Korean coach – Team USA. This style is very specific and has been attributed to Lee’s observations over the years and what he believes to be the most biomechanically efficient method available today. There are no similarities of the Korean method or basic understanding of what constitutes typical good form.
Korean coach – Team Mexico. This style is what has been taught for years worldwide and it is what the Korean method was in the 1980’s through about 2010. (Which, by the way has been very American for years).
Korean coach – Team Korea. This style has many similarities as the older Korean method, with just a slight change or dramatic as to the movement of the follow through. This style was similar to the 1960’s and early 1970’s method being taught in the US.
Although three different styles and yet under one coaching system? No, just one country of coaches who have varied their styles to either satisfy their own belief or to work in the culture they are representing. There is only one coach of this group who may represent the cultural change but I doubt it and that is the Korean coach working with the Mexican team. He has transformed a group of archers into very classic style and yet, if an archer deviates from that style it appears that he works with the individual. One of the male archers, Alverez, uses a unique draw method that is not common. Also, Serrano grasps the string with his fingers in a very unique way. However, both are on the team and did very well. This is a sign that the coach must be a bit flexible.
Lee’s coaching style. Starting with the Korean method that he learned in the 1980’s and 1990’s he has decided to go “rouge” and offer a different approach to his coaching style. It is hard to say that it does not work since he has been so successful. However, if you look at how the Korean team shot (their technique) when he was the coach, you will see that the style is entirely different to the US team. If you also look at the Australians and their technique when he was the coach there it was very similar to the old Korean method. For some reason he has decided that there is a better way and he has made those changes in the US. Does it work? Yes. Is it the best way? So far it has not proven as such but it can be said that the method works. It does require more rigorous training and it demands more strength than any other shooting method used. This is the reason that recreational archers will struggle to master this style of shooting. However, they can master about 75-80% of the method, which is quite similar to traditional style techniques. The remaining 20-25% should be considered once the archer reaches a specific area of expertise. However, I am not sure that Lee will allow an archer to be an RA or JDT if they do not commit 100% to his teaching style.
The Korean coach with the Mexican team is without a doubt an excellent coach who has worked with the team for some time. The style and technique used by him is without a doubt successful. It is truly a classic style of shooting and the most efficient use of bone structure and light use of muscle, thus better control of fine motor movement skills. The draw, anchor, aim and continuous motion has proven best for the two medal winners Roman and Avitia. Their fluid motion, great line and good positive approach is noticeable when shooting during the Olympics. Serrano looked as good when shooting, however, his timing changed under the pressure thus not able to make it to the medal round. Alveraz has a lot of talent and is so young that if he continues to shoot and train, he could be a medal contender in 4 years. Although his technique is not 100% like the first three I talked about, he does have an excellent technique. It is nice to see that they do not need to be clones with this coach. The unique thing I noticed was the coach’s approach with the archers. He was always smiling and appeared to be upbeat. This appeared to put the archer at ease and was even able to smile and laugh during the scoring periods. This is so important for an archer to be relaxed during this time of pressure.
The Korean coach with the Korean team. This new style of shooting, which is more of the older US approach that was used back in the 1960’s and 1970’s was a bit surprising to me. However, it has been proven to be successful. The relaxed shot execution and the extreme follow through is what coaches like Dick Tone advocates. This has been proven to be effective and successful. The interesting thing I noticed with the coach was his seriousness with the archers. Very seldom did I notice any joking smiling or relaxing. I attribute this to the culture of the archers and their coach. They were there to do a specific job and that is what they did. This is only speculation but I would have to say that it is interesting to note that it works. I am not sure it would work in the US unless you had that serious type archer.
The interesting note is that all three systems were effective and proven to be successful. As I have stated in other threads, I really like the system of the Mexican program. Their technique and style is excellent and one that is very classical and the most biomechanically efficient system I have seen.
I only commented on these three styles since all three where lead by a Korean coach. It shows that each had his own way and each proved to be fairly successful. The most impressive of all was the Mexican group due to their fantastic finish and their technique. It is hard to beat such simplicity when done right. I salute the Mexican Federation for their courage to develop this program.
Another note is that there appeared to be two approaches to shooting the elimination rounds in bow poundage. Many archers were over bowed by the amount of shaking they showed during their shooting. This was noted with men and women. I think this is due to making an effort to shoot as heavy poundage one can in order to shoot flatter trajectory. Since the round only requires 12 to 15 arrows at a time, they do not need to worry about getting worn out. However, the lack of 100% control might have been a factor during the early stages. You will note that most of the archers, who shot bows that were not too heavy, went on and shot in the medal matches. I figure this is something that only time will tell with this new type of round. I know it is not real new, but in real terms it is still new for the coaches and archers to figure out what is best for the round.