An Overview of Some of the Benefits to Aspiring Archers Joining the Tulsa Archers Club

Erika Jones, World Record Holder                         Larry Seale, 2-time National Champion

Below is an email copy that gives the reader/interested archer a good sense of what our club is, and what we’re trying to accomplish.  More information can be had on my website,

www.tulsaarcherycoach.com .  Also, here is my direct contact information:

Cell: 918-809-8642 ;  Email: tulsaarcherycoach@gmail.com .  Please contact me in the manner most convenient for you.  Your archer’s time spent with my club, and me, will make them better, make the learning a pleasant experience, and prepare them for their competition pursuits.

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Again, we're very happy about your  interest in taking the steps to pursue your archery passion and explore our JOAD as a possible avenue for you.  In short, you can begin by either:

1) schedule a time to come by the 3rd street range to inspect the range and visit with me a bit, before making a final decision to join, or

2) schedule a first one-on-one lesson for safety protocol and basic form training/instruction, and observation of basic athleticism and mindset.

3) usually a student will take several (3 or 4) lessons one-on-one and if he/she continues to enjoy it and apply themselves to the instruction and challenge, they are then interested to join our JOAD archery club.  

After this email, please let me know if you would like to begin with step 1 above, or just go directly to step 2 and setup an initial one-on-one lesson.

Here is a quick synopsis of Tulsa Archers Club benefits:

JOAD - Junior Olympic Archery Development.  The goal is to prepare and nurture archers who aspire to competitive excellence and hopefully national and perhaps international levels of skill and competition.  

Benefits:

    - work on specific techniques

    - learn how to prepare/train for competition

    - learn how to shoot in a group of people

    - learn how to tune your setup to be a better dance partner for you, thus gaining extra points

    - have specific tangible goals/rewards (achievement pins set forth by US Olympic committee)

    - meet nice people and make friends who are sharing the same interest as you

    - monthly dues include 24/7 range access

When:

    - 3 formal practices a month ... second and fourth Sundays of the month at 2pm, and third Thursday of the month at 5:30pm

 

Cost:

    - $50 yearly fee, plus

    - $35 to $50/month for practice/range access dues, depending on various factors

I have won 9 podiums in National Championship tournaments (two Gold, three Silver, four Bronze), and we have 5 other archers in our club who have won National Championships (3 of them under my tutelage), so there is a LOT of knowledge available in our club to be gleaned and shared.

And below is a more fleshed out version of what to expect:

Typically, the incoming student/JOAD new member aspirant follows a path somewhat like this:

1) an initial one-on-one lesson at the 3rd street range ... focus will be on range safety, proper basic form, a general assessment of current form and potential, and give the student (and, if a youth, his/her parents) and the coach a chance to learn about one another a little bit.

2) In some cases, the student is advanced enough already to immediately be asked to join the JOAD club (I am confident that Julia fits into this category).  In other cases, several more one-on-one lessons are indicated before JOAD membership is offered.

3) Student joins our  JOAD (Tulsa Archers Club) and gains 24/7 access to the 3rd street range, and begins attending the scheduled practices and pin shoots (second and fourth Sundays of the month at 2pm, and the third Thursday of the month at 5:30pm).  This is where the family will get to meet and get to know some of the other club members and parents (it's a NICE group of people)

4) Some students (with that competitive fire in their core) will either ask or be asked to join the "Delta Force segment of our club (called the BowRiders) - these are the archers who have serious aspirations to reach their maximum archery potential and are ready to match that aspiration with a focused commitment of training and competition.  The timing of joining the BowRiders is completely situational with each archer - for some, it can be a long time coming, and for others it can happen almost immediately.  We currently (Feb 2018) have about 30 JOAD members overall and 13 members of the competition team BowRiders and will be traveling en mass to College Station, TX next weekend to shoot in the USA Indoor National Championship.

5) we can talk verbally in more depth about the BowRider team at your convenience (otherwise this email might be never ending! 😂 ).

Here is a link to a small photo album of some of our team members shooting in the Oklahoma Indoor State championship last weekend in OKC.  I was shooting also for part of Saturday, so didn't get as many action pictures as I would have liked ...

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8RHzn1ejuM9hKfFZ2

If you want to see the embodiment of our (target recurve archers) goal and aspiration, here are some of the best archers in the world competing for a World Cup Championship two weekends ago.  Observe how precise and disciplined and exquisite their posture and control it - in these videos are 3 or 5 World Champions and Olympic medalists.  

https://photos.app.goo.gl/XtWSBHMMZKt9iFh62

Once you get rolling, competing doesn't have to be very expensive.  A good competition rig (bow, arrows, some peripherals) can range from $300 to $700, depending on how it's configured.  Of course, like cars and golf clubs, they'll take all your money if you want them to do so!  But the really pricey equipment doesn't make any point differences until you're in rarefied air, so save the big bucks for much later.  And competition expenses are thus:  local tournaments usually have entry fees of $15-20;  state tournaments usually around $40-45;  national tournaments between $75 once-a-year indoor Nationals, and $150 once-a-year Outdoor Nationals.   The national tournaments are usually two-four days, so you would have some travel and hotel expense, like with any other pursuit.  

