Archery is not really a team sport. You shoot on a team, but those people are generally competing against you. And unlike a team sport, shooting with your team isn’t much different than shooting with anyone else. In a team sport, it will different playing a pick up game and playing with your dedicated team. Unlike head to head sports like tennis (reacting to the other person’s shot) or soccer (moving without the ball, playing defense in a team), archery has no real lessons to learn from the team. In archery, when you are with your team, you are practicing your shot sequence. When you practice alone in archery, you are practicing your shot sequence. As such, archery is one of those sports where coaching is usually done on a 1:1 basis. You may join a team, but more than likely you will pay for lessons separately. In private/personal lessons the coach works directly with you, possibly over a very long time.
A high ranking coach in USA Volleyball once told me, “The game teaches the game.” This is why the USA Volleyball team plays game after game in practice. Isolated drills have value, but they can only approximate the game. In archery, there are only a limited number of drills a shooter can do that aren’t a full shot sequence. So the archery equivalent is “Shooting teaches shooting.” You can certainly hear echoes of this sentiment when you listen to Steve “Big Cat” Anderson. For those people who need more feedback on the process of shooting, you have a personal coach. You see this in other sports that have teams, but focus on the individual – track and field, wrestling, etc.
With the return of indoor season, we are also back on track with personal lessons. Her coach participates in the fairly crazy summer outdoor season and is traveling at least 7-10 days every month without an ‘r’.
As a parent, you have a lot of down time with archery lessons. A lot of ranges are working on razor thin margins anyways, so amenities are few and WiFi is rare. Here’s a pretty typical Monday at her home range. After 6:30 or 7:00 PM, there will probably be a league, but maybe not…it is hunting season and that will tie up a lot of the compound shooters.
In this picture, the 4:00 student is packing up, the 5:00 student is still working on something, and the 6:00 student is getting personal coaching and feedback. This is not unusual.