Load Another Arrow Quickly?

We have all seen rank beginners shoot arrows (heck, we have all been rank beginners), be disappointed, then shoot another, then another, etc. making no changes in form or equipment. “Shootin’ and hopin’” is typical of beginners.

If you work with beginners at all, you will see this behavior. Your beginner fires off an arrow that could be instructive if they took the time to study it and figure out what changes in their approach are needed. But what do they actually do?

Quick as a bunny, they grab another arrow and shoot it. And another . . . and another. . . . Beginners want to shoot another arrow to see where it lands. Expert archers, on the other hand, know where it is going to land. Beginners seem to think that if they actually land an arrow or two in target center, then shot after shot will go their, too. They just need to figure it out and then they will be really good at this. And “figuring it out” means flinging arrows until they land where they are supposed to.

This “belief” of beginners is not at all rare. You will see it in other sports. Just blind repetition of what clearly isn’t working with no attempt whatsoever to figure out how to do it.

Fascinatingly, there are some seasoned archers who never grew out of this phase. So, my question to you is “What will you do if you identify one of your students as having this “syndrome?”

4 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

4 responses to “Load Another Arrow Quickly?

  1. Using age-appropriate instruction, I would discuss the importance of consistency during the shot. I would mention that each arrow may land differently if during the shot, some slight change was made by the archer. I would teach how to look at the target from the line after every shot to help see where the arrow landed. I would also teach evaluating the arrows shot as a total end. Perhaps working on plotting the arrows after each end on a note pad target face image would be helpful. I would praise efforts to become consistent, and efforts to look at every arrow and evaluate each with positive feedback.

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    • In addition, starting with a clean target face (or a piece of butcher paper behind a used one, inspect the arrow holes after some shooting. Questions like “why was this one good, and this one not” can lead to useful discoveries.

      Of course if the arrows being used are a mismatched set, then such discussions are moot.

      On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 9:54 PM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:

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      • Yes I always tried to rustle up fairly matched arrows for my students from the pool of recreation department purchased institutional quality arrows available. Thank you for that note and reminder.

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      • Now if we could just teach them to break them in sets! :o)

        On Sat, Jul 3, 2021 at 2:02 PM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:

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