Course laying behind the scenes

Archery target in the woods
Course setting

In this and my next few posts, I’m planning on exploring some of the behind-the-scenes activities that go on for a National Field Archery Society (NFAS) shoot. Those activities which attendees may not be aware of unless they have been involved in hosting or running such events. Though this will be focused on NFAS shoots these activities are common to most organisations.

You might wonder why am I doing this, well personally, I feel it is beneficial for all archers to gain some knowledge of some of the activities that go on before the event so they have a clearer understanding of the process which are otherwise hidden on the day. In doing so I hope the attendees can offer constructive feedback.

The concept of feedback will be the focus of this post. This in itself may sound a little strange. Starting with the very thing that is provided after the event, but it is something which has an impact on all parties and can be both positive or negative, constructive or damaging, supportive or hurtful.

Many people love to offer their views and more often or not this used to be via conversations in the clubhouse. Now in the 21st century, countless social media platforms offer people the ability to post their views, thoughts and more. You are currently reading my views.

Reading all this can be difficult especially if it’s not positive pr constructive. Filtering through these reports is not always easy if you are a course layer. I often wonder whether as course layers you have to develop a thick skin. I mention filtering as people will post their feedback based on their point of view or perception of the shot, organisation of the event etc. The style or shooting class will play a part here too, so remember that.

There is an old saying which seems very apt.

You can please some of the people all the time. All the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time.

Feedback positive and negative is equally important.

Whilst it’s great to receive positive feedback from archers on your course laying abilities, sometimes the less positive feedback is more important. That may sound a strange thing to say as, after all, you are wanting to experience the feel-good emotion about all the work and effort you’ve put in. So, I will try to explain it and the logic behind this statement.

So here is the Why?

Well, negative feedback if constructive provides you with the opportunity to develop and improve. I firmly believe that learning from your mistakes is vital. Too often in today’s society, people are focused solely on the positive for self-esteem or promotion etc.

Constructive negative feedback should stop you from becoming complacent with your own ability and perspective if you choose to explore the reasoning and facts presented.

The first step is to listen to the feedback, ideally with a clear head and evaluate whether there is justification for what is being said.

Some will present feedback that is, let’s say flawed or not entirely accurate. An example might be a statement that’s a 35-yard stretched shot for the target face. Well, if you know the distance is actually 28 yards and then their justification is possibly flawed.

Admit when you screw up.

Course layers are not perfect, all are human and therefore can and do make mistakes. Sometimes you have to put your hands up and say you got it wrong. In fact, I believe it is very important to do this if you have genuinely made a mistake. To steal a phrase from one of my favourite podcasts, “Don’t be that guy.” Don’t try and cover it up or worse still, blame the archers. It is not fair on them nor is it the right thing to do. If you have to make a mistake accept and learn from it.

For those interested here is a brief shoot report on our clubs website https://briarrosefieldarchers.wordpress.com/2021/08/19/briar-rose-field-archers-shoot-report-15th-august-2021/

Thanks for reading.

One comment on “Course laying behind the scenes

  1. Pingback: Course laying – consider target faces | My Archery Experiences

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