Is archery the right sport/hobby for me?

Archery is a unique sport it isn’t comparable with a lot of popular ball games. Therefore, if you consider archery as a sport, you might wonder whether it is a good option. I have been into archery for more than 5 years and I saw many archers come and go. Therefore, in this article, I will share which personality traits you need to enjoy archery. TLDR:

Archery is the right sport for you if you are looking for a calm and tranquil sport. It doesn’t require a lot of stamina, but it does require concentration and good fine motor skills. It is also helpful to be interested in how a bow works since you will often work on your bow and troubleshoot issues.

I hope this gives you a quick answer on what archery is like, but there is much more to discuss. To make this more fun, I also made a short quiz that tells you how good of a fit you are for archery.

Take the quiz

The quiz below gives you a quick indication of how good of a fit archery is for you as a hobby or sport. This isn’t anything scientific of course, so don’t take the actual score too seriously.

In case you are wondering, my score was 80%.

What makes a good archer?

In general, the following character traits make a good archer:

  • Has good concentration: at an archery club you will shoot with a lot of other archers. While shooting you need to cancel all these distractions out and focus on the shot. If you are distracted, you will not use the right technique and thus shoot poorly.
  • Self-possessed: you can’t shoot a bow with an adrenaline rush. Your heartbeat should be slow, and you need to be calm.
  • Curious and eager to learn: although you can make huge improvements just by practicing, to really enjoy archery you need to learn the right technique. This involves reading, watching YouTube videos, or following archery classes.
  • Patient: you won’t become a pro overnight. Some weeks you will see improvement fast, but you might also experience downfalls.
  • Positive: in archery is brutally clear when you under-perform. You can’t blame anyone else than yourself. Therefore, you must stay positive otherwise you will be thoroughly demotivated.

This doesn’t mean that if you can’t enjoy archery if you don’t have one of these character traits. I am quite impatient for example; I like to see results fast. I also often have a hard time staying positive when I underperform. Still, I enjoy archery, so much that I devoted an entire website around it 😉

Archery is all about concentration, technique, and control

Why some archers quit

Over the years, I have seen many archers quit. Although it’s a pity to see people leave the hobby it’s understandable that you quit if you don’t like it anymore. Below I have listed down the most common reasons why archers quit:

  • They don’t like to work on their bow: especially if you shoot a complex bow, such as a compound bow are an Olympic recurve bow, you will need to work on your bow occasionally. For archery geeks, this is part of the fun, but some archers just want to shoot. They don’t want to learn how to tune the bow or experiment with different equipment.
  • They don’t improve anymore: like any sport, you will see the most improvement in the first few months. That is exciting and fun. But once you get better, it’s more difficult to improve even more. So, after a year you will mostly see incremental improvements, that you can only notice when you closely track your scores.
  • They don’t like to learn more about archery: as mentioned earlier, archery is not only about shooting your bow. To properly learn how to shoot a bow, you need a lot of technique. So, you can’t just pick up a bow and expect good results. You will need to read, watch, or listen to tutorials, tips, and feedback.
  • They think it’s boring: for most people shooting a bow for the first time is very exciting. Some people are even a bit intimidated by it. But after you shot the bow for days, it will feel as normal to you as driving a car. Archery isn’t a thrilling activity. Instead, it’s a great activity to relax and clear your mind.

You shouldn’t see it as lost time though if you choose to quit the sport. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s time to move on. You just mastered another skill and want to move on to a new challenge.

Luckily, there are many different types of bow you can master: traditional, recurve, and compound. So, before you quit you might want to consider switching to another discipline. Read this article to learn more about these different bow types.

It's brutally easy to see when you are underperforming, which can be rather demotivating

The benefits of archery

Archery is a unique sport that has some unique benefits:

  • You can practice archery with the entire family: since you all shoot your own bow, you can all shoot at your own level. You can even set up targets at different distances to make it more difficult or easier based on the archer’s skill level.
  • Even the elderly can practice archery: since archery doesn’t require stamina, you can still practice archery even if when you are old.
  • It’s an individual sport: you can practice archery whenever you want. If it’s legal in your state/country, you can even practice in your backyard. If you prefer to shoot in teams, that is possible as well!

Of course, archery also has some health benefits. Although archery isn’t an activity to burn a lot of calories it’s still exercising. It’s comparable to hiking in terms of the activity level. So if you practice archery a few hours per week this will help you to stay fit.

Archery is also good for your:

  • Upper body muscles: you won’t become a bodybuilder all of a sudden. But archery helps to train your upper body muscles strength. Especially your back muscles and biceps will get stronger the more you shoot.
  • Concentration: to shoot well you need a lot of concentration. Therefore, it’s a great sport for children to build their concentration. While shooting their bow they need to focus which they later need in class.
  • Fine motor skills: to shoot a bow, you need to move consciously. This will, therefore, build your fine motor skills.

Myth-busting

There are a lot of myths about archery. Let's quickly bust these one by one.

Archery is an expensive sport

Archery is not necessarily an expensive hobby. Although you will need to invest in a lot of gear to get started, once you have the gear it will be a relatively cheap sport. There are very expensive bows available, but you don’t need to invest in extremely expensive gear to enjoy the sport.

If you are on a tight budget, you can get started with any type of bow below $500. You just have to do some extra research to find good gear for your budget. Read the article below, for more information and a calculation per bow type:

Is archery an expensive sport?

You need to be strong to practice archery

Although it makes sense to most people that you need to be strong for archery, that isn’t true. To get started with archery, you don’t have to be very strong. It is helpful to be fit and have some upper body muscle. But you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to get started.

On the contrary, being a bodybuilder is often seen as a disadvantage because extreme biceps can limit your arm movements. Just look at the athletes in the Olympics, they don’t look like bodybuilders, so clearly you don’t need to be extremely strong.

Still, think your muscle mass might hold you back? Read the article below for more information:

Do you have to be strong for archery?

You need good eyesight as an archer

Some people believe archery is all about aiming. But that is not true. Archery is not like shooting a rifle. The way you draw, hold, and release the bow has a much bigger impact. If you can see the target you can become an archer.

It is helpful to have good vision while you are shooting. So, if you have glasses, I do recommend you to wear them. Just don’t let it stop you to start with this hobby. I have met a lot of archers, that had limited eyesight or some annoying eye conditions that shoot better than me! Not convinced yet? Read the article below for more information:

Do you need good eyesight for archery?

Archery is dangerous

Bows are considered weapons because they were used in warfare in ancient history. That doesn’t mean that archery is a dangerous sport. There are some clear and simple rules all archers follow while they are shooting their bow. This means that nobody gets hurt even when something goes majorly wrong.

If you want more information about these safety rules, I recommend reading the article below:

Is archery dangerous – how to keep it safe

It’s difficult to learn archery

People that are shooting a bow for the first time often think archery is difficult to learn. If you shoot at a club you will see more experienced archers hit the gold arrow after arrow. In the meantime, you might struggle to even hit the target.

The first few days tend to be a bit of a struggle, but all of a sudden something clicks. From that point, you will notice a huge improvement. In the first few months, you will see tremendous improvement, which makes consistently hitting the gold much more achievable.

Read the article below for more information on how difficult it is to learn archery:

Is archery hard to learn?

Are you convinced?

I hope by now, you want to give archery a shot. Although I provide you with a lot of information on what archery is like, you only know it once you tried it. So, visit your local archery club for an introduction session.

Read the article below, if you want to know which steps you should take if you want to get started:

Getting started with archery

I hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback please let me know in the comment section down below. I will respond to any questions as soon as possible and I will send you an email with my reply.

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