Becoming a successful archer is all about taking that first step up to the line and sending your first arrow to the target. The steps you take next all depend on where you see yourself going. The road you take should reflect your individual needs and how you want to practice the sport. Below, we’ve compiled a basic road map, featuring a few of the many archery organizations you can join.
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National Field Archery Association for Year-round Competition
NFAA is an organization that hosts a wide range of outdoor competitions where archers can try their hand at field archery. Field archery is practiced outdoors and is set up similar to a golf course. The targets range in distance, and archers are unlikely to encounter the same distance twice in a row. One target might be set up on a steep incline and another might be on level ground. The group also offers 3D tournaments, where archers shoot at various 3D targets.Joining this organization is a smart choice for archers who are looking for a challenge and the opportunity to get outside. Your membership with NFAA doesn’t stop when the weather turns cold; there are indoor competitions where archers shoot “Vegas rounds” at Vegas tournament-style targets. Whether you’re practicing indoors or out, you can continue competing with NFAA all year. Anybody can join NFAA by submitting a membership application and paying the membership fees.
Scholastic 3-D Archery Association for Students Looking for Scholarship Opportunities
S3DA is a program that any school or certified archery range can offer. It teaches students 18 and under the technique and best practices for 3D, indoor and outdoor archery. Students can win scholarship money based on their performance at regional, state and national tournaments. S3DA partners with USA Archery to offer scholarship money toward colleges with USA Archery Collegiate Programs so that young archers can continue competing in archery throughout their college career. S3DA’s goal is to foster participation in the sport of archery and provide a pathway for young archers to practice the sport throughout their entire educational career. S3DA also teaches archers the fundamentals of safe and ethical bowhunting practices. So, this organization is also a great one for archers looking to build a bridge between archery and bowhunting. Anybody can join S3DA by submitting a membership application and paying the membership fees.
USA Archery as a Path to the Olympics / Paralympics
Joining USA Archery and competing in sanctioned tournaments is a terrific way to put yourself on the path to the Olympics and/or Paralympics. Competing in USA Archery tournaments throughout the year will help familiarize you with the Olympic-style format and introduce you to other potential Olympic archers on the circuit. USA Archery offers programs and pathways for youth, adults, college students and adaptive archers. Participating in these programs could culminate in you receiving a spot in the Resident Athlete Program. Select archers ranked in the top 16 for their age class or archers selected at the discretion of the USA Archery national coaching staff have the opportunity to train with the other selected archers under the direction of the USA Archery national head coaching staff. The Olympic archery team is always chosen from the national rankings and a series of qualifying tournaments put on by USA Archery. To put yourself on that path, search USA Archery’s website to find programs or tournaments near you. Not quite ready to travel? No worries: USA Archery offers a quarterly Virtual Tournament. Anybody can join USA Archeryby submitting a membership application and paying the membership fees.
Whatever your archery goals are, there’s an organization that can help you achieve them. Choose the right organization and set yourself on the path to making your dreams a reality. If you’re looking to start small, start practicing at your local range and compete locally to gather experience until you’re ready to join an organization. Visit the Archery 360 store locator to find the range nearest you and get started.