Surviving Archery Tournaments

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There was a time, that travel caused this parent great anxiety.  Crazy off the chart anxiety.  There are many reasons for this, however, now they create excitement on top of the anxiety, which is now minor.  Leaving home is never easy.  This parent’s home is leaving a ranch full of animals in the charge of the husband.  And, preparing mentally for the archery tournament.

There is more mental and social exhaustion that goes into tournaments as a parent.  Honestly, the archer is doing far more physical work, however, ensuring that everything is in place can be difficult.  We have years of archery tournaments under the belt, so the mastering of how and when to approach talking to this parent’s archer, has helped us enjoy tournaments.

The talking is not about being ignored, but understanding the extreme pressure working to the top as an archer.  The shooting is a huge part of this pressure, but as the ladder is climbed, the behavior and ability to show no pressure increases ten fold.  Asking any teenager to be able to handle situations like adults is a lot to require.  This is not impossible, but requires a team of people that want to see your archer succeed.

The coaches have done a great job preparing the way and offering advise, however, it all falls on the archer.  As a parent, there are times to address situations during the tournament and situations that can be quietly mentioned may be required.  The best way that we use is a simple text or two.  This ensures they get the message, however, it was private and not public.

There are times to cheer and be loud however, this parent learned the art of silence in an embarrassing moment.  My archer shoot a 22 on a tough 3D target, after everyone was done, I shouted, ” That a girl!”  Sadly, my archer is a boy.  Why, we were discussing my niece and had her on my mind.  Now, it caused a great laugh and lightened the mood, but uhm…well.

As we preparing to leave for Redding Nationals, honestly, this parent prepares with distractions to take.  A comfy chair, a good book and a few planned excursions.  Yes, there will be boots on the ground at a few targets each day, however the need to be there to meet needs is less.  What a bitter sweet reward.  Entrusting that the archer knows the job and may make mistakes, but they will be small (I pray), correctable by the team in place and fun to be had by all.



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