Advice needed for teaching a beginner with limited mobility.

philhoney

New member
Hi,
I have just been contacted by a lady who we met at our annual HAG. She has shot years ago but would like to get started again on a beginners course as a gentle form of excercise. I won't give her age but she doesn't pay when she catches a bus and is waiting for replacement knees.
During our chat she mentioned that she would like to shoot sitting down like the paralympic archers.
Although I have several disabled friends I have no experience of getting them started in archery and as I will probably be the only one there for the first half hour or so I don't want to make any mistakes that could put her in any danger.
I know the basics, make sure she is not overbowed, rest when she wants to not when I think she needs it, common sense.
How do you teach someone who is sitting down? No experience at all.
Is there anything else I need to be aware of? I know I will step aside once members who have been shooting far longer than me arrive but from our initial conversation I feel as if I have a lot in common with her and would learn a lot myself if I stay involved.
Phil
 


mk1

It's an X
Supporter
Philhoney - just as good posture is important for standing archers so that the shoulders can work properly the head is held up and they don't sway it is also the key for those sitting down. Simply put - don't slouch in the chair or on the stool. If you have to improvise with a chair be aware that one with a back that come up above the base of the shoulder blades will interfere with the draw etc - maybe a firm cusion at the base of the back will create some space. Angle the chair to open the stance if you need to help get clearance just as a standing archer would alter their foot position. It soulds as though some work with an exercise band would be a good gentle introduction too and she may be motivated to some work with it in between lessons.
 


Neilscoutb

New member
I have had two occasions where people have come along to have a go.band id say its best to have a go using a chair etc first so you have an expereience as a frame of reference. Finally it consider poundsge of bow height of archer since she will be sitting and distance to target for an enjoyable first session.

Good luck.
 


Phil Reay

New member
I have limited mobility and quite often have to use a chair (especially after my specialist had decided "oh! We can try this now" which puts me back in a wheelchair), it is actually no different to standing (unless you pay attention to the rules which means your feet must be on the foot plates). You are shooting slightly upwards but that doesn't actually make that much difference. Just a thought, what about one of the taller tripod seats although that may depend on how tall she is but it might be easier than a normal chair. If she has a NHS red chair, make sure the armrest can be taken off and the backs usually sag so I put a bit of wood across the backs of the disabled archer's chairs in our disabled spots club. Forces them up straight.
I'm sure you will manage very well and she'll enjoy herself. Good luck
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I seem to remember a seated archer drawing back a bow and ending up smacking the bottom limb into the floor after releasing.Perhaps that is uncommon, but dropping the bow arm could produce similar so it might be worth checking for ground clearance. A higher chair or shorter bow might help.
 


Aleatorian

Member
I have a wheel-chair bound archer at my club, and not having anything removable on the chair he has to shoot a 66" bow and I think he has to slightly over work the limbs as his draw length is right on the region were he should be using a 68", but if he used the 68" then he'd have trouble drawing as the string would not clear one of the arm rests
 


philhoney

New member
Hi,
Thank you everyone. Your comments have helped put my mind at rest and as long as we take our time I'm sure we'll manage.
She did mention that she had an office chair that she could use but I think that may be a bit low. I have got a four legged metal stool with a seat 24 in from the floor and a low back about 6in high. It is the perfect height for me to just rest my bottom on with my feet on the floor. Perfect for me but I'm only 5ft 2in so it may not be suitable for her. We'll see.
It's funny how the world works. It's only a couple of weeks ago that I bought half a dozen stretch bands (?1 each on Amazon) just for beginners to practice with.
All we need now is a dry evening but it's not looking good so far.
Thanks again,
Phil
 


Rekib

Member
I would try shooting from a chair yourself first. I shot for a few weeks from a chair with my leg in plaster and found it put more stress on my lower back than my usual shooting standing.
 


Phil Reay

New member
Not being able to "brace yourself" with your legs makes you put more stress on your back and arm and there is not a huge amount you can do about it although you do get used to it in the end. I will admit that i am quite surprised that Aleatorian mentioned that there was nothing that came off the chair. nearly all the chairs armrests either move up out of the way or come off altogether. The other thing to think off is a lot of wheelchair archers have a spoke protector shield on. this stops the bow getting tangled up in the wheelspokes (bloody annoying) and this allows the bow to "bounce" which stops the bow and longrod hitting the floor. it is possible to set up the bow so that it doesn't kick down. Mine just went forward to my fingers and stayed there. As long as you don't drop your arm, the bottom limb doesn't hit the floor but if you want it to go down, then put a blanket on the floor.
 


Yew Selfbow

Active member
Phil
I had a similar situation a few years back, with a young man with a spinal injury. The problem with seated archers is that they experience increased load over the Sacrum and the Ischial tuberosity which induces a flexing of the lumbar spine (the slouching that Murial described). The way we solved the problem was to use a Scandinavian kneeling type chair. It takes load away from the pelvis and keeps the shoulder gridle above the pelvis thus providing a stable base from which to shoot. Plus there's nothing to get in the way of the bow. He used it for about 6 months before returning to the USA , where I believe he still shoots.
Hope it helps
 


philhoney

New member
Hi,
It's the middle of summer and we're in the UK so it rained.
We'll try again next Tuesday and I'll get back to you all and let you know how we got on.
Thanks for all your advice and suggestions.
Phil
 


clickerati

The American
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
American Shoot
Can I make a suggestion please? Contact the BWAA (British Wheelchair Archery Association) and get some practical advice about seated/wheelchair archery.
 


philhoney

New member
Can I make a suggestion please? Contact the BWAA (British Wheelchair Archery Association) and get some practical advice about seated/wheelchair archery.
Hi,
I haven't met the lady yet so have no idea how mobile she is. I did mention that we had about 200yds to walk from the car park and she was OK with that so I think it's just that she may not be all that steady standing or may need a stick to get about. I'm just guessing.
If needed I will certainly get in touch with the BWAA but I don't want to jump the gun in case it's not needed or she could be offended. I will mention it to her once I get to know her and maybe she could do some research herself and educate us.
Phil
 


Bogger

New member
As with different archers and there equipment setup, the same has to be said about archers shooting from seated position. It's a personal thing. From what you describe your friends physical ability I wouldn't see any great obstacles. If that office chair she had suggested had those little wheels on them, a definite no. normal chair with a straight-ish back would be better. Try and take it from there. I haven't come across any problem insurmountable. Have fun
 


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