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Summer metrics winners - coaching at Lilleshall

Richard, Jodie, Steve and Alex went up to Lilleshall this week. Alex and Jodie had won their in their class at the summer metric competiition in 2017. The prize was a coaching session with a UK level coach.

We left at 6am, to arrive just before 9am at Lilleshall. Their coach was Lloyd Brown - AGB, Coaching Development manager. The session was fantastic - Lloyd started by saying that he couldn't coach them in a conventional way, as this was a single session - so he wanted to teach them some vital aspects of archery, so that they could go home and work to become better archers.

The lessons were very informative - and could help us all - I'll do my best to paraphrase...

1. Posture.

The kids worked in front of mirrors - Korean Archery students do this for months BEFORE picking up a bow. The aim was a straight back - no arching the lower back, no puffed out chest, not leaning forward, or back. Pelvis straight. Shoulders down and relaxed. Throughout the draw and release, your posture should not change.

2. Set .. to draw

The T draw is out, as it encourages bad habits, and might even be causing injuries. Instead, the bow and arms should come up more or less parrallel, to about eye level, before dropping down into position. Watch for a high draw however (where should the arrow loose, it would travel at such an an angle that it would sail high over the target) - as these are illegal. Then, bring the arms down into anchor, relaxing the shoulders. Both hands should be relaxed. The alignment such that there is no effort holding full draw, as the force travels through the bones, not the muscles.

A lot of work was done with stretch bands for this.

3. Release

The string moves through the fingers, the fingers do not release the string! The release should be seen as a continuation of the motion...part of it, not the end. Just as hitting the ball in golf is merely part of the swing, not the end. Release is led by the elbow, a relaxed hand allowing the string to move forward, whilst the fingers trace the neck, finishing just behind (and touching) the neck.

4. Warm up

A bit backwards, but they went through the official AGB warmup routine...Here is a video of Naomi Folkard doing many of these:

Then...they did plenty of shooting! Whilst shooting, an archer appeared, asked to join the session, None other than Patrick Huston, who, after shooting for a bit, proceeded to start offering advice to the trainees - getting very involved and giving some fantastic advice. In particular he started teaching the new anchor that he has been using, and was happily going through this with Richard and myself as well.

We left at about 3:30pm,- both kids got a great deal out of the session; Lloyd had an easy, clear style of teaching that was emmensely helpful, and it was great that Patrick gave us some of hit time as well.

Here is Patrick working with Alex whilst Lloyd works with Jodie.

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