This site has been assembled, if that's the right word, by Steve
I'm an English target recurve archer, and have been since about
1975, when I joined the
Oxford University club (still, I'm pleased to say, going strong).
I'm currently a member of Laleham
Archery Club, in Middlesex, England. I'm also a member of
the UK's Grand National Archery
Society, and a life member of the Southern
Counties Archery Society.
Shooting. I generally aim for
what we call Bowman classification in the UK; 1100 FITA is a reasonable
Bowman score. When I have a bit more time, I'll work on the stars...
Equipment: I shoot a Hoyt Elan, 68"
carbon plus limbs, about 37lbs off my fingers. ACE shafts, 28"
620's with the middle weight pile. 18 strand fastflite string,
Shibuya sight. Stabilisation is an Easton 4" ACE extender,
cavalier j-bar with 15-degree rake, 10" v-bar rods (ACE)
and 26" ACE parallel rod with a doinker. I've recently added
a Cartel back weight and Win&Win short top rod to the setup;
the top rod removed a marked rocking movement.
Training regime: I can only shoot
about once a week, on average, so I try to get 6-10 dozen shot
when I do. Practicing, I do about 25% of my shooting sessions
for technique practice and 75% for score monitoring and bulk shooting.
For conditioning, I currently use an arm and shoulder resistance
workout three times a week, coupled with a 2.5 mile run when I'm
feeling fit and a 1-mile run when I'm not.
Mental game: The challenge (hate
that word!) right now is to stick to the training and shooting
to make the classification; two small children and a job tend
to eat into the archery time. I revamped my shooting and training
regimes about 2 years ago to get back into shooting to my normal
standard, and keeping that going is 80% of the battle. At shoots,
I use relaxation techniques, breathing and visualisation for basic
arousal control, with some keywords for shooting control.
Personal opinion; most of the stuff labelled as psychology (apart
from the shot control) is safety nets; something to help you if
you fall off the perch. There's no doubt it helps sometimes, but
I think the winning mental game is to make a really big, wide
and tough perch in the first place - and that's built by sticking
to your training and practice and being realistic about what you
can expect. In other words, yes, the top shooters are better equipped
mentally; no, it's not the 'concentration, relaxation & focussing
skills' they excel at. Lots of people can learn those, and of
course the top shooters do. But what the best people are really
excellent at is slogging away for years to get to the top - and
when they get there, they know how well they can shoot. But I'm
willing to be shot down on that one!
Other stuff: I do a few archery
things beside shooting. I qualified as an archery coach around
1981, and upgraded to County Coach in about 1986. I qualified
as Senior Coach in 2001 (that's currently the UK's highest archery
coach qualification, but like a lot of things, it's what you do
with it that counts). I coach a fair bit, inside and outside my
club & county. I've also been known to train GNAS coaches
to County level, and that, together with a tendency to say 'yes'
when someone asks me for a lecture about archery coaching, is
where a lot of the info. on this site comes from.
I'm involved a little (!) in archery committees too, at club,
county and regional level (Regions, in the UK, are collections
of Counties. We don't have States). Current preoccupations are
club accounts and regional Chairman for the Southern Counties
Archery Society. The latter job has grown recently to include
a substantial bit of work on Performance Development in the Region.
So if there's anything you want to tell me about what archers
in southern England (SCAS) want in the way of coaching and facilities
to get them up the score ladder, I'd really like to hear about
it. I expect we'll make those plans public via the Web, so watch
this space for future links.