Here are the four abilities that every archer needs:
1. The ability to listen, understand and follow instructions immediately.
In order to successfully participate, an archer must be mature enough to consistently follow the rules and immediately obey instructions the first time they are given. Children who need to be constantly reminded to wait for the start signal, to stay behind the waiting line, or to handle the equipment properly, may be too young for archery.
2. The ability to physically handle the equipment.
Though it is not a sport of endurance or strength, there is a physical component to archery; an archer has to be strong enough to draw thebow and hold it long enough to aim. We use the lightest and smallest gear we can get, but some younger participants still struggle with this. It takes between 9 and 15 pounds of force to hold a youth bow at full-draw.
3. The ability to be aware of their body position.
Success in archery depends on the ability to recognize and execute small adjustments in body position. Very young children may not yet have developed sufficient “body awareness” to demonstrate consistent shooting form without constant reminders about foot placement, posture, arm and hand position and so on. We do not have sufficient resources to give the kind of one-on-one instruction these students require.
4. The ability to handle some frustration and disappointment.
Like any sport, archery involves some competition and frustration, and archery students have to be emotionally mature enough to handle it without tears or tantrums. Beginning archery students will miss the target sometimes; another student may perform at a much higher ability level; when we play archery games such as shooting at balloons, some students will fail to hit one. If your child is likely to cry, pout, or throw equipment in anger when this happens, they are probably not yet ready to participate in our program.