How does one become a toxophilite? Most would probably respond with, “What is that?” In simpler terms, it’s a person fond of or an expert at archery. Because I’ve not once heard of an infant being born with a bow and arrow in their teeny tiny hands, I know it’s a sport that gets shared. It would be a dark world without the gratifying sport of archery, so do me and future toxophilites a favor, don’t be a jerk, share the sport!
Stop at No One
Who should you share it with? This might be the one question in life I have a perfect answer for, anyone! You can start sharing the sport of archery with little people beginning at the age of four using the Bear Apprentice Youth Compound Bow and don’t stop there if your great grandad or grandma wants in on it too, there are suitable archery options for them as well and everyone in between.
The real starting point was when you chose to learn from someone else that cared enough to share their passion with you, you digested what they taught you and put it into practice because you love sport. The question is, will you do the same for another? If the answer is yes, and it should be, take up your bow and follow me!
- Plan a time and place to shoot.
- Sharing is better accomplished if another person is involved, put out the invitation.
- Set up an archery target for the type of bow you shoot.
- Show them why you love the sport from the set-up to the satisfaction of pulling the arrows from the target so you can reload and do it all over again.
- Remove your grubby fingers from the grip and put it in theirs.
Don’t Be a Show-Off
Don’t be a show-off, because this shouldn’t be an opportunity to sport your so-called awesome archery skills. This is about taking the new archer back to where you came from and showing an example of what practice can do. A reminder of where you came from may do you some good also.
The first time you shot a bow, did your arrow fly backwards unexpectedly? If so, that’s the perfect story to share, a perfect example that everyone must start somewhere. But if the first time you shot a bow, your form and follow through was perfect and the arrow sprang in a straight line as if its only purpose was a bullseye, keep that story to yourself, not everyone is a natural, so do what you can to help them to relax and make it fun.
Here are some fun ideas.
- Balloons, full or empty, are always fun, I don’t care how young or old you are.
- Fruit: melons or pumpkins, (do not hold the targets for the shooter)
- Paper zombies or fun competitive targets
- Get creative and don’t think you’re the only one that can, let your new shooting buddy help.
You Should Be a Mentor Too
Always remember the one who took the time to teach you so if you truly care about the sport and you want to show them some appreciation this is the moment. Get your friend and yourself geared up with the necessary safety gear and make your way to the range to plant that archery seed into their heart. That seed is going to require some nourishment to grow, show them the proper hold, release, and follow through. The more you get that bow into their grubby hands, the closer they are to becoming a toxophilite. That’s what we all want, if you don’t, too bad, change your mind.
A Newb Should Share Too
If you’re new to the sport of archery, share as little or as much as you know. Don’t wait to know it all, that’ll never happen. As I said earlier, this is not about sporting your so-called awesomeness, it’s about putting off the notion to be a jerk, the desire to be the best, or the know-it-all archer. It’s about keeping the seeds of archery sown in the hearts of those who come after! That’s how you pass it on! Should I say again, don’t be a jerk, share the sport!
11 thoughts on “Don’t Be a Jerk – Share the Sport”
“It’s about keeping the seeds of archery sown in the hearts of those who come after!”
The Bow Bully,
Yes, for sure; my wife’s granddad was an excellent archer, as well as being a bow maker, and he passed his love of archery, and his skills, on to several generations of archers.
My only regret is that he passed on before I got a chance to meet him.
I’d love to have picked his brain…and to have tried to get him to make me a bow. 😉
Blessings to you,
Thanks Dave, what a blessing for your wife to have had a granddad like that! It sounds like, in a round about way, you can pick his brains through those he passed his skills onto if they’d allow you to. Was your wife one of them? Does she enjoy the sport?
Blessings to you as well Sir.
– The Bow Bully
The Bow Bully,
Yes, my wife was one of them; her granddad made her her first bow at age 3.
She killed her first squirrel with it at age 5; that qualified her for a .22 rifle.
Yet she still shot longbows for many years.
About 15 years ago, I got her an Excalibur target crossbow (90 lbs) that she loved!
But with her MS, she couldn’t shoot it by herself anymore.
Hence, she passed it on to someone who really wanted it (as they’re discontinued).
In her younger days, she was a subsistence hunter (as were all her family).
She used her longbow and her .22 rifle to put lots of meat on the table.
My wife is also the one who got me my .50 Hawken replica.
In a sporting goods store one day, I saw a Hawken replica in a rack behind the counter.
I wondered aloud what caliber it was; my wife said, “It’s .50 caliber.”
Me (to her): “Yeah, like you’d know.” (I didn’t know her background at the time).
Me (to sales guy): “Hey, what caliber is that rifle there?”
Him: “Fifty, pal!”
My wife: “Like I said, I only saw one EVERY DAY of my life growing up!
My granddad had an original Hawken, .50 caliber,
given to him by the Native American guy that taught him how to trap and make bows.”
Yeah, for sure I wish I could have met her granddad. 🙂
Blessings to you,
Wow! That’s amazing! Sounds like you married his protege and she knew what a .50 Hawken was, she’s a keeper! It’s really great to hear when seeds like that have been planted. Thank you for sharing your story, please tell the wife The Bow Bully says hi.
Yep; she’s a keeper! I’ll tell her you said “hi.” 😉
“Sounds like you married his protege and she knew what a .50 Hawken was, she’s a keeper!”
You are most welcome; I did tell her “hi” as well as what you said; she really appreciated the comment above. 🙂
Great thanks! Y’all keep passing on your passion for the sport! I appreciate that!
Will do 😉
Sharing the sport is a concept we should carry over to all sports – archery, airgunnery, whatever, that we would like to preserve into the future.
Absolutely agree! It starts with us, Let’s keep it going!