No. 9 The Art of Silence

Bright idea.  Ask your teenage archer the thing he hates most about archery parents.  The answer, “Talking while I am on the line, no, when I am shooting, actually, when you talk at all.”  Well, careful the questions you ask.  LOL.  “In fact, I didn’t hear you at all at last tournament, it was great,” he finished.  

There is also the art of silence around other parents, pros or archers.  There is a story of a pro archer shooting with my young 13 year old archer, it was brutle.  This was a very large tournament with many archers shooting the same 3d target at a time.  Silence and then private conversations with my archer later to help him work through the harsh unkind words.  As a lioness, the instinct was to attack with claws out and teeth shown. Much like Aslan in Narnia, the need to roar was great and silence was tough. 

 The words also reflected on past emotions that did not help.  Now, I did allow my young archer to dish back.  Two reasons, he earned it and if you want to play with the big boys one has to be able to hang with the big boys.  Flash forward, this relationship is now healed and has moved into apologizes and friendship.  However, there was strategic words said at future tournament with kindness and smiles still offered.  Archery is driven by young men full of testosterone and young men do not like having a young one challenging them at the targets.  Being humble takes time…humility will be discussed!

Silence at tournaments. Having shot three local tournaments to help understand what the line was like, requires silence from outside influence.  Top coaches will encourage as needed, however this is the time to sit back and let the work show on the target.  No yelling…in fact when any archers are still on the line, no loud conversations with your archer.  Try to have your archer come to you for needs.  The biggest job at tournaments is ensuring there is water.  Trusting that your archer will come to you for needs is essential.  This is your time to watch, enjoy, develop friendships and relationships.  

Target stalking not necessary, until the finals and then gloves off.  Watch while your heart pounds in your chest.  There was a time that we watched every arrow.. even plotting every arrow.  Scores kept.  Not necessary.  However, no harm done if it is done to help your stress.   Arrows gone, can’t change it.   As long as it isn’t used against the archer. Done just for you. Some young archer rely on the parent for every arrow shot, that is not awful until you are not there or call it wrong or archer frustration is directed at you.  Give them the scope…binoculars are essential for the archer not the parent.  The used battered binoculars come out at eliminations.  This is when archery can get exciting and fun.  Holding the hand of the other archery parents as one silently prays the other archer misses.  Honesty needed.  We all want our archer to win.  We in fact joke about it now.  Good luck but…Silence and smile.  Some parents lose worse then the archer.   This is a game.  Play it well. 

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