Archery Practice Drill – Hold in the Gold
Making the move from Archery Instructor to Archery Coach is a big move requiring a significant investment of spare time and dollars. In the USA Archery certification program the beginning levels are noted as instructors while a promotion to coach occurs at the level 3 certification level as of 2016 curriculum. One of the biggest returns on investment that a prospective coach can provide to students is a repertoire of archery practice drills. The “Hold in the Gold” drill is spelled out in Archery: the Ultimate resource for Recurve and Compound Archers and I incorporate a few variants into my coaching regime described below.
Hold in the Gold Summary
The objective of the Hold in the Gold drill is to keep the pin (or dot) of the sight in the gold area of the target. Depending on equipment and age, holding the pin in the gold may occur for 5 to 15 seconds and repeat in 2-3 sets of 5 to 10 each before releasing the arrow. Have students hold themselves accountable for moving out of the gold or for not holding to the duration. In cases where the student cannot physically hold the bow for the designated time period adjust the time down, reduce sets or reputations for student success.
Variants can include holding in different areas of the target, holding until a signal is given at random intervals or even doing exercises such as jumping jacks between arrows or sets.
Hold in the Gold Benefits
Students come in a variety of shapes, sizes, talent and coachability aspects as do archery practice drills. Regardless of style or commitment level each student should know the benefit of every drill they perform and be able to explain to others the value of the drill to both themselves and others. The primary benefit of the Hold in the Gold drill is focus and hold on the target for an extended length of time. Keeping the pin (or dot) on a smaller area than usual for a significant amount of time will increase the students ability to keep focused on the target and execute a shot in adverse conditions. In outdoor target archery heavy winds may force the archer to hold the shot longer than anticipated, while waiting for a break between gusts. In hunting, game doesn’t always stop and wait for you to develop your shot process and extended draws are the norm. Secondary benefits include developing endurance through repetition, bow arm strength and extended concentration in difficult conditions.
Coaching quote to go along with the “Hold in the Gold” exercise… “The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It!”