Having your Archer standing on the podium is an important objective of the tournament, but we must remember that it is not the most important part of participating in the sport.
Sometimes, as coaches and parents it is easy to forget about the long-term goal, which is helping the archer develop physically, psychologically and socially. This is easy to do when we pursue the short-term goal of winning the tournament, because the rewards of winning are immediate and can be powerful. Our society sends mixed messages and winning is never more important than the Archer’s well being. In today’s society, unfortunately, athletes learn from parents, coaches, teammates and the media to gauge their self-worth on whether they win or lose.
Coaches and parents need to ask themselves; can we keep the long-term goals in sight not only during practice, but also in the pressure of a tournament, when our archer is winning or even when our archer is not doing well.
By keeping winning in perspective, your program will produce archers who enjoy and love the sport of archery. They will work hard to get better, they will not be afraid to try something new in order to learn and they will grow. Clubs with the right coaches, along with the archers parents will produce Archers who accept responsibilities, they will accept other and most important, they will accept themselves.
Winning is important, but it must not take away from the archer striving to achieve personal goals. Success needs to be measured by the archer exceeding their own goals rather than triumphing over others.
When we keep winning in perspective, the pursuit of victory is fun.