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by Emily SyerAlgonquin College Library Technician Program
SIRC Intern
Is running not your thing? Looking for a new way to stay physically active? Why not give archery a try? From Merida in Brave, to Katniss in The Hunger Games, and Hawkeye in The Avengers, archery is an admired and skillful sport.

 “The thing about archery is that everyone can do it and everyone can have a good day at it. You don’t have to be an expert.” –Tom Barker, NFAA certified coach and NAA Level II instructor

Benefits of archery

  • Upper body strength – Muscles slowly build up in the arms, chest and back from drawing the bow multiple times. 
  • Balance – Archery requires you to stand still and by practicing this you develop better balance. 
  • Coordination/multitasking – Archery requires intense concentration. This helps improve double tasking and hand-eye coordination, both are skills that are transferable to other sports. 
  • Mental focus – In archery, there can be many distractions, other shooters, the crowd, animals; these distractions force the archer to concentrate which is extremely useful when performing under pressure. 

Starting Archery:

  1. Archery Canada is the nation’s best source for archery news; find out more about clubs in the provinces
  2. Archery can be a physically taxing sport, make sure you are fit before you try. Consult your trainer and/or doctor before starting if you are unsure. 
  3. Find an archery club or field in your area – it’s recommended that basic training be completed before buying a membership. 
  4. If you like the sport and complete all levels of training it may be useful to start seeing a coach regularly and think about entering competitions. 
  5. If you wish to buy archery equipment, it can be found at your local sports shop or hunting store. 

This unique sport requires focus, strength, skill, and stability. If you decide to give archery a try, remember this quote: “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it back. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. Just focus and keep aiming!” -Anonymous

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. Addison C. Effects of variations of target size, distance and shooting technique on archery performance by college women beginners. 1972.
2. Ertan H, Knicker A, Soylu R, Struder H. INDIVIDUAL VARIATION OF BOWSTRING RELEASE IN HIGH LEVEL ARCHERY: A COMPARATIVE CASE STUDY. Human Movement. September 2011;12(3):273-276.
3. Farfel V, Struk B, Panishko U. Significance of strength, strength endurance and strength control in archery shooting. (Abstract). Yessis Review Of Soviet Physical Education & Sports. December 1975;10(4):111.
4. Fortenbaugh B. Equipment Notes: Beginner Bows. Bowhunter. January 2006;35(3):48.
5. Hrysomallis C. Balance Ability and Athletic Performance. Sports Medicine. March 2011;41(3):221-232.
6. McLoed C. Archery is the perfect sport for beginners. Sports Trader. January 28, 1982;141(955):13-14.
7. Wise L, Pellerite J, Pellerite B. The Complete guide to beginning archery; A comprehensive training guide for the beginner, age 6 to 60. 1995.

The information presented in SIRC blogs and SIRCuit articles is accurate and reliable as of the date of publication. Developments that occur after the date of publication may impact the current accuracy of the information presented in a previously published blog or article.