High-ho, High-ho…

ArcheryAlmost everyone knows that students need to work during the summer to help pay for school; I am not special. Once school finished I started looking for a summer job to help me pay for my education too, however getting that job has not been very easy so far. Since I am studying Kinesiology, I was hoping to get some work experience in a physiotherapy office or something similar. I have applied at several places but have had no luck yet.

leahurstSince,  I am a certified NCCP Intermediate level archery coach, I thought in the meantime I could continue to coach during the summers or whenever I had free time. So far, I have been doing a lot of advertising like making business cards and posters, to help promote archery lessons. Hopefully I’ll soon have some students sign-up for lessons. I love teaching everybody about the sport of archery, helping students improve and learn to love the sport as much as I do.

I also have been tossing the idea around about doing private lessons online (via Skype, or video chat). I remember getting comments from a couple of followers that they do not have a lot of coaching options. Although, I can only offer lessons in English, if anyone is interested in trying coaching over the web, please let me know. We can setup a lessons and handle payment through Paypal.

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Cheap Bow Storage

As I mentioned in my last blog, there were about seven students in total, which is the most amount of students that I have personally coached at once. Introducing archery to Leahurst College students was a lot of fun. To teach that many students with only one hour for a lesson, I needed to make sure everyone had their own bow. Luckily, I had several bows, so the number was not a problem. The challenge I experienced was where to store them until the lessons and where to store them during lessons as I did not want lying in the grass. Solutions: Basement Ceiling Storage – Two T-Bars Storage from Dollarama ($3 each)   Roof T (Medium)Roof T front(Medium) Old Hockey Net Bow Stand – Removed Net hockey net(Medium)bow stand(Medium)     These are not ideal storage ideas for an official archery shop but if you have a lot of bows or give lessons they are good solutions for minimal investment.

Leahurst College

Leahurst College - Archery V2 - CopyLeahurst College is a new Kingston high-school that just opened it doors in September 2013. As a new private high-school they started up with only grade 9 and have plans expand adding grades each year until they can accommodate grade 7 through grade 12 by 2017. The school is taking a very unique approach teaching advanced placement with very high academic standards while introducing hands-on learning through practical application and experience. My younger brother Joshua was given a unique opportunity to attend and is enjoying it very much.

leahurstAs part of their practical application, they visit universities, research facilities, try different sports like rowing, rock climbing, slack line etc…. With this in mind, on Wednesday, I was given the opportunity to introduce archery to all of Josh’s classmates. One of the reasons, they wanted to introduce Archery was because Josh became the school’s first competing athlete, when he attended Ontario OFSAA championships in Toronto.  The school wanted all his classmates to understand and appreciate what it takes to not only shoot archery but to compete.

josh-leahurstWe covered the basic 10 steps of archery, safety, basic tournament rules, and some physics of archery. The students had a lot of fun in the sun shooting arrows in to the target. They all started at 5m working their way to 15m for about an hour.  At the end of class, they sat back and admired as Josh shot from 45m.  I believe they all now have an appreciation for the level of skill and consistency Joshua has developed in the sport. Little did they know, this was all with his indoor setup and feathers vanes.

There were about seven students in total, which is the most amount of students that I have personally coached at once but, it was a lot of fun. They even talked to me about doing another group lesson in the future and the possibility a Leahurst Archery club that could attend OFSAA in the future. Leahurst’s students are currently doing exams, and I want to wish them all the best of luck and I look forward to teaching them in the future.

If you would to learn more about Leahurst College check out their website or facebook page.

Dominant Eye Training

To reach your potential in any “shooting” sport your eye dominance must take precedence over your dominant handedness. Do not assume your eye dominance is your hand dominance. If you do not know your eye dominance, read my earlier blog about how to check. Samantha asked….

I took archery lessons a few years ago. I own three bows, a compound, re-curve, and a crossbow. But one thing I never thought about until after I stopped taking lessons was eye dominance. I soon found out that I was left eye dominant, but I am right handed. So I have been having trouble hitting the target since my dominant eye is not the one being used to aim. This has been making it difficult and a little frustrating. I have tried left handed bows so my dominant eye was focused down the arrow shaft but it made it even harder to steady and was uncomfortable. Do you have any suggestions on things that could help my aiming? I do not wear eye glasses or contacts. I have had my eyes checked very recently and was told that I had great vision.

If your hand and eye dominance match, you are very lucky. It is important to note that level of dominance can vary from person to person. For some archers it is very difficult to tell the difference and in some cases your eye dominance can change, although that usually happens at a young age. My little brother’s eye dominance changed when he was 8 after a year of archery lessons with a right-handed bow.

For those archers that end up cross-dominant (left–eye dominant and right-handed or vice versa), it can be extremely frustrating, especially for those who take it up later in life since you have already developed your dominant handedness.

Some archers try to force the eye to match their handedness and end-up very frustrated. Trust me you will be far more frustrated trying to force your eye dominance than training your body to do the tasks with your other hand. It may start out unsteady and uncomfortable but it will get better with practice.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

To help train your body to shoot with your dominant eye, you need to add extra practice using resistance bands to develop the muscles. Also If your eye-dominance is closer to the middle or you have switched recently; shoot with an eye-patch on the less dominant eye to help train yourself to aim using the dominant eye.

The key to achieving success is purely perseverance. Although it can be costly to purchase another bow, you need to match your shooting to your eye dominance.  My coach was already a successful archer before she discovered her eye dominance was incorrect. She changed and became even more accomplished and never regrets the work she had to do.