A new coach

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.

Archery Coach and Chief Petty Officer (retired) 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.

One of those mornings

Despite a good nights rest, coffee with a good breakfast, it was just a plain dumb way to start the day’s practice.

There are a lot of indoor shoots on the horizon. So, I’ve been practicing more shooting spots versus 3D animals. It hasn’t been easy; the weather has been very uncooperative.

The wind, yesterday, was blowing at a constant 17 mph with gusts to 25 mph. It felt worse. In addition, there was a light rain. I ended up opening the barn doors of my shed and shooting from inside the shed out toward the target. That distance was only 25 yards.


This morning it was hot, humid, and for the moment windless. Skipping my run I took advance of the conditions. No wind is a rare thing here and I was happy to shoot.

Some first shots are really dumb. Being eager to fire off an arrow, which I did, I neglected to adjust my sight to 20 yards. Thankfully, my last shot yesterday wasn’t from 50 yards.