Professionalizing Archery Coaching

I see quite a few efforts to professionalize archery coaching. Personally I have undertaken to create a professional literature for archery coaches, for example (see the Watching Arrows Fly Coaching Library on Amazon.com). I am all for that but there are some wrinkles that need to be ironed out. USA Archery is foremost in coach development in the U.S. (which is not much of a brag as there is little to no competition from the other archery organizations).

USAA requires their coaches to take and pass the SafeSport program training (I did and did just before I resigned my position as a USAA coach). They are now advocating archery coaches take a Mental Management course (this was long overdue) and they are currently flogging TrueSport, an organization that has the mission of changing the culture of youth sport by providing powerful education tools to coaches.

So, the “requirements” for being a coach and staying certified are going up. But is that all there is to professionalization? What about support services? Apparently USA Archery is finally offering web site hosting for JOAD programs, even though most JOAD programs already have a web site and probably are loathe to change it over. Other than that . . . there is not much.

What about remuneration? It is interesting that USA Archery judges get reimbursed for their expenses (albeit only slightly so) but their coaches get nada, well, unless you are the national coach.

JOAD coaches get nothing. No pay, no recognition, and almost no support. I suggest that JOAD coaches that make it through a calendar year at the helm of a JOAD program should have their membership fees waived for the subsequent year. I think JOAD coaches should have patches available: one to identify them as a JOAD coach, and others to indicate years of service (5-year patch, 10-year patch, etc.). I think JOAD coaches should get a letter thanking them for all they have done over the past year every damned year. I think . . . probably too much.

If you want people to act like professionals, shouldn’t they be treated like professionals?

8 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

8 responses to “Professionalizing Archery Coaching

  1. I am glad there seems to be a bit more going on with USA Archery and coaching at a more regional level. I know that here in Florida, the Easton Newberry Archery Center will be offering a Coaching Symposium in September for a couple hundred dollars for the two days (seems pretty reasonable to me). That is a good start. I want to see more workshops and online information (would be nice if the symposia would be video recorded and available as a live stream or later shown with a reduced fee. Just my two cents worth. Thank you for all you do for coaches! It is appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you that the video would be nice. A two day seminar includes travel and housing, etc. which raises the cost. Recently USAA has also allowed for L3 coach trainings to be held at sites around the country, making them more affordable and accessible. Progress is being made. I would like to see more of it.

      On Wed, Jul 24, 2019 at 2:57 PM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:

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      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Steve, I am Linda Woody by the way. I just use my wordpress pen name for answering blogs on the platform. I think that Newberry symposium is mainly Level 2-3 or so. I would attend but I have another commitment those dates (only heard about it this last week via the Newberry newsletter. Thanks again for all you do!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, Linda, I figured you were a wildlife fan or a party animal (hard to tell)! :o)

        On Thu, Jul 25, 2019 at 1:18 PM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:

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        Liked by 1 person

  2. Coach Rama

    I live and coach on a small island and archery has existed there for over 180 years.
    When I refer to ‘federation’, I am referring to our national federation.
    The handful of federation affiliated clubs, are weekend clubs that are run by people with full time weekday jobs. As clubs are run on the basis of ‘not for profit’ they have no other option.
    So what about the two full time coaches ?
    One has 10 students in his club, coaches privately in schools and organises excursions on his boat to supplement his income.
    The other (me), coaches four weekdays at private schools, Saturday and Sunday in his own archery school, and cannot afford to become a club.
    It is these two coaches that are the most certified professionals in the Archery Federation, with a combined 40+ years of coaching experience.
    The federation has organised many coaching courses over the years and the majority that attend, do so to become better archers, not to coach.
    It is the archery federations belief that the monies for courses, come from their personal accounts (not Government) and it appears that they have a lack of understanding of the ‘bigger picture’.
    I have talked to the federation president about this issue and pointed out that without a structure that pays its coaches, there is no point continuously organising courses.
    Too many archery federations, disregard passion, experience, professionalism and ignore what REAL coaches do.
    All in all, it is the lack of remuneration that pushes certified archery professionals, into the private sector.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Coach Rama. I have long advocated that coaches charge fees … and that those fees be set by local standards. Your federation looks like it could tailor its courses to archers, who should pay and coaches, maybe only a token fee as coaches are working for the federation (in effect) and archers are not. The U.S. is a rich country. Our federation is supported by a a great deal of money from private sources. I am suggesting that those monies might be put to better uses in some ways different from what they are now. (The money is not inexhaustible so choices need to be made, so this is a matter of priorities.)

      And if there is a private market for coaching (and there is) then there are some standards for what reasonable pay is already in place.

      It seems that the same situations exist all over the world.

      As always, I send best wishes in all your endeavors from here!

      On Wed, Jul 24, 2019 at 11:54 PM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:

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      Like

  3. Hi Coaches.
    I don’t get paid. I do get a fair bit of respect and thanks and also now my club pay for my Archery GB membership.
    For Archery coaches to be paid there will need to be a whole new culture change.
    Maybe for this to happen in the UK, there will need to be more “owned” Archery facilities as most clubs in the UK rent space in sports halls use school playing fields or rent from a rugby/football club.

    Currently I am coaching two hours in a school, 5 hours in a village hall and three hours at the weekly club meeting.
    How would we account for working out training plans at home ? All the hours spent advising archers by email, text or on the phone ? I don’t think a lot of archers actually realize just how much work goes in to a few hours of coaching and this needs to change too.
    Keep up the good work Coach Steve.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Coach Nick! I was a school teacher for a long time and my salary, computed on a “per hour on site” basis included prep time (how much of that was needed depended on many variables). We could do the same for coaches.

      Your club sounds like a good one, to pay your Archery GB fees for services rendered. (It is something. It would be nicer if Archery GB waived them for some standard of effort applied in an Archery GB club.)

      My understanding of the situation on GB is that it is rare for a club to own its own range(s), that renting is the norm. Here in the U.S. we have recommended for long that clubs own the land their club uses as clubs using public land/renting are put out of business on a frequent basis for myriad reasons. (A club in California lost half of its range when the city decided to place a bike trail right across the middle of its property, effectively cutting it in half. Trying to maintain a club on just one half of their former site failed. A club here in Chicago almost lost its range to an organized effort to turn it into a dog park. And so on….)

      Archery GB seems to be making coaching a higher priority, with higher levels of training and more and more support. I am quite interested to see how that all works out. (If you want to write about those changes, we will publish your article in Archery Focus magazine and send you a check (or is it checque?)!

      On Thu, Jul 25, 2019 at 2:53 AM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

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