Building the foundations

The thing I find most challenging about archery is something that probably doesn’t even really occur to most archers, especially those who are able bodied.  But it’s something that is so important in achieving a good shot that it should be the very foundation that your technique is built upon.

Posture.

My level of injury means that I have no use of my core muscles, which means achieving the correct posture is impossible without help from assistive devices.  In my case, it all comes down to my wheelchair backrest.

I usually shoot from a chair with a canvas back but this gives me a simultaneous backward and sideways lean once I’m at full draw, as you can see in this photo.

Taken during the Talent Festival League in August 2014, where I won a bronze medal.

Taken during the Archery GB Talent Festival League in August 2014, where I won the bronze medal.

Although this has worked for me up until now, things have to change to get better and more consistent. So over the last few weeks, I have been trialling various backrests in the hopes of finding one that will give me more support.

The first has wide lateral supports which help to prevent the sideways lean.  However, since the backrest itself is wider than I am, I found that I just slide along the back by a couple of inches until I hit the side support….not ideal.

Backrest with wide lateral supports

Backrest with wide lateral supports

However, my teammate recommended a new product which seems to have done the trick.  It’s a highly customisable back that sits me more upright while fitting snugly enough on the back that I don’t have anywhere to move once I’m in it.  The kind people at Gerald Simonds Healthcare are loaning me their demo model next week so that I can put it to the test at the National Indoor Championships in just over a week.  It’s a risky event to be testing something so important but as the saying goes, he who dares wins! Here’s hoping 🙂

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