Dan Schuller knows a thing or two about archery. Considering he works for one of the largest distributors – Lancaster Archery Supply – it pays for him to know products and how best to use them. Another reason Schuller’s an archery genius? He’s been shooting competitively since he was just a boy. And that competitive shooting has paid off as Schuller’s hoping to make it to Rio in 2016 for the Olympic Games.
Aside from competitive shooting, however, Schuller likes to help kids get involved with the sport.
“When I first started shooting a bow, I had a passion for hunting,” Schuller said from the Lancaster booth at the 2014 ATA Trade Show. “But through the Junior Olympic Archery Development program, I learned discipline and fundamentals. And with my competitive spirit, I went full-time to target archery. I hunted when I could, but target archery was my life when I was in that program.”
The program allowed Schuller to travel the world and see and learn things he might not have had the opportunity to do without being involved with archery.
For those looking to get into archery – or looking to get their kids into the sport – Schuller suggests a couple things:
- Start with a recurve. While a compound is great if you or your child is set on that, Schuller suggests a recurve. “I think a person learns the discipline of archery better when they learn to shoot with a recurve bow,” he said. “It will also allow a person to understand the technique better. I don’t see a problem with someone starting to learn with a compound bow, but I think fundamentally you learn how to shoot properly with a recurve.”
- Find a bow that fits. You can do this at your local archery shop and they’ll be able to measure you properly.
- Low poundage is key. “You don’t want to start at a poundage that’s going to make it difficult to draw, you want to learn the basics and develop muscle memory.”
Overall, Schuller said it doesn’t really matter the motivations behind getting involved in the sport, it’s just a good way to enjoy time with friends and family. And if you get to the point where you’re getting frustrated with your shooting, Schuller has some advice for you, too.
“Nobody picks up a baseball bat and hits a homerun every time they’re up to bat,” he said. “It’s like that with any sport. You have to have the will to want to get better and the drive to get there.”