What Frustrates You Coach?

I had a phone conversation this morning in which I said “The biggest problem in archery coaching is that the vast majority of coaches are volunteers.” Basically my point is that if you are paying someone to coach you, as is the norm in all of the other sports, you can be more demanding of them. Those demands can come from both clients and certifying agencies.

I then got a comment regarding my post on getting serious archery students involved in a team which expressed some concerns about local practices of their archery organization. Here’s a snippet from that conversation:

(Here) any one can subscribe to a coaching course but they will not coach afterwards. They are archers that want to learn what coaches teach. Afterwards, they think that they know as much as a coach and therefore don’t need to be coached.
I have spent six solid continuous years of coaching whilst attending seminars and coach trainings, and this is what I have to put up with?
It is no wonder that I am frustrated.
Maybe this could be the next “blog topic”? “What frustrates you Coach?”

While I do not want to host bitching or whining/whinging sessions, the so-called “Whine and Jeez Party,” I would like to hear from all of you about what frustrates you as an archery coach. I would also like you to suggest solutions for any problems you see, to keep things as positive as we can.

Having this information will help me decide what to write about and we may be able to pass on anything substantive to our local or regional archery organizations to see if they are receptive.

(And, yes, I have been described as being overly optimistic. :o)

Just hit the comment button and type like mad!






Filed under For All Coaches

10 responses to “What Frustrates You Coach?

  1. Tom D

    Frustration to the max!
    You “coach” a person and set up some goals and a one step at a time approach and they even “buy off” on it. Then at the next session, you see not one, but several changes to what had been agreed upon. You ask the “student” (now relegated to “pupil” status) what he/she is doing. They reply that so and so said that there are other things that might work better, so I figured I’d try them and see.” Or some variant of that same comment. Early on, I would try to recover things. Finally, I got to the point that rather than fight the situation, I would simply tell them that my time is valuable, and that if they are going to listen to and follow instructions from one or more other people then I am cutting you loose. Find another coach. Worse yet, these were paying pupils…and they still didn’t “get it”. Their money, but not worth my time and frustration to have to listen to “somebody else knows better than you”, which is what I was indirectly being told.
    Nowdaze, cuz I’m all old and crochety, I’d likely tell ’em to go fly a kite and pull on that string for awhile. HAHAHA


  2. Bob Winslett

    Parents and other coaches that are constantly adjusting (fiddling with) their kid’s/students bows, rests, etc.


  3. Other (non Coach) Archers offering gratuitous advice to trainees. Sometimes other Coaches who should know better. Difficult to admonish the trainee as they may not be aware of the status of others and are open to all and sundry.
    My normal response is to advise trainee to smile sweetly and thank the (often well meaning but ill informed) person adding “I will discuss this with my Coach”.
    I wonder if other sports have this problem and to what extent?


    • I think it is rife. Anyone who has gone to a gold driving range experiences some of this. It is strange that people will pay a coach and then take the advice of an unpaid stranger over that of the coach.

      On Wed, Feb 26, 2020 at 11:00 AM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:



  4. NB. When I coach an archer heading for Performance rather than recreation we both sign an agreement that states, among other things, that nothing which does not come from their designated coach should not be introduced to their performance before discussing it with said coach.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a coach who tends to deal more with instinctive archery and field archers i find some target archers who come to field are very dismissive of field coaches. The archers believe they have all the information and don’t need any further coaching. 

    Then when presented with a 50 yard uphill shot at 40 degree incline on uneven ground  they struggle!! What a surprise!!

    I’d like to see the glass walls between the disciplines smashed, with recognition of the skills coaches have.

    The other thing is many archers are unwilling to recognise that some extra coaching can help hugely in their enjoyment of the hobby

    Liked by 1 person

    • Couldn’t agree more. I approached every new form of archery I got to experience with a positive attitude and a potential new source of fun. Of course, when I first shot unmarked yardages, I paid the price in lost and broken arrows. :o)

      I find the “I know best” coupled with “I know what is best” attitude perplexing. It seems to be rooted in insecurity. (“Gee, I am an expert in archery and I don’t know squat about this … better not let my ignorance show.”)

      Michele Frangilli, Olympic Gold medalist, world this and that, states clearly in the book he did with his father that field archery is what Olympic Recurve archers need to complete their technique and knowledge of shooting. Would that more people thought so.

      I think field and 3-D archers are more insular (that’s where I got my start) in that there isn’t much of a coaching tradition in those disciplines, whereas in Recurve archery, coaches are more acceptable. (As a compound archer, I was shooting for six years or so before I learned that there were coaches.) SO, one learns listening to their friends and many became very good archers, so what can these coaches add? What do they know. Many compound archers want a championship level archer as their coach, as a demonstration that they “know something.” Me, I want the next tier down, because it had the people who scrambled to learn every single thing they could to give them an edge, because it didn’t come easy to them. I also want a coach who has studied coaching because it is not the same as shooting, by a long shot.

      Always good to hear from you, Rob!

      On Thu, Feb 27, 2020 at 6:43 AM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:


      Liked by 2 people

  6. Marian ANTAL

    Hello Steve,
    I wanted to write a lot about this topic because during those few nice years of archery training, I met a lot of somatic, physical and mental types of youth students and adults, women and men, but Tom, Bob, Ahalligey also described my findings and observations.
    Yes, sometimes a person wonders what arguments a student is able to argue for the coach’s advice, despite repeated and justified corrections.
    What can parents do with their children in events – forging them, …. downloaded patterns with You Tube amateur videos,…
    There is a lack of confidence in the coach, many times, as they say – a closer coat than a shirt. The information of a foreign coach has more weight even if it is without the context of technique or training .
    On the other hand, others who respect the coach record ever – gratifyingly growing results and medals … they enjoy the competition and know how to overcome obstacles and stress….Pride, no humility, no patience are the attributes of the time..Fastly win effortlessly, sacrifice,
    self-study,…Stagnation, …. many times anger, sadness, why I can’t …


    • Relationships between archers and coaches aren’t made in heaven. Oftentimes we do not give up soon enough. If you don’t find the work fulfilling or your archer does not, it is time to move on. Hearing a different voice can be very helpful. If not maybe no voice can be heard. (Professional golfer Bubba Watson has never had a coach and he seems to be doing okay for himself. Coaching only validates itself when it works.)


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