Archers try National Training System

Updated: April 23, 2012, 10:45 AM ET
By Walter Villa | ESPNHS.com

The National Training System -- or NTS -- was developed by KiSik Lee, who has been the U.S. Archery coach since 2006. The method is based on Lee's analysis of body control, muscular requirements and the mental concentration needed to execute a precise shot.

The method provides steps by which the archer can work on and improve posture, grip, set-up, pull-back, anchoring, loading, aiming, release and follow-through, in addition to other steps and breathing exercises.

There are critics who believe NTS stunts experimentation and innovation and point to the fact that the U.S. did not medal in the 2008 Olympics in China.

But, in fairness, the U.S. has not medaled since 2000, so the drought began before Lee took over. Currently and for much of 2011, the U.S. men are ranked No. 1 in the world. The U.S. women are seventh.

Ariel Gibilaro's coach, Teresa Iaconi, said she was once of NTS' biggest skeptics.

"I refused to teach it 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.

"It doesn't stunt innovation because 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."