Many individuals have argued that archery can be self-taught and you don’t need archery classes to excel as a recurve or compound bow archer. It’s easy to think that if you can teach yourself a new language, learn to drive a car, or play guitar, why not archery? As appealing as learning archery on your own appears, it is worth noting that anything you want to learn is easier with instructions from experienced professionals.
Some archers have misconceptions about archery lessons, but regardless of how long you’ve been into the sport, lessons can help you sharpen your skills. Whether as beginner archers who wants to get started or experienced archers looking to hone your skills and improve your shot execution, read on to find out why you should consider enrolling in an archery class.
3 Problems of Learning Archery Without Enrolling in Archery Classes
Not Knowing What to Learn
If you’re new to the sport, you’ll most likely not know where to begin. You might not even understand basics like the most appropriate type of bow and arrow for you, how to aim properly or what stance to take, or more complex concepts like identifying your dominant eye or how to shoot in the wind. Trying to figure all of these out on your own could result in time wastage learning irrelevant concepts and missing crucial information – all of which you can avoid with some guidance.
The Impracticality of Flexibility
To learn archery on your own implies you’re free to choose when to train and when you don’t want to. Although flexibility is cool, expose yourself to too much of it, and you won’t make significant progress with your training. In contrast, enrolling in an archery class means doing extra training even when you don’t want to and improving your chance at success.
No Consequence of Inaction
Many people who try to learn a skill on their own either give up entirely or quit at some point, hoping to continue later. It starts from taking a day off to not remembering to practice. And since you are solely responsible for your actions and inactions, you can’t punish yourself. Simply put, the comfort of not having a tutor can encourage laziness without consequences.
Essentially, the barriers to learning archery on your own include information overload, role ambiguity, inadequate skills, and waste of time. But you can avoid these if you enroll in an archery class.
Benefits Of Enrolling In An Archery Class
Nobody Teaches Better Than a Trainer
Archery might appear simple on the surface. However, there are crucial areas you must master to become an efficient, accurate, and safe archer. One of the issues with learning archery on your own is repeating an endless circle of mistakes until you get it right. Compared to the slow evolution of self-learning, a certified trainer will do a better job by speeding up the learning process.
Learning from a coach will:
Expose You To Expert Knowledge and Experience
Coaches and coaching structures are pivotal to an archer’s success. From beginner to expert levels, coaches with the correct technical know-how of archery help archers attain their highest potential while learning in a safe, fun, and positive environment.
According to the United States Archery Organization, anyone that wants to teach archery must undergo various certification skills to demonstrate valuable knowledge and hands-on skills. The certification courses include instructor certifications, instructor trainer certifications, NTS coach certifications, and NTS coach trainer certifications.
Archery certifications provide unified procedures, materials, and teaching methodologies instructors adopt to teach correctly. Hence, anyone looking to learn can rest assured that they are learning from the best.
Help You Figure Out Your Ideal Equipment
One of the common mistakes you can avoid when you enroll in an archery lesson is using wrong or ill-fitting equipment. You might be shooting the wrong type of bow or have one that is too long or short. This often happens with archers who learn to shoot or shop for archery equipment on their own.
Asides from ill-fitting archery equipment, learning with the wrong form and shooting style will frustrate you. An archery instructor will quickly notice these problems, correct them, and help you improve your archery skills.
Allow You Fix Bad Habits
It is not uncommon for archers to develop bad archery habits over years of practice without realizing it. No matter how long you have been shooting a bow, archery lessons can always help improve your game. Even when you think you’re doing fine, a coach can take a look at you and show you a number of areas you can improve.
Bad habits like inconsistent grip, improper release technique, bad form, faulty release, or follow-through could unconsciously develop after years of shooting. Identifying and making simple changes in your form can tighten groups and improve your consistency.
The Right Way to Learn
Certified archery instructors understand every aspect of archery and don’t necessarily have a special relationship with the student. As a result, they can show you the correct way to do something and explain the reason for their decision. They also won’t rush, intimidate, or discourage you from asking basic questions. Your archery coach will teach you in a comfortable environment at your own pace.
