Archery has wonderful traditions and just the mere talk of the word conjures up romantic feelings of the heroism and battles of days gone by. While for some it may bring up thoughts of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, for others it may bring up thoughts of Katniss Everdeen and the famous Hunger Games franchise. Whatever the reason that archery sticks in your mind, taking it up as a sport can be wonderful for many reasons.
1. It’s fun!
Archery can be whatever you want it to be, as there are numerous activities that you can do with a bow and arrow. This can be as simple as going into the backyard with your friend, putting up a target and seeing who can get the best score. You can make it fun and competitive, but you can also get serious.
A lot of people use bows in order to go hunting. This can be a much more fun and rewarding experience than doing the same activity with a rifle. It requires a lot more thought and planning in order to get the results you want. This makes the activity a lot more rewarding as a whole and you’ll have a much better experience.
Whether you’re competing with a friend, hunting, competing at a high level or simply just trying to shoot balloons out of a tree, there is something for everyone in archery to be able to have a fun and great time.
2. Gives you an increased level of focus
One of the beautiful things about archery is that the mental aspect is so crucial. If you aren’t able to focus or don’t pay great attention then you won’t be very good at it. The same applies with patience, if you don’t want to spend the time waiting for the best shot, you won’t find it.
Now you may be worried at this point thinking that these are mental aspects that you don’t excel in, but there is something about having a bow and arrow in your hands that will sharpen your mind. When you have drawn that bow back and you have your target in sight, all your focus and attention will be on getting that shot. You’ll learn about how patience is required to get a better shot next time.
Archery improves these mental aspects and you can apply them to your everyday life. Not only will they improve as you get a better archer, it will improve them in general. These are also aspects that need to be learned as you get older, which is why archery can be such an important sport for children.
3. Open to all ages and abilities
Some sports or recreations are almost impossible to get into at a competitive level. You can find yourself frozen out and feeling low that you aren’t able to enjoy for favourite sport. Thankfully archery is open to everyone as the sport is a lot more about what you can produce mentally rather than physically. Archery requires focus, determination, and patience.
Whether you’re disabled, too small for some physical sports or quite simply looking for a new hobby, archery can be perfect for everyone to be able to have fun while learning and improving in a sport that has such a rich history. Archery clubs are very welcoming or you could just pick up a bow and head off to your backyard or local forest and challenge your friends to a competition.
Since the invention of the compound bow, it’s never been easier to pull back that string and let that arrow fly. They take the physical toil out of the sport, while still posing a challenge to overcome. If you gain strength through archery, then you can increase the effort required. Bows are very individual, and there’s something out there for everyone.
4. Burns calories that you don’t even realize!
While on the face of it archery may seem like a sedate and leisurely experience, it can be far from it and you can find yourself burning plenty of calories. The beauty of archery though is that you won’t even realize that you are doing a lot of exercises as you’ll have your concentration fixed on your target or the next target.
Bows have a huge range of draw weight, which is the force required to pull back the bow to full draw. This means that if you’re starting out you can choose an easier bow, or you can start at the other end and choose a bow that requires a lot of effort. You will find your upper body strength improving and you will be able to move up draw weights as you do.
The physical exertion of pulling back the bow along with the walking required will give you a silent exercise that you won’t even be aware of as you’d be having too much fun and concentrating too hard on that perfect shot.
5. Gives increased confidence
Archery is very easy to get in to and have fun with, but difficult to be a master at. Improving your archery skills takes time, effort, concentration, and focus. As you are improving all these skills, you will find yourself getting better and better as you get closer to that perfect shot. When you get that perfect shot, it will feel incredibly rewarding.
The mental and physical aspects of archery can give you an enormous sense of achievement, and a confidence that you can take into other aspects of your life. Archery teaches you that if you are willing to apply yourself, you can achieve anything, and when you do, it’ll leave you feeling more confident than ever.
As it is fun and engaging, it also means that you won’t get too downhearted if you’re not finding the target. You will gradually improve over time and whilst you are, you will be improving your mental and physical strength. To be a successful archer requires a lot of qualities that you will need to be successful in life.
