Archery Basics – Introducing Your Kids to Archery

By Alan Murdock

AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Manasquan, NJ –-( Today I was talking with a friend at work who is introducing his family to archery.

First, he bought his wife a compound bow, then he bought a beginner bow for his 5 year old son. It got me thinking about ways to introduce children to the shooting sports, and archery in particular.

I think that teaching the instinctive method is easiest for youth to learn. This is how I started shooting myself, with a fiberglass bow and a simple target. All of the fundamentals, breath control, draw, anchor point, release and follow through lead to greater and greater accuracy.

In many ways it is like learning to shoot a rifle with iron sights. The simple format allows you, or your child to focus on the fundamentals, and there is nothing to get in the way or complicate these simple techniques.

Start with a target about ten feet away from the child. You want enough distance for the arrow to fly, but not so much that hitting the target will be impossible. Use a balloon as a target and fill it with some baby powder  or use a water balloon to “explode” when it is hit.

These simple things can help your child stay interested in shooting and see his or her success. Sometimes for young kids “hitting the bulls eye” is too complex a concept.

As youth grow older they can upgrade to a compound or traditional recurve bow. The skills developed at a young age will turn into ability at greater distances, with harder targets, and with hunting grade equipment.

There is nothing like starting young to spark a lifelong enjoyment of the shooting arts, and archery offers one of the best entries into the sport.

About: Alan Murdock is a lifelong shooting enthusiast. From youth he has shot firearms and archery. Today he is a certified NRA basic pistol instructor and Utah Concealed Firearms instructor. His blog on shooting and personal defense can be found at

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Beth Bishop
Beth Bishop
4 years ago

Pro shops will spend a lot of time with your child to ensure the bow is a good fit and that the proper weight is being pulled back. Archery shops can offer bows with adjustable draw weight and draw length so your child can use the same bow for years, as they grow.