Time is something there is never enough of available in the world. Time is precious and often planned to fit into boxes on a calendar. As parents, there is never enough time and often sitting at practice time becomes frustrating and burdensome. The past five years, (well, 18 years as a sports parent) my time continued to dwindle year after year, as the archer’s needs and requirements as he progressed.
There are a few different mindsets that have had this archery parent limit practice for the archer. When he first started, living in southern California on a small farm, setting up a target at home was easy. The weather allowed the practice to be done year-round at home, for about a year. Then indoor season, required an indoor facility. Often, the weekends included practice time. Then tournament time started to increase, which increased practice time needs.
It was pressed into this brain, that training always ends on a good note. Having spent all of the younger years competing in the equestrian world (and softball), the horse trainer always insisted that training ends on something that worked. The archer from the get-go was striving for perfection. It was easy to recognize, that it was important to ensure the archer could leave any JOAD or lesson with the time needed to complete what was needed. Sometimes it was waiting to finish scoring rounds, others were to ensure that the arrow hit to center, or form changes were solidified in muscle memory.
There are times to set limits. There were times when another event was requiring a set time frame. On the days that time was limited and set, the archer was told and it was needed to end on time. On those days, around 15 minutes prior to the time needed to depart, the archer was reminded. As the archer grew older, it was a set time. It was no longer the responsibility of this archery parent to help teach time management anymore. There were times the archer had to leave upset because there was a time limit. That is just another life lesson.
The archer has always put hours daily into archery. The archer often put in too many hours that would be frustrating as a parent. School and homework time where times when limits were set or if the day was growing close to the end. There were time limits set when this parent saw pain or extreme fatigue. Injury and pain have accompanied in the years of training and as strengthening has increased. Paying attention to the levels of pain are important. Limits must be set if an injury is a possibility. Or even the dreaded, locking the bow up to ensure rest needed. This has been a rare occurrence.
Archery was never limited as a punishment. There were plenty of ways to discipline, and this family never punished by taking away physical activities. Setting limits are part of life. There are times to limit and there are times to let problems be solved and let “form” practices be set in stone. This was also true for the oldest in the extensive youth baseball, travel baseball and football years. Especially as team sports, letting the team down was not an option for punishment purposes.
There are times to insist on practice…but that is another blog for another day!
Love this photo… Shoot Straight.