12 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Archery Instructor
Regardless of your skill level, gaining some extra archery knowledge can never hurt. Instructors can provide a new level of understanding and confidence within the sport. Keep reading for all you need to know before deciding on an archery instructor.
Factors to Consider
Before booking a session of archery lessons near me, it’s important to make a few considerations. Each archer has different skills and needs from a teacher, so identify yours before getting started. The main things to keep in mind are your current skill level and personal archery goals.
Current Archery Skill Level
It’s crucial to consider where your skills are currently at before expanding on them. Some instructors focus on helping beginner archers who are still trying to learn the ropes. Others, however, are more geared toward expert archers who may want to hone their skills or prepare to compete.
Before finding the right instructor, you must be honest with yourself about where your skills are at. If it’s your first time picking up a bow, then beginner courses are your best bet to start out. Those who have already been shooting for a while with some basic understanding should benefit from intermediate level archery lessons near me.
Most advanced archers start looking for an instructor when skills hit a plateau. If you notice your skills stalling, it may be ideal to seek out a professional that can help you get back on track and optimize shooting techniques. Wherever your skill set currently lies, lessons are bound to help you improve.
Personal Archery Goals
Just like any other sport, people dive into archery for various reasons. Some shooters just want to have some fun and stay in shape. For some people, though, archery is a very serious business.
Some people take on the activity in order to go hunting or compete in competitions, even including the Olympics! Since these goals are so different, the archery instructors to help achieve them will be, as well. Understanding your goal can assist you in the search for a perfect instructor.
Archery Instructor Levels
Now that you’ve identified your current skill level and archery goals, it’s time to find the most ideal instructor. Archery instructors can have several different levels of certification and categories. We’ll dive into each to give you a better idea.
Certified or Non-certified
Usually, there are two main categories of archery instructors – certified or non-certified. Professional instructors will get their certification from USA Archery, which governs it as an Olympic sport, and certifies instructors and coaches in the archery shop.
To receive certification from USA Archery, an instructor must go through a detailed course to test their knowledge of the sport. It ensures they possess the skill set to properly teach at their certification level. Keep in mind, though, certification isn’t completely necessary to be a wonderful instructor.
Friends and family members with years of archery experience may be great teachers, as well. Learning from a certified instructor certainly does have its benefits and gives you the confidence that your trainer knows their stuff. They are subjected to a thorough course, background checks, and Safesport verification.
These qualifications guarantee that you’re in good hands, and safe, throughout the training process. There are also various certification levels, each with its requirements depicting the instructor’s strength and skill set. Knowing the different levels of certification can help you select an instructor that best fits your needs when finding the archery target.
Level 1 Certification
Instructors with the level 1 certification can train beginner archers. They understand the basics of archery and can help with successfully getting started, as well as choosing the right gear and accessories. This level of instructor can also help with factors such as range safety, proper shooting steps, equipment setup and repair, and other basics to kickstart your archery journey.
Level 2 Certification
Let’s accelerate a notch above level one. Instructors with a level 2 certification go through a more detailed training process and can guide learners though more in-depth training techniques. They can teach you how to shoot both recurve and compound archery bow, as well as help with athlete development in the archery shop.
Level 3 NTS Certification
The national training system (NTS) certification takes things to another level in archery. However, unlike previous levels where the focus is on training groups of learners, this certification requires an instructor to take individual classes. These instructors can teach everything from the previous two levels.
Level 3 instructors also go deeper with teaching. They cover areas like event preparation, shooting performance, and equipment fine-tuning. Not to mention, they’ll dive deeper into the mental skills and techniques involved in shooting.
Level 4 NTS Certification
Upon finding a level 4 instructor, you’ll really be in with the pros. These instructors have advanced coaching skills and work with high-performance athletes. Many of the athlete these coaches work with participate in competitive archery events both nationally and internationally.
Of course, level 4 instructors carry all the skills of the previous three certifications. Additionally, they incorporate advanced concepts like psychology, sports science, and biomechanics for competition. This allows clients to improve in every aspect of archery.
Level 5 NTS Certification
For many people, level 5 NTS is the gold standard of archery instructors. It is currently the highest level of certification an archery coach may receive. Instructors at this level possess the most knowledge and can easily apply their experience in all aspects of teaching.
Level 5 certification requires plenty more prerequisites and training. You’ll find this category of instructors generally train athletes performing at the highest competition levels. Consider level 5 the certification for Olympic archery coaches.
What to Search For
If you’re going the professional route, of course, an instructors’ certification level is important. However, there are other aspects of their teaching to consider, as well. Here are a few awesome qualities to look out for when finding a new instructor for archery lessons.
Wealth of Archery Knowledge
There’s no doubt that the most important factor to consider when choosing an instructor is their archery knowledge. You want to learn from someone with a solid background and in-depth knowledge of archery equipment, form, and mechanics. Be sure to ask any prospective instructors about their certification level and personal experience.
Communication and Engagement
There’s nothing worse than being taught by someone who isn’t truly invested in your growth. Your perfect instructor should also be able to communicate clearly without confusion or conflict. They should know how to break down complicated skills so it all makes sense.
Regardless of whether you’re shooting the archery bow for fun or prepping for the Olympics, your instructor should have proper communication skills to keep you engaged and entertained. Archery is supposed to be fun, so the instructor certainly shouldn’t bore you. It’s still crucial to stay engaged and pay close attention to the archery target and teacher.
Adaptability in Training
No two archers are alike, so instructors need to know how to approach your personal training. A solid instructor should be expected to incorporate a flexible teaching regimen. Their teaching should be adaptable enough to accommodate recent developments in archery lessons, as well as your personal learning style.
When new shooting techniques come onto the scene, instructors should be able to teach you. At the same time, they should understand that learners are individually unique and may not grasp every concept right away. An instructor worth your time and money will work through these differences with you in the archery store.
Regardless of what is begin taught, patience is a vital skill for any coach or instructor to possess. Someone who yells, talks down, or tends to snap won’t do much to improve your skills. Having a negative instructor may cause people to become unmotivated by the sport altogether.
This doesn’t mean instructors can’t be strict or firm at all. However, there is a fine line between constructive criticism and unfair treatment. A solid instructor in the archery store will understand those differences completely.
Now that you know each certification level and what qualities to look for, finding an archery instructor has never been easier. Remember to conduct a thorough search and identify your goals before making a commitment. If you’re eager to learn more about archery, check out some additional Crow Survival content.