Rob Shooting

New Year so resolve to help and keep learning

We are a little over a week into 2019 already and I wonder how many of you made one or more New Year resolutions, whether to get more exercise, eat healthier or just shoot more. Have managed to stick with them so far?

A few people have asked about New Year resolutions and if I have any. Well no I don’t have. My thinking is if it is important enough to you to change, then why wait for the the New Year?

Having said this if you do like New Year resolutions then I would like to offer one though for you to consider.

Your archery journey doesn’t end after your beginners course is completed or when you think you have worked out how to shoot. This is in reality the start of your archery journey. Much like when you pass your driving test and get behind the wheel on your own for the first time, that is when you really start to drive. That is when you learn to cope with the situations.

So many new archers forget this, the fact you are still learning and developing your skills. I’ve been lucky enough to have been shooting for about 10 years now and I am still learning new things, experimenting with new techniques, reading new coaching theories, testing equipment.

So I suggest you keep learning, keeping watching the YouTube videos, listening to archery podcasts, reading archery books & articles, speaking to other archers & of course there are your coaches who will be more than willing to help.
Why not get more involved with your club, offer your help, maybe they need help with with setting up the club range or targets on the course. Clearing woodland for a 3D shot or maybe you have computer skills and could update the clubs website.
Never stop learning or helping others, let those be your targets for 2019.

Happy New year everyone.

Thanks for reading.

Making and doing archery madness

I firmly believe that a successful club is more than just a field or wood and group of people who shoot there.
A good club supports its members, nurturing and developing their skills and interests. I believe it should also be somewhat of a social gathering.

It is very easy for a newbie archer to get lost and confused with friendly offers of advice or to be too nervous or embarrassed to ask for help. Ideally you want new members to be intimidated as little as possible but not everyone has the confidence to ask questions or seek advice.

Learn from the past
Many years ago, I was a member of the Black Arrow club in Derby. In fact it was the  first ever archery club we joined. Kevin the club chairman and Cherrie the Secretary organised a making and doing session for all the new members who had joined. It gave all present the opportunity to learn the basics of arrow making, string making and how to serve strings. It proved a great success being both instructional and social with Cherrie and Pete (her partner) providing food for all.
Over the Christmas holiday of 2014 Sharon and I organised a similar event at our house, with the objective of giving a few of the newbies some guidance on making or repairing arrows and a variety of other topics.
It proved to be a very sociable afternoon  and evening, helped by the contributions of everyone who came and Sharon’s expert cooking. Yes, not only is she a cracking shot but also a great cook.

Nigel showing his expertise on straightening wooden arrows.

Nigel showing his expertise on straightening wooden arrows.

We covered topics of how to make wooden arrows including fletching arrows, attaching piles and nocks. Having a number of experienced archers there proved really useful as each explained how their technique was slightly different from each other enabling a great spectrum of knowledge to be displayed and discussed.  The discussion on whether to varnish the arrow prior to fletching or fletch then varnish was one hotly debated topic. An equally debated topic was the merits of different glues for attaching piles to wooden shafts with some preferring  hot melt over epoxy glues. All the advice and comments were provided freely and in a relaxed atmosphere.

Jason showing how to use fletching tape

Jason showing how to use fletching tape

Whilst arrow making was going on in one room, arrow straightening of aluminium arrows using our straightening jig was being demonstrated in another. There was also just enough space to demonstrate applying serving to a bow string.

Discussions went on long into the night on different techniques and it was a very sociable evening. Our thanks to all who contributed their time and advice.

Greta making her first arrows

Greta making her first arrows

With everyone at the wood the following day even more discussions took place, this time with archers showing off their arrows they had made previously and again citing the merits of varnishing first or other such topics.

So if you have the opportunity to run something similar to this at your club go for it. It doesn’t take much planning and benefits can be huge.

Thanks for reading and to all those that attended. Special thanks to Kevin and Cherrie who set the bar so high all those years ago.
Oh, Kevin if you are reading this remember the glue.