Where Are the Archery Mentors?


A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. There are many experienced archers, there are few that are trusted advisors or mentors. There is a need for mentors in the archery community. The youth archers have heroes, but mentors? How about the parents? There are some great coaches that are mentoring to parents and youth. However, few have been a parent of an archer that has competed from cub to pro. There is a handful of parents out there that are seasoned, weathered and wanting to help.

It is unfortunate that many professionals do not see the opportunity to mentor to the youth. It is also understood, that they are there strictly for business and adding the pressure of social requirements is difficult. It would also be distracting for some many star-struck archers. Many archers do make themselves available at times when not shooting to be able to say hello. However, there are very few mentors that are helping the youth grow into better archers. There are great coaches, but the coach is not on the line next to the archer.

For archery parents, there are always the few standing junior parents. By the time most archers compete at the junior level, there are few left standing. Many archers move away from archery during high school and especially during college years. School is demanding, being a top archer is extremely demanding. By the time our youth reach the junior/senior divisions of archery, they are young adults. The time and investment in our archers are substantial.

There is a wealth of wisdom that has come with years of competitions and travel under our belts, as parents of aging out youth. In Vegas, in a conversation with another seasoned parent, we discussed finding a way to an archery parents mentor program. Or a discussion area, an area that will allow questions, thoughts, and ideas to be shared. A place of other archery parents to seek advice based on other seasoned parents experience. This year, the archer will be heading to college. The time spent at tournaments will be less, allowing more time to create a group of parent mentors available to help other parents. Time to prepare the next youth generation.


Archery Parent and Through the Looking Glass

Most of us are familiar with Alice and Through the Looking Glass.  The meaning of through a looking glass was located on the internet: When you look in a mirror, you see a mirror image- a backward image. This past week in Las Vegas, there was an interesting shift in archery parenting.  This year, this archery parent dedicated all the time to help friends at a vendor booth.  Only when the archer had shooting times was the booth left.

The archer knows the game.  He plays the game well.  Other than basic parenting reminders and encouragement, there was little to do to assist the archer.  The game plan was laid out prior to leaving for the tournament.  There is an entirely different feel to being an archery parent when the archer is not with you or need you for the majority of a tournament.  Due to this time in the booth, this archery parent had the honor of getting to know and re-experiencing the joy through the eyes of a young up and coming shooter and his parents.

There were such parallels in what was being seen and heard from this young archer and his family.  It was a joy to experience and it was needed.  That archer allowed this parent to be able to look through a looking glass of the past and rekindle the joy archery brings to the young.  The mirror was a backward imagine to this archery parent.  There is an energy that omits from certain archers, an energy that brings smiles and joy.  This young man was able to help in a vendors booth to support his sponsor.  This young man worked side by side with the archer.  This young archer will be more than an archer to archery.

Though a looking glass also contains the meaning of looking into the other universe.  There is absolutely no doubt in this parents mind that archery is another universe!  It is unique, full of twists and turns.  Watching the other young archer, and his parents just full of joy and appreciation was not to be ignored.  Archery can rob us of energy, time and finances.  Gratefully archery can bring strength in character, strength in friendships, strength in mental control, strength in courage.

This archery parent arrived in Vegas an archery parent, this parent left as a parent of an archer.   It is now time to help encourage the new archers and archery parents that want to be able to let go of the reins and become a parent of an archer.  A parent of a better group of archers.  A parent of a young adult that has had the privilege of an archery community grow him into a better young man.   Every young archer deserves to experience what archery can do.

Your humbled parent of an archer.

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

The Archer’s “Dream” vs. The This Archery Parent’s “Dream”

The word dream often relates to things that are far away or occurring during sleeping hours.  However, often the word dream is used when a success occurs that other would love to obtain.  These type of dreams come with sacrifices and painstaking steps to achieve.   Dreams are often self-centered filled with achievement or wealth. It has been said to this archery parent and the archer that we are living a dream in the archery world that others would love to obtain.

This parent has different dreams than that often expressed by others impressions.  Parents are often deeply involved in helping dreams come true.  Involvement does not equate to having the same dreams.  It is easy to become wrapped up in the dreams of your children.  Parents want our children to find a passion, a place they belong and ultimately happiness and success.  This parent believes that it is about the journey not the final destination of the “dream”.

