Why do I need an archery coach?

The Coach and Athlete Relationship

Because archery is such a technical sport, “drop-in” coaching sessions are rarely effective. Someone hoping to help you improve as an archer must see you over a period of time, see how you react to practice and tournament pressure, and see how you incorporate new knowledge and techniques. This requires a commitment of time and energy from both you and your coach.

The ties you develop with your coach are essential to your advancement in the sport. Any critique (positive or negative) during training is accepted much better when trust exists. Trust is developed when your coach’s credentials (successes) are accepted. In most cases, the coach’s reputation will suffice as coaching credentials; however, you might not accept at face value a coach’s success for this validation or trust. Whatever the case, the relationship grows or founders based on whether you benefit by following the path worked out between the two of you. If you commit to excellence with your attention, time, action, and communication, you should expect to see a positive effect. For example, if upon inspection of your equipment, your coach suggests changes in setup or tune, you should be willing to commit the time to make these changes and test them out. If the result of the changes is better scores, the relationship between you and your coach is strengthened. In archery, the target is the final arbiter. As the relationship is strengthened, trust grows, and you become more willing to take greater risks to get better. The 2000 Olympic gold medalist, Simon Fairweather, rebuilt his shot from the ground up at the advice of his coach only a year and a half before the Olympic Games. Such daring can only happen when there is absolute trust in that relationship.

A coach’s relationship with an archer is often referred to as rapport. The typical coach/athlete relationship is that of older (wiser) person to younger (less experienced) person. You and your coach become a training team. In this team, which may include others (such as your parents if you are a younger archer), age is not an issue; experience and coaching ability defines your coach’s effectiveness. The objective of your coach, as a member of the team, is exclusively for the team to attain its goals. Regardless of whether your coach is paid for services, his or her role and responsibility is your success first and foremost. To achieve this, your coach must keep all aspects of the developed trust within the confines of the team. The only exception to this is if a qualified sport psychologist becomes a member of your team.

The training of a coach is often a long and arduous process requiring many hours of tutelage under more experienced coaches. The NAA’s coach training program has five levels. Only at Level 3 do coaches become qualified to work with individual archers. The Level 4 coaches are national team-level coaches, and they have four sublevels to work through (4A through 4D). Each level or sublevel requires additional training and experience (and cost!). Coaches need to seek out as much archery knowledge by reading the literature on the development of archery skill and consulting with more experienced coaches and archers as they can. At other times coaches may need to compromise, politick, and work in less than ideal circumstances. Overall, a coach’s skill will consist of archery technique knowledge, honesty, communication skills, equipment knowledge, and archery resources.

Your parents or spouse play a major part in your training. These relationships have much deeper, more longstanding ties than any coach could expect to develop. These people are important in your life, spend extended time with you, are more of a mentor figure than your coach, may have goals different from yours, or may have conflicting coaching philosophies. They should not be ignored, but rather should be an integral part of the training plans for the team. Thus, coaches do not work with just archers. They work with the archer’s team.

Coaches consider archers to be athletes. Athletes are like all other humans. They respond to positive reinforcement of accomplished performances. When a perceived mentor critiques an athlete, the athlete’s natural response is to perform in a manner that solicits more praise and less criticism. Thus, a coach, as a perceived mentor, is an athlete trainer. Archer-athletes use coaches primarily to get better faster and to learn from their experiences. Just as archer-athletes use other training aids, they use coaches to advance their training.

By Claudia Stevenson and Steve Ruis


Today’s News

Today’s News

At this time, we are offering an outdoor session starting May 22nd. Classes will be offered Tuesday and Thursday Evenings at 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. The class will run for 4 weeks through June 14th. Due to the limited time we have this session we are encouraging all archers to attend two classes each week to get a full session in. The fee will be $15 per class per person. You can download the registration form directly from here.


Virtual Tournament

Virtual Tournament

Outdoor Virtual Tournament from April 15 – June 30.

The USA Archery Virtual Tournament is a GREAT way to experience the excitement of a national event and test your skills against archers across the country, from the comfort of your local archery range! The Virtual Tournament is offered year round and includes both indoor and outdoor events. Continue reading…


Ninja Dodgeball

Ninja Dodgeball

“Ninja Dodgeball” is a new concept designed at Eastside Martial Arts, that allows players to not just dodge and catch balls thrown during play, but to also block them using a small hand-held target called a “focus mitt”. Players may also use their martial arts strikes and kicks to block as well. This eclectic form of dodgeball will really test your Ninja-like dexterity skills!


Nerf Night

Nerf Night

Children and teens (ages 5-14) will be divided into three age appropriate groups (5-8yr olds, 9-11yr olds and 12-14yr olds) to battle on three uniquely different courses with various obstacles to maneuver through and hide behind. Our facility is over 6,000 sq ft, all safely matted for added protection. We provide all ammunition, using soft tipped Nerf N-Strike Elite Series darts and Nerf Rival soft foam balls.


Knights & Ninjas Camp

Knights & Ninjas Camp

Plan ahead for next summer to join us for a FUN AND UNIQUE Mini Camp or full day camp that combines three martial arts disciplines, ARCHERY, FENCING, and KARATE.  Masters of each sport will teach campers how to hit the target in three different ways: arrow, sword, and hand! *New* this year will be an addition of obstacle courses for agility training and FULL day camp for ages 5-8.


Archery Club

Archery Club

Our archery club is open to all levels of archers, from beginners to experts.  If you’re new to archery and you want a place to “try it” we’ve got a class for you.  Looking for group lessons or private lessons, we’ve got those too.  Our coaches are NTS Certified and look forward to meeting you.  Young or old, we think you’ll love our club. If you would like to register for the “Try-It”, Private and Semi Private classes you can use the registration form.


Featured Articles

Featured Articles

For our more advanced archers take a moment and read this: As you are thinking about your form check out this technical bulletin from NTS which details the Set-up Position and discuss some do’s and don’ts to look for. For your stance and Posture try this technical bulletin.


Camp Hickory Hill

Camp Hickory Hill

Camp Hickory Hill is a Christian-centered, action-packed summer camp for kids. Exciting and unique activities await every camper. Whether it be Archery, Rock Climbing, Rifles, Air-soft, Ravine Hikes or one of our many other activities, your camper is sure to enjoy their week at Camp Hickory Hill!


USA Women’s recurve team makes World Cup Finals

USA Women’s recurve team makes World Cup Finals

Big shout out to our own PTTC Coach Ludwig and the USA women’s recurve team, who recently qualified for the team medal matches in Shanghai, on the World Cup circuit. This is the second-time Doug has coached the women’s recurve team into the medal matches. Thank you for your hard work and dedication! Continue reading…