Archery is all in the family for the Wildes. Father Dee is a multi-time world champion who made his mark in each archery discipline, and sons Reo and Logan are living proof that archery talent can be genetic. Reo is a World Champion and World Cup gold medalist who has held the No. 1 world ranking, and Logan has won eight World Cup medals in individual and team events.
We caught up with the Wilde archery team recently to get their advice on trying the sport; and to hear what it takes to stay motivated, compete against each other, and become a competitive archer.
Archery is your family’s sport, but what motivated each of you to try archery and start competing?
Dee: I started from bowhunting. I have shot critters since I was about 10. In 1982, I shot a bear with my recurve. The following spring my friends invited me to participate in an archery tournament. Being a competitive person, I was immediately hooked. Back then they were animal pictures cut out and glued to cardboard for targets. That evolved into what is now 3D. I was fortunate enough to do well, and earned a sponsorship from Martin Archery.
Reo: I wanted to go to the Vegas Shoot. I was 19, and it just sounded [like] fun. I got to go and did well – winning it in the open division – and I was hooked.
Logan: I grew up working in the archery shop, and watched Reo and Dad win multiple tournaments, and figured, ‘Why not give it a shot?’ I’d have some of the best archers in the world as coaches.
What has it been like having family members shooting? How do you handle shooting against each other in competition?
Dee: I have thoroughly enjoyed shooting and traveling with two of my three sons. As for shooting against one another, it has always been full throttle for each of us against the other. We even compete against each other when we practice. We are all very competitive.
Reo: It has been great having family members shoot. It gives you a true friend and a great roommate. Competing against them has its pluses and minuses. You love to win and hate beating them because it’s hard to celebrate when you know they just lost. It’s good because to lose [there’s] nothing better than them winning. I handle it by just shooting my game and let happen what happens. You truly can’t worry about what they are doing. Even though you would do anything in the world to help them.
Logan: It’s really nice, especially when you make long trips overseas, always having someone there you trust and who enjoys doing the same stuff as you. It’s also tough because when you should be shooting and focusing on your own game, you catch yourself watching them from time to time. It’s really tough when you face each other in elimination matches that come before a semifinal or finals match, because the loser is done and you feel bad for that. Reo and I have had the pleasure of shooting against each other in finals multiple times, and you still feel bad when the other loses. But it took great shooting by both of us to get to that point, so it becomes a bit more bittersweet than just bitter.
You’ve all been involved in archery at a high level for a long time. What motivates you to keep going?
Dee: In my case, first is the love of OUR sport, and second is ego. I feel every time I compete I have to prove to myself that I still can.
Reo: To be the best. Records are made to be broken is a saying I have heard. So I just want to try and set them high enough so maybe it will be harder to get there.
Logan: I have always had a super competitive side from growing up and that just continues to grow! Especially when you have a father and brother who have won so much that it makes you want to win that much more!
What advice do you have for kids who are thinking about shooting at a competitive level, and what advice do you have for their parents?
Dee: Look into the Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) program from USA Archery, as it gives [kids] growth potential and a means to see your progress. As for the parents, don’t push too hard. Make sure they are still having FUN.
Reo: Don’t beat yourself up too much and just have fun. Archery is cool, you will get out of it what you put into it. So work hard and it will pay off. As for parents, don’t push and just be there to support them. They will need it. Any great athlete has a great support system. [You] can help them more [by just being] there than to push and make them feel uncomfortable.
Logan: Make sure it’s something you love doing because the time and effort you have to put into it to be competitive will either fuel the fire more or make you hate it! Don’t try and make your kids grow up too fast by leaping them divisions. Let them learn how to win and enjoy what they are doing.