Often, it is forgotten that parents actually have their own dreams that are not the same as our children.  Climbing to the top of any dream requires tremendous sacrifice in every aspect of life.  Time, money, friendships, family and soul have been drained by help the archer reach and stretch towards dreams.  It requires a commitment that will easily warp your dreams.  This archery parent ultimately has little regret about the journey.  Archery saved the archer and this archery parent at a very difficult time in our lives.  The sacrifice has been great, the rewards are far greater.

This parent has dreams of her own.  Many dreams have been let go or put on hold as a parent.   Spending the last 22 year as a parent to two amazing young men that are both working towards dreams, has pushed personal dreams aside.  Adjusting to their lost dreams and shifting into new dreams along the way, has changed what this parent defines as successful and happy.

The dreams, the ultimate dreams, that this parent has for my young men, are helping them to be givers.  A person that gives thanks for opportunities given by giving more.  A person that brings light and joy to others.  A man that stands up against wrong and evil.   There is no better way to measure a person than being called a good person.  A person that corrects mistakes.  Offers forgiveness and asks for it when needed.

It is amazing to see the hard work and sacrifice pay off.  It is amazing to see the mistakes that have encouraged growth and change.  It is amazing the friendships, lifelong friendships that have been developed.  It is amazing to see a sport that encourages and fosters growth.  It is amazing to be the parent of two young men and have something to offer the world.  It is amazing, despite archery not being this parent’s dream.

The ultimate dream is said in John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”


Archery Teaches Life Lessons

There is a time to let them fly and a time to clip wings.

There is a time to get involved and a time to stand back.

There is a time for correction and a time to sit back.

There is a time for trusting and a time to not trust.

There is a time for growing and a time for reflection.

There is a time to push and a time to hold on.

There is a time for success and a time for mistakes.

There is a time for helping and a time for learning.

There is a time for laughing and a time for tears.

There is a time for happiness and a time for sadness.

There is a time to stand up and is a time to walk away.

There is a time to fight and a time to stand down.

As an archery parent, it can honestly be said that all of these have been taught over the past five years.  There have been very hard and painful moments.  There have been triumphant joys and successes.  The life lessons grow harder and more difficult as the archer climbs the ladder. There is no way to protect them from life lessons, in fact, it is not good to shield them from life lessons.  Life lessons are always being taught, no matter our age.

Archery is a small community.  It often reminds me of a small country town where everybody knows everybody.  This makes for fun reunions at tournaments.  The flip side of that coin, sometimes members of the community are not always correct or to be trusted.  This is not stating that archery is a bad community.  In fact, it is the opposite.  It is a community that has proven to be worthwhile.   Archery teaches life lessons.

Archery teaches life lessons.  Archery has taught this parent, this human, this imperfect, often too trusting individual to rely on those that have and will always be honest and kind.  It has taught a continued reliance on God and to trust in His plan, His will be done.  We are all part of this community.  Together we can grow or together we can destroy.  This archery parent, this parent, chooses growth.  Our reactions, how we teach our youth to work through situations is how they will grow into better archers.  Ultimately, better people.   Archery teaches life lessons.


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.”

The Twelve Days of Christmas Gifts the Archer Wants Under the Tree

Merry Christmas!  This archery parent will be taking the rest of the year off from blogging.  Head over to https://www.facebook.com/archeryparent/.  As we start to prepare for the 2018 tournament year, lots of archery thoughts dancing in my head, no sugar plums for me.  This year the first trip is to kick off the season at the Archery Trade Association show.  There is work planned and hoping to get some swag to share in giveaways!

The Archers Twelve Days of Christmas

By: This Archery Parent

On the first day of Christmas, the archer wants from me, a MATHEWS TRX38 Bow under the  Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas, the archer wants from me, an AXCEL CBL Sight under the Christmas tree.

