Louise : Attending Beginners Course session one!
I arrived at the hall and was greeted by Roger who along with Diccon would be instructing the class.
There were 16 students in total with 8 in one group led by Roger, and 8 (including myself) with Diccon. The Sports Hall is a great venue, giving enough space to two sets of teaching as well as the shooting practice in the centre. I found myself on the right side of the court with the rest of my group. Everyone had different reasons for being there, some influenced by the Olympics and Paralympics, some who had always fancied having a go.
The group was measured up for our bow and arrows. It turned out that I, along with another two members of the group, were right handed but with a left dominant eye. For the session we were to shoot with right handed bows but we may try out left handed bows next week to see if they felt better.
Our first session focused on shooting safety, such as when it is safe to shoot and when it safe to collect our arrows based on the number of whistle blows, how to collect your arrows from the boards, where to stand when other archers are shooting, and other general tips. We were also instructed on how to stand when shooting, paying attention to our ‘T’ shape, keeping our shoulders down but arms straight. I have to admit I have a bit of trouble keeping my shoulder down but hopefully my homework of ‘posing in the mirror’ will help me get used to the stance ready for next week’s lesson on the 18thFebruary.
The most important lesson which Diccon kept drumming into us was our reference point. The reference point along with the use of the sight on the recurve bows that we were using instructs the arrow where to hit the board, making sure the string when pulled back touches the end of our nose and the corner of our chin, keeping our fingers just under the jaw. It took a couple of rounds but soon I started to understand what he meant and how it would help with my shooting and aiming. Aside from a few random arrows that would shoot off in completely the wrong direction, many of my arrows all hit the same area of the board, so hopefully with a bit more work on my sight I should be able to move towards the centre of the board.
There were a number of other people too who were there for shooting time. I enjoyed the fact that there were a large number of 2020 Archery members who were there to practice, as you were able to watch other techniques and styles, and also see that even those who have completed the course need to practice and practice. As Diccon informed us, ‘Archery is the art of repetition’.
Bring on next week!