Shooting and practicing solo can lead to bad habits and a stagnation in skill. At least that’s my opinion. I think it is good to have a coach. Thursday, I had a lesson with my third coach. He’s also a good friend, Norman Mitchell.
Norman is a USA Archery Coach. He’s, also, a competitive archer. During a one hour coaching session I picked up two pointers that I’ve already begun incorporating into my archery.
You can shoot all day and chances are you will improve. Well, you can’t really shoot all day, but you can shoot a lot in a day. I shoot a lot and my scores are consistently less than perfect. If perfect equals 100% (hitting the center every time) my average is 92%. Occasionally, I’ll hit 100% in practice shooting a 5-spot, but I’ve never done it on a 3-spot. Actually, my 5-spot average is 98%, but it’s the 92% that has the greatest room for growth or 8% improvement.
Two-percent improvement might come from marginal gains associated with equipment. The correct set-up of my bow, correct point on my release where the arrow is freed, the right arrows. Little technical elements to shooting, at this point, should give me very small gains, no more than perhaps 2%.
The final 6% is tougher. That’s where another set of eyes looking for slight errors in form come into play. I estimate a good coach can help with at least 4% the 8% marginal deficit. The final two percentages I think are strictly mental.
If you’re shooting competitively a coach can be very valuable. In fact, all sports have coaches for athletes. No matter how good you are, there’s not a downside to getting a qualified coach to keep an eye on your practice.