Deb Wright attendance at BBS (British Blind Sport) coaching sessions at Stoke Mandeville

Deb Wright who has received a grant from the Fletchers' Trust to support her attendance at BBS (British Blind Sport) coaching sessions at Stoke Mandeville.


A week prior to the event we were asked to complete detailed questionnaires by Malcolm the head coach. I said that I'd like to work on my release and to continue to develop a proper drop of the bow once the arrow is loosed.

We started by meeting in the restaurant area for our breakfast before all going into the hall for starting at 9am. We assembled our bows and started the session with three of the twelve exercises we would cover during the day. We have done these before and they should all be incorporated into a warm up routine before shooting to prepare the body. We were assigned our coaches and given the go ahead to commence shooting.

By mid morning break I really started to feel the muscles between my shoulder blades being activated through the draw, which I know had been lacking, it felt great. After we resumed from mid morning break we started with three different exercises of the twelve that make up our warm up routine. Engaging the core to ensure all muscles are being used correctly.

Further development of my draw concentrating on the elbow helped to develop a better release and started to have a few unexpected releases, where the string rolled off my finger tips, a natural release that Debbie  my coach was looking for. So we worked more on continually pulling to get the natural finger release on the string.

We resumed from lunch break, did another three different exercises of the twelve we would cover, and resumed the first of our afternoon sessions. The session progressed and I felt more frequently the natural release of my string rolling from my finger tips, which greatly improved my release, this gave me a great lift, knew the previous hours of work were paying off.

The last part of the session Debbie wanted me to work on not gripping the riser with my bow hand. Had a problem with my index finger gripping so Debbie suggested that I allow the finger next to it to very lightly touch the bow. This was to reassure my brain that I had hold of my bow and would not drop it. ( I do use a finger sling also)

The day was drawing to an end, I had just shot three x's and was extremely happy to finish my days session with that end. I did count arrows on my arrow counter during the whole session and at that point we had shot 196 arrows during the course of the day, my shoulder blade muscles certainly knew it. One more end was shot and Malcolm said he would finish the session there.

I find these session so rewarding, the coaches fully explain why they want you to work on specific areas and do address the archers individual concerns and areas they want to work on.

The questionnaire's prior to the sessions and the feedback forms after the sessions, give us all the opportunity to help tailor the sessions to specifics that we would like to work on, suggestions for improvements and also to the opportunity to request specifics we would like to be considered and included in future sessions. I am so grateful to the Worshipful Company of Fletcher's for granting me funding to allow me to attend these sessions, the rewards are a real boost to my confidence and progression in my archery