An Archer's Carol
By Anthony Bellittini
T’was the night before Christmas and all about the range,
Not an archer was stirring – no flying feather or vane.
And I with my quiver stand patiently on line,
With hope that my "friend" will show up on time.
My tab is powdered and string newly waxed,
My shoulders at the ready, I’m set, where’s he at?
Then through the door he came smugly aglow,
Sporting a new Win and Win bow -
“OK I’m here!” he said, - ”Now, let’s get on with this show!”
He set his clicker, and V-Bars, and adjusted his sight,
To myself I thought - Let’s get on with this "fight".
With confidence he stepped into his lane,
Glanced my way and said, “You’ll be sorry I came!”.
So they’re we both were, his new bow against mine,
An old Bear Tamer Lane, that has seen better times.
One end takes all - that was the deal,
A long-standing challenge, today finally made real.
The first shots were his, won by a coin toss,
I didn’t care - I knew he already lost.
He drew and released those 2315’s
To do battle with mine, each one scored a nine.
I lifted my bow and loosed my first arrows,
And just as I visualized them, each flew slowly and narrow.
You see I knew something my dear friend did not,
That into the ten, again, again - my wood shafts were hot!
With the score in my favor, the end result achieved,
I turned to my friend, smiled and said, “its all in how well you believe!”
“It’s the faith in yourself, knowing that you have already won,
that determines the ending even before the competition’s begun.
“I don’t get that”, he said, “I have all this cool stuff!”
“Perhaps, just perhaps, I didn’t buy enough?”
So I bid him farewell and he went on his way,
And I wish you all Great Shooting this year after Christmas Day!
Archery Champion or just another soccer player?
By Anthony Bellittini
Now that Spring has arrived I'm sure many kids will also be participating in other sports such as soccer, baseball, and lacrosse.
It never ceases to amaze me how the coaches of these sports start their recruting in November of the prior year with constant phone messages and emails to families to be certain they have that one more player starting that next spring.
This year, some coaches have increased the ante. Baseball and soccer are BIG Business, and someone has to pay for all those fields. Parents are held in place with threats of their child being dumped from the team if a practice or two is missed.
I've spoken to many parents recently that tell me their son or daughter will have to cut back on archery (or drop archery till fall) because their soccer or baseball coach now has their child practicing two to three hours a day, three to four times a week (essentially locking them out of any other activity - and into theirs), and, not only are they exhausted when they get home, but they hardly have any time for schoolwork.
My heart saddens every Spring because I see such progress in my students cut short because of the high demands of other sports and the parents that give in to them. And then, or if, they return after summer, it's just like starting all over.
I have been coaching archery professionally for almost 20 years. That said, I can assure you that it doesn't take anywhere near that time to know that if an archer practices even 4-6 hours a week- that archer will be a National Champion within a year or two, if they want to take it that far!
Archery is one of only a few sports in which you can accomplish that. That, is what is so amazing about this sport. It's repetitive improvement! It's success that you can be proud of because you accomplished it yourself. You didn't have to rely upon how good another player was, or how much the other team sucked less that day. in order to win.
Archery is a year round sport. Our state archery association and those of our adjoining states all have outdoor tournaments. If one wanted to, you can go to a tournament every other weekend somewhere close by.
Outdoor events are fun! With all the family and team tents, flags, it looks like a modern medieval game.
It's been my goal for a long time, to promote our sport until it becomes as recognized as soccer. So I'm urging everyone not to abandon archery for other sports, perhaps increase your practice time, and keep up with improving your skills!
"TRAINING CHAMPIONS FOR OVER 18 YEARS"