6. Can do it in any weather
While naturally seen as an outdoor pursuit, archery can also be taken indoors as well. It’s also great being out in the open air, trying to find your targets, but sometimes the weather doesn’t allow for it. It may also be that case that you just want to work on your aim in a controlled environment.
There are many archery clubs that have indoor facilities for such an occasion where you will be able to practice. This is a great way to be able to continue with your favorite sport all year round and avoid periods when you have to sit in without being able to shoot.
Whether you just want a break from the cold or the wind, indoor archery can be a great and fun substitute. It can also be the perfect breeding ground on which to learn and perfect your skills before you take them out into the wider world. Indoor archery allows you to work on your fundamentals without having to worry about anything else.
7. Teaches the importance of safety
Playing with bow and arrows with sharp tips, which has to be dangerous, right? Well, archery is actually one of the safest sports that you can participate in. Injuries are very rare and archery teaches you to respect the rules to make sure no harm is done to you, or anyone else around you.
Other sports have many safety concerns, including a lot of sports where you can have contact with the head. Archery is easy on your body, while still providing a workout. Even in non-contact sports you can still have the twisting and turning motions that can damage your body over time.
Archery can obviously still be dangerous, but archers respect that and take the appropriate measures. It can be great your youngsters too as they will learn the value of obeying the rules as that’s the only way that you will be allowed to fire a bow. When done the right way, archery is a safe and fun environment.
8. Develops social skills, especially for students and children
As it’s such an inclusive sport, archery can be great for social interaction and finding like-minded people to share your fun with. Whether it’s just a child starting out, a student looking for a challenge or an elderly person looking for a new hobby, you’re likely to find people of your own age with which to share the experience.
Competition can either be fun, or more serious, and you’ll always have that high level of social engagement whether you are shooting with friends or strangers. Activities such as hunting can be great for bonding and get to know people better. Archery clubs can also be a great way to meet new people and increase your friend group.
Archery can also be great for having time out with your loved ones. Be it your spouse, siblings or your children, you can go out and spend some quality family time together. Archery is great at bringing people together and boosting your social life. You can create new friends for life, or straighten the bonds you have with your loved ones.
9. A relaxing break
There is something about pulling back that bow and being out in the fresh open air that seems to take away all the stresses that you have in your life. The concentration and focus required will take away all other thoughts in your mind and leave you relaxed and only interested in the jobs at hand.
Doing any form of physical exercise can be relaxing, but getting away from it all can be a great way to unwind. You’ll be making new friends and stronger bonds, and feeling happier along the way. With hitting targets and improving your archery, you will also be developing a great sense of achievement.
You might be living in the fast lane, or have something on your mind. Taking the time outdoors, focusing on your breathing and walking will be a cathartic experience. Part of the appeal for archery is the ability to have that physical exercise without having the exertion that other sports have. It’s a great way to get away from the world.
10. Builds physical strength
While there are bows for beginners which don’t take up much physical straight, you also have the option to test your strength against bows with big draw weights which will be able to fire an arrow faster and fighter than you ever have done before.
This constant pulling back on the bow will be a great physical workout as you pull the bow with your stronger hand, and push it forward with your weaker hand. This can help develop your shoulder muscles and improve your overall shape. Over time you’ll be able to increase the draw weight you can pull and see even better results.
There are more physical benefits too as using a bow will be able to increase flexibility in your fingers and wrists which will only help you as you get older. Archery is seen as quite a low-energy exercise, but if you keep pushing yourself then it can be a great physical workout.
Archery is a fantastic sport for numerous reasons and a lot of reasons that might not be obvious to a lot of people from the outside. Whatever your reasons for getting into archery, it can be fun and a wonderful way to spend your time. It’s open to everyone and can, therefore, get the likes of students and children engaged in a new activity that can teach many important things, both physically and emotionally.
The physical aspects of archery are much underrated as you can burn a lot of calories whilst also building muscle as you move up through the draw weights. Not only can it be a great physical workout, it can also be a perfect break away from the stresses of life and give you time to breathe. When looking into new sports archery might not be the first to spring to mind for many people, but those who give it a try see the benefits straight away.