A few months back, I was a worried mum who was looking for some sort of physical activity for my 8-year-old. One reason was the need to cut back screen time. But, deep inside my heart, I knew my son wishes to be an army man when he grows up, and I felt the need to build the relevant skills in him from an early age.
Sadly enough, the pandemic happened, and my plans for enrolling him into a martial arts or physical activity class could not materialize.
I was desperately looking for alternative ways, when one day, I received a parcel from my mum, which had archery set for my son.
As I did my research on the benefits of archery in terms of skill-building, I realized that the bow and arrow was the best gift my son could ever have.
A study published in the International Journal of Yoga, Physiotherapy, and Physical Education revealed that archery plays a significant role in improving health and fitness.
It is not a complicated game, but it requires a lot of practice and strategy to be able to hit the target every time. I can assure you one thing. The feeling you get by hitting the bull’s eye is beyond ecstatic!
Archery also develops many other skills in a player. We have mentioned those skills in this blog. Take our word; if you improve your game in archery, you will master these following skills:
The ability to be accurate and precise is something that you will master if you are a seasoned archer. This skill of precision that one learns while practicing archery helps them in several personal and professional activities like driving, calculations, and analyzing multiple situations.
As you learn accuracy, it sharpens your mind and improves your chance of being successful in your career.
2. Distance Judging
Archery is a game that requires intense focus and impeccable judgment of the target to hit the right spot. Aiming a target that far away improves one’s judgment.
It is an aspect which, if you get right, makes you a winner. Naturally, all the years of visualizing a distant target will make you a pro at it. You will be able to spot the exact location of a thing just by spotting it from a distance.
The most crucial skill you must possess to become a master archer is ‘focus.’ It is the art to shun all the distractions and concentrate on that innermost circle on the target board.
This practice will help you improve your focus in other areas of life as well. How? Here’s the catch.
Sports like archery, bowling, golf, and firearms shooting can be aced only through rigorous practice. To be a master shooter or a master archer, you have to spend a lot of time horning your skills at a firearm and archery range.
All the hours that you spend practicing will teach you to overcome procrastination. You will learn the mantra of “Aim well, take a chance, and bask in the glory of success!”
The ability to adapt to any situation, or to be flexible in the face of challenges is called resilience. It is an essential skill if you wish to overcome the difficulties in life.
Archery is a physical, as well as a mental game, which develops the archer’s flexibility to various setbacks. It is possible when you take part in competitions and face challenges along with fellow archers.
5. Hand flexibility
The act of drawing the bow and shooting the arrow helps increase the flexibility of your hands and fingers. With time, your muscles get used to handling the bow with much ease due to the developed flexibility.
6. Hand-eye coordination
Vision is a dominant sense required to become an archer. The most crucial thing you need to get right before you shoot the arrow is eye-hand coordination. If there’s even the slightest movement in your hands, you will miss the target.
When you practice archery, your hand-eye coordination develops gradually. Over time, this skill improves so much that it makes you a professional archer who is set to take part in competitions worldwide.
7. Upper body strength
Archery helps in the development of upper body muscle and strength. When the muscles in your arm, shoulder, back, and core are used in the process of drawing the bow, they will stretch.
Therefore, archery can also be termed as an excellent upper body exercise. You will be grateful for this physical strength, especially if you wish to join the forces.
8. Increased agility
In today’s world, being agile is the need of the hour. A person who is spirited, dexterous, and energetic can go on to become a successful leader.
Archery requires one to be nimble-fingered, which goes on to develop agility in players. It increases a little bit each time you hit the bull’s eye.
When my son began practicing archery, he did not even know how to hold the bow correctly. I taught him that with patience, he would master the skill very quickly. Thankfully, he listened and never got annoyed upon missing the targets.
He kept concentrating on the form. Two months into it, he is now gaining proficiency at shooting the target board accurately from a good distance.
Lesson learned! If you are keen to improve your archery skills, you will have to be patient and try to improve after every setback.
You cannot be accurate 100% of the time in any sport, and archery is no different. Whenever you miss the target, and not swear in disappointment, it teaches you how to cope with failure, and stand up once again to take a new chance.
Believe me, if you succeed in developing this skill, you will gain a lot of maturity and acceptance. Self-development taught by the game of archery will help you deal with many unwanted situations in life with a calm attitude.
Archery is also instrumental in building confidence and self-esteem, vital for professional life.
11. Ability to destress oneself
Archery is a perfect mechanism to unwind after a stressful situation. It is also backed by a study conducted by Dicle University, Turkey. According to the study, archery has a positive impact on all the symptoms of instant boredom and stress.
To keep hitting the target is very meditating. As Arrow star Stephen Amell puts it concisely, “You have to be relaxed while shooting an arrow. Avoid being tense. That helps in your day-to-day life.”
Ask any archer how they feel when they watch the arrows hitting the target. You will get your answer on how stress-busting this activity is.
12. Understanding complexities of the game
Any shooting or throwing game requires you to get a number of things right before you begin, and archery is no different.
You need to set your foot right, hold the bow correctly, notch the arrow, pull the bowstring, and focus on your target simultaneously. This makes you learn the synchronization and all the complexities of the game.
It helps you when you enter a professional career that may require you to manage more than one task at the same time. As you’ll be a master strategist due to your practice of archery, you will be able to handle such situations with aplomb.
Even if you do archery just for fun, it will instill lasting confidence in you. It is the one trait that is highly needed to face the difficulties life throws at you.
Be it a challenge to break your record, or taking part in an international tournament, this game will teach you how to stay composed under pressure.
The self-awareness that comes with doing archery helps you achieve excellence on the personal and professional front.
A survey conducted in 2016 by the Archery Trade Association revealed that up to 76% of all archery participants shoot casually or for recreational purposes. Meanwhile, 20 percent are competitive archers who practice for tournaments.
It concludes that more people are taking up archery as a hobby and also as a career. Several archery contests and events are held around the world.
Archery is considered a highly-skilled sport. As evident from the post above, archery will build not only motor skills but also several physical and social skills as well.