Criteria for I.L.A.A. accredited Instructors:
The I.L.A.A. aims to encourage people to take up archery by keeping the threshold of safe entry of shooting in the longbow as low as possible.
To give substance to these aims the I.L.A.A. has given structure to its teaching process. Qualified I.L.A.A. Instructors are a good and reassuring entry channel for those who wish to take up longbow archery.
Maintaining exacting standards the I.L.A.A. is not one for “stuffing the curriculum”, whether for Instructors or for those who simply want to learn to shoot.
Some associations burden and lengthen the processes of teaching and of learning. While it has to be nd they might be preoccupied with teaching a variety of bows, the adopted methodology can amount to an “entry tariff” with an inefficient ratio of, time - v - acquired skill sets. At the other end of the scale are those associations that eithee teaching process upon others, or lack any formal structure.
Neither of these approaches fulfils the basic requirement of someone who takes an interest in Archery and simply wants to learn to shoot and enjoy themselves in safety.
I.L.A.A. accredited instructors address precisely these points.he I.L.A.A. accredited Instructors course comes in two parts; the theory and the practical. The theoretical part covers the welfare of the Tutees, children and vulnerable adults in particular.
It addresses the needs for an accompanying guardian in certain circumstances and for explicit consent for any physical contact, which should always be minimal and always appropriate to the task of instruction. The legal position, Instructor - v - Tutee, is discussed and the candidate is expected to be well versed in procedural steps in case of any incident, complaint and/or withdrawal of consent.
Candidates are made aware that I.L.A.A. Instructors are expected to be able to get a raw recruit into a position of reasonable skill and safety within one hour. They therefore recognize that the counterparty to such expectation is a high degree of professional skill on their part.
The need to keep technical skills updated is emphasised.
I.L.A.A. accredited Instructors are particularly aware of the balance between, what the Tutees expect and what the Instructor can reasonably deliver.
Given the time available to get Tutees up to reasonable proficiency, some insight is given into 2 different teaching approaches and the 2 related processes of skill acquisition and learning. Calibrated learning - v - uncalibrated learning, motor memory - v - declarative memory, as well as skill retention over time is highlighted in the course. The embedding of motor memory is given particular attention.
Before the Instructor goes from the theoretical to practical “in the field” teaching, he or she has to be fully conversant with a point by point checklist. The checklist ensures expectations of the parties are understood, consent and the necessary forms and contact details are on hand, the Tutees clothing / equipment is up to standard, the ratio of Tutees to assistants is correct and that witnesses / Guardians are present where appropriate.
I.L.A.A. Instructors are likely to be teaching under time constraints. In order to achieve what they set out to, their teaching has to be at peak efficiency throughout the session. Candidates therefore have to be proficient in identifying the cross-over points between declarative and motor memory; which is appropriate and in what circumstances. The very first part of the tuition process is most likely to rely in declarative memory; the latter part will be almost entirely one of motor memory.
Emphasis is placed on teaching only are limited number of skills (two at most), before the physical act of shooting. Upon retrieval of arrows, again a limited number of skills are taught, before the next physical act of shooting and so forth. As a counterpoint to this, positive and constructive criticism is only addressed with regard to a limited number of deficiencies on the part of the Tutee. Only one, maybe two aspects of what he or she need to improve are brought into focus at any one time.
The candidate is encouraged to keep to a set sequence of instruction.
The position of the arrow on the bow and in the hand, followed by the stance and basic movement involved in drawing up and loosing the arrow.
Instruction is then concentrated sequentially on the bow-arm, the physical height of the draw and the arrow-hand. Elevation and aim are less important in the initial stages. As teaching progresses, elevation and aim receive increasing emphasis. The sequence of shooting and retrieving is speeded up in order to embed motor memory through repetition. Any remaining bad habits have immediately to be identified and ironed-out while encouragement is given.
As the process of skills acquisition progresses so the need for encouragement becomes important.
I.L.A.A. Instructors are made well aware that enthusiastic encouragement aids the learning process to a considerable extent. Tutees must feel that their Instructor is truly “willing” them on to success. A skill that is instantly self-tested.
The skill of an I.L.A.A. Instructor is almost instantly self-tested. If after one hour’s tuition there is any one Tutee who remains unsafe and/or unskilled in the basic act of drawing-up, aiming and loosing an arrow; the instructor should have the humility and wisdom to acknowledge the fact and do something about it.
The I.L.A.A. accredited Instructors manual contains a series of annexes that relate to the wording of;
Tutee consent; a short-form incident report and criteria that should be addressed in a full incident report.
Only once the candidate has become an I.L.A.A. accredited Instructor are they given the full manual, which they are required to use on a regular basis as an aide memoire. It is also an essential part of the three-yearly re-examination and renewal of their accreditation.