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Why So Many Kids Love Archery – And Why The Sport Is So Good For Them

by Ashley Kelley

Conscientious parents want their children to get the best grades, so it's important to think about the diverse range of activities available in schools today. Children and teens can now choose from a huge variety of sports at school, but parents aren't always aware of the different benefits these activities can bring. Interest in archery has grown significantly in American schools over the last few years, thanks to a surge of archery-related films like The Hunger Games. Find out why archery is more than just a novelty, and learn more about the impressive benefits this sport can offer your child at school.

The popularity of archery in the United States

A 2012 survey by the Archery Trade Association revealed that millions of people now enjoy the sport, in one form or another. 18.9 million American adults shot archery or bow hunted, and millions of children now also take part in the sport at school.

The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) is a non-profit organization that aims to create opportunities for students to gain skills in the popular sport. Since founded, the NASP has offered opportunities to more than 7 million students, and 2 million participants now benefit from the scheme globally every year.

So what's all the fuss about archery?

The appeal of archery

Archery can appeal to almost any child or adult. Although archery is a competitive sport, the nature of this competition is different to other activities. Children do not need to compete against their peers, and, while playing, they don't need to worry about somebody blocking, tackling or pushing them out the way. With archery, the sport takes place between the archer and his or her target, and this creates a different, more-disciplined level of focus and consistency.

The sport appeals to many students who don't cope well with other physical activities. Indeed, children who would perhaps struggle to join a football or basketball team can quickly and easily acquire strong archery skills, which can help boost self-esteem, confidence and other social skills. What's more, archery is one of few sports where players of all ages can compete against each other. Every member of the family, with equipment from places like Wilcox Bait Tackle, can compete in an archery tournament, where age, build and gender don't need to influence the outcome. Indeed, players with physical disabilities can learn how to master a bow and arrow, which makes the sport one of the most inclusive activities available in schools today.

How archery develops academic skills

Unlike some other sports, archery can also help improve your child's academic skills. To win an archery tournament, you need to score more than your opponents, but a series of variables affect your points. The size and distance of the target, the size and weight of the arrow and the power of your bow all affect the outcome. Understanding how these variables relate to one another boosts other mathematical skills.

As students develop their archery skills, these calculations become more complex. When students develop their physical strength, they no longer need to exert the same force, so they must also learn how to adjust the set-up of their bow and arrow. As such, archery is a great multi-discipline sport because kids must continue to hone their mathematical skills while their bodies become stronger and their accuracy improves.

In many schools, students must obtain certain grades in all academic subjects before the school will allow them to take part in archery classes. This incentive can boost performance because kids don't want to lose the opportunity to enjoy the sport. Indeed, the structured nature of archery classes can help students adapt to other academic environments, where they must follow clear steps, set difficult goals and learn detailed instructions. These skills translate well across the curriculum.

A safer option

Some parents may worry that archery is dangerous, but it may surprise you to learn that this is one of the safest sports your child can enjoy. Archery injuries are very rare, with only around 1 in 2,000 participants suffering an injury while playing. When you consider that 1 in 625 golf players suffer an injury on the field, you can see how archery is a safer option.

Archery tutors educate students in all elements of safety related to the sport, and injuries to innocent bystanders are rare. As such, you shouldn't need to worry about your child's safety.

Archery is an increasingly popular sport in American schools. Archery boosts personal confidence and physical fitness, and this disciplined sport can also improve academic performance.