Run an Intro Archery Course

Run an Introduction to Archery course - Get new and returning archers shooting arrows. Intro Archery courses are an excellent way for your club or organisation to engage with your local community and recruit new members. Intro Archery is a fun and easy way for beginners to have a complete introduction to the sport, in just six lessons. The Intro Archery course is suitable for people completely new to archery and for those returning to the sport after time away from archery. The aim of the course is to teach new and returning archers the basics of archery.

Intro Archery: Get new and returning archers shooting arrows

Intro Archery courses are an excellent way for your club or organisation to engage with your local community and recruit new members.

Intro Archery is a fun and easy way for beginners to have a complete introduction to the sport of archery, in just six lessons. The Intro Archery course is suitable for people completely new to archery and for those returning to the sport after time away from archery. The aim of the course is to get beginner archers shooting arrows.

On an Intro Archery course you will teach new and returning archers the basics of archery, giving them the confidence to:

  • Select their own equipment
  • Shoot using barebow and freestyle technique
  • Know why and how to use a resistance band
  • Play mini matches, games and scoring
  • Apply the safety rules

By the end of six lessons, your new archers will have the foundation skills they need to enjoy and take part in archery on a regular basis.

Sport at any age or level has a much bigger role than just improving someone’s technical skills, it can also positively impact on them at a personal and social level.

The personal development of archers isn’t solely a by-product of good coaching; it should also be an objective in itself. This is particularly important for recreational archers who have many different reasons for taking part.

Archers on a beginners course

Organise an Intro Archery course

Your archery club or organisation can create and deliver your own Intro Archery courses. You can tailor each course to suit participants of all ages and abilities.

Archery GB has designed a course structure that is set over six sessions. Each two hour session will help participants develop their archery skills and knowledge, so that by the end of the course your new archers will have a solid foundation in the basics they need to progress with their archery.

The course is designed with fun in mind. It includes individual and team games, giving plenty of time for shooting and skill building, allowing each archer to feel a sense of achievement.

How you plan each two hour session is up to you. We recommend that you use a qualified coach (Session Coach/Level 1 or higher) to deliver the course, as they will be able to plan each session to suit the needs of the group involved.

The content provided within this resource is intended to be used as a guide. It is up to each coach to use their skills and experience to decide the pace and progression of sessions, moments to intervene or which learning points to pick up on.

All beginners’ and Intro Archery courses need to be registered with Archery GB and in addition you have the option to advertise your courses on the Start Archery website. Recruit a coach, find a suitable venue for archery with equipment and use the resources provided by Archery GB to plan, promote and deliver your course. 

We have created a free downloadable promotional tool kit for your club, including posters, web banners and a social media guide to help you raise awareness of your course, be inclusive and recruit participants.

Your club, your course - Design your Intro Archery course

Archery GB has created an Intro Archery course outline to help coaches start planning each session of your club’s course, but how each topic is approached depends on both the coach and the participants. You have the freedom to make each session as innovative and engaging as you want it to be.

People progress at different rates and come with a mixture of abilities, so coaches will need to be flexible in their approach. They should be prepared to adjust their session outcomes and plan depending on the needs of their archers. Coaching at the right level and pace for the participants you have is essential for everyone’s enjoyment and success. Always remember—coach the person, not just the sport.

To increase the personal and social connections participants have with archery in your club or organisation, try to:

  • Reach out to potential participants so they feel welcome to show up
  • Connect with individuals so they have a sense of belonging, want to be part of the action, and recognise that they’re in a “can do” environment
  • Engage participants with enthusiasm and empathy so they recognise that coaching is more than just setting up practices or giving instructions
  • Listen and be responsive to participant needs and be flexible about ways of doing things
  • Use practices and games that excite, are interesting, and are playful in nature, to allow participants to develop with confidence
  • Provide challenges along the way to stretch individual ability and achievements
  • Celebrate the achievements of your participants

The summary below provides a course outline to help coaches start planning each session of their course. Coaches should remember to use their discretion to weigh up the suitability and timing of each learning activity for their audience.

Indoor archery competition

Week One: Hitting the Target

From the very first session the coach will take the group through the basic technique and get participants shooting their first arrows. They’ll start to understand the different phases that make up a single shot and try out scoring.

 Topics to include: 

  • Getting to know your coach and other participants
  • Understanding range layout and safety
  • Shooting using T Draw shooting style (barebow)
  • Introduction to resistance band practice
  • How to score

Week Two: Refining your Shot

Introduce freestyle shooting, allow archers to refine their skills for an individual phase of shooting and develop their scoring as part of a team.

Topics to include: 

  • Transitioning to using a sight to aim (freestyle)
  • Developing stance and set hands
  • Getting familiar with range commands and collecting your arrows
  • Scoring and team match play

Week Three: Getting the Gold

Teach participants to select their own equipment and practise the next phase of shooting. Guide archers towards achieving their first award.

Topics to include:

  • Setting up the equipment
  • Shot preparation and raise
  • Trying out for an award

Week Four: Practise Makes Perfect

Help participants to become more comfortable maintaining good basic form, develop their draw technique and shoot lots of arrows.

Topics to include:

  • Developing your draw and anchor
  • String alignment
  • Resistance band practice
  • Competition and game situations

Week Five: Taking Aim

Provide participants with guidance on how to aim and release the arrow and continue to get a feel for achieving good form.

Topics to include:

  • Aim and release
  • Gap shooting
  • Resistance band practice

Week Six: Putting it all Together

At this stage, your beginners are becoming archers and should have a good understanding of the key points to achieve good basic form, show confidence selecting and handling the equipment safely, and following the rules.

