Parents and children bond through shared outdoor experiences. Camping and fishing are obvious choices for bonding time, but archery is another sport that should not be overlooked. Archery teaches children, and their parents, how to be patient, focus and build confidence.
A year-round activity
While camping and fishing experiences can be affected by the weather, archery is adaptable for any season. During cold, windy or rainy weather, take your archery equipment inside on a range, or use a gymnasium-like setting where you have greater control over the environment. Set your targets at reasonable distances (10 to 20 yards, for example). Without distractions, kids can focus and gain confidence quickly. During warm weather, head outside and increase the distance as your children progress.
Successful beginners learn to focus, as setting up, drawing and releasing an arrow requires the archer to follow a deliberate process. Kids learn that by following the rules and step-by-step instruction, they can achieve great success and have more fun. Even when things don’t go as planned, archery offers kids the opportunity to slow down, examine what they did right and wrong, and correct mistakes. This is a useful skill that goes beyond the archery range into their everyday life.
Make it fun
Archery isn’t just about hitting targets. You can fight off boredom by using different scoring games or setting up a course. It’s more interesting to navigate through the woods, looking for targets that may be partially hidden, moving or hanging in a tree. You’ll find them coming back for more and even inventing games themselves.
Don’t forget fitness
Archery is a wonderful sport to learn with your child and a great way to increase physical activity and concentration. Nearly all the upper body muscle groups (including the chest, back, and shoulders) are used and developed in drawing and firing an arrow.
During your next camping or hunting trip, consider teaching your child archery. They’ll improve their focus, self-discipline, strategy, and it will provide them with a great sense of accomplishment they can take into adulthood.