If you want to learn archery, there are multiple ways to do so. You can join archery classes, choose a coach, or learn archery via online classes, just to name a few. If you are considering choosing an archery coach, this is the right article for you.
You don’t need an archery coach to learn and improve your archery. There are plenty of resources that can help you improve your archery such as books, videos, online courses, and free online articles. But, an archery coach can greatly help you to improve your form and can greatly speed up the learning process.
Sadly, I can’t give you a clear-cut answer whether you need an archery coach or not. This depends on your goals in archery and how you prefer to learn. In this article, I will discuss both the pros and cons of having an archery coach.
The benefits of an archery coach
There are a lot of benefits to having an archery coach. Below I listed the 5 most important ones.
They have a lot of experience
Whenever you want to learn something, it’s always best to learn it from someone with a lot of experience. Luckily, archery coaches have a lot of experience with training archers, and most even shoot themselves. They have read a lot of books, participated in training sessions, and often discuss techniques with other coaches and instructors.
It’s a great thing to have all this knowledge ready when you are improving your shots. Things that might be difficult for new archers are often trivial and easy to fix for archery coaches. Since they have trained a ton of archers, they know all the common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
You learn faster
Although archery books are great, it’s not comparable to an archery coach. An archery coach can demonstrate techniques, troubleshoot issues with your bow, and most importantly answer questions. Learning with an archery coach is just a lot faster. Just by casually talking and shooting you will improve a lot.
It has been proven by multiple studies, that most people learn more effectively in conversations. That’s why our education system still relies heavily on physical classrooms. Although online learning can be great to learn basic skills. It’s nothing compared to a teacher which you can ask questions and discuss your progress.
He/she can check your form
One of the most difficult aspects of archery is to keep the correct form. Since your body is under a lot of strain while shooting you may start to slouch a bit. The shoulder of your bow arm might rise and you might not keep your back straight.
The problem is, that you can’t look at yourself when you are shooting. And since you are focused on the shot, you won’t feel it either. Therefore, an archery coach can be a huge help. He will analyze your form and give tips on how to improve it. This means that you won’t get into bad habits, which can be detrimental to your accuracy in the long run.
They can help you with technical issues
Archery is a very technical sport and troubleshooting issues is a big part of it. But for most archers, it’s also the least enjoyable part.
If you are experiencing clearance issues, for example, you will notice that your vanes start to tear. You might spend hours googling the issue and trying different solutions. In that case, it’s very helpful to be able to discuss this with a specialist.
An archery coach has a lot of technical knowledge and can help you with most technical issues. They can look at your bow, give you tips, and might even solve it on the spot.
They train you to become a disciplined archer
Although a lot of people think archery is all about strength, in reality, it’s all about being focused in disciplined. If you are executing your shot right, it doesn’t matter whether you shoot with a 20 LBS bow or a 40 LBS bow.
But that is exactly the challenge, executing your shot cycle arrow after arrow is very difficult. To get better you need repetitions, meaning shooting a lot of arrows!
Therefore, an archery coach can help you by making a training program. He/she will help you to set goals on how many arrows to shoot and how to increase it.
Why you don’t need an archery coach
Although it’s great to have access to an archery coach, the majority of archers enjoy this sport without a coach. Let me discuss the three most important reasons why you might not want to choose an archery coach
All information is also available online
The internet has made a lot of professions and courses obsolete. People can follow a complete wood-crafting workshop online, without ever having to contact a woodworker.
The same is true for archery. Just google ‘’archery how to’’ and you will find thousands of articles, guides, and videos covering all aspects of archery. You might wonder, whether you need an archery coach because there are thousands online.
If you want to improve your technique, I highly recommend the article below. It discusses how to shoot a bow from start to finish. Each step refers to an in-depth article, which helps you to perfect your technique:
Other archers can also help you out
Even if you choose to enjoy archery without a coach, you won’t be on your own. If you join an archery club, you will meet a lot of people that are all in the same sport as you. Although an archery coach might know more than one archer, all archers in an archery club know a lot more than one archery coach.
So, even if you choose to shoot without an archery coach, you can always rely on your fellow archers in case you need advice. Most archers will gladly help you with any issues or questions you may have.
You shouldn’t rely too much on your coach
Never rely fully on the advice of one archer. Although archery coaches have a lot of experience, they are also human. They can also make mistakes, have biases for certain techniques, or be flat-out misinformed.
In the past, I also changed my mind on certain archery techniques. The same can happen to your coach. Archery is a constant learning process and you learn the most when you hear different opinions.
You might not want to be kept to a strict training schedule
As mentioned earlier, a big part of archery is being disciplined. This means that you will have a training schedule to commit to. This, of course, depends on you and your coach, but most coaches expect some kind of commitment.
If you don’t pay your coach an hourly rate, he/she will expect you to put in the effort. They won’t appreciate it if you would just skip archery practice a few months because you will start all over again when you’re back.
Therefore, make sure that you take archery seriously when you contact an archery coach. There is no shame in admitting that you want to practice archery more recreational. A lot of archers enjoy archery this way, including me.
The price/availability might be an issue
There are simply not enough coaches available for every archer. Therefore, some coaches will only choose promising archers that want to shoot at competitions. But, of course, some coaches expect compensation. They do provide you with a service, so it’s not unreasonable that they want to get compensated for their time and effort.
But don’t be deterred if you can’t find an archery coach. They can be very helpful in your journey, but you can also learn archery on your own. You will just have to do more research yourself.
Archery coach vs archery instructor
This article focuses on archery coaches, but an archery coach is not the only expert that can help you to learn and master archery. If you follow an archery coach you will meet an archery instructor. Let me quickly discuss the difference:
An archery coach gives one-on-one feedback, while an instructor gives instructions in a large group. An instructor will learn you all the basics of archery and a coach helps you perfect your technique.
The difference might be more blurry in reality though. Some instructors give very in-depth tips and give some one-on-one sessions. An archery coach on the other hand can also choose to train multiple archers and have some group sessions. But in general, a paid archery coach tends to be more expensive than a paid instructor, since an instructor always trains a group.
If you are just getting started, I highly recommend joining some archery classes. It will help you to learn a lot of basics which give you a kickstart.
The verdict: do you need an archery coach?
No, you don’t need an archery coach, even if you want to shoot on a competitive level. There are a ton of archers, that practice without a coach and shoot very well. Whether it’s worth paying for a coach depends on your situation and attitude.
Do you have any goals? Are you experiencing any issues you cannot solve by yourself? Are you willing to commit to a rigid training schedule? These are all questions you have to answer for yourself.
If you are still on the fence, just talk about it with a coach. He/she can answer your questions and explain what is expected from you.
As full disclosure, I never shot with an archery coach, but I do know plenty of archers that do. I practice archery more as a hobby and not on a competitive level. I simply have a lot of other hobbies and sports I like to partake in.
Therefore, this article was written based on discussions and conversations with other archers. If you have any experiences you would like to share, please add them below. I would love to hear more experiences from other archers.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them down below. I will reply to all comments and you will receive an email notification once I replied.