For all of those archers who have a burning fire to max out their archery potential and find out where their archery ceiling is, my goal is to support and teach and enable all of those archers to reach those ceilings.  Below are my coaching philosophy, and also an email from my mentor (Olympian John Magera) who has an outlook I very much agree with)...

  A couple of philosophy statements - one from me, and one from my mentor John Magera (2004 Olympian) ...

My Coaching Philosophy

Larry Seale

As an archer, I have knowledge of the principles of form and tuning, and competitive experience in how to adapt to the stresses of competition, how to learn from losing (and how to lose with good humor and grace), how to learn from winning, and what it takes to put yourself in a position to win.  I believe those things are all necessary components for high level coaching.

But just as necessary is a clear understanding that that experience and knowledge, in a coaching role, is being used to serve my students, not the other way around.  I am here to show my students how to be better people (through consistent application of fairness and honesty and integrity and firm kindness and good humor!) and better archers (through the demonstration and explanation of form/tuning/competition theory and 'best practices').  

The major joy of the sport is not in winning, but in the giving of oneself to the commitment to prepare bravely and dare valiantly.  Thoughtful planning, and a persevering commitment to executing that plan is how one gives oneself to the endeavor.

To accomplish the above goals, my athletes are best served with me using a cooperative coaching technique.  We are a team with a common goal.  That team needs a general consensus between coach and athlete in how to achieve that goal – the planned process, the consistent execution of that plan, the regular assessment of progress, relaxed encouraged feedback, adjustments, but ever forward – happy warriors.

Ultimately, I want my archers to understand that archery is a great metaphor for a life of character and principles and clarity.  In archery, you shoot on a perfectly level playing field of merit and blind justice. Archery doesn't care about your height, your weight, your gender, your nationality, your color, your religion, or your bank account. It only cares about your performance - you get what you earn ... If you shoot a 10, you deserved it; if you shoot a 3, you deserved that, too ... it's straightforward, no excuses -"the arrow is the truth"..  Archery teaches that you can only control yourself, and that - with a plan, preparation, execution, reflection, and tenacity - you can achieve greatly.

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Coaching Philosophy (a forum discussion between a dad and John)

John Magera (2004 Olympic Team member)

John- I would like for her to practice a little more just to work on her form

While I understand that (what parent or coach wouldn't, right?) - all you can do is to ask her what she's looking for in archery, and then explain what you think is required in terms of practice, to achieve that. Then from that point on, it's up to her.

Look, I've been around this sport from nearly every angle now - as a hobbyist, a hunter, an international athlete, a coach and a parent of archers. And I can tell you that if the archer doesn't have a genuine love of shooting, they just aren't going to go very far in the sport, period. 99% of people out there - including many archers - really don't understand how much time the best archers put in shooting. And to put in that much time, an archer has to truly love to shoot.

Some kids love to shoot that much. Most don't. They enjoy it for a little while, or enjoy it while they are with their friends who are shooting, but as soon as they get home the bow goes up and they don't think about it until it's time to go to 4-H or JOAD practice. A kid can get pretty good at archery by practicing once/week for an hour or two under good supervision, but they won't be standing on a podium at Nationals unless they love shooting enough that -on their own- they go out and shoot during the week because they either enjoy shooting that much, or they are that determined to win, or both.

The majority of my students fall right into the category where your daughter is at right now. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The world is full of options today for young intelligent people - particularly if their parents can afford things. Sometimes I think kids these days actually have too many options and become jacks of many trades but masters of none. I see this in my own kids at times.

Eventually, they will realize - and your daughter will too - there there are one or two things they truly love doing, and gravitate toward those things while the rest fall away. Nothing in the world wrong with that at all.

Archery might be one of those things, and might not. I think at 9, it's too early to tell with most kids.

I'm watching my 14 year old daughter - who's finished in the top 10 at JOAD Nationals the past 3 years - gravitate toward music and swimming. It's what she does in her spare time. What she makes time for. And that's fine with me.

So just have fun with her. Like Andrew says - shoot with her. Make up games. 9 is a bit young IMO to worry about perfect technique for anyone other than a kid who has already expressed a burning interest in the sport. For most kids that age, they just need to keep it pointed downrange and be sure they are having fun.