Mackenzie Brown has been shooting competitively in the archery industry for more than half her life. From competing at the local level as a child, to the Olympic level as an adult, she understands the archery tournament environment. In this blog post, she shares some tips on being an archery competition spectator, from a shooter’s point of view.
Items to Bring with You
Before you show up to support your favorite archer or your favorite sport, you’ll want to grab a few things to bring with you to the competition. Here are a few suggestions:
- Walking Shoes
- Folding Chair
USA Archery and ASA organizations each have their own format and their own set of rules. You want to keep this in mind while you’re gathering items to take to the tournament. For example, if you’re going to a USA Archery or indoor event, a folding chair would be a good idea. If you’re going to an ASA tournament, it would be best to wear your most comfortable walking shoes. If it’s your first time going to a competition, you can read up on how the tournament works and/or take a look at the schedule of events. This way you know which items to take and be prepared before you arrive.
Patience is going to be your best friend at any of these events. Most of the time there are going to be a few long days and some of the shooting will be kind of boring. The best way to support your family members or friends while he or she competes is to be present and encouraging. A couple of conversations to stay away from are asking why your archer missed or bringing up bad shots. This could add to pressure your archer is already feeling. Asking if you can help by grabbing water or snacks for your archer when he or she is back from the target is welcome. Encouraging words go a long way to help with performance. Fist bumps and kind words are nice to receive as an archer as well.
Kids in Archery
A lot of parents want to help their kids while they are competing, but often, one or both parents don’t know much about archery, except maybe their kid’s division. If you are a parent of an archer and you don’t have any archery background, the best thing to do is ask your archer what he or she needs. My mom always said she was there for “snacks and encouragement,” while my dad was more interested in the inner workings of everything and coaching me. The main goal is to make sure your archer is taken care of and that he or she can compete well and have fun.
Everyone on the Same Team
During tournaments, coaches of clubs typically have quite a few kids to watch and will be running around a lot, so having a plan when your kid needs help will aid in avoiding some tears. Parents can talk to their kid’s coaches before a tournament to ask about specific things their child is working on, whether it’s form or a mental reminder. When the coach is busy with other archers, you can do your part to fill in as best as you can.
Control Your Emotions
Archers are often like horses in that they can sense the emotions around them. Others’ emotions can easily affect the archer’s mood. This doesn’t mean that you must be happy go lucky the whole time you’re at a competition, but you should try to control your emotions when things aren’t going well for the archer.
When off the competition field, suggesting low intensity activities like a movie, putt-putt golf, or an escape room is preferred until the competition is over, especially after a long day on the competition field. On the other hand, maybe your archer just wants to get a quick meal and head back to the hotel. Ask your archer to determine what is best in the moment, as this could vary from competition to competition.
Hopefully these tips will help you to support your favorite archer and maybe help you fall in love with the sport of archery even more! What advice would you add?
Never miss a new blog post from 60X. Sign up for our newsletter and the newest blog post will drop into your email.