Archery Lessons – Professionally Instructed Or Self Taught?

There’s satisfaction in pulling a bow string taught, releasing its potential energy into an arrow propelling it towards a distant target, striking it. After that comes the satisfaction of a tight grouping on that target. And finally, the joy of moving that group around the bull’s eye, that you have the skills to tune that bow and arrow, execute proper form with a developed hand eye coordination to send that arrow home from distance, with precision and confidence. So, how do you develop these skills? In this article I will attempt to present the pros and cons of 2 different paths in learning the art of shooting a bow. That is, you either sign up for archery lessons, or you set up a personal range on your own property. Either is affective depending on who you are, you might even be the guy that does both depending on your situation.

There are several factors, of course, that will help you decide which is best for you, the biggest being cost and time constraints.

If you’re looking into learning how to shoot a bow, or maybe fine tune what you already know, consider this: how far do you have to travel to acquire this training? Is there a conflict with your schedule? How much is it going to cost? It comes down to what’s available to you and what fits you best.

For me, archery lessons are as far as the backdoor, my instructor lives in the book shelf and on the internet at my beck and call (as long as my wife isn’t hogging the computer). Practice time is alone or when my buddies come over. Doing this, however, I had to shop for or fabricate the equipment myself: the bow, bow accessories, arrows, tuning equipment and tools, targets, and a piece of land to set up on, to name the basics. All this would be provided by an archery class.

If the latter appeals to you, then find out if archery lessons is offered near your home or work, or even at the school you already attend (some high schools and colleges offer this), that would be ideal, archery lessons held where you already have to go. ALSO, you might want to check if there is an archery range you can simply pay a few bucks to practice at. This option would be the compromise of the other two options, it might be a better fit on your schedule, but only when the range is available. You would be around other archers, but probably not getting the same professional instruction as a formal class. Some archery stores have a range set up, and will even let you test drive some of their equipment that they’re trying to sell, but normally, if you go there a lot, you would bring your own bow and arrows, and ideally for the store, buy some of their products and services.

Maybe it’s something your child wants to get into, but really doesn’t have the discipline to hone this skill. I can say that archery lessons for a youngster are very fascinating and exciting. With this you should probably get professional instruction, unless you both want to learn the sport. Anything you spend the time learning together is some prime quality time, especially when it’s something exciting, it’s definitely memorable. As far as getting professional instruction or being self taught, again, it comes down to what’s available to you and what fits you best. Research your schedule, the cost involved, how far you’ll have to travel. All these should factor into your decision. Don’t be shy about going down to an archery shop that has a range, most places would be happy to answer your questions and even let you try some of their bows. The internet has an endless amount of information. Even magazines are a good source of info, especially on what kind of products are out there.

Let me say this, on a side note, if you are on a limited budget and want to buy your own bow, do the research and test some of them out yourself. Make sure you’re buying the bow that fits you and what you want to do, not what a sales pitch tells you. Some of these bows on the market today are really, really nice. But, in my opinion, the price for a very small increment of quality and name sake is very excessive. You can pick up a high quality bow for a fraction of the cost that performs pretty damn close to what the very expensive bows do. For me, it would make no sense at all to spend $1200 dollars on a bow whose performance could just about be matched by a $300 bow. Don’t get me wrong, if you have the money to pay for that little extra bit of performance and want to, heck, go for it. But for most of us, being frugal with our money is what gets us what we want in life. And with a quality, less expensive bow in your hands, a dedicated and disciplined archer, you will find great satisfaction in showing you have the skills to compete with the best of them.

And, ironically, I would speak differently of arrows. It’s well worth the extra money for arrows. You get so much more for that extra money. A quality arrow will pay for itself by outlasting a cheapy, literally, hundreds of shots. I’ve seen cheap aluminum arrows bend simply by hitting the target, how frustrating, walking up to the target to pull bent arrows, then walking back knowing your next shots might end up the same way. As you can probably tell, it throws your game off.

And on a final note, whether you decide to get formal training or pursue the knowledge on your own, weather you practice it for competition or for hunting, with self discipline, dedication and a thirst for improvement, I promise archery is a very enjoyable, satisfying and exciting sport.