The Trouble Tree and the Archery Coach/Parent



Scanning Facebook at the typical twice a day scan, a story came upon the page.  This story was a reminder of a situation in the past and a reminder for the future.  This was a reminder of a time when newly married and typical struggles with life with young kids. Our pastor (Pastor Phil from CTKLC) came to our home and gave this very same advice.

This is the story:

“I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start.
While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.
When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation.. His face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
‘Oh, that’s my trouble tree,’ he replied ‘I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children.. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning, I pick them up again.’ ‘Funny thing is,’ he smiled,’ when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before… Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. We all need a Tree!” (The author was unknown on the post and is not know at the time of this blog — if it is known by another, please share so credit can be given.)

This was advice given to the “other”  parent about return from a long day at work and walking into the home from our pastor.  Reminded about this, this archery parent thought this is amazing advice for this archery parent!  Imagine arriving at a tournament and locating a “tree”.  It can be anything that is around and maintaining a location.  Walk to the “tree” at the beginning of a tournament and pray over the “tree”.  At the completion of each day, find the time to walk to the “tree” and touch the “tree”.

Do not get me wrong, this is not about not talking about archery.  Archery preparation for the next day will need to be addressed.  Ensuring next day times and planned to wake up and departure time are necessary to be discussed.  However, leaving any of our regrets or thoughts behind.  As a parent, we all want our child to succeed.  As a parent, there are opinions or frustrations that can spill over.  This is about “coaching” after the tournament is over.  Allow the “coach” to stay on the field and the parent to walk off the field.  Archery is a sport that many parents must assist during tournaments, especially at the beginning.

As an individual sport, it is often left to the parent to “coach”.  This is hard to avoid at times.  The best advice was often given by the archers JOAD coach, Alanna Dunaway,  not only did she prepare the student, she helped prepare the parent.  Much credit is given to her and still today, her advice is often sought.   Unfortunately, not every parent has such an asset.    This is a reason for the blog.  The hopes of helping others navigate the archery world from the mistakes of this archery parent, advise of others, and successes.    At the end of the day, if our youth are finding joy in archery, that is all that counts.

As Vegas approaches, let us adopt the attitude of “What happens on the line, stays on the line.”

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