Club News

Club Championships

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To everyone who took part in the club championships last night (Wednesday 9th Sept), we hoped you enjoyed a brief taste of competition.

It was brief because due to a busy schedule of events we ran in August, this club shoot slipped a little. And as you all saw last night ... it got dark quick!

We didnt shoot on because any lost arrows MUST be found before we close up for the night ... and we learned the hard way that having to bring the cars onto the field to light it up is no fun at all.

Indoors will soon be with us so start to look out those training shoes!


GA Archers to change WA rules...

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We at Glasgow Archers are very proud that two of our members were chosen to test a rules change for World Archery intended to be showcased at the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Normally the archer's coach must stand in a small box at what would normally be the equipment line. This was a little restrictive for the coaches, did not give them the respect they felt they deserved and in fact made them feel like a naughty dog! A new layout had to be found and Geo and Pau were selected (mainly to keep Geo quiet from his endless demands for a job in the SAA) to consider the options.

From concept to prototype, Geo and Pauline experimented with several new configurations intended to replace the ‘coaches box’. They settled on a relaxed yet professional configuration for archer and coach on the line. Their final choice is shown below.

After extensive testing the pair rejected a compulsory coaches piña colada due to “excessive relaxation of the coach” with possible ramifications with respect to "poor coaching advice, language and sudden desires to get their tap aff".

The new layout will be considered at the next rules committee meeting. It is hoped that this is simply a formality and the rules change will be in the books by April of next year. Watch out for it at Rio … We’re sure it's going to be a big hit with coaches!


Archery Holidays ...

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Or what actually happens at intensive coaching retreats!

After their collective 2nd place in the American … Our mixed recurve team (mixed because Pauline is nice and Geo is well … Geo!) decided to attend an archery retreat to better focus on their toxophiliy. They travelled to a mystery location in central France with a large case full of clothes and a larger case full of bows. Camp was set up, equipment assembled and then it was into the serious matter of study.

Firstly bodies had to be cleansed of impurities and minds of thoughts like ”I’ll never make this shot”, “(s)he’s better than me” and “Hoyt bows are expensive but worth the money!”.





Once the hypothermia had been treated, our archers were less damp and more appropriately clothed … they moved on to study great tomes of archery under stringent conditions intended to focus the entire consciousness.








Now that minds were suitably focused and pure of thought, they moved onto healthy nutrition. Meals were simple, intended to maximise energy/strength and focused on the transfer of complex vitamins/proteins  so turning bodies into temples to healthiness. These highly concentrated repasts were designed for efficiency but were not exactly appealing or constructed to be tasty.

During the many long hours of practice, our archers lived a spartan lifestyle with no hedonistic distractions to cloud their minds or mar their oneness with the craft.








An overnight vigil  in the Cave of the Archery Salamander was one of the final tasks. To pass the long dark hours in quiet contemplation seems straight forward but no one who endures the entire night with this lizard is ever quite the same again.









Finally, calm of mind, centred in spirit and focused like never before … Our now re-enthused, dynamic and energetic archers made their way home and on to future glory.






All dishes copywrite M. Denis Côme. Chef by appointment to Glasgow Archers although he doesn't know it.

Archery Holidays are available to anyone … As long as your girlfriend has family in France, a home with a big field, a boss, a father who is a professional chef and there's a mystical archery salamander living in the cellar.


Getting Better

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Someone recently asked “how do I get better at archery?”
Well, theres a shortish answer and a hugely long answer. Lets go with the shortish answer.

Practice: Now that may seem really simple and your response is probably DUH YEAH! But practice needs to have form and direction. Not just throwing arrows downrange. You will just reinforce your flaws.

First of all practice doesn’t need to be at range ... Geo recently spent 2 hours at 5m shooting 150 arrows using a bow with no sight at a 80cm inner face. This session was for timing, strength, endurance as well as focusing on bow grip, hook, anchor, string picture and release. Remember he had no sight but because of his consistency with all the above ... well, the groups speak for themselves. (Geo said just 10 of the 150 were in the 9 ring – 2 bad releases, 4 dropped bow arm and 4 simply cause he didn’t point the bow in the right direction ... dozy beggar!)

