Louise : Embedded reporting from Monday night Beginners Course Week 2!

I stood on the line, remembering my T position and my reference point.  I took a deep breath as I picked up my arrow and placed it on my bow. As I drew the string back I breathed in hard, then I let the string slip off my fingers and watched as the arrow sailed through the air, straight past the target on the boss and into the curtain at the end of the sports hall.


And so the second session of the Fast-track course began!


Those who arrived a little earlier helped to set up all the equipment and Heidi joined for a short while, giving us tips on how to place and pin the targets to the straw bosses. We started shooting fairly soon into the start of the session after a few refresher tips from Diccon, our course leader. It was fair to say that I didn’t start off well. In fact 2 out of the 3 arrows shot in the first two ends seemed to enjoy missing the boss completely. However it didn’t take long before I started to get back into the swing of things. I started to get used to tuning the sight more this time round, and from the third end, around 70% of my arrows were central on the target! Horizontally rather than vertically, but this was still good progress as far as I was concerned.

I think the most important thing I learned during this session was how to hold the bow, or rather, being reminded how to hold the bow by using my palm rather than trying to balance the bow in-between my thumb and forefinger, putting pressure on the area. I felt much more in control of the bow and my shaking reduced a fair amount too.

There was a lot of shooting practice this time, giving us the chance to work on our technique more and to get used to repeating certain manoeuvres over and over so we were more used to them. Diccon was on hand giving everyone advice and help, pointing out when a shoulder was too high or giving us new things to think about when shooting, such as where in our upper body the power would come from for a shot.

After an hour and a half, it was competition time. Each person would shoot two ends, three arrows in each, and the score would be recorded with a best out of sixty. I remember how during my Have-a-Go session I instantly became awful as soon as I felt any pressure, but I did better this time round. In the first end I scored 8-7-7 totalling 22, and then in the second I scored 9 and 6 scoring 15. The other arrow decided it was a pacifist and wanted no part in the competition. With a total of 37 I was third out of the group which I was very happy with, considering how badly I began the session!

I’m already looking forward to next week. It is quite relaxing and also a little stressful but with more shooting time and practice I think this could be something I really enjoy.

Until next time!