Not impressive notice

Not so good Premier Inn stay

Okay this is going to sound a bit of a rant and I’m sorry in advance, also it has nothing really to do with archery more to do with poor customer service from a leading hotel chain.

At the 3D championships a few weeks back we had booked into a Premier Inn as we didn’t fancy camping and wanted a relaxing location. What a mistake that was. I don’t think I would class it as the premier inn from hell, as I am sure there must be worse out there, but I do think it was a very poor stay. We’d wanted a trouble free stay whilst attending the archery tournament and had stayed at other premier Inns in the past and they had worked well.

First thing to say would be the staff were helpful at all times and remained polite and professional, but they had been put into a situation they shouldn’t have.

The Inn is being refurbished, but we weren’t told at time of booking in January or informed of this until we arrived. Due to this half of the car park spaces were taken up with skips and builders cabins or barriers. So of the 3 nights we stayed, we were only able to park in the hotel car park once.

Premier Inn view from room

Premier Inn view from room

We were told we could park 200 yards down round in neighbouring Premier inn. Problem is this was having building work as it is being extended so also have limited parking. Friends ended up in multi storey, which was more expensive and no reimbursement. Having 2 inns both being renovated at same time and sending people from one to the other, is not great planning for any organisation.

Nor is it great to have to carry expensive archery equipment along public streets.

I was told I had to move car, whilst others were allowed to park on pavements. So they didn’t appear to uniformly enforce rules.

With the refurbishment we were given electronic cards, problem being is they didn’t always work (our friends went through 4 sets). This was a pain as we were on the 3rd floor and only 1 lift. You could enter the lift without the card but when you exited onto the floor the corridor door required a working card.

Not impressive notice

Not impressive notice too see on arrival !!

Can’t say we were overly impressed by the sign on the corridor doors saying they might lose water due to refurbishments.

We had issues with the room that if you had windows open to keep cool, you had either road noise, people arguing or quay side noise. If window was shut you couldn’t turn air con down past 19 degrees centrigrade to cool room. Despite telling reception of this , it wasn’t recorded on my complaint. If I was a conspiracy expert I might even say convenient as this counts to the good night guarantee.

To add to the problems we discovered they charged us twice for the first night, which we discovered when we got home. Apparently this was due to a computer error!!

They did give us a voucher for a free breakfast on the Monday as an apology, which was the only day we could have had breakfast as had to leave early to get to the championship venue.

I would seriously think twice about staying there again, for no other reason than the limited parking. As for other premier inns, I’m not sure as I don’t like the idea of turning up to building site! If you are going to refurbish somewhere let people know before they arrive or ensure it does not have such a negative impact on the guests.

We did highlight these issues with the staff at the time and have been waiting on customer relations to get back to us. Which they did, after several twitter messages, phone call and posts, closing the call for over a week as they said it had been resolved. No it wasn’t resolved, the only thing resolved was they repaid us the money they had over charged us !! Their response has been you had a free breakfast and the goodnight guarantee doesn’t cover parking

I’m not really sure about the goodnight guarantee promise as apparently it doesn’t cover parking issues and since there is no record of our complaints concerning the room, maybe because there were multiple people complaining at the same time. I think in some ways we got away easy as we watched one disabled person struggle to enter their car as they were unable to park in the disable bays.

I have to say I have been very disappointed by the responses from the customer relationships staff and communication from them.

Premier Inn used to stand for quality and reliability. They have gone from being our first choice of accommodation to last resort, not just because of the stay but the handling of the aftercare as I have little faith in companies who don’t help to resolve the issues quickly.

Thanks for reading and sorry this has sounded a bit of a rant.

Me trying to remember to shoot

Hardest lessons to learn in Archery – Drawing down

So for the first of the “Hardest lessons to learn in Archery” articles I promised I am going to go with one of the most popular topics drawing down, sometimes called coming down from a shot. These articles are designed to help archers and are based on a survey and poll I posted on Facebook and Tumblr, where I asked what archers found the hardest.
So drawing down is when you have drawn up to your target, ready to release, but know something is wrong. for one reason or another it doesn’t feel right,  but you still take the shot usually with negative results of a miss and knowing you shouldn’t have taken the shot. For some reason you can’t hit that reset button, finding it impossible to draw down your bow and start again.
So why is it so hard? Why can’t we just hit the magic reset button and draw down?
You do it as a beginner when you first start.
Well think of it from this point of view, taking a shot is part physical part mental. Your muscles know what to do but your head is different. You’ve got yourself psyched up to take that shot and then at the last stage, you have to admit something is wrong or doesn’t feel right. That can feel like a big hit to your confidence, especially if people are watching.
Why might you need to draw down?
when we start down our archery path, it’s not uncommon for us to flick the arrow off the rest, normally because we are twisting the string. As we progress and skills develop this happens less often, but maybe other things happen.
You might see movement behind the target, that catches your eye, distracting you from the shot.
When drawing up to take your shot, there is the programming in your head or maybe I should say the expectation to release the arrow. In back of your mind you don’t want to admit that something is wrong or that you may have done something wrong.
One way you can try to overcome this problem is to condition yourself to draw down, or rather condition your head to accept that each time you draw up you don’t have to shoot.
So what can you do?
One way of trying to overcome this mental block is to start programming your brain that the action of drawing down is normal. An effective way of doing this s to train yourself when practising to not to take each shot, i.e. every time you draw up does not result in a taking a shoot.
So when you are on the practise bosses, try this addition to your normal program, don’t shot your 3rd arrow immediately.
Allow me to explain, when you get to shoot the 3rd arrow draw up as normal, anchor, settle aim and at the point you would normally release the string, don’t.
Instead draw down, go back to your ready position. Take you hand off the string and relax. Take a couple of breaths and then draw up and if it feels right take the shot. So why do this?
Well it starts to condition your mind into that mind set that  when you draw up it does not mean you will have to always take the shot. Effectively retraining your brain.
This may sound strange but builds your muscle memory and gets your confidence, it helps to make you realise that you don’t always have to take the shot. It goes a long way to improve your control.
Don’t get me wrong as it won’t be easy. There are times you draw up and feel perfect, but if it is your third arrow come down and do it again. You might draw up 2 ,3, 4 or more times but over time you will get used to the feel and not let it effect you.
Try to remember just because you draw back doesn’t mean you have to take the shot.
It is a hard lesson to learn, but when it works and it will with practise, it feels great. It feels like you have retaken control of the shot and your archery.
Try the technique and let me know if it works for you or if you have something else that works. I sincerely hope this has helped, please let me know what you think.
As always Thanks for reading.