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Archery Coaching: How To Become A Certified Instructor

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Tim Rhodes

Archery is the skill or art of shooting arrows with a bow.

In ancient times, archery was mainly useful in the act of combat and hunting.

Archery has become a famous competitive sport in this modern-day, increasing the need for a certified instructor.

However, getting a certified instructor is scarce, which increases your chance of becoming needed in the system.

Before your skill as an instructor can be in use, you have to become a certified instructor, which can be the easiest thing to do if you follow simple procedures.

The archery quality depends on the instructor’s capability- that introduces the sport to the young archers.

In different jurisdictions, archery instructors and coaches are certified under regulatory bodies to ensure top-notch archery skills.

The certification includes training and testing the instructors of archery skills and safety before training young archers.

How To Become A Certified Instructor

There are different levels of archery instructor certification that you have to enroll in, take courses, and pass to be a certified instructor; here are USA certification levels that you should enroll in to become a certified archery instructor.

Level 1 Coaching Certification

The level one coaching certification is the first level of coaching certification and probably the least an instructor can attain.

The certification needs the instructor to specialize in teaching and introduce the newbies’ basic safety and archery skills.

This certification is typically for instructors interested in working at summer camps, parks or recreational departments, or boys and girls guide.

As an instructor, before you can receive a level one certification, you must first take a 4-12 hours course on set-up, range safety, essential equipment, commands, fundamentals of shooting, and necessary information and care.

To take this course, you have to be at least 15 years of age, and the course will cost you between $30 and $50 on average.

Level 2 Coaching Certification

As you would think that you have to pass and earn the level one coaching certification before proceeding to the level 2 coaching certification, but that’s not the case.

As long as you’re 18 years of age and above you meet the other requirements, you’re eligible to begin your level 2 course.

You have to be an active and current member of an archery association before being eligible for the level 2 course.

Once you’ve completed your background check and met every other requirement, you can take your level 2 course.

The level 2 coach is mostly present in established archery classes.

The certification also costs the same as the level 1 coaching certification.

The level 2 coaching takes longer than the level 1 coaching and includes more technical archery skills.

As an aspiring instructor, you’ll learn the bow shooting cycle in advanced detail, set up equipment, tune, repair, and teach habitual archery lessons.

Level 3 Coaching Certification (NTS Certification)

Level 1 and level 2 certifications focus on basic archery skills, safety, and requirements; the level 3 certification focuses more on individual athletic development.

For you to become a certified level 3 coach, you’ve to be at least 18 years of age, and you must hold a level 2 certification for at least a year.

The regulatory body might overlook the need for a level 2 certification if you have at least three years of experience as an archery instructor.

The level 3 certifications require you to be a member of the major certifying bodies and a successful background.

The level 3 certification requires over 20 hours of instruction on competition prep, coaching philosophy, training plan development, competitive psychology, and bow turning.

The certification will cost you about $250, offering you a quality training process.

As a level 3 coach, you won’t spend much time with amateur archers, youth, beginners, etc.

You’ll instead focus on athletes ready to take their competition to a higher level.

Level 4 Coaching Certification

After serving as a level 3 coach for two years, you’re ready to advance your career to the level 4 certification.

The certification will enable you to work for national training camps and international team staff.

A level 4 coach can also teach level 1 and level 2 certification courses.

The course for the level 4 certification cost less than $500 and will require you to travel for the course’s week duration.

The course focuses on nutrition, sports science, the national training system, and training cycles.

Level 5 Coaching Certification

The level 5 coach is an elite level coach with the highest superiority.

The level 5 certification is the peak credential of an archery coach.

Before you can be eligible for the level 5 certification, you’ve to coach three or more archers to an international team placement, national podium, or top 10 ranking position.

You also have to be a level 4 instructor for nothing less than two years.

The level 5 certification doesn’t need to take a course; it is self-directed and self-paced to highlight your ability to coach several athletes to a high level.

You’ll be required to pursue a higher training level as you’ll need supervision from a mentor or through a coach observer program.

Qualities of a Good Archery Instructor

Being an archery coach requires specific qualities and skills.

These qualities differentiate a good archery instructor from an incompetent one.

Your role as an archery instructor is crucial for the trainees’ development and learning throughout the learning process.

To be a good instructor, you should possess these qualities for the betterment of yourself and the trainees.

  • Good instructors keep their lesson fun: As much as archery is a serious sport that requires your focus and concentration to shoot targets, there is also a space for fun

As an archery instructor, you need to be serious and focused, and at the same time, fun to be with during training.

A trainer with an excellent sense of humor and fun can motivate trainees somehow, so you should know how to chip in some fun during training.

