How we beat lockdown pt 1 – by philippa lowe

Pete Webb

These unprecedented times have called for some creative and innovative ideas to distance coach for such an extended time away from the range. Here is my blog on how the group and I beat lockdown and without exception all my archers have emerged better than when that first dreaded isolation announcement was made.

“Its been great fun – moving out of lockdown we are all seeing Big improvements in our shooting” – Pete Webb

The first question I had to ask myself was how on earth do I keep archers engaged and motivated without their usual regular one to one slots or group sessions for what was looking likely to be a lengthy time. One to one video coaching certainly has its place but by no means replaces the real thing. With competition’s cancelled and club shooting on hold another issue.  I realised it was how to keep archers motivated when they are training alone.

I had only recently overcome several obstacles to set up my own Heart of England Coaching group and the last thing I wanted were for archers to lose interest and drift away when we’d only just got started full of enthusiasm. And crucially not to lose the progress they had already made. However keen archers have staying power and these archers rose to the challenge, I’m really proud of each and every one of them.

So initially I had to do a little
problem solving:-

Abi looking pro

  • Find a medium that everyone was happy to engage in. (15 archers initially)
  • Work out how on earth I can set equal challenges for a group with an age range from 10 – 50 and vast differences in experience and ability.
  • Be inclusive for all – some could shoot at home others couldn’t, some had support others didn’t. Some had i-pads and laptops – others didn’t.
  • Work out the best way to give and receive feedback.
  • Coming up with 12 weeks of different challenges, games, fitness etc which is a hard ask when trying to keep it fun but beneficial.
  • And how DO you extract teenagers from the depths of their bedrooms, not to mention their X boxes??

Dave H

So I took myself off to a dark room (I do this a lot lol) and after much head-scratching came up with the Lockdown League.

The Heart of England Coaching group Facebook page was set up. This is a closed group for members and parents so that everyone is comfortable with sharing videos and photos. It has enabled us all to stay connected, to still feel part of the group rather than being left to struggle alone at home and to have some fun and banter – I have to have banter!

I’ve finally nailed my bow arm in the garden” Dave H

Alongside the different challenge’s archers have also directly messaged me videos and I have had to adjust to coaching from a distance with a range of angles, lighting issues etc but I’m getting good at working out what needs addressing from the top of someone’s head in the dark lol and I have employed a virtual big stick!


So back to the Lockdown League.

Each week points were awarded for every challenge completed – with spot challenges and prizes thrown in to mix it all up. At the end of 12 weeks, the 15 archers who started full of enthusiasm were still with me and more had joined in!! I must admit I thought I’d lose most by week 4.

“The group and comps Have given me a reason To shoot “ Edward

In part two I will share the ideas, games and innovations that we used to keep everyone going, some interesting eye-openers from the archers too. But what IS nice is that now clubs are open everyone still wants to continue and new archers have joined even now – something must be working!!!

Author Archives: Philippa Lowe

Philippa Lowe has an archery career spanning 35 years starting when she was talent spotted as a junior aged 15. She has represented Club, County, Region and Country extensively and is one of the few archers to be selected for the GB development squads with both recurve and compound bows. She acheived 5th place at the selection shoot for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Winner of many national titles over the years she has also achieved GMB with both compound and recurve bows.
Philippa now puts her extensive experience into encouraging and coaching archers from all over the country including the Jersey Island Squad. In 2017 the Jersey team travelled to Gotland for the highly competitive Island games.With Philippa as coach, the team successfully won several medals including the recurve team gold and mixed team compound alongside individual medals.

Her latest achievement is setting up her own Heart of England Coaching Group where as a County Coach Philippa works with archers of all ages to develop their shooting to a very high standard and has been instrumental in keeping them all motivated and progressive during the recent lockdown.