Sunday, 20 January 2013

Archery learnins

So went to archery as normal yesterday and we did the usual things; Jedi training (shooting very short range with your eyes shut to get you to ‘group’ the arrows in the target), balance and knees (still roughing it there) and an even pull on both sides of your back. Then it got round to The Talk.

Instructor: So what do you want to do, here? You’re not coming every week just to play around with arrows, like most of my students. I really think you should do tournaments, competitions.
Me: Do you think I’d have a chance?
Instructor: I think you’d blow most people away eighteen metres.
Me: ...
Instructor: It’s up to you. You'd need to choose your own bow, and you’ve been looking, we know that. Any ideas?
Me: I’ve just been looking at everything, inside the specs you gave me. Nothing’s really jumped out at me - save one.
Instructor: Which one?
Me: A Mathews bow - the Conquest Prestige.
Instructor: Ah yes. Awesome bow. And a factory-made-for-competition bow. Did you know that?
Me: I read something to the effect of ‘our winningest bow’ [cringes at word ‘winningest’] on the website, but I didn’t really pay much attention to that. It just stood out. It looks… like it does the job.
Instructor: Well I think you should get membership to a few organisations so you can start competing. At eighteen metres you’ll make me look very good.
Me: I’d like to compete. It’d be… interesting.
Instructor: There are lots of things we have to cover, though. You don’t just turn up and shoot. There’s discerning which shots you want to take, when to give up a bad shot, things like that. And most importantly, how to ignore people who try to put you off.
Me: What do you mean?
Instructor: Some people can be a bit… rude to newcomers. They’re sarcastic, they try to give advice by saying ‘you’re doing that wrong - do what I do’. It’s confusing, because your coach says one thing but they’re telling you another.
Me: Why would I listen to someone who isn’t an instructor?
Instructor: You’d be surprised how many people do. They feel obliged to try a fellow archer’s ‘helpful tips’ because they’re sharing a range, sometimes. And up at the public range at Lion Rock, more experienced archers tend to look down on new people.
Me: If we’re both students and we’ve both paid to be there, why would I think they know better than you, my instructor? The day they have your certificates and charge what you charge is the day I decide that they’re not just trying to show off.
Instructor: You know what? I think you’ll be alright.

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