaching it is not a zero sum game. You cannot give away so much that you have little left to offer, otherwise coaches, like KiSik Lee and others, wouldn’t write books. Instead there is an infinite amount of nuance and detail.
From my point of view, I have already answered a real, paying student’s question and now I am using that answer to make even more money (well that and I like helping people). From this blog I have already gotten a remote coaching student (for pay) and a number of book sales. Plus I get ideas for articles going into Archery Focus magazine and into my books from doing this.
For those of you who are grateful for what this blog provides, you can show your gratitude by buying one of my books (Steve Ruis’ Amazon Authors Page) which are available in most of the English language “Amazon.coms” around the world.
And please don’t feel embarrassed about the question, it is a good one. I am going to blog on it … here.