April 17, 2020

Archery training principles

Archery GB's Senior National Coach Richard Priestman shares his wisdom on improving your game under lockdown.

"Archery has been an obsession for me since I started the sport around 1959/60, so being denied the opportunity to be able to go to the club or archery centres to train and support archers is a real challenge for me, and I can't wait to get back to normal.


"There are lots of good, informative videos appearing on social media and websites demonstrating various techniques, drills and training ideas that different archers and coaches like to do. Have fun watching them but please be advised that the skills demonstrated may not always be suitable for your own particular shot or for where you are in your development at this moment in time. What suits one archer and their present technique may not suit another, and could cause long-term issues with your existing technique, or even injury if it is not thought through first. Please be mindful of the Archery GB disclaimer regarding online fitness and activities on our own channels.


"Now is also a great time to catch up on studying technique in the many good archery books and manuals available, but as with the videos, talk through the tips and advice with your coach/mentor first and question if it is good for you before making changes, in case they end up leading to difficulties or bad habits.


"My philosophy for archery performance and enjoyment is every arrow matters - preparation is so important:

Fitness 1st

Technique 2nd

Equipment 3rd

Mindset  4th 


"It is difficult to maximise your score or improve technique if you can't really physically control your bow. Most low-scoring arrows are a result of not really being in control of your bow. Injuries and anxieties are often a consequence of being over-bowed. 


"When your shot process is relatively easy to do physically, any technique improvements are so much easier and then of course, easier to repeat. When your shot is physically easier, and your technique is flowing, it is so much less stressful and much more fun to shoot. Good focus and confidence will naturally follow. 


"Archery is a process, a closed skill with a start and finish to each shot. Be determined that with every arrow you shoot, you will complete your whole shot process. At 5m there is a real risk that you will neglect your full follow-through, so hold your follow-through for a full two seconds before you come down and start on your next shot or look to see where your arrow hit. This is your subconscious and conscious mind feedback time. You really don't want bad habits to develop in the short term. 


"So fitness first! Your homework challenge from me is to research bow training and basic fitness training. There's a lot of information out there! Challenge yourself and find a coach/mentor to help point you in the right direction and discuss what will make a difference for you with your bow fitness. Then you can really begin to improve your technique, so you can shoot better groups and enjoy better scores as a result when lockdown ends and we all get back to normal."


Keep up to date with training videos and advice from Archery GB athletes on our Facebook and Twitter channels.

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