You can also incorporate games and jokes to keep the training fun, but the fun you include should be relevant.

  • Good instructors are adaptable: One of the greatest qualities of a good archery instructor is his adaptability

The instructor must have the ability to adapt to different teaching skills that suit the trainee’s learning style.

If the trainees are visual learners, you shouldn’t hesitate to demonstrate the process or even show videos for better illustration.

Although there are standards for teaching archery, the learning capabilities of the trainees differ from one another.

As a good instructor, you must be able to adapt to your students and explain to them according to his/her level.

  • Always be a motivation: A good instructor should be a source of motivation for the trainees

Sometimes, the trainers get frustrated and feel like giving up because of difficulties.

But, as long as an instructor motivates them to get back on their feet and keep going.

  • Technical knowledge: An instructor must have technical knowledge of archery

As a good instructor, you should know what to teach your students, thus needing a solid background in different aspects of archery.

Procedures You Can Follow To Help You Become A Certified Archery Instructor

Becoming an archery instructor doesn’t just happen in a day; it’s a gradual process.

The gradual process requires you to set your goals, focused, committed, and disciplined.

Here are the procedures that you should take to become a certified archery instructor.

  • The first thing becoming a certified archery instructor requires you to do is to set and prepare your mind for the task
  • As you know, there’s an age limitation to getting a certification, so you have to reach the required age for the certification you choose to do
  • Different levels of certification require specific requirements, so you should ensure you meet the requirements
  • Apart from the level 5 certification, other levels cost money and prepare the needed cash
  • After getting the requirements, you can enroll for level 1 or level 2 certification
  • Before you can get higher certification levels, you have to meet their requirements, including completing a lower level certification
  • After enrolling for the course and approved, you can now start taking the stated period
  • After completing the course, you’ve become a certified archery instructor
  • If you wish to proceed to a higher level, all you’ve to do is meet the requirements and enroll
  • After completing the course, you’re now a higher level certified archery instructor

Archery Rules

Every game and sports have rules and regulations that the players have to follow to ensure their smooth running.

Like every other game, archery also has rules and regulations that the players must adhere to for smooth running.

Here are some rules and regulations you should follow in archery.

  • The archers must adhere to the equipment they use to avoid giving a player advantage over the other
  • The maximum time to shoot an end of six arrows is four minutes, and two minutes for an end of 3 arrows
  • Athletes can’t raise their bow arms before the signal, and the penalty can be in the form of a point forfeit
  • You can’t reshoot an arrow, regardless of any reason or circumstances; the arrow isn’t considered shot if it falls off from the bow or the target blows off, causing mistarget
  • If you shoot an arrow and it rebounds, hangs from the target, or makes the Robin Hood-style” in the nock of another, will score the marked target points and score the same point as the nocked arrow
  • The regulatory body can disqualify, ban competition, or deduct points from athletes that breach the game’s rules and regulations based on its severity
  • If you have damaged equipment, you can appeal to the judge to give you time to fix or replace the equipment

These are specific rules and regulations you have to follow to ensure your participation in the game.

As an archery instructor, you should make sure your trainees know these rules to ensure they perform well at any competition.

Archery Equipment

To participate in archery, you have to get some equipment.

Here is some equipment necessary for the sport.

  • Bow- The bow is a piece of equipment that consists of a grip of the handle, two flexible limbs ending in a tip with a string nick, and a riser (a no shooting type)
  • Bowstring- The bowstring can have any number of strands provided that it fits the bow
  • Adjustable arrow rest- The adjustable arrow rest ensures balance, stability, and comfort to the archer
  • Bow sight- A bow sight is also a useful tool that helps improve the accuracy of the shot by providing a clear shot sight to the archer
  • Arrows- There are certain restrictions to the arrow used in archery; the arrow shouldn’t be more than 9.3mm long in diameter, and the tip shouldn’t exceed 9.4mm
  • Finger protection- You can make use of tapes and hand gloves to protect your finger
  • Other protections and accessories like arm guards and chest protectors are also useful as they don’t offer an advantage to the archer; they only provide comfort to the archer
  • The target varies in size; the targets can measure 122cm and beyond, but all contain ten concentric circles representing the scoring sectors
  • Bracer- The bracer is useful in keeping loose clothing from causing disturbance to the string and preventing the string from hitting the hand, causing bruising
  • Quiver- The quiver is a container used to hold the archer’s arrows
  • Bow stand- The bow stand supports the bow from the ground when it isn’t being shot
  • Bow stringer- The bow stringer is useful in stringing and unstringing the bow

Types of Archery

You may not know that there are different types of archery.

There are different types of archery, and as a good instructor, you should know the types.

You must understand the type of archery your trainee is best at so you can help improve the trainer’s ability.

