The longbow is a bow that was traditionally made out of yew, which is a tree that is commonly found in England. The English Longbow was typically considered a self-bow meaning that they were made from a single piece of wood. These longbows were monstrous as they would usually be 6 feet tall, or above, when they were set up standing. Given that they were so tall, they required that the shooter had to have a tremendous amount of upper body strength. In order to get the upper body strength that was needed, the shooters would have to spend extensive time training. If they had not been trained so extensively, they would not have been successful in their future battles.
Everyone who lived in England at the time was encouraged to practice on their longbow skills. They were encouraged to the point where they were banned from participating in sports that were held on Sunday so that they could get as much practice as possible. The good thing for the peasants was that the king encouraged both the rich and the poor to participate. This gave people who were poor an opportunity to promote themselves with their longbow. The fact that it took so long to master this skill also discouraged other places from trying to adopt the long bow.
These archers would typically train for a decade before their skills would be good enough for them to take out onto the field. It is no wonder that the king thought of these longbow archers as the cream of the crop. It was not uncommon to see these soldiers were being paid more for their services. These archers rightfully deserved it because many of them were expected to fire around 15-20 arrows a minute. If you put it in a different perspective, they were asked to shoot one arrow from their longbow every 3-4 seconds! Click here if you are interested in buying a longbow.