Welcome to the official blog for Nico Schottelli, archer extraordinaire.
Why I Love to Shoot Bows
Every time I go to a conference of motivational speakers or other outdoors coaches, I’m always amazed by how little attention archery gets. Whenever people talk about using sports, outdoors, or fitness to get people healthy, I feel like they’re missing one of the most effective tools. Sure, running and weight lifting can get you jacked in a hurry, but I think archery has a number of benefits that are totally overlooked. So, here’s my reasoning for why I love archery so much:
If you do archery properly, you’ll enter a zen state where your mind and body are totally connected and work as one. The breathing technique you use to calm your body down and keep a steady aim works to completely center you, like doing yoga. That zen state is a powerful tool for your mental and physical health, since it builds body awareness. It’s a mindset you can come back to when you’re running, working out, or even doing your job. I also noticed as soon as I started doing archery regularly what a difference it made in terms of my posture. Like all of us these days, I was constantly a bit slumped, looking at my phone or my laptop, so I was curved forward. I also hunched my shoulders inward a bit because that’s what you do when you’re leaning over like that. Archery makes you stand up straight, boldly, and with an open spine. Drawing the box opens your chest out, and builds the back muscles you need to keep that posture for the rest of your day and to keep your spine safe for other activities and exercise.
Archery is also one of the greatest teachers in the world when it comes to learning how to accept and move past failure. It teaches you how to be a bit distant and objective, as they teach in Buddhism, and it teaches you how to let go of the past, even the immediate past, and live wholly and presently in the moment. Each shot is an event, and you gradually learn to put all of yourself into each shot, but to move on and be ready to try again each time you fail. It also teaches you patience, precision, and self-discipline. Those three skills are essential to everything you do in life.