On the third day of Christmas, the archer wants from me, an EASTON Z Flex stabilizer under the Christmas tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas, the archer wants from me, a T.R.U. Ball Abyss Release under the Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas, the archer wants from me, a Feather Vision AciesPlus 4X lens under the Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas, the archer wants from me, Leupold Optic BX4 Binoculars under the Christmas tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas, the archer wants for me, AAE Hybrid vanes under the Christmas Tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas, the archer wants from me, a Last Chance Archery bow press under the Christmas Tree.

On the ninth day of  Christmas, the archer wants from me, AAE Freak Show Rest under the Christmas tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas, the archer wants from me,  Easton 2315 Arrows under the Christmas tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the archer wants from me, Bow Junky Media swag under the Christmas tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the archer wants from me, EASTON Super 3D Nocks under the Christmas tree.

Anyone else playing the lotto?  Merry Christmas to you and yours.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace
(Isaiah 9:5)





Youth Archery Parent – It never ends.

It is a Sunday morning, at 2:49 a.m.  This archery parent is sitting in bed, watching an autobiography on C.S. Lewis and sipping hot tea.  This is by no means a typical night.  As an archery parent with the archer overseas competing, the connection is through the internet.  Live scoring is about to start again.  There is the extra page on the computer open and it is being checked often. Too often.  Patience is not my strongest virtue.  The start time does not change no matter how many times the page is clicked. Dang it!

Last weekend, the archer drove over the mountain and through the woods (literally) to a tournament to help prepare for this current tournament.  The archer was allowed to go off on his own for the first time.  During that tournament, there was communication concerning safety and arrival, of course.  Then it went into archery.  On that lazy Sunday afternoon, this parent spent much time scouring the house looking for a 10-degree quick release.   Changes were needed to be made and tried upon arriving home. There were several found, but not the “right” one.  As those others were not the brand he wanted.   Searching the garage, the office, the junk drawers, bedroom, etc.  The archer ended up using one of the parts that were found after much time was investing in locating them.  Organization of my sixteen-year-old is equal to the aftermath of a tornado.

This weekend, much sleep has been lost checking on live scoring.  The mental stress increases as a parent when the archer is out of your control.  There have been many conversations, corrections, a few reprimands, and many praises this past year preparing the archer to rely on another adult. Additionally, to ensure behavior and BEHAVIOR are appropriate.   There have been tough texts sent and a couple received on problems that need to be addressed.  There have been far more successes than mistakes, thankfully.

By the time an archer is a seasoned national competitor, there is a shift in needs for the archer.  Mental management of the archer and the parent come in to play.   Even with successes, there are the concerns about physical health and strain on young muscles.  Pains and aches are managed.  The archer spends much of the time training, so ensuring that when there are teenage time opportunities, encouragement is giving to go have some fun.

Even when negotiating curfew time, because that is always a debate, this parent gives weird times to be home.  Like 11:14.  Two reasons, first, typically is how we agree on a time, next, giving an obscure time actually helps teach time management.  There is a challenge there and the lesson in being on time.  Time management is taught and learned.

It is now 3:26 a.m., 14 minutes until the next scoring round begins.  This archery parent is wide awake and my attention at church will be a struggle in the morning, well, daylight.  These new levels come with many additional stresses.  The biggest worries are the distance and keeping the scenarios of tragedy possibilities in check in the head.  Oh, this parent is a WORRIER!  (7 minutes to go!)  Dreams often come with battle wounds.

Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Romans 5: 3-4

Scoring is up!  Shoot Straight.  May at the end of each day hope be what we have left.





The Archery Parent “Pitfalls”


Yes, this archery parent played Pitfall in her youth.  In fact, my sister broke the 10,000 points mark and a photo was taken with her and the score.  A Polaroid camera, of course, was used.  Now that has not one thing to do about archery, other than it fits the blog title. First, there is no former training, unless a college child phycology course counts.  The education is parenting and being involved st a sports parent for 18 years.  There are many pitfalls that cross all sports that can lead to traps and falls.  Archery is a very unique sport, so it quickly complicates and can muddy water for the archer.

These are areas that personally this parent has crawled in and out of or witnessed on the fields.

