Tag Archives: The Archery Coaches Guild

“So-Called Mental Skills Coaches”

I was reading an article about the 2019 U.S. women’s national soccer team and encountered this: “The US have often employed sports psychologists and so-called mental skills coaches over the years, although there is not currently a full-time staff member working in either of those roles.”

“So-called” mental skills coaches . . . hmm.

Why not “The US have often employed sports psychologists and mental skills coaches over the years, . . .”? Why “so-called”?

Sports coaching seems to be an established field, but I suspect that is because there are coaches who make a great deal of money doing that as a job, rather than there being standard (or non-standard) criteria that qualifies you to do it, such as doctors and lawyers and beauticians have.

What is it that qualifies one as a “mental skills coach”? When I look at my favorite mental skills coach, Lanny Bassham, he not only invented himself and his business as a mental skills coach, he invented his curriculum, too! There are now education programs just coming into existence that are certification programs, so “certified mental skills coach” is a phrase now coming into being. (Lanny’s company, Mental Mangement Systems is offering some of these.)

Note As an aside, it took me a long time to realize that a certification program was one that had a certificate at the end. What the certificate establishes is that you completed the program in good order, nothing more, nothing less. Basically it is just a “certificate of completion” for a course of study. The value of the certificate is derived only from the value of the program, or it should, although some programs seem to limp along, harvesting their former reputations along the way.

So, what is it that qualifies one as an “archery coach,” then?

In the infancy of archery coaching in this country, which was not that long ago, what qualified you as an archery coach was the fact that you coached archers. There were few of them and no, count them—zero, zilch, nada—archery coach training programs.

What qualifies one to coach archery is still evolving, although evolving chaotically in my opinion. There are a number of things that are needed to make “archery coach” a more recognizable position, far from being a “so-called archery coach,” and they do not involve getting a high paying job with a professional team or major university. One of the things I found missing when I first got a coaching certificate (a Level 2 certificate from the then National Archery Association, now USA Archery) and that is any kind of professional literature for archery coaches. I searched and searched and searched and found exactly two books on coaching archery, both of which were on how to teach a college archery classes (and one of them was published in 1935).

I can’t remember exactly when it was I took on the task, the mid-2000’s I think, but I decided to make the attempt to create a professional literature for archery coaches. (No shrinking violet I.) I went about and used my position as editor of Archery Focus magazine to ask every coach I knew to write books about coaching . . . and got turned down every . . . single . . . time. So, I wrote one book myself (Coaching Archery, WAF 2009) to get the ball rolling. The project got turned down by traditional publishers, so we formed our own publishing company, Watching Arrows Fly, which now has about a dozen titles on coaching (and many more on other archery topics, all available on Amazon.com) and a half dozen more coaching books are on the drawing boards. (I am editing, designing, and laying out one such currently—Bob Ryder on Coaching Collegiate Archery).

It is a start.

We made an abortive attempt to create a community for archery coaches. We called it The Archery Coaches’ Guild. The effort is on hiatus because we just didn’t have the resources to pull it off. We spent many hundreds of hours and a fair amount of money on it only to end up back on the proverbial “square one.” It is doable as we designed it as a virtual community (around a web site) but we just couldn’t get it done.

At some point or other, when I am brave enough, I will take a shot at writing an outline of archery coaching knowledge. Part of that “tree” will be a branch, a stout branch, labeled “Mental Skills” or the “Mental Game of Archery.” (So-called metal skills coaches, my ass!) Other branches will include archery equipment knowledge, the role of technique and how to teach it, how to develop archery skills, how to compete successfully, how to operate a recreational program, the science of archery, etc. My thought is if I create such an outline and share it widely, it will stimulate people to write about these topics. If we can accumulate the coaching wisdom of current coaches then future coaches will not have to “start from scratch,” as it were, developing their coaching kit. And, if they add their acquired wisdom on top of ours, well, maybe we will have something of great value to coaches going forward and, through them, to all archers.



Filed under For All Coaches

Does Anybody Know . . . ?

Dear Coaches,

I announced the formation of the Archery Coaches Guild (www.archerycoachesguild.org) on this Blog and many of you ran over and signed up (it’s free!). Thank you. But so far, no one is posting (other than me and members of the team).

Does anyone know why?

Our feeling was that coaches had a lot to say to one another and from those conversations and questions we could figure out what you all wanted and provide those resources at low or no cost. But, so far, all we hear is … cricket, cricket, cricket.



Filed under For All Coaches

Will a “Better” Riser Help?

I just posted an article of this title under the Equipment Forum at the Archery Coaches Guild web site (Archery Coaches Guild Homepage).

Yes, I will continue to post things here.

Yes, I am encouraging you coaches to go over to the ACG website and check it out.

We have figured out a way to make ACG membership free, so you have no excuse not to join. (Not only that but there are freebies offered as incentives.)

Please participate there and help us Grow the Guild!

Leave a comment

Filed under For All Coaches

Hooray! Announcing the Archery Coaches Guild!

For the longest time we have needed an organization to support the work of archery coaches and now we do … starting today. This group is just getting started and upon the right foot. They are actually asking coaches what they want! (Amazing idea!) So, if you go to the site, be sure to fill out the questionnaire. You can join for free (for now, there will be dues later, but you get to decide whether to continue or not; you will not be asked for a credit card or any other payment for the time being).

Here is the “press release.”

New Archery Coaches Organization Formed

The Archery Coaches Guild has been formed to serve the needs of archery coaches at all levels wherever they may be in the world. The organization centers on its website (www.archerycoachesguild.org) and membership is free during the initial phase. The organization is being built with input from archery coaches., so the ACG Steering Committee asks that you fill out a questionnaire when you join to provide the necessary direction.  Your participation will ensure that the organization has the best chance to realize its potential. If you join or send an email to info@archerycoachesguild.org, you will receive emails updating the construction progress as they “Build the Guild”. (Email addresses will be used for no other purpose.)

The Mission of the Archery Coaches Guild is: “… to support archery coaches at all levels by providing forums, information, discussions, conferences, connections to other coaches and any other service that will advance the coaching of archery.”

For more information, go to www.archerycoachesguild.org or send an email to info@archerycoachesguild.org.

Addendum The email link does not seem to work but the web site URL now does. (Cinco de Mayo 3:33 CDT)


Filed under For All Coaches