Local archers get elite training tips from Olympic coach
High point of VIAA
A recent visit by Phil Graves, a US Archery Level 4 NTS Certified Coach and National Judge and a third generation Archer with over 25 years of archery experience, the Head Coach of Geneva Archery and a World Archery Representative that trains ‘Elite’ archers on the Olympic level, was perhaps the pinnacle of the Association’s short life.
“We thought we were in for a coaching clinic, with emphasis on shooting styles etc., but what we got was so much more. Coach Phil (whom I’ve come to call “Big Dog”) asked us for an agenda prior to his visit, so he could assess what we would need,” noted Smith. “Our Agenda included judging and officiating tournaments, fine tuning and setup of Olympic style bows, shooting Olympic style; which entails changing your anchor point to shoot longer distances and specialized training and diet.”
However, on arrival Coach Phil went above and beyond the list and included the mental side of sports, stretching exercises, how to target specific muscles, the mechanics of the shot process, alignment, how to adapt stance for windy conditions, and the list goes on.
Coach Phil also assured the Association that they were on the right track and that World Archery was impressed with their progress in relation to the strategic plans, and recommended that some items on the agenda be moved forward.
Top level training experience
“Until now, the only formal training we’ve had was from the NASP (National Archery in the Schools Programme). That’s not even the tip of the iceberg. At the end of Day 1 of the seminar, I was blown away. When Coach Phil asked what we learned, all I could muster up was WOW! Second day, same thing. You have to realise, he was sharing secrets with us that they use to train their ‘Elite’ athletes,” commented Smith.
“He shared with us periodisation, how to set up proper training schedules to have athletes at their peak at selected events and when to have them relaxed after to prevent burnout. It’s a lot more complicated than just running and shooting arrows. He also told us that no two athletes will train the same and that no two people are the same. So you see, there is a lot more than just ‘pullin’ em back and lettin’ em fly!’”
More targets in sight ……..
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