April 16, 2021

Getting back to the range with Sophie Twigg

Sophie Twigg is a longbow archer from Exmouth Archers. Read how getting back to the range helped with Sophie's mental health.

Sophie Twigg is a longbow archer from Exmouth Archers. They have been fortunate enough to be able to head back to the range and get shooting again.

What have you missed about being at the range?

Finally, lockdown 3.0 is coming to an end. And now that some of the restrictions are being eased, most of us can get back to the range or field course.

I coped quite well with the first two lockdowns but this third one really got to me. I am a Training Consultant which means I support a busy caseload of 36 learners completing their apprenticeships. Normally, archery is my way of dealing with the stresses and pressure at work.

Without it, I am not ashamed to say I have really struggled.

How did you stay bow fit?

During lockdown I have tried my best to keep bow fit. Thankfully before lockdown hit, my personal trainer and I designed a routine I could follow at home. Using a resistance band, free weights, and pull and hold training technique with my bow.

Although not a substitute for actually shooting, this really helped me keep active and ensure I didn't lose any muscle memory.

[caption id="attachment_26493" align="aligncenter" width="493"] Sophie Twigg, Exmouth Archers[/caption]

What was it like getting back to the range?

My club, Exmouth Archers, reopened the range on the 1st of April. Finally giving us a chance to see all our friends that we missed so much, and to have a little bit of normality back in our lives. It is hard to describe that feeling walking back on to the range.

After shooting just a couple of arrows I could feel all the pressure lifting from my shoulders. After spending a few hours shooting, I started to feel like my normal self again.

What advice do you give to those who are concerned about getting back to the range?

For me, it was an easy decision to get back to shooting. I do understand that some members may feel hesitant after being told to isolate and reduce contact for such a prolonged amount of time.

Archery GB, the regions, counties, and local clubs have put a great deal of time and effort into making sure that when you do decide to return to archery, it is in as safe an environment as possible. My club has made a real effort to ensure all members feel confident in returning.

Regular, clear communication, pre-booking of targets, and even offering one-2-one coaching sessions for those archers who might feel less confident after not shooting for such a long time.

Hopefully, we can now look forward to a long hot summer with no rain or wind and PB's all round. I hope to see as many of you as possible on the shooting line, but if I don't get to see you this year, please stay safe and well and may your arrows fly true!

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