Get your children started in archery at a young age.
By Trent Jonas
Discovering archery at a young age can bring a lifetime of rewards. Not only does the sport offer a number of health benefits from building strength to boosting self-confidence, it's also highly accessible and can be affordable if you're looking in the right places. If your child is interested in taking up a new hobby, introduce them to archery. Here are just seven ways the sport can positively impact your child's life.
Archery is a great activity for kids’ physical development because it requires upper body strength and frequent practice helps to develop the shoulders, chest, back, arms and core. In order to improve at the sport, kids should exercise each of these areas on a regular basis. In addition, the patience and finesse that archery requires also helps to develop and improve fine motor skills as kids become more adept at steadying the bow, finding their target, and releasing the string.
Several aspects of archery can help to build self confidence in kids. The sport requires patience and focus, as well as learning not to become emotional about bad shots. Instead, mistakes can be used as moments to learn and grow from. As young archers mature, they learn to analyze what factors resulted in a missed a target, adjust, and improve the next time. The resulting mental maturity and physical skills, in turn, help kids to believe in their own abilities—not just in archery but in anything to which they apply themselves.
Although you can spend a lot of money on a new compound bow and composite arrows, the cost of getting kids started in archery does not have to be prohibitive. You can purchase a low-cost, archery starter set, some including arrows, a target and a wrist guard for $100 or less, and if no arrows are lost, you won’t need anything else in terms of equipment. Although there may be fees associated with indoor ranges, many cities and counties have free outdoor ranges that are open to the public.
While archery may seem like a solitary pursuit, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Whether simply hanging out at the range of participating as part of a team, archery is an excellent way for kids to make friends and share their interest in archery with others.
Another great reason for kids to take up archery is that they can practice the sport all year long, no matter what climate they live in. In addition to public and private outdoor ranges, indoor ranges can also be found throughout the country. Some of these are standalone, while others may be located in recreation centers, archery stores, or sporting goods stores. In addition, because archery can be relatively low-intensity and draw weights can be adjusted, it is a sport that can be practiced for a lifetime.
Many kids who take up the sport become involved with leagues or team competitions, whether through their school, a local range, or a youth recreation program. In these settings, kids learn how to practice good sportsmanship, cooperation, and how to be team players.
Regardless of the other benefits, the main reason kids should get involved with archery is that it’s fun. Whether heading out in the field with a parent or hitting the range with teammates, the friendly competition, camaraderie, and sense of accomplishment that archery brings will put a smile on any kid’s face. What’s more, archery is prominently featured in movie franchises like "The Lord of the Rings," "The Hunger Games," and both the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes. So, on top of everything else, kids can enjoy emulating some of their favorite movie heroes.