Since the advent of Robin Hood, archery has enjoyed popularity. The recent Hunger Games series, twinned with the revival of Camilla Luddington as an awesome Lara Croft, now with bow and arrow, have brought the sport firmly to the forefront, and many kids are clamoring to learn some action hero moves.
With boosts to hand-eye coordination, the chance to build balance and strength, and the confidence which comes with a new skill, there are a lot of positives to learning archery for kids. We have some tips for how to teach your kids archery below.
If you are interested in taking the next step to getting them started, read on for our top tips, head down to your local archery range in Minneapolis, and channel your inner Tomb Raider! For discounts and events, as well as parenting advice and support, join Twin Cities Kids Club today.
What Is Archery?
Archery is the practice of shooting arrows using a bow and has been practiced in cultures and societies across history and geography. The concept is simple enough but can be a little more tricky to execute – the arrow is required to hit the target for success to be achieved. Mastering archery can take hours upon hours of practice, training and repetition.
The Benefits of Archery
Archery is not only a lot of fun; it also has many extra benefits for participants of all ages, and these include:
Improving hand-eye coordination
By its very nature, archery relies on cooperation between the hand and the eye and can be perfect for helping to build and develop this skill. The more you practice, the stronger and more capable you become. Archery is also great for fine motor skills and can drastically improve flexibility in the hands.
Improves focus and concentration
This factor is super important for kids – a world dominated by screens means that attention spans can be shorter, and children less able to concentrate for extended periods. To be successful, archers are required to filter out all external distractions and focused on achieving the correct form, releasing the bowstring, and hitting the target. Archery can also be a great way to help relieve stress – the activity is almost meditative.
Another skill that can be honed and developed by archery is that of patience. Archery is a sport that depends on skill and technique, rather than speed, and so can be a welcome relief from most team sports. Being good at archery required hours and meticulous practice, repetition, and missing the mark most of the time.
Accuracy depends on precision and can be a perfect opportunity for kids to slow down, take their time, and remove the desire to get things done as quickly as possible.
Build all over strength
Strong bones and muscles are essential parts of a healthy body, and archery is a great way to help your kids understand and work on this early on, with no pressure or stress. All components of the body are used during the sport, and the arms, chest, shoulders, and hands get particularly close attention. Legs must also be strong and steady, and holding the tension for several seconds helps kids to get stronger with every shot.
Great balance is also essential for a successful shot; legs need to be square and well balanced on the grown to hold up the rest of the body, and the archer needs to hold their body in a steady, constant position the whole time they are taking the shot.
The nature of archery often means it is seen as a solitary event, but this is far from the truth. If you join a club or group, your child will get plenty of chances to hang out and interact with instructors, peers, and coaches, and this can be an excellent option for kids who are not fans of traditional team sports.
Getting your kids involved in organized sports, whether it is a team or solo activity, has so many benefits. Check out our seven reasons why your kids should be in sports.
Top Tips For Teaching Your Kid Archery
If your child thinks archery might be the activity for them, there are several ways you can help!
1. Find a quality club and instructor
A large part of archery is learning the correct form, and this can drastically improve your chances of success. Make sure you take the time to research and study some of the options in your area and maybe try out a few varieties until you find the one with which your child clicks.
2. Teach them safety
Archery is a lot of fun, but there are also safety issues that could potentially arise. Help improve your child’s experience by making sure they respect their tools, and understand how to keep themselves and those around them safe while practicing and shooting. This includes making sure they have a safe space to practice and do not damage or trespass on anyone else’s property.
3. Make sure they have the correct equipment
One of the most significant errors beginners make is picking a bow, which is too big. This will not only make it harder for your child to learn and practice, but it could throw their balance off, making an accurate shot impossible. The best option is an adjustable bow that can grow with your child over the years.
4. Start simple
Seeing small steps of progress is far more encouraging than failing at the first hurdle. So, start with large, easy targets to help build confidence and technique. Kids should also begin closer to the mark than adults. Younger shooters tend to have less strength and will enjoy greater accuracy if there is a shorter distance – five or ten feet is usually recommended.
Don’t get so lost in implementing perfect technique or hitting targets that you and your child forget to enjoy the experience. Make sure you remember what inspired your child to start learning and take the time to have fun now and again!
Archery is a fantastic chance for your kid to get active, build strength, and develop crucial skills, including hand-eye coordination, balance, patience, and accuracy.
Finding the right support is essential, and joining Twin Cities Kids Club is the perfect start to accessing the best discounts and events.