Why become a USAA Certified Instructor?

Is it time to get certified as a USAA Archery instructor? Let's find out! Archery instruction comes in many forms and is a great asset to the archery community. Additionally, there are many reasons to become a certified archery instructor; some people get certified even with no intention of teaching!

If you are interested in becoming certified as a USAA Level One or Level Two Instructor, check our class listings at our Join a Class or Game page for an upcoming class.

Reason 1: Instructors make better students and athletes

Many martial arts disciplines have a saying; "to become a master one must pass on one's knowledge." In anything we do, especially physical disciplines like archery, we gain tremendous amounts of knowledge in the beginnig. As time moves on, with consistent practice and conditioning, we turn that knowledge into skills that improve in leaps and spurts. However, everyone reaches a point where they plateau. This happens often throughout a skill-based career and the solution is often to take refresher lessons.

In the martial arts world, of which archery is technically a part, we become better students and athletes by being instructors. Passing on our knowledge to others helps us see technique through new lenses, forcing us to adapt how we see a technique and its execution by applying it to a new canvas; our students. Each student is different, causing us to analyze skills differently and apply them differently each time. This attention to the details of another's execution and improvement has a positive effect on instructors by making us look at ourselves and our execution of technique differently and thus contributes to our own improvement in performance.

Reason 2: Help your local Archery Club

Local archery clubs are often in need of certified instructors to help run their programs. Many archery clubs are volunteers based, especially those who run and maintain free public archery ranges like Woodley Park Archers, in Van Nuys, CA. These are usually unpaid volunteer positions to help with community instruction programs. This is an excellent way to give back to the archery community and feel a sense of purpose, pride, and connection with your local club and range.

Reason 3: Camp archery programs and Scouts merit badges

Many summer camps around the world offer archery as one of the activities for campers. Sadly, some of these camps have to occasionally cut out archery when they have no counselors who are certified instructors. These camps often employ teenagers to be camp activity counselors; in the United States an individual needs to be at least 15 to work as a camp counselor. This is good news for archers looking to be camp archery instructors as USAA Level One Instructor Certification is available for those ages 15 and older. Being an archery instructor who teaches at a camp looks GREAT on an academic application for college, by the way!

Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops offer an archery merit badge. In the past, the archery merit badge was a very important badge to acquire for all Scouts. These days it is an optional badge, but there has been a rise in Scouts desiring an archery badge and troops who facilitate their acquisition. USAA Level One or Level Two Certification qualifies an individual to assist a troop in conducting their archery merit badge program!

Reason 4: Share passion!

USAA L1 and L2 badgesNo matter what reason one has for considering USAA Certification, the underlying fact is that an instructor gets to share his or her passion for archery at a level non-instructors cannot. Many archers give advice to new archers and, while much of it is good advice, qualified and certified USAA Instructors offer a valued insight into archery for any aspiring or practicing archer.

Share your passion today; become a USAA Certified Archery Instructor! Check out Robertson Archery's upcoming USAA Certification classes on our Join a Class or Game page today!

Late Night Bow Tuning and Repair

FB_IMG_1472577611354Late night bow tuning...I made a custom string and cable set for a 2005 Hoyt UltraMag XT2000. Just finished the initial install and I am preparing to begin tuning the bow.

Inspection shows no damage from dry-fire cable and string failure; the customer is lucky! Dry-firing a compounds bow is dangerous; in some cases it can damage the limbs of the bow. In some cases it can harm the archer by lacerating the arm or face as the string or cable breaks. In most cases the string and cables need to be replaced.

Wow. I need to clean my workstation...

Rolling Targets!

Instinctive Archery is a fun and challenging art form. It is easy to learn, but takes more time and practice to become proficient than sight shooting or point of reference shooting does. It has many advantages over each of these other styles of shooting, and some disadvantages as well; no shooting style is perfect.

Andrew Robertson with bow at full draw to shoot the rolling target being thrown. Photo courtesy of Lexington Alexander.

To break up archery target drills, fun instinctive games can be added in. Spicing things up keeps archery entertaining, lively, and challenging without becoming dull. If your range allows, you can get a few archers together and shoot moving targets! That's what I said, moving targets. For the beginning level instinctive archer, this is very challenging and difficult, but it is loads of fun. Intermediate archers are more likely to hit the target, but all levels of archers seem to enjoy the shooting process.

Buying and Making Rolling Targets

High density foam balls were used in the photo above. I personally prefer to use high density foam balls, like the the Champion Sports Coated High Density Foam Soccerball which is available on Amazon with free Super Saver Shipping. The Tuffcoat Foam Soccer Ball is a few dollars less expensive, but does not include free shipping, making it slightly more expensive.

Rolling targets can also be made out of cardboard. This is a bit of a labor intensive process and, if you do not monetize your time, it is less expensive than the foam balls. The cardboard targets sometimes last longer than the foam balls, but they do not roll as well and are prone to wobbling and falling down. Additionally, the cardboard targets cannot be rolled from behind the archers; they can only be rolled from side to side, putting the roller at a slightly greater risk.

Cardboard targets are made by cutting out several identically sized circles from corrugated cardboard and gluing them together. After assembled, the target should be at least two inches thick, although three inches is better. If desired, a Maple Leaf Press Inc 40 cm target can be cut round and glued on.

A Note on Arrows

Modern Arrow Heads

Bludgeon Head, Field Point, and Broadhead

Broadheads can be used, but the archer risks damage to the broadhead tips. Field points are much better and should not be damaged when shooting at dirt and grass. However, field points have a tendency to allow the arrow to "snake" under the grass and become virtually invisible, making them VERY difficult to find. In my opinion, the best tip to use for rolling target archery is a blunt or bludgeon head. These will make bigger holes in the targets, necessitating replacement more often, but arrows will be much easier to find.

Be careful when retrieving arrows shot at ground targets. Because they can be snaking under the grass or lying wait camouflaged in grass or dirt, they can be easy to step on. Archers tend to get sad or angry when their arrows are broken; if you accidentally step on someone else's arrow and break it, the honorable thing to do is to offer to pay for it. As mentioned, bludgeon heads reduce the likelihood of an arrow snaking, but archers can also make it a point to shoot no more than three arrows per round of rolling targets  thereby minimizing the risk of lost or trodden arrows.

Get In On the Fun!

Rolling Target practice, fun and exciting!

On Sundays from 3pm to 4pm (sometimes later!) I offer rolling target practice at the Woodley Park Archery Range in Van Nuys, CA. Archers have to have their own equipment. Field points and bludgeon tips are fine, but broadheads and Judo points will not be allowed. Come out and see the fun! Days and times may change; feel free to contact me for day and time confirmation. I do not charge for this, but I do accept donations to help cover the cost of the targets!