It’s simple for most archers to explain why they love the sport: Because it’s awesome! But if you dive deeper into why people love archery, expect a more long-winded answer. Archery means something different for everyone. It’s fun yet challenging, it can be both social and solitary, and it’s equally relaxing and nerve-wracking. Archery also offers health benefits that are good for your mind and body.
Improved Hand-Eye Coordination
Hand-eye coordination is essential in archery. Every shot involves simultaneously using your vision to aim and your reflexes to release the arrow. With continued practice, not only will your shots get better, but hand-eye coordination will improve. This coordination can extend to other areas of your life where your vision and muscles need to work together to perform a task.
Archery requires strength. An archer’s muscles must be able to draw back the bowstring and hold steady through releasing the arrow. Some people mistakenly believe archery is only about upper body strength, but it’s a full-body workout. Archery works the arms, back, chest and shoulders. It’s also important to have a strong core. It’s rewarding to build strength through archery. Groupings of arrows tighten, drawing back is smoother and holding steady on the target becomes easy.
Most people picture archers aiming at a target and releasing an arrow. But archers don’t just shoot one arrow; they often release dozens in a practice session. These arrows don’t return to the quiver on their own. Archers spend a lot of time on their feet, primarily walking back and forth between the shooting line and the target. The steps start to add up when you’re shooting at long distances.
Archers who compete in tournaments like field or 3D shoot at outdoor ranges with a setup similar to that of a golf course. These tournaments can last several hours and include hiking steep hills. Stamina is one of the challenges in field archery.Combine the frequent bow drawing with miles of walking, and hitting your mark on the last targets may prove challenging.
Releasing an arrow and hitting the intended mark requires concentration. Archers must focus on their form and ignore outside distractions as they concentrate on the target. This is essential to the execution of every shot. Archers must train themselves to ignore the weather and wandering thoughts. Competitive archers learn to focus during high-pressure situations. Learning to free your mind of distractions and focus on the task at hand is an important tool that can be extended to other areas of life.
People with meaningful friendships live longer, according to research. Archery connects like-minded people. Some people enjoy the peace of shooting solo, but many enjoy some camaraderie. Archery shops are great places to make new friends.
Sign up for a league or fun shoot. Leagues are a great way to meet new people and add a social event to your calendar. Having a weekly commitment provides a break from the stresses of work, school and household responsibilities. Don’t worry about the competition. Leagues can be about challenging your skills and growing in your abilities.
Most communities have archery clubs. Joining a club is a great way to get involved in your local archery community. You’ll also learn about the latest trends and technology and have access to a wealth of knowledge in your fellow club members.
Archery can be stressful if you’re working toward a goal or shooting in a tournament. However, archery is also great for stress management. Many archers unwind from their day by flinging arrows. Movement helps manage stress. Exercise is good for the mind and body. Participating in something you love improves your mood. Shooting also forces you to clear your mind and concentrate on the task at hand.
Archery has something for everyone. Even if it’s just a few arrows you shoot after a long day, the practice provides huge health benefits that extend beyond the range.