Over Protecting/Involved Parent

GUILTY.  It definitely helps that the archer is the youngest child.  Experience as a football team mom, travel ball team board member…Stepped into a few situations that are regretful.  A young momma lion is not always easily tamed.  There are lines that need to be protected.  In archery, that line is the competitors’ area line…try to handle situations like you are observing the situation.  In the middle of the competition, all emotions are high and things can escalate quickly.   Trying to ensure the archer is shooting and focusing on the target is the main goal.

Over Coaching Parent

These parents just want to help.  This parent gets it, once again guilty.  There are numerous times that this parent offered baseball tips that were yelled towards the batter’s box.  Archery is a quiet game, it takes little to be seen and heard by the archers.  There is not supposed to be talking on the line…okay, well this is not always followed by the young.  The young archers should be taught to focus on the target.  Constant coaching and suggestions are hard on the archers during competition. Yes, this archery parent has competed in sports, including archery.  Being coached during the shot is not helpful.

“Soccer” Type Parent

Guilty, again!  Archery can’t handle soccer parents.  Archery is a quiet sport.  Think golf.  Soccer is a fast game, adrenaline is needed to keep the game moving fast.  Archery, it is the opposite.   Pacing and fidgeting are not helpful.  Find your zen.

My Child is Amazing Parent

Hoping to not be too guilty of this syndrome.  It is hard not to want to talk about our archer and accomplishments, however, not needed.  Let the archer’s actions on the field say all that needs to be said.  This parent tries to stay humble and thankful in the good and bad.

No one works harder than “my” Archer Parent

Let this be said…THERE IS ALWAYS an archer that is working harder.  There is always an archer that is hungrier.

Not Guilty.

 High-Pressure Parent

This is the parent that uses muscle with words to try to motivate.  It has been heard by a couple parents on the field the archer better get it together or they are done.  That they did not come here for the archer to lose.  Or the cuss words that can fly when the archer is not performing perfectly or the arrow did not hit the center.  The finger shaking, huffy puffy parent to the archer.  There are times to motivate! There are times to shake a finger, but not at an arrow or mistake on the line.

An archery parent can ABSOLUTELY destroy a young archers career.  It has been heard many times that archery parents are the worse, by those in the business of archery.  If we become the tar pits, crocodiles or scorpions in the archers’ path, the journey will be much harder.  No one should have to use a rope to swing over a parent as an obstacle.


Shoot Straight.  Visit facebook: https://www.facebook.com/archeryparent/?fref=ts

Comments, ideas, and stories always welcomed.

Fall is in the Air – Indoor Season

Fall or Autumn or Pumpkin Spice Latte, hunting season…this archery parent loves the switch from outdoor season to indoor season.  This week central Oregon has had a light switch in weather, with below freezing evenings coming this way.  Indoor season means the end of travel and a switch in the game.  The time when financial pressures, move to mental pressures of the upcoming financial pressures as a new season is planned.

Wait, it is the end of travel.  Sigh.  Take a deep breath.  Each year travel presents challenges and stresses that have stretched this parents mental, physical and spiritual health.  As a parent of a now driving archery, this will be the first official indoor season that hours each day are spent NOT waiting in town for the practice to be concluded.

Physical health?  Two years ago in the month of May, my not so graceful self -took a tumble off the deck breaking the right foot.  The first four days, due to the fact that the other archery parent was driving the archer to a tournament for several days, never went to the doctor…well had a herd of animals to care for.  Broken did not stop the process.  The foot needed surgery….there was an upcoming tournament.  Six weeks later, really need a surgery…there was another an upcoming tournament…the good news, after 16 weeks in a boot the foot healed well.

Mental health…let’s just say…four years ago an airplane ride caused panic attacks…now, just nervous.   Archery stretched my courage and secured a spiritual growth that is relied upon as often as it is remembered to breathe and thank God for being there.

Fall is really the beginning of the archery season.  September sponsors contracts are in review.  By October the new contracts are released.  November new bows hit the market.  All during this time, archers have moved inside.  New arrows are fletched and tuned.  Local shops startup indoor leagues.  The time changes and darkness take away long hours being outside, with the sun as the closed sign.  Indoor seasons, often archers are limited to hours available to shoot.

Fall is in the air – It must be the indoor season (almost).target6-Large-1024x683



Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