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10 LIFE LESSONS KIDS LEARN FROM ARCHERY:

10 LIFE LESSONS KIDS LEARN FROM ARCHERY: Archery has been a vital part of civilization for millenniums. Originating with our huntergatherer ancestors and passed down through time, what was one day a means to provide food and protection for one’s family is now a favourite pastime for both young and old. Whether carved as petroglyphs on the walls of ancient dwellings or viewed worldwide at the Olympics, it’s easy to see archery has been around for a long time along and continues to be a pop culture phenomenon. Made even more popular by recent Hollywood films, there is little doubt archery is here to stay. This popular activity continues to provide today’s youth with both fun and valuable learning. Archery is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing recreational activities among today’s youth. Regardless of age, this activity is attracting countless young people to become proficient at a very ancient tradition. In both urban and rural areas there is a groundswell of curiosity in the fine art of archery, resulting in overwhelming growth in all aspects of the sport. Local archery clubs have continued to experience drastic growth in memberships and archery dealers have noticed the same trend in archery equipment sales. The results are obvious. In 2012 one out of every 12.5 people participated in archery. This growing worldwide interest was exemplified during the 2012 Olympics, by the fact that archery was the most watched sport. Made accessible by beginner archery lessons, after school programs and local archery shops, archery can provide lifelong value to those getting involved. KIDS LEARN FROM ARCHERY While some parents might be tempted to believe archery is a passing trend, think again. As a low-impact and lifetime interest, this is one pastime that will teach valuable lessons as well as provide entertainment. LIFE LESSONS FROM ARCHERY Besides the fun of sending arrows downrange into a target, archery is also a teaching tool. Providing life lessons, archery is far more than ownership of a bow and arrow. So, what lessons can archery teach kids? 1. DISCIPLINE Archery may be considered a sport to most, but to those involved it is a series of precise movements learned by discipline. Archery teaches discipline by demanding proper stance, draw, anchor and release. The archer will quickly learn that with each shot there must be consistency and control. These are required basic fundamentals to make accurate shots. More than just another sport, the bow and arrow will teach the shooter that being disciplined in small things always leads to greater success downrange. 2. MENTAL FOCUS Much like golf, archery requires mental focus. Learning to block out all other distractions is a must for accuracy. Allowing your mind to stray will mean a stray arrow will follow. Good archers focus on making each shot count. This requires a mind set on making sure of proper form and correct shot execution every time. In a world full of distractions, archery assists in establishing a laser like focus of the mind. 3. ATTENTION TO DETAIL Archery is about repeating the same mechanics time-after-time. These small details can make all the difference between expertise and mediocrity. Repeatability of your anchor point, sight picture and release are key elements of archery. These may sound simple, but as every archer knows, they require practice. Getting your kids into archery will help them pay attention to appreciate the small things. 4. PERSISTENCE Archers understand that in order to improve, they must be persistent. The muscle memory required to excel will require regular practice. Not every arrow will always be right on target but there’s never room to quit. This is a valuable lesson for any young person to learn. 5. PATIENCE Hurry is not the archer’s friend. While today’s world may be in a hurry, archery forces the shooter to slow down and follow through. Rushing the shot will usually result in a lack of accuracy. Learning to patiently shoot one arrow at a time is a lesson that will provide great value for your kids in years to come. 6. CONFIDENCE Psychologists agree that confidence plays an important factor in child development. This confidence is strengthened when children can visualize their own personal skills. Archery provides visual stimulation to the child, making it possible for them to see the progression, development and possession of various skills. Few activities can give your child confidence like archery can. 7. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY Although archery can be leveraged as a team sport, it is very dependent upon the actions of the individual. The shooter will soon realize that any mistake or error is his or her own fault. In archery there is no one to blame if an arrow fails to hit its mark. This lesson is an important one for any youth to learn. Personal responsibility is a major player all through life. 8. PLAY BY THE RULES The law of physics doesn’t allow cheaters. The archer will soon recognize that, in order to be consistent, he or she has to follow the rules. This may sound too simplistic, but it’s a known fact that most kids do better in school after participating in archery. The principal of understanding rules are necessary is an important part of a child’s character development. 9. SOCIAL SKILLS Although each arrow is dependent upon a single shooter, archery is a social activity. Standing side by side with other archers will help to develop knowledge sharing skills. Few things can compare to watching your child sit down and help another child through a problem they are having. This is the result of spending time within the archery community. When your child begins to help another shooter with their shooting, you recognize these skills far exceed putting an arrow in a target. 10. FUN No one can simply hand you archery skills; they must be earned. But, once received, there is great reward for the time spent earning them. Life isn’t all work and neither is archery. Life is enjoyable and rewarding when work is put in its proper perspective. So it is with archery. Archery is both fun and rewarding. And the harder you work, the more rewarding it is. As kids learn this, they will understand that work can be fun. A LIFELONG SPORT A recreational specialist recently wrote, “Archery is the only sport I’ve seen that is this structured. Kids learn to wait their turn, follow directions, set goals and challenge themselves. Once they’re instructed, hardly any of my students cause problems. Archery develops character, and these students will benefit the rest of their lives.” Archery isn’t just another hobby, with time and encouragement your child will develop skills that will last a lifetime.