Your First Lesson Explained
Starting something new can always seem a little daunting and beginning a new sport and making new friends at a sports club is no less intimidating for a lot of people. AoR aims to relay those concerns through good communication prior to your first lesson with us and this begins with a full understanding of what you can expect from us and what we expect from you on the day. This page outlines those main points.
- Your first lesson will be held on a Friday night between 18:30 and 20:30 during the outdoor season (weather and light permitting) and between 19:00 and 20:45 during the indoor season. This must be pre-arranged with a club coach or committee member ahead of time, as new archers can not be accommodated if they simply turn up on the day. The club needs to vacate the venue prior to 21:00 and (under supervision) beginners will be expected to help store the equipment after the shoot.
- Please make yourself known to one of the shooting members when you arrive and please ensure that you remain well behind the waiting line. Waiting where the club members have their bow boxes is ideal. Forward of the equipment line is the waiting line and then the actual shooting line. You should not approach any archer on the shooting line and one of the members on the waiting line will most likely approach you anyway. If not, please catch one of the members waiting and they will be happy to help. Your coach will be expecting you and will be looking out for you in any case.
- A beginner's handbook and a progress card can be downloaded from the private Beginners Download page on our website. A login will be created for you following the first lesson. The handbook covers everything that you will need to know as a new archer, but your coach will take you through the safety aspects and rules of shooting prior to shooting. You will also be taught about etiquette and the various bows and their component parts. The handbook also includes a copy of the club constitution, a glossary of terms and other useful information.
- A large part of the first session will be taken up by the theory, with subsequent lessons being largely devoted to shooting and development of your technique. Theory is an important element of the course that is designed to keep you safe and also to maintain the safety of other members that will be shooting alongside you. As you will be standing around for a time, it is important to come adequately dressed when shooting outside during the colder months. Several thin and tight fitting layers are ideal.
- Dress code is also important from day one and for every shooting day. If shooting outside during the colder months, you should wear several layers that must be tight fitting. Some archers shoot in the rain and it is not unusual to see archers wearing a tight tea-shirt over a waterproof to keep it tight to the body. However, the club does not usually undertake beginners lessons in inclement weather conditions. So, toggles, tassels, baggy tops and other loose fitting clothes are unacceptable and you will be asked to remove them or make them safe before shooting. Likewise, sensible shoes must also be worn whilst shooting. This rules out footwear such as open toed sandals, flip flops and other similar footwear. Sports trainers and hiking boots (wet weather) are ideal. Black soled shoes are not allowed in the sports hall.
- Along with loose fitting clothing you will also need to make sure that long hair is adequately tied back whilst shooting and facial/body piercings should also be removed or securely masked to avoid catching any part of the bow. A string catching hair or a piercing stud during release can be extremely painful.
- Your coach will aim to have you shooting some arrows towards the end of the first session and all of the required equipment will be provided. The club has low poundage beginners bows in both left and right hand configurations, basic finger tabs, arm guards and a selection of arrows. Following the first session, you might like to invest in a better finger tab, arm guard or quiver, but the club would not suggest investing in anything else until after the course has finished.
- In order to keep all of the beginners together, the lessons are usually conducted to one side of the shooting field (usually the right side) and a boss is set up at a close range of about 10 to 15 metres. The main shooting, waiting and equipment lines are all respected by beginners and full members alike.
- The beginners pack includes a beginners agreement that will need to be completed during the first lesson and given to your instructor. This will need to be signed by the archer and, for a beginners under 18, by a parent or legal guardian for any beginner under 18. The pack also includes a membership application form which can be used at anytime during the course to sign up for full membership following successful completion of the course.
- Finally, we hope that your first session is successful and that you find it enjoyable. The next session date will be confirmed by the coach but the courses are 5 weeks in length and are run on a Friday evening.
- On successful completion of the course you will be presented with a certificate that can be used to join and / or shoot at most Archery GB affiliated clubs in the UK.
- If you decide to stay with Archers of Raunds, you can continue to use the club bow through a short term hire.