Since getting into archery I’ve noticed several excellent benefits that have made me a better archer, and improved my life outside of archery as well. If you’re thinking about getting into archery, here are some of the benefits you might see, and how long it will take to notice them.
|Archery Benefits||Time Frame|
|Hand Eye Coordination Improves||2 Months|
|Improved Focus||1 Month|
|Relaxing And Enjoyable||Immediate|
|Builds Confidence||3-4 Weeks|
|Builds Strength||2 Weeks|
|Social Skills Improve||1 Month|
|Teaches Safety Skills||Immediate|
|Great Form Of Exercise||Immediate|
Not all archers will see these benefits in the same time frame. But most likely, all archers will see these benefits at some point. There are many reasons these benefits make such a big impact, and knowing what those are could help you enjoy archery even more.
A study was done to measure the benefits of archery to promote healthy aging among the elderly. 12 people completed a 6 week program during this study which showed the benefits of practicing archery. (source)
Physical benefits included upper body strength, balance, and improvement to individual limitations. Mental benefits included concentration, movement control, confidence, and relief from individual mental challenges.Hoagland, Dakota Q.Capella University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2017. 10254348.
Hand Eye Coordination Improves
Practicing archery involves using your hand eye coordination every time you loose an arrow. That is, every time you fire at the target. You need to focus in on the target switching your focus between the target and the sight until you shoot. This involves large amounts of coordination and practice to get good at.
Over time you will start to aim better and hit your target more accurately as your hand eye coordination improves. Most new archers will start to see more significant improvements in accuracy and hand eye coordination around the 2 month mark. But some archers see improvements a lot sooner.
Archery Improves Your Patience Levels
Archery is more about patience, precision, and accuracy than it is about speed. There are some competitions that reward quicker bow shooting, but that isn’t typically something the average archer is worried about. You will naturally learn to be more patient as you realize it takes time to make a precise and accurate shot.
Learning patients varies from person to person, but is generally something picked up on pretty quickly. I say it varies because some people take months before they learn to slow down, control their breathing, and take focused shots. While others are programmed that way from day one.
Improved Focus After Training
When practicing archery there are many things to think about while you shoot. Your form, the target, and the bow to name a few. The archer needs to perfect the ability to block out distractions and focus all their attention on the shot. Many archers feel more focused after a round of target shooting.
It normally takes around a month or so to notice your focus has improved, and it only gets better from there. Your archery skills will improve due to the increased focus but you will also be able to focus better in other aspects of your life. Many archers agree their focus on other tasks seems enhanced after a few hours of shooting.
Relaxing And Enjoyable
With all the focus needed and different aspect of archery to keep in mind, it may seem like archery could be a stressful sport. It’s exactly the opposite. One of my favorite things to do on a day off is to go out in the backyard with my family and loose some arrows. We always have a good time and everyone is left feeling relaxed and accomplished.
This benefit is recognized immediately after you start with archery. Your very first time out shooting you will notice how much of a stress relief it can be. Not to mention the cheers and laughter if you’re out shooting with a group.
Builds Confidence To New Levels
Archery will help you build confidence as you progress and become better at the sport. This is especially true for children, and increasingly important for healthy development. Kids will be more likely to try things they may have been scarred to before after seeing the success they’ve had with archery.
This will typically take 3-4 weeks but can vary per individual. It takes the time needed to see your skills improve to build up the confidence levels. This is one of the harder parts with kids, getting them to stick with it long enough to see improvements. This hasn’t really been an issue for us because so far they love to go out and shoot the bow, whether they hit the target or not.
When drawing the bow back you activate your hands, shoulders, chest, and arms. You will start to notice muscle development after doing this repetitive motion over and over again. Soon, pulling the string of the bow back becomes easier and easier. Usually an archer will have to hold the string back for a little while to get sighted into the target before taking the shot. All of this activity builds muscle over time.
Your core muscles will also strengthen. It takes a lot more effort than most people realize to hold your body in the correct position for that long. You will typically see strength improvements just a couple weeks after starting archery. And the more you practice the stronger you will get.
Improved Social Skills
This has been a great unexpected benefit for the kids. They will have to learn to wait their turn and communicate with one another. This is also a great benefit for adults as well. Call up some friends and invite them out to shoot with you. It’s always a fun time and no one ever leaves disappointed.
We noticed it took about a month and the kids were starting to ask to bring their friends over to practice archery with them. Which turned into them explaining the range rules and how to shoot with their friends. It really is a good way for them to work on their social skills and have a blast in the process.
Improved Safety Awareness
When we go shooting safety is number one. Being aware of the area, what’s in front of or behind the target, and where your bow is facing are all important safety rules we implement. It helps give you a sense of safety first which can be carried over into other aspects of life.
Archery can be a dangerous sport if you don’t have a safety system set in place. It will teach you to respect your equipment and be responsible with others around you. Here are some of the safety rules we follow, Archery Safety. Visit that link for a safety sheet print out. We hang it near our range for everyone to easily see.
Archery can be a pretty inexpensive sport to get into for the whole family. We found some cheap bows and equipment online and in our local sports equipment stores and it didn’t brake the bank. You can even rent archery equipment at most archery ranges for a small fee.
We’ve spent a lot of time and money finding good gear for a good price, check out our favorite Archery Gear to see what good equipment looks like, and what you can expect to pay.
Let me be clear though, if you want to practice archery professionally it can get real pricey real quick. What I’m talking about here is just some backyard or range shooting to have a good time. You don’t need all the fancy expensive equipment to have an awesome day practicing archery with family and friends.
Great Way To Exercise
Archery is an excellent form of exercise, not only for the strength building reasons I talked about above. It gets you outdoors, and depending on how many arrows you shoot, you can really rack up the steps going back and forth from the target to collect your arrows.
Most archers agree, archery is a physically demanding sport and a great workout. Competition level archers will sometimes walk far distances carrying a lot of weight. This burns a lot of calories and can get into better shape than you think.
Here’s a video showing some exercises that will help with archery. The girl in this video is training to increase the amount of draw weight she can handle. But, these exercises will also help your form, your draw, and how long you can hold your anchor point.
You can see how great archery can be for yourself and your family. There are many other benefits that didn’t make the top 10 list like these:
- Improved Hand Flexibility
- Anyone Can Start
- Can Be Done In The Backyard
- Easy To Get Good At
- Fun And Addicting
- Community Is Friendly
After seeing first hand all these great benefits for me and my family, it makes me wish I got into archery a lot sooner.
Archery is an excellent sport to get involved with, but there are some downsides I want to mention. If you don’t have a backyard or if you have a very small backyard it may be hard to practice as readily as you would like to.
You could always find a local archery range that you could use all the time, but depending on where you live you might not have very many options. If you can make it work though, I suggest you give archery a shot.