What is Your Discipline?
How do you choose what discipline to shoot? To answer this question we have asked 3 archers that all shoot different disciplines, Target, Field and Clout. They have been kind enough to talk through what makes their discipline special to them. Hopefully this will be interesting and informative and help you to make that all important choice.
Name: Barbara Williams
Bow style: Barebow & Recurve
Biggest title won: Double National Champion
Alchemy (AKA Clout)
“From the very start I found long distances fascinating – I just couldn’t reach ‘em! Informed by a target MB she could hit 100 yards with 24lbs with decent form I felt crushed. Clout with its even longer distances was a darker art, but as a born scrapper I’d found a real challenge . . .
Took me 2 two long, fascinating years before I achieved any consistency. I wrestled with trajectory theories, Heath-Robinson sights, shoulder-wrenching poundage, pins, gaffer tape and Blue-tack, etc., then blackmailed a fellow archer who was a National Champion into disclosing his secret. He wanted a lift to a tournament, I wanted info. Eureka.
I rejoice in the lack of the time-consuming, spine dislocating nonsense of moving target bosses. The flag stays put, leaving more time to gossip, analyse and enjoy. It’s also kinder to both mind and body with the longer “walk of hope” allowing more recovery time.
Finally, the friendship and sportsmanship. There’s bucket loads of mutual respect and real appreciation of a well-positioned group around the flag. High winds, humidity, sheer distance and the fact that most can’t even see the flag makes this discipline appear impossible. I’ll never get over the thrill of seeing 6 in the scoring zone, the sight of arrows soaring like Icarus into sky and a 6-clout end is sheer alchemy! I’ve made just a little gold over the years . . .” Barbara Williams
Name: Jo Healey
Bow style: Bowhunter Compound
Biggest title won: European Champion Ladies Bowhunter 2015
“Field Archery- Why?-…Offers a unique challenge to do Archery in beautiful woodlands and forests, all different terrains around the country , all year round, several different interesting rounds from spots to 3D animals, and no round is the same.
Field Archery has several different styles of shooting from home made long bows to the flashiest of FU compounds but all are admired for their different skills.
The atmosphere at every shoot is friendly and fun, there is an organised shoot every Sunday throughout the year at a variety of clubs, alongside 6 competitions every year (plus the Europeans and Worlds).
The Europeans and Worlds give great opportunity to shoot at fantastic places, this year was in Sweden, the UK champs was in Southern Ireland.
There is never any pressure and there is always someone on hand to give advice, help you out and of course take the mickey!
As well as the archery, the scenery and the people, field archery also offers the great outdoors and good old fashion walking exercise. Once a member of a field archery club there is unlimited access to shoot the courses at your leisure….” Jo Healey
Name: Neil Bridgewater
Bow style: Compound
Biggest title won: National Series 2015 Compound Winner
“The discipline of target archery is something I have followed for 35 years.
Target has given me the opportunity to represent myself, my club, my county and my country. It’s such a simple sport, but requires great focus and effort to achieve the required result.
There’s nothing better than shooting on a warm summer’s day, standing on the shooting line going through your shot process, steady on target following through after release and seeing the arrow flying down the range and appearing in the centre of the target.
It all started out, aged 12, as the challenge of hitting the target, and then the gold, I still remember coming home after an evening’s shooting and proudly declaring I had shot my first 10, 10, 10. It then progressed on to trying to beat my club mates and to winning competitions but today it’s all about trying to achieve the perfect shot time after time. Often you will see me walk off the line muttering and shaking my head when the arrow has gone in the middle just because it was a bad shot.
There are so many different levels of achievement possible in target archery, from simply hitting the target right up to representing your country at the Olympic Games. Age is no barrier either, although I didn’t start until I was 12 my children started aged 6 and Dad is still shooting aged 72, and we are all still learning and improving…” Neil Bridgewater
As you can see, within our sport there is a lot of variety and many options to choose from, and there is always something that will suit all archers.
If you have some thoughts on this please do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and title your email “What is your discipline?”, and some of the replies will be posted on line. Please let us know your thoughts.
Shoot ‘em strong and see you on the shooting line soon.