Archery Is Fun and Aids In Socializing
There are only a few places where you can compete with some of the world’s most experienced archers. One of those places is an archery class. Archery clubs expose you and bring you in contact with people from different walks of life. When you enroll in a class, you will see a vast diversity of archers at the range.
Archery is fun, and taking archery lessons is always a fun learning experience. You’ll realize this the instant you fire your first shot. You may even come to find the challenges addicting. Your coach will sometimes mix fun games into your training to help you get the best from each session.
Teaches Teamwork and Sportsmanship
Learning how to shoot arrows alone is cool. But have you tried it as a team? Participating in group lessons with a team of individuals like yourself creates an environment where you can thrive in the middle of healthy competitions. You can work with other archers, support them, rely on them, and hit targets together.
An archery class will help you thrive at your pace but will still push you to bring out your best as you try to match the progress of others.
What to Expect During Your First Archery Lesson
You’ll Learn Safety Rules
The first thing you will learn in an archery lesson is safety. Archery is a relatively safe sport, but archers still need to follow some basic rules to avoid any mishaps while on the field or in the wild. Your archery coach will go to great lengths to explain the basic rules and guidelines you must follow and proper practice in the archery range to ensure safety first and reduce the risk of an accident. Some of the archery safety rules you learn include:
- Be sure of your target and aware of your surroundings while you shoot. Never aim in the direction of people or objects asides from the target.
- Never shoot a bow unless you have an arrow nocked on the bowstring. This is called a dry fire, and it can damage your bow or even cause injury.
- Never pull arrows away from the target when someone is standing behind you. Stand beside and not behind the arrow as you pull.
- Be aware of the shooting line on the archery range. Never cross the shooting line until all the archers are done shooting and the range is clear.
You’ll Learn About Archery Equipment
After going over the safety rules, your coach will explain intricate details of the archery equipment you’ll be using. This includes the different parts of recurve and compound bows and arrow, what each part does, how to properly install and use them, various archery accessories available, and how to store your archery equipment after use.
There is a wide array of archery gear and equipment to choose from, and most times, your ideal choice will depend on the type of archery you practice and your shooting style. This aspect of your archery lesson will cover the basics you need to know to get started.
You’ll Be Taught Proper Archery Form
The most comprehensive part of an archery lesson is the demonstration class, which comes after the equipment and safety briefing. In this class, your coach will show you an overview of the shooting process to help you learn proper form and encourage you to try them under close supervision. The steps include:
Your stance describes the positioning and control of your lower body before you shoot your bow. A proper form gives you complete control over your body and should be solid and repeatable. Your instructor will teach you to keep a stance that feels well-balanced, comfortable, and feels natural to you.
Next, you will learn how to properly nock an arrow into the bowstring to reduce the risk of injuring yourself or damaging the bow. Nocking is the act of placing your arrow on the bowstring. A well-nocked arrow will balance perfectly on the bow and provide a good base for your shot.
Hook and grip
How you hold the bow significantly affects where the arrow will end up, so you must build a formidable grip. The instructor will teach you basics such as how to correctly place your bow hand and grip the bow handle and firmly place your fingers on the bowstring in a relaxed and comfortable way.
Other lessons you will be taught in your first class include how to raise the bow, draw down, anchor, transfer to hold, aim, release/follow through, and feedback.
Does this look overwhelming? The shooting process entails many steps, but you’ll find that it becomes easier as you get the hang of it. Don’t worry, your first archery lesson will be exciting and insightful. All you need do is relax and enjoy the experience.
Ready To Enrol?
Archery lessons are one of the best ways to learn the sport right. Regardless of your level of experience or the type of archery you’re engaged in - be it target archery or you're looking to enter competitions, the importance of archery lessons cannot be overemphasized. You’ll be shocked at how much you will learn from an organized archery class rather than on your own.
Once ready to start, you can use a store locator to find an archery class around you.