Willow Smith Chronicles
Her Love Of Archery. Willow Smith Chronicles Her Love Of Archery.

Archery’s growth in popularity is especially strong among youths and teenage archers. In fact, young celebrities like Willow Smith, the daughter of actor Will Smith, are picking up bows.

Willow, a 16-year-old actress and musician, is chronicling her progress and sharing her favorite sport on Instagram using #archeryaddict.

Learning to Shoot


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Smith shoots at a range where she gets instruction and practices. Her Instagram posts show her shooting compound and recurve bows, but she seems to favor the recurve. It also appears she is renting bows, as many beginning archers do, while working on her form and deciding which type of bow she likes.

She shoots a recurve bow without sights, a type of archery called “barebow.” Although she mostly shoots a recurve, she also shoots compounds enough to form an opinion about them. “I luv me some compound bows,” she wrote in one post. By shooting a variety of archery equipment, Smith is becoming a well-rounded archer.

And she’s good at it. She posts lots of pictures of her “groups,” a term for tightly clustered arrows in targets. “I shot two arrows directly next to each other twice today,” Smith wrote.

Tight groups are a good sign that an archer has consistent technique. Once your arrows routinely hit the same place, even if it’s not the bull’s-eye, you can simply adjust your aim to put your next round of arrows in the middle.

The Learning Curve



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Smith has experienced the many things new archers go through as they progress through the sport. In February she posted a video with the caption, “I gotta straighten my back.”

When beginning archers pick up a bow, they’ll soon learn that archery requires different muscles than most sports. One such group of big muscles used in archery is in the back. Weak back muscles cause a “hollow back” in beginning archers, whose spines curve inward when shooting. This clearly happens in Smith’s video. You can counteract hollow back by tightening your core during the shot. The more you practice, the more you activate and strengthen those muscles.

Smith posts insightful archery mantras, which shows she is learning archery’s mental side. “The desire to be perfect can and will get in the way of the development of your subtle skill, and will blind you in the face of your progress,” Smith said.

Her archery technique looks good, however, and she posts about her shot process. “Scoop-setup-release,” she said. “Scoop” refers to a motion that sets the front shoulder low. That creates a stable position that requires little muscle to support the bow’s weight. Setup means getting everything ready to shoot, and release is letting go of the bowstring.

Smith isn’t the only celebrity who has caught the archery bug. Chris Pratt, Hugh Jackman, Luke Bryan and Eliza Dushku also enjoy shooting arrows.

Whether you’re a celebrity or regular Joe, you’ll find archery fun, exciting and relaxing. It’s also something the whole family can do. If you want to try archery, simply find an archery shop, sign up for a lesson, and become a #archeryaddict.

Find a store near you.