With the rise of movies like Brave, the Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings and The Avengers’ Hawkeye, archery is starting to come back into popular culture. Beyond just a fad, the practice of archery promotes skills and behaviors we all hope to see in our children.
Here are 5 Reasons for Kids (or Anyone) to Learn Archery
1. Learning Mental Focus
Archery is a very mental sport. In recreation, archers strive to execute the shot process over and over. Depending on the archery range and style of archer, you may be shooting at the same target, or moving from target to target along an outdoor course.
In competition, archers must shoot 20 rounds of 3 arrows each within 2 minutes, followed by a 2 minute wait for the next line, and some extra time to score. A typical indoor competition can last between 4-6 hours, and a competitor must keep focused during that time.
In either case, archers must work their shot process without overthinking it, and not be thrown off by the inevitable bad shot.
2. Building Physical Awareness & Strength
It should be obvious that archery requires physical strength in the back and shoulder. What is less obvious is that archery also requires solid core strength, a good sense of balance and awareness of body positioning and movement. Our archery students learn how to strengthen their bodies and improve balance and awareness with specific drills and technique practice.
3. Achieving a Sense of Accomplishment
Many kids have had less than favorable experiences with team sports, and individual sports provide them an opportunity to shine. Being able to draw, aim and loose an arrow at a target may be fun, but as one tracks their evolution and watches scores increase it is inevitable that a sense of accomplishment comes to one. This is a skill that can only be done by an individual, and while your team can help you train, you yourself must be the catalyst for improvement.
And of course, the availability of competitions locally, regionally, nationally and internationally gives one a chance to test one’s skills in a variety of formats.
4. Archery Teaches Sportsmanship
Kids in our archery programs learn how to support each other while being the best athlete they can be. We teach leadership – that an archer at any level can help another improve, and sportsmanship – that it is most important to improve your own score, and to support and cheer for others, some of whom you may be competing against, when they do their best.
5. Archery is Just Plain Fun!
Archery isn’t an aggressive sport, so it will appeal to those kids who aren’t so physical. It’s a relaxed sport, so there is little pressure for those not drawn to the nail biting of team sports. There are many avenues to enjoy this on it’s own or in competitions. You’re outdoors in nature enjoying an ancient shooting sport!