There are many ways to climb any ladder to success. There are many people involved in creating a team that is required for an archer to climb the ladder. The above example is our experience. At this point our archer is fully sponsored, and has several coaches/mentors. When we add a new coach to the layers of coaching, it is always with the understanding that the previous coaches and mentors stay in the life of the archer. Relationships are very important, additional, a team needs to all have the same set goals and basic styles of coaching.
The bottom of the diagram represents what is needed to even begin to climb the ladder. It does require hours of training five to six days per week. It does require good top quality equipment. It has been said, that equipment does not matter to progress. At the beginning, this is a correct point, however, as the archer progresses, as the years go by, top quality equipment is needed.
The parent, well you, requires your time and your money. It had been a struggle for the first four years to keep good solid equipment in the hand of our archer. Additionally, not all bows work the same for every archer. With the lack of being able to try bows, it can be hit and miss. Money has been lost on bows that were not a good fit, however, they always get sold off on ebay or a similar site that help pay towards the new equipment. As for time, well, I feel it speak for itself. This parent was a stay at home working parent, so a flexible schedule allowed the drives to practice, JOAD classes, events and tournaments. Now, somedays there are thoughts that becoming a travel agent makes since due to the experience. AND TRAVEL MISTAKES. Well, maybe not a travel agent, might not be good at that, based on what appears to be a yearly mistake that causes havoc.
Coaches, mentors and peers drive purchases, successes, shooting styles and competition. At one point there were five coaches layered into the team, currently, there are two top coaches. The others three coaches were part of a team that had to be removed due to financial constraints of staying on the team. There are countless mentors that have guided and shaped the climb. Lastly, the drive to be better than your peers, even those that are years ahead, shape the archer.
At this point, professional in the industry shape the archer. It is important to only shot the equipment trusted by the archer. Professional shooter and the equipment used will shape and shift an archer in the industry. We started with one great bow company, but made a change this past year. In fact, a few shifts have been made this year. The professional archers greatly influence decisions. Who is consistently on the podium holding those “big” checks directly influences archers.
Sponsors are part of the team. Sponsors are a part of the team. Sponsors are a part of the team. This is stated three times for a reason. Sponsors are not about just having names on shirts. Yes, it is awesome to have shirts that have sponsors, and wear the coveted staff shirt of a top bow company. There are contracts and requirements that come with these shirts. Behavior is VERY important when wearing the shirt of a sponsor. Now, we are still guiding a teenage young man through this aspect. Do not just get a sponsor just to wear a name. Get a sponsor of equipment that is desired. There are a few great sponsors that are good at helping the newer archers, however, if it is not a piece of a equipment you have not already used and supported, then maybe, just wait. Work harder towards the ones you really want to have on your team.
Goals are at the top. The same goal is required for any team to be successful. Goals can be lofty. There is no harm is striving to be the best archer in the world. Goals are like a stair case. Start at the bottom and figure out the effort and needs required for each step. Having goals set for each year, each tournament, and each practice day are important.
Climbing the ladder in archery is difficult. There will be frustrations. Hard work is always rewarded. Commitment to your team is important. Relationships will shape the future. The sport of archery is bright and worth climbing the ladder. As long as desire matches effort, there is no such thing as failure. Only wisdom can be gained.