Insight into Archery
By Michael Padilla
Archery teaches many great skills. It requires a tremendous amount of focus and dedication. Archery is more than pulling back a bow and letting an arrow fly. Every aspect of your body has a part to play, and even the slightest mistake can affect your shot completely.
Your stance when properly done gives your upper body support and keeps your body straight and balanced. Your back has to be straight. Your head has to be straight consistently every time to keep your aiming point the same and your arrows consistent. Your bow arm has to be steady to keep the arrow straight. When you draw the bow back, your elbow cannot be too high or too low; it has be aligned with your arrow. Your finger must be in the corner of your mouth to keep your shots consistent. Before an arrow is let go, you should take a deep calming breath to reassure your own serenity and have a successful shot.
Aside from the physical part of archery it also has a mental part. When shooting archery, you must relax and concentrate. When I shoot, I let every problem or frustration leave my mind. At the moment of shooting, there is nothing in my mind except for archery and what I am doing at that exact moment. Any emotion can throw your archery game off. Being mad, sad, angry – even excited – can be a disadvantage in archery.
The skills learned in archery can also be applied in the outside world. In everything in life, you should be focused and dedicated and take deep calming breaths when you need to relax. In the words of SFC Lewis, our archery coach, “If you have a bad arrow, you had a bad arrow. Make the next one better.” I apply this to my life all the time. When things don’t go the way you want, you just keep going and make whatever comes your way better. Archery teaches many skills, and makes great people and great leaders.