Archery is not all about Winning

victoryaSport should be about participation and physical fitness, not solely about winning. Archery is a sport you can participate in for your entire life. One of the things my coach always told me was there is a real danger of achieving success too earlier in young archers. Young kids sometimes get use to winning, and they start to expect it. They never expect to have to work at it again to win and archery (and sport in general) loses more participants that way than any other.
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As a national level athlete, everyone expects me to win all the time. I sometimes want to yell out “It just doesn’t work that way”. There is very little difference between top level athletes and it is more than a game of inches. As you develop into one of those athletes that are lucky enough to gain sponsorship, there is even more pressure to win. This is why I believe some athletes turn to performance enhancing drugs or cheating.
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The movie “Cool Runnings” has an excellent scene where Derice Bannock ask Irv why he cheated…
CoolRunningsIrv: It’s a fair question. It’s quite simple, really. I had to win. You see, Derice, I had made winning my whole life, and when you make winning your whole life, you have to keep on winning, no matter what. Understand?
Derice Bannock: No, I don’t understand. You won two gold medals. You had it all.
Irv: Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.
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Personally, it really troubles me to hear about athletes that use performance enhancing drugs or cheat, especially successful ones. They have made winning their whole life and they are not enough without it.
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As part of your New Year’s Resolution, why not make sure you are participating in Archery or any other sport for the right reasons. Whether your are participating for the competition, hunting, social aspect, physical fitness or just for pure fun, make sure you set your goals to participate whether you win or not.
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8 thoughts on “Archery is not all about Winning

  1. For me, Archery is all about being more than I was yesterday. Be it, Smarter, Faster, or more accurate, archery has enough paths on it’s journey to keep me interested for a lifetime.

  2. Winning is not about the colour of the medal, but sadly this is often missed by many in this hobby and other sports. You can be a winner in yourself if you go out and better your personal best or not blank a target etc etc. Great posting Jordan, thanks

  3. Paragraph 1 says it all for me.
    We hear a lot about “sport” participation in the UK, especially after hosting this years olympic games, ….& how we (the govt) should be spending more etc. …..about clinically obese kids doing more “sport”!
    No! They need an “activity” in which they can develop in many different ways, at a pace, competition or not & participation level that suits the
    ….that gets them away from their “friends” (?) on FB or similar & their PC/mobile device/game console – centric life.
    Make real face-to-face friends, go “out” & do things in the “real” not “virtual” world.

  4. I agree! I have set goals and have some pretty difficult training but I make sure that I get to do fun stuff. When I am taking time off target training, fun for me is shooting 3D targets with my dad or a no-sights competition. I love archery and would be doing it whether I ever competed or not. There are several kids at my club that seem just miserable. It is sad to watch them because they aren’t having fun or have parents that put too much expectation on them.

    Thank you for writing this! It is important!

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