By Alexis Seibert
Oct 6, 2007
Sponsored by BowTech Archery.
This article is going to be a little different from my other articles. This one is about the future of the sport of archery.
There are a few programs out there to help kids get involved in Archery. The most well known program is the Archery in the Schools program. These programs are great and I hope they bring more kids to our great sport. But we can not expect them to keep our sport going. I have been taught by my Dad that it is up to every one of us to do our own part to keep the sport of archery alive.
My Dad got into Archery because of his late Brother-n-law Bill Bersheim. Bill was a great outdoorsman here in Tennessee and was the one who got my Dad hooked on archery. He actually just asked my Dad to sit in a tree stand one evening. My Dad was in his street clothes and just said Ok to make him happy. He sat for just 2 hours and saw 4 deer right under his stand. From that day on Dad looked forward to every deer season. That was all it took!
Before Uncle Bill died, he talked to my Dad about passing it on. That’s what he did, he passed on the sport to as many people as e could including me. Ever since I was old enough to shoot a bow, he has taught me doing my part to pass the sport on. I am only 13 but I know that I should do my part in getting kids into the sport. So every time I get a chance to talk to one of my friends or any of their other friends I always try to introduce them to Archery. It isn’t always easy with all the video games, TV, softball, football that many other things that kids like to do instead. But remember, everyone has to do their part. Have you done your part this year?
I had the opportunity to meet with several girl scouts from around the state and help them receive their Archery badges. I’m not a girl scout yet. I have enough on my plate with Archery and my Pony Patch as well as helping my Mom around house and my brothers. But when I was asked by my coach Dee Falks to help him with this I happily said yes! We set up several targets and my coach bought out a bunch of Genesis Bows. When they arrived we introduced ourselves. There were several that had shot a bow before but not many knew much about archery. Dee Falks handed out string bows. String bows are strings that can be used to improve archery form. When you don’t want to drag your equipment outside you can actually do a lot of your archery practice right in your living room!
To teach them archery Dee Falks introduced the 11 steps to archery success which I have mentioned in my previous articles. Everyone practiced the steps with their string bows. We made sure to make this a lot of fun because when introducing archery you have to always remember that it is just for fun. They all learned quickly and before long they were ready to move to the bows. To help them better understand bows and arrows, Dee handed out information sheets explaining the parts of an arrow and the parts of a bow. Dee separated them into two groups (A’s and B’s) and started them out at 5 yards. Of course on these genesis bows there were no sights. This was all about form. It was fun walking around and helping them with their form and watching their arrows already coming closer. After they began to get the hang of 5 yards we backed up to 10 yards and taught them to aim with the riser of the bow. It was clear that most of them were having fun.
After lunch we drug the bows and a target out into a field to play a really fun game called clout. Clout is a game that originated hundreds of years ago. Many people would line up with their bows and try to hit a target 100 yards or so away. Of course it isn’t as hard with the equipment we have today but can you imagine trying to shoot it with a bow back then. We pushed the target out at about 50 yards out into the field and tried to hit it somewhere on the target. It was hard with slow bows which had no sights. We did some more traditional target shooting then had a tournament!! We gave out Awards for the best shooters! We all had a good time and I invited them to come to the tournaments when we have them. I hope many of them show up.
I guess in a way I passed it on! Anytime you can pass it on you should give it a shot! It’s a lot of fun and you are not only getting people into a great sport but your helping the sport itself. Who should miss out on all the fun of archery? Look for my next article as I will be attending a Archery shoot in East Tennessee for the Disabled shooters of America! I’ll let you know all about it.
Until next time keep shooting the ten ring!