Young fans will be flocking to see the new Hunger Games movie this week, imagining themselves as Katniss with a bow and arrow in hand navigating the Capitol. Thanks to this movie and others like The Avengers, organizations such as USA Archery have reported that the number of people trying and participating in archery has been on the rise the last few years. If your child has been asking about learning to shoot a bow and arrow, there are a few organizations in Des Moines, which offer archery instruction to a variety of ages and skill levels.
Archery teaches and encourages eye-hand coordination, discipline, patience, confidence and focus. Kids that participate in archery also gain a respect for and a sense of responsibility to the environment. Kids of all sizes can participate and compete in the sport equally. It’s also a sport that appeals to families, both genders, and multiple generations in a variety of settings.
It may be a bit of a drive to get to a practice range, if you’re not located near one. Many parents have concerns whether archery is a safe sport for kids to participate in. Due to its safety standards and procedures, archery actually ranks as one of the safest recreational activities offered. To ensure safety, you will want to make sure your child is taught by certified instructors. The last drawback is the start-up costs. Many instructors recommend borrowing or renting equipment before purchasing.
Children who are coordinated, patient and focused with inner resolve. Archery is a sport that’s all about the individual. Archers may compete against others at shoots, but your main competitor is yourself. Archery is a very inclusive sport and is great for athletes of all sizes and ages.
Archery is a sport where you can be as competitive as you want to be. Kids can take a few lessons, learn the basics and then continue to practice on their own. If an archer wants more of a challenge there are opportunities to participate in competitions and tournaments at the state, national, and international level.
- Bow (Longbow, Recurve, Compound)
- Arrows (Practice, Competition, Wood, Bamboo, Aluminum, Composite)
- Finger Tab
- Bow Stringer
There are many variables when determining the costs that will be involved to participate in archery. You may want to consult an archery coach, more experienced shooter or a local archery or sporting goods store to help you make the right choice when purchasing equipment.
The bow you choose will generally depend on two things: what feels good to you as an archer, and the type of archery you want to pursue. No matter the style, the size of your bow will depend on several factors like your age, height and draw length.
As with any activity, as your child progresses, only your family can choose what you will spend in relation to your child’s specific goals within the sport whether competitively or recreationally.
Archery Instruction, Equipment & Information
There are a few places where kids can take Archery lessons scattered across the metro. A handful are listed below. Schools, camps and youth organizations also offer opportunities to participate in archery.
A&S Archery – Grimes
Archery Field & Sports – Altoona
Bass Pro Shops – Altoona
Iowa State Archery Association – Des Moines
Mid Iowa Archers – Urbandale
National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) – Iowa DNR
Polk County Conservation – Polk County
Raccoon Ridge Archery – Stuart
Raccoon River Park Archery Facility – West Des Moines
Scheels – West Des Moines
Warren County Conservation Board – Indianola
What do you think, is your kid ready to unleash their inner Katniss?