Archery is one of those things, like skydiving or bungee jumping, that looks extremely dangerous, but if you take all the safety precautions, is actually very safe. Even though it's a sport that involves sharp arrows, if you follow the rules, it's actually a very calm, safe sport. Many people do it as a relaxing activity since it requires high levels of concentration. We've put together some information to get you started.
When it comes to equipment, you're going to want to start by getting a good adjustable bow. As a young archer, your skills will grow as you practice, and you will grow too. Because of this, you'll want a bow that will grow with you. You'll also want to get arrows made for young archers as well, which are a bit smaller, lighter, and easier to handle. Finally, to make up for the fact that your bow is small and your arrows are light, you'll want to get specially made youth targets, which allow your arrows to penetrate easier, rather than bouncing off.
Now that you have all the equipment you need and it's right for your size, it's time to start considering the types of archery you might want to get into. Sure, you might not be ready yet to get into competitions, but why practice if you don't know the goals you want to achieve. One of the more common types of archery that you're likely to find is target archery. Really, any time you practice by shooting at a target, you're taking part in target archery. Do this enough and you'll be ready for some target archery competitions.
Another common type of archery is field archery. Basically, field archery is what happens when you combine hiking and target archery. In field archery, someone sets up targets along a trail, and you are given an area in which to shoot at those targets. They can put the targets up or down hills, in difficult to find areas, wherever. You get the exercise of hiking and the challenge of archery in one neat experience.
The final type of archery we'll mention here (though there are others) is 3D archery. Now, it might seem like all archery is 3d archery, but what this means is that the target is a 3D model of something you might actually hunt in real life. So, if you are interested in, for instance deer or turkey hunting, there are targets you can buy that are models of them. They come with targets on the vital areas of the animal and you can practice on them. Practice enough and take the required safety courses, and you'll be out hunting effectively in no time.
The most important thing to remember when practicing archery is to stay safe. This sport is very safe if you know what you're doing and very dangerous if you don't, so knowing how to stay safe while you practice is extremely important. If you haven't already, take a safety course or even two. If you've ever shot or handled a gun, you'll probably recognize the golden rule of archery. Never point your bow at someone. Even if you don't have an arrow ready, it's just a good habit to never point the bow at anyone. In that same line of thought, when you're positioning your arrow, keep it pointed toward the ground.
These are pretty straightforward common sense rules to use when doing anything that can be as dangerous as archery can be, but there are some rules specific to archery that you'll need to know so you can stay safe. First, use a bow stringer when stringing your bow. Overdoing it when you restring can cause too much tension, and a broken string can injure you. Also, to keep the string from breaking, never overdraw (meaning pulling the string back farther than the length of the bow). Finally, as in all sports, injuries can happen. Make sure you have first aid materials with you, and that someone has a charged phone they can call should you or someone you're with need help.
- National Archery in the Schools Program: Equipment
- Archery Equipment: Getting Kids Started
- Archery Equipment and History
- How to Choose Kids Archery Equipment
- Archery for Kids: Choosing Equipment
- How to Choose the Right Youth Bow
Competition Types and Rules
- Intro to Archery: Types
- What is Target Archery?
- All About Field Archery
- Target Archery Handbook
- Different Types of Archery
- Types of the Archery Competitions
- Archery Safety for Kids
- Is Archery a Safe Sport?
- Safety Activity Checkpoints
- Archery Safety Precautions
- S.A.F.E. Archery
- Bowhunter Education Resources
- Introducing Kids to Archery
- 10 Bow Shooting Techniques
- The Boy with the Bow: Technique
- 32 Tips to Shoot Better
- Five Minute Guide to Improving Archery Form
- How to Improve Bow Shooting Accuracy