Hands up who’s kids are very happy in front of a video game or a TV? Mine certainly are and that’s great for some hand eye co-ordination but personally I would sooner they get out into the fresh air alongside playing their video games. Getting my kids involved in Archery for me as a coach was a winner - it’s a safe, fun activity with tons of extra benefits to be had along the way plus I get to spend quality time with us doing something together - no brainer!
If you’re new to the sport or your children or yourself are thinking of taking it up then what do you think you know about archery? Forget what you see in films with arrows flying this want and that (don’t get me started on the film coaching out there) and arrows that alway hit their mark shot from a mile away while looking in the opposite direction. On one hand it makes archery look like fast-paced supershot magic but on the other it can sometimes mislead. Archery takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to perfect but it’s about the enjoyment and the personal journey along the way. We can get someone shooting relatively well at short have a distances very quickly but putting a 144 arrow scoring round in from 100 yards is a very different matter. If you or your children are thinking about joining the archery community then bring an open mind and a smile and ‘we’ the grassroots coaches will do the rest to get you started. Along your the journey I think you’ll enjoy every step especially if you’re shooting with other family members and you have a fun-minded coach.
If you think archery is a dangerous sport it’s actually one of the safest sports out there. In fact it’s all about safety from the very first minute of a beginners course. Archery GB coaches are all trained to deliver the course in a particular way of teaching so that safety is always forefront and it’s always taught in a very structured way with lots of fun thrown in some are taught in club environments and others are taught by experienced Archery GB coaches within training companies such as Longbow Events.
Is it seasonal?
Archery is an all year round activity and we shoot indoors and outdoors. There are several different shooting styles such as target archery (as seen in the olympics), Field archery shot in private wooded courses at either paper targets or 3D targets plus there is Clout archery shooting at a flag 80-180 yards away and the more traditional side of roving which dates back to the military training of the English Longbow back in the day plus horseback archery. So there’s lots of variety to archery and let’s face it we all love variety especially kids!
How old do you have to be?
My own son who is now 8 has been shooting for a few years now and has pretty much tried all forms of archery and has headed down the traditional archery route first with a horsebow (thankfully not on a horse) and then with an English Longbow. He was lucky enough to have had a self yew english longbow made for him personally by master bowyer Jamie MacDonald of Ravenbeak (thanks again Jamie!) and he is totally smitten with it. He also enjoys 3D archery out in the woods with myself and a few of his family members. He’s just as happy in the woods shooting as he is in front of a screen.
Most Archery GB clubs won’t start teaching kids until they are around 10 years old but NFAS clubs will teach a lot younger. It really depends on the child and their focus, ability to listen etc.
I really do think that archery helps all kids focus and understand rules and behaviour - as a coach I’ve seen unruly kids straighten up and listen as they soon realise that they only shoot if they follow the rules. Archery gives kids a sense of achievement, teaches respect to fellow archers and coaches and the fact that they can shoot in a team or on an individual basis also teaches them how to interact on a social basis.
How can we start?
Archery is all about repetition - the same arrow shot many times. The process is taught step-by-step with self discipline and focus being key.
If you think you would be interested in learning archery for adults or children get in touch and we can either find you a local club or if you’re close to the shop we can teach you as well!