Youth Archery Parent – It never ends.

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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.

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A Boy and A Bow – An Archery Poem

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A Boy and A Bow

 

This is a story of an archery bow

Put in the hands of a young boy that sparked a glow

The world of archery entered into his sights.

Striving to find those shining bright lights.

 

Thousands of arrows have hissed through the air

Shooting each with purpose, taking the targets dare

Fed a soul hunger towards perfecting the shot

That wants only arrows to mark the x spot

 

With miles behind and more still to go,

This archery parent prays it stays slow

While reaching towards the ultimate goal

Of standing on the podium shining with gold

 

An army of archery “angels” guiding the way

Helping prepare the archer for each day

To a path that needs many to help a archer grow

With sincere gratitude, all my heart can bestow

 

No matter the end of the story being told

The heart will have many stories to hold

Archery brought purpose and love for a game

No matter the outcome, no matter the fame.

 

By: This Archery Parent

 

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World Archery Youth Trials Round Robin 2017

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This morning was another cool breezy day.  The day started with the top 32 archers in compound and recurve archery of cadet and junior ages.  Cadets are 15-17 years of age and juniors are 18-21 years of age.  The photo above shows the archers in the morning meeting prior to the start of the competition.   ( Loving the beam of light shining upon the archers.)

These young archers competed in 7 rounds of elimination style round robin.  This allows every archer to compete against each archer that qualified for the top eight in the prior day’s competition.  This is a long day of continuous shooting, with one quick 15-minute break in the middle to allow for restroom use and fueling the body.  The competition started a 8, with most archers arriving around 7 to be able to get some shots off on the practice field.

This year, electronics got the best of the tournament with scoring and some confusion.  Live scoring was down for some archers, which can be frustrating.  Most spectators rely on the live scoring to keep them up to the date of the scores on the field.  It is often not easy to know the scores on the target even with binoculars due to the distance away from the target.  By the end, there was confusion and incorrect scores that delayed the team and had growing frustrations by parents and archers on the field.  This is archery.

Once corrections were completed, the team member with one alternative where announced and parents and archers gathered for the team meeting on the upcoming tournament in Argentina in October.

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This is your 2017 USA World Archery Youth Team.  There were hugs and tears by parents and excitement at the opportunity ahead.

Congratulations to the team and to those that just missed making the team.  There is impressive talent in our youth and many lost the battle by a point or two. There are Olympic hopefuls preparing for the 2020 Olympics in the recurve world and hopeful compound shooters with the possibility of compound archery in 2024 Olympic games.

As for this archery parent, today was spent watching some of the ends, talking, and laughing with friends.   The frustration of the live scoring being down just seemed like a sign to not stress about it and just enjoy the day.  For this archery parent, the best part of the day is a hug from the archer (he is not a hugger.)

Finally, as with most tournaments in the US, there is the required Panda Express meal to finish off the tournament.  Traditions are hard to break and Panda is just one of them. Praying for safe journeys home, for rest and rejuvenation.  JOAD Nationals are just a few weeks away, making goodbyes easier.

This archery parent is tired and looking forward to being home tomorrow night.

Blessings to you all.

World Archery Youth Trials Official Practice Day 2017

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wp-image-390705499It has been beautiful weather in Lansing, Michigan.  The clouds and breeze kept the temperatures bearable on the field today. Granted this archery parent was in the shade and enjoying time with friends.  Official practice today was from 12 to 5 pm.  It was a day of smiles, reunions of friends and the joy of archery all around.

Bows were inspected, official credentials and yummy popcorn were given to the competitors.  This field does allow the spectators to be close to the archers for great viewing of targets.

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This tournament is quieter and less hectic with only youth cadet and juniors shooting it out to make the top 8 on Saturday and then those  8 working through 8 round robin matches to earn a spot on the team.  Scoring is different at this tournament.  This tournament awards point for placement, but also for scores shot during the rounds.

Weather is promising to be good and the young archers are here to compete.  There certainly are a few missing in the crowd.  Some due to the cost of the travel and some to injury.  This archery parent wants to say, you are missed.

wp-image-1002608379This was a new item added…however, due to the fact that the tournament is not making any money on the tournament a parking fee was added to ensure that the host club has some revenue coming in for the hours of time involved.   A bit of a surprise, but understandable.

This archery parent only pulled out the binoculars once to look at the target, but honestly, not even sure which target the archer was shooting on.  All the arrows looked good in the target and all looked about the same in scoring.  Saturday, the cadets start at 8 a.m. with the juniors coming in behind at 1 p.m.

Shoot Straight.

 

 

Archery, the “Luck” of the Stars, and A Prayer

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images-8Most of us have heard some saying that includes the words “when the stars align.” These words have been said and heard at many tournaments.  Archery and making the podium is much like that day when you hit every green light driving through town, and you drive into the parking lot and there is a space waiting up front in a filled lot.  These are rare days, it seems often.  As the archer prepares, like the 180 youth coming from all over the USA to make a team of three, we pray for success.  This team can consist of any young archer coming.  This is not like horse races, there aren’t favorites or odds.  Just a group of very talented archers come together to shoot it out.

In this home, when the archer is mentally preparing, we use words like when you make the top 8, or make the team.  This archery parent asks after practice some days if he is ready to win.  The answer is yes, from the archer.  This archery parent then says, yes, you are ready to win, let’s pray the stars aligns that way.  Every archer and parent coming into the World Archery Youth Team Trials are hoping and praying that it is their archer that makes the team.  Every young archer there is dreaming the same dream.  Every archer there has worked hard and parents have sacrificed to afford and take the time required to attend not only this tournament but every tournament.

Came we pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity our children have to follow a passion and the love of archery.  Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to be attending, not only as parents and archers, also friends and family.  As an archery community, may we come together with kindness.   As parents and mentors of the young, may our actions and words glorify you.

In mistakes, we ask you offer grace and forgiveness of self and of those that may error against us.  Lord, may the fields be safe, may the archers be protected, may the judges be blessed.  Lord, in anger and frustration, help us breathe and love.  Lord in defeat, may our hearts not break, but draw on you for strength.  In triumph, may our heart be humbled and gracious.

Lord, may the arrows fly safe and straight.  May the equipment stay steady and true.  May the field be filled with joy and laughter.  May the travels of all be easy and restful.  May the return home, not matter the outcome, be peaceful and reflective.  Lord, in all things we are called to give thanks and to love others.

Thank you, Lord.

Amen.

This Archery Parent’s Prayer