Archery is not for the very young, after all, there are dangerous arrows involved. Robin Hood and his Merry Men would be so proud to watch a well-trained student though. Archery is not as simple as it looks, it takes a lot of patience and training in order to execute a perfect shot and hit the target. Most kids who take archery end up becoming interested in the activity after attending a summer camp in which archery is offered as an activity.
Children who are involved in archery can enjoy several benefits. Archery overall helps improve greatly your child’s hand-eye coordination. Archery also has the benefit of being able to help improve mental concentration, focus, and composure. This sport is also wonderful for helping instill great lengths of patience, as well as self-discipline. Archery is a wonderful sport for upper body strength and toning arms and shoulders.
Children who do not have patience tend to have more issues with archery, than those who are extremely patient. The typical beginner tournaments involve 60 arrows, while older divisions can have as many as 120 arrows. That is a lot of time spent on their feet for the child learning archery.
Children as young as 5 years old can start taking formal archery lessons. They should have the strength to hold the bow in front of him/her with an outstretched arm before you even sign them up or they lack the physical strength necessary to succeed. They must have the coordination to notch an arrow and shoot it, they must be able to draw the bow a minimum of 18″, as well as the maturity to concentrate and follow safety rules.
When your child is first starting, they should not work with a bow heavier than 20 pounds, women’s archery uses a 38-pound bow and men use from 48 pounds or higher. The beginner lessons should focus on proper technique and shooting procedures, rather than advanced skills. Your child should also learn consistency, which will be a requirement to excel. You need to carefully select an instructor that is able to help your child succeed in increments, for example -first learning how to shoot an arrow, then in hitting the target, then in hitting the bull’s-eye, and finally improving shooting consistency.
You want to find an instructor who is certified by the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) or by the National Archery Association (NAA), which has four levels of coaches. The first level is a summer camp counselor who is trained in archery, while level four are the Olympic coaches. The best instructors are going to be competition archers themselves, so they can best teach your child.
The initial costs of equipment for a child under 10 is likely to cost $250-$350 depending upon their exact age, and the equipment their instructor requires. This does include the costs for their safety equipment, which should never be skipped in an attempt to save money. If your child starts archery around age 7, they will go through on average three sets of bows by the time they are 12. This is a very expensive sport until your child is much older and able to use the same equipment for several years, in which personal equipment is often a better fit for the child.
Archery can make a great choice for your child if they are taught properly and supervised by a trained instructor. Never force your child into any activity including archery, however there are tournaments that allow archers to make a very good name for themselves, including the Olympics.