Topics to include:

  • Recap on each phase of shooting
  • Summary of progress
  • Mini match play
  • Awards
  • How to carry on your archery


Facilities, range layout, and set up

A range can be indoors or outdoors, but it must be laid out and managed so that everyone – the archers, coaches, spectators and passers-by – is safe at all times.

Your range should be set up to allow beginners to start shooting from a minimum of 10 metres. You will need to refer to the Archery GB Rules of Shooting and Archery Range Health and Safety Guidelines to ensure your range is compliant.

It is also important to carry out a risk assessment before the course takes place. A risk assessment is simply a careful check of what could cause harm to people, so that you can decide if you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm.

Ahead of each session taking place, you need to check that the range is set up correctly and that all the equipment is safe to use.

Important considerations for an Intro Archery course

The following are things for your club to bear in mind when designing and running an Intro Archery course.

Coach/Archer ratio

We recommend that Intro Archery is delivered by an Archery GB qualified coach, trained at Level 1 (Session Coach) and upwards. This will ensure you get the most out of your course and that it is safely managed. The suggested ratio is one coach to 12 participants, with another adult present. It may also be useful to have additional coaches or helpers to assist you.

Find out more about becoming a coach

When to hold your course

Think about who your target audience is when you plan your course. This will help you decide the best time and place to hold it.

 For example:

  • Stay at home parents and home educating families may prefer mid-morning sessions on weekdays
  • Retired people are also more likely to be available in the day time
  • Busy professionals will be more suited to a later evening session during the week
  • Families and children are more likely to be available at the weekends

Where to hold your course

Intro Archery should be held somewhere accessible and comfortable. Ensure that the venue is well signposted, has parking, toilets and a changing area. Using a community facility is beneficial as it will be easily accessible to a wider range of people.

For example, a local leisure centre or school is sometimes a more familiar environment than a remote club and often comes with good transport links and disability access. Some groups find it harder to travel and may prefer you to use their venue if it’s suitable, such as disability organisations. You will need to check beforehand to see if a new venue is suitable for archery and complete a risk assessment and/or register the venue with Archery GB.

How much to charge

If you intend on charging participants to attend the course, before deciding how much, you will need to consider the following:

  • Venue and equipment hire
  • Expenses or payment for coaches
  • Value for money
  • Cost of other local courses
  • Number of people on the course
  • Your long term goals

Once you have worked out the costs involved, think about what most people would feel is good value for money for a group session.


If your club is affiliated to Archery GB, your course should be covered by Archery GB’s insurance. However, you will need to ensure that you comply with Archery GB Policies, Codes of Conduct, Laws and Rules of Shooting. If you need to deviate from these, then you may need to seek separate cover for your participants, coaches, or venue.

If you are an individual coach not affiliated to Archery GB, then you are not entitled to insurance from Archery GB and will need to gain separate cover for your participants, coaches, and venue.

For insurance enquiries please contact Archery GB’s Membership Services.


It is recommended that you have a set of training bows and arrows, in a mixture of sizes, to cater for participants of varying stature.

There are many archery retailers or local archery contacts who will be able to advise you about the different types of bow available and which ones are most suitable for beginners to use.

Here is a sample kit list for a group of 12 beginners:

  •  Recurve bows
    • 12 right handed (3 x 60”, 6 x 66”, 3 x 70”)
    • 3 left handed (1 x 60”, 1 x 66”, 1 x 70”)
  • Aluminium arrows
    • 48 arrows (from sizes 26” to 35”)
  • Bosses
  • Target faces and pins
  • Bow stands
  • Quivers
  • Arm guards and finger tabs
  • Clini exercise bands
  • Score books and pens
  • Bow stringers
  • Sights
  • Bracing height gauge

Equality awareness

Children on a Project Rimaya course

One of the great qualities of archery is its natural inclusivity as a sport, as almost everyone can take part. In most instances, the equipment and format for shooting requires little adaptation for participants with a learning, physical, hearing or visual impairment. The coaching skills you need are also the same – the hardest part is often overcoming your own anxieties. Archery GB has further guidance about disability archery.


Award schemes are a popular way to recognise archers’ progress. The Archery GB Progress Award Scheme gives recognition to beginners and young archers for developing their skills. Different coloured badges are awarded for shooting a certain number of points at varying distances.

Other awards and badge schemes are also available.

Making a presentation at the end of the course for participants, whether it’s for an award scheme badge or a certificate, can be a useful way to formally recognise their achievement and keep them motivated.

Running your course

Now that you have created your course, found a suitable facility to host it, and have people signed up ready to become archers, it’s up to you to bring your course to life!

Organise your session in advance so you don’t spend too much time talking. Even the formalities can be achieved interactively such as walking through the range markings, handing out equipment and asking questions.

Be sure to arrive at your venue 30 minutes before the course is due to start to allow time to set up and welcome any early arrivals.

Take pride in your presentation. Participants will expect you to look and act professionally, particularly if they are paying to attend.

Provide a warm welcome to participants. Remember, some of the people who have signed up will be nervous. Try to quickly put them at ease and introduce them to other members of the group.

Introduce yourself clearly and provide a brief overview of what you intend to cover during the session.

Get people shooting! Give participants a task that they can quickly achieve to help build their confidence.

Use people’s names as much as possible throughout the course.

Try to spend time with everyone, even if one person in particular is constantly asking for help.

Provide variety and challenge on the course so that participants can experience the depth of the sport in a fun and engaging way.

Give a recap on what participants have learned for the session and an idea of what they’ll do next week.

By the end of the course, hopefully all the participants on your course will be keen to carry on shooting! Have some details prepared of where they can go next to take part more regularly, join a club, or hire equipment.

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