When Kisik Lee, the US Olympic Archery Head Coach, introduced the scientifically-based Biomechanical Efficient Shooting Technique (BEST) and its newer incarnation, the National Training System (NTS), it must have been quite a jolt to a sport that had been taught essentially unchanged since the bow and arrow were invented.
An quotes article from 2012Archery Coach Teresa Iaconi:
“I refused to teach [NTS] for three years because I didn’t understand it,” she said. “But I read up on it, and I now understand that it is based on biomechanics.
“…no one is forced to use the system. We have several top archers who don’t use it. But what I like is that now we finally have an easy and repeatable way to teach archery.”
Why The NTS System Works
The biomechanics are complex, but can be simply summarized. The archer’s skeletal structure, positioned in a straight line, passively supports most of the draw weight. As a consequence, his muscles are under less gross stress, and can more easily perform the miniscule movements of the final steps in the 12-step shot sequence. By using the skeletal support, the archer should also be able to shoot longer with less fatigue, enabling him to maintain more consistent form.
ESPN Sport Science did a great Youtube video on the physics of archery, using Brady Ellison to demonstrate the use of the skeletal structure:
It’s also fun to watch Brady shoot an arrow through a donut hole AND a spinning CD in slow motion, but that’s not the point here. (Okay, who am I kidding, that’s totally the point! Archery at its root is all about fun, am I right?)
Stunts aside, no one can deny — it’s more fun to shoot when you shoot well!
That’s why we need the kind of science and consistency in coaching techniques that Kisik Lee has brought to the sport.
The application of the scientific method and mathematical analysis to archery is still in its infancy. It’s why we are building ArcherZUpshot. I intend to study it further, and pass along what I learn as I go.
In my usual snarky English, not technobabble.
So, if you are interested in where the science of archery is going, stay tuned!
Newbie Archer Girl signing off….