This technique is called blank boss and it removes the stress of AIMING (don’t get sloppy, you still have to put the arrow where you want it) while allowing you to focus on the shot. You can even do it with your eyes closed so focusing on how the shot feels with zero distractions. (aim at boss, draw to anchor, close eyes, shoot) Just don’t try this over 5m or we’ll be looking for arrows all day.

Coaching: Getting a coach to look over your form and make suggestions of areas to work on is kinda important.  Michael and Dave (our qualified coaches) can only watch so many on a club night. Experienced archers like Geo can make suggestions (we call this mentoring) but remember he’s an archer and wants to shoot. Personal coaching can be expensive (Michael and his business partner Moira in their guise as MRM Archery can supply high quality coaching - Geo and Pauline both get coaching from them) but you do get quite intensively watched, your form and kit broken down/improved and given something to focus your practice time. Oh and you do NEED TO TAKE NOTE AND PRACTICE WHAT YOU ARE TOLD!

Kit: It is perfectly possible to shoot well and even win competitions with quite modest kit. It is however a lot harder to get better if your kit isn’t set up correctly. Even a simple rough tune (nocking point, tillering, centre shot, string centring and button pressure) can improve your shooting as the bow will be working efficiently ... you wouldn’t try driving everywhere in 2nd gear, so why should your bow be so limited. See Geo (NOT when he's shooting!!!!) and he'll give your bow a magic tune.

Motivation: I'm not going to sugar coat this bit... YOU need to make the effort. YOU’ve got to want to get better to the point of giving up some things ie sunday morning in bed. YOU NEED to put in hours of practice. Once a week shooting on a wednesday isn’t enough to get better past a certain point (GA also have a Sunday session in the summer and a Saturday and Sunday session in winter).  There is no substitute for endless repetition locking in timing and strength because there is no magic archery fairy dispensing skill simply because you'd like it. Harsh but true I'm afraid.
Also see our page on motivation for some ideas.

So there's some food for though to be going on with. If you want the long answer, next time its raining and we’re having a caf in the pavilion ask Geo about his practice regime ... then settle in for the duration cause you know that sod can talk about archery forever!


Happy Hamish ... Hamish

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Dateline: 13th May

In 1948 Glasgow Archers was founded and right there to raise the flag ... well, raise the boss and stick a target on it was our own Hamish Robertson. He's still with us although we dont ask him to put all the bosses up any more!

To commemorate the birthday of our founding father and his vision for a rain soaked, wind swept archery club in Glasgow ... on the Wednesday closest to the 13th May we shoot "The Hamish". 3 dozen Arrows, 50 yards (30yrds for jnr and newbies), 122cm bosses, imperial scoring. If we could we'd invite some french knights to celebrate as well but Hamish did for them early in his archery career at Agincourt. Our resident lovely French person Pauline subbed for the missing aristocracy.

This year like each and every Hamish before ... the weather was dry, the archers enthusiastic, the banter lively and borderline slanderous ... just the way we like it.

Action to and from the bosses was kept brisk by club chair, judge and mobile midgie deterrent Andrew Duff.

It all kicked off with 2 ends of sighters 7pm prompt.

Some action from the field had John Mulholland putting up interesting numbers, the compound duel between Alistair and Neil on target 1 veered from misses to tight high scoring groups, Pauline and Ali traded shots on target 2 for the ladies recurve trophy, Geo had a snapped serving on his string but shot on using a shoelace and some hair-gel, Stephen found both gold and grass with impressive and disturbing regularity respectfully, young Master Brown looked to give his father a doing and some of the newer archers were proving that lack of experience does not prevent a competitive attitude.

The shoot was concluded, targets packed away with enough light to see, scores were tallied, medals and trophies awarded by the great man himself ... but most importantly everyone had fun! And thats what its all about .... (and winning medals obviously!!!!!!!)

(Ed's note: Both the Davidson/Côme and the Brown households left with 2 trophies each. (gents recurve, ladies recurve, Snr and Jnr compound) Feel free to speculate who got what in which category!)


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