Athletes can venture into any or all of the archery types, so an instructor should know all to ensure superiority.

You can get information on the types of archery on archery sites.

Here are the types of archery;

  • Target archery: Target archery is the version of archery practiced at the Olympics

This type of archery is the version most beginners learn first before learning the others.

It includes archers shooting arrows at specific targets at a specified distance from the archer.

This archery type can take place indoors or outdoors.

  • Field archery: Field archery is usually set up over rough terrains and woodlands

Archers shoot arrows at different targets at different positions and distances in sequence.

This type of archery requires the archer to know what he/she is doing to triumph.

The archer might have to shoot uphill or downhill in this type of archery.

Field archery helps an athlete keep fit, practice his skills, and enjoy the outdoors.

  • Clout shooting: This type of archery doesn’t necessarily need the arrow to hit the target

This type of archery is an ancient military training method.

It entails a flag on a stick stuck in the ground about 165m away from the archer.

The archers shoot their arrows towards the target.

The arrow that goes farthest, i.e., the arrow closest to the target, scores, or closest to “the clout,” emerges as the winner.

  • Flight shooting: This type of archery is similar to clout shooting; the only difference is that there isn’t a target mark

Arrow Components

The arrow is a vital piece of valuable equipment in archery.

The arrow is the tool placed against the string in a bow and shot towards a specified target.

Choosing the right arrow length and stiffness is very vital as it determines the efficiency of the arrow.

Please don’t use short arrows because they can fall off the bow and damage the bow or, worse, bruise your fingers.

The arrow has four components that ensure its flight, durability, and piercing ability.

The components of an arrow include;

  • Shaft: A shaft is the main body of an arrow

It can either be made of solid wood, carbon tube, or aluminum.

The quality of the shaft determines the durability of the arrow.

  • Nock: The nick is the part of the arrow that clips to the string

It is the groove usually found at the end of the arrow.

The nock ensures that the arrow is well-clipped to the string when the archer pulls the string.

  • Fletching: The fletchings are feathers or plastic attachments secured to the end of the arrow

They beautify the arrow giving it a beautiful design and structure.

Aside from beautification, the fletchings provide stability and balance to the arrow during flight.

  • Pile: The pile is the pointed part of an arrow

The pile is the part of the arrow that pierces objects.

The piles are usually made of materials, mostly metals, heavier than the shaft to balance and secure a straight flight of the arrow.

A good instructor should know the arrow components and teach it to his/her students.

How to Shoot an Arrow

An instructor must know how to shoot an arrow.

Aside from knowing how to shoot an arrow, the instructor should also know how to teach the young archers how to shoot.

You can check out this article to learn more about shooting arrows.

Before an instructor can successfully teach the young archers how to shoot an arrow, he/she must know how to shoot.

Below are procedures to take to shoot an arrow;

  • The stance: Your stance is very important before shooting your arrow

Stand upright with your feet apart and at 90 degrees to the target.

  • The grip: The way you grip your bow is also very necessary

Ensure to keep a relaxed grip on the bow.

Your palm should face outwards, not inwards, when gripping the bow handle.

  • Place the arrow on the bow: The way you place your arrow on the bow matters a lot

Turn the bow in a way that it lies horizontally, and the arrow rest faces upward.

Place the arrow into the arrow shelf.

Insert the string into the two brassing nocking points of the arrow and ensure that the cock fletch points upward.

Then, you can bring the bow back to the vertical position.

  • Set your finger position: Make sure your index finger is above the arrow and two fingers below the arrow

Do it so that the arrow is between the index finger and the middle finger while strung to the string.

Ensure that your fingers are straight and not bent.

Pull the string using your arm muscles, and make sure you don’t bend your arms.

  • Aim and release: Use your dominant eye to aim by looking down the arrow and aligning it with it

After aiming, release your grip on the arrow and allow it to fly.

Maintain your position after shooting.

Final Thoughts

Archery has become a prominent sport since the 1700s to date.

Archery is an art, profession, sport, skill, or using bows to shoot arrows.

Being a certified archery instructor comes with commitment, diligence, knowing obligations, and following specific rules and regulations.

There are different levels to the certification of an archery instructor, of which each of the levels has its requirement.

There are certain qualities of a good instructor you should possess; these qualities describe and tell how efficient you’re as an instructor.

A good instructor should also have good teaching skills to ensure maximum knowledge of the young archers.

Knowledge of the archery equipment is also very necessary as it will help you give detailed knowledge to the student.

You should also know the uses of the pieces of equipment and components of an arrow.

You must know and teach your student the ideal way of shooting an arrow, as all of these constitute a good archery instructor.

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