If you are beginning your archery journey, or if you have been shooting for some time, the thought of archery lessons has crossed your mind. It has crossed mine on more than one occasion. Are archery lessons worth the investment? How can an archery coach help you? Read on to get our take.
Are you unsure if you need archery lessons – answer this question. Did Michael Jordan need Phil Jackson? So maybe not the best analogy but you get the point.
If you haven’t started shooting yet, and therefore haven’t created any bad habits in form. Now is the time. Find a good archery coach in your area, and drop the cash. Let them teach you basics of form so that you will always have a solid foundation. The risk of “learning it on your own” is you can build bad form habits and not know you are doing it. It might start out ok, and your shots are hitting the paper plate. Bad form habits seem to rear their ugly head in moments of stress. Those moments that consist of the monster buck you have been chasing all year stops at 35 yards broadside. Or that bugling bull is screaming his head off at 45 yards.
Take it from me, spare yourself the heartache and at least explore the option of archery lessons. There are great online resources out there, but nothing replaces in person teaching. My recommendation is consuming all the content and instruction you can online to have a base of knowledge, then get face to face instruction. It will only help you when evaluating the coaches in your area.
I learned archery and bowhunting the hard way. I had to figure most of out on my own. It can be done, but how long did I toil and suffer because I didn’t seek out a coach or mentor? My guess is years. At this point, I don’t have years to give up because of my ego.
To put my money where my mouth is, I will tell this story. I recently was gifted by my fantastic wife a Hoyt Satori. I have been talking about shooting a recurve bow for at least 15 years. I always talked about it, but was never willing to part ways with my cash. After reading the manual, and assembling the Satori, do you think I went in the backyard and started slinging arrows? Nope, but man I wanted to. I couldn’t bring myself to start shooting without some form of education. I found Tom Clum Sr.’s Solid Archery Mechanics course online. I dove in, watched the videos, sometimes multiple times. After going through the course, then I started shooting arrows.
I still have to go back and watch videos, when things don’t feel right after 4 weeks of shooting. I am also, at the time I am writing this, talking to the archery ranges around me trying to nail down who I think is the best traditional archery coach in my area. Now, they won’t be as good as in person tutelage of Tom Clum, but they will help me. I have learned as much as I can from the videos, now is time for face to face instruction. I can always go back to the videos and fine tune based on Tom’s instruction.
I have bowhunted and practiced archery for 20 plus years. I could have grabbed the Hoyt Satori and hit the backyard range and figured it out. My form would have probably been awful, but I would have figured out a way to shoot after some time. Would this have been the best use of my time? Not a chance. If you are starting archery or have been shooting for years, find a coach and become the best archer you can be.
Will archery lessons help you? Without a shadow of a doubt, I think archery lessons could help you. Your learning curve will be extremely shorter if you have a coach. You will be much less likely to develop target panic if you have the right coaching. I almost didn’t write that because I don’t even want to speak the words target panic.
If you have a story about how a coach helped you, share it with the 1st Rut family by email or the comments below. While you are here check out our Whitetail 101 education section.