Author: Taylor Walston
2020 has shown us the resiliency of our industry. Retailers and manufacturers have adapted and continue to offer their services to the archery community. Business owners, sales associates and instructors can be thankful for continued support, whether online or in-person. Archers, bowhunters and industry advocates can be thankful that the sport aligns our goals and connects us to the great outdoors.
This year, the ATA hears both your stories of success and tales of hardship, and the industry is here for you. This month is a time to be thankful for the accomplishments of the previous year and look forward to the possibilities of the year ahead. While 2020 has been a difficult year, let’s look at some of the things we can be grateful for.
Give thanks for your customers and the staff that have helped you navigate changes. Photo Credit: Ace Archers
As a Business Owner/Sales Associate:
Give thanks for your community’s support and for the dedicated customers that continue to patronize your shop or range. We hope you’ve seen an increase in online sales, gift cards and frequent lane reservations for your available spots. Thanks to the wonders of technology, we hope that you’ve been able to fulfill the needs of your community online, even if you aren’t open at full capacity. Continue to promote curb-side pickup and your online store, if you have one. If your store or range is open, make sure you display your COVID-19 procedures prominently on your website and in-store, and be sure to thank your customers for making the trip and supporting your business.
Be sure to thank your staff and family members who have helped you adapt to ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines. We all navigated new territory this year, so show appreciation to the people in your life who helped you reroute your business procedures to help your business thrive, even in uncertain times. With extra time on our hands, many people continue to take up new hobbies, such as archery. Welcome these first-time archers with open – albeit socially distant – arms.
Archery can be practiced alone and/or outdoors which makes the sport perfect for social distancing. Photo Credit: ATA
As an Archer:
Archery offers many psychological benefits as well as physical benefits, which is a great reason to be thankful for the sport. It has proven to be a form of therapy that clears the mind and helps with mental focus. When you draw your bow, you are only focused on the bull’s-eye in front of you. You can let all other thoughts fade to the background and tune-in to your target, alleviating stress and refocusing your energy. Perhaps more people are turning to the sport as a therapeutic outlet as they find themselves with time to learn something new. Whether you’re an experienced archer keeping up your practice routine, or a new archer navigating the sport, the industry is thankful for you.
As an Advocate:
Be thankful that you can continue practicing the sport of archery and other outdoor activities. Use this time to connect with nature and experience the great outdoors. You don’t need to venture to the grocery store for meat when you can harvest your own organic wild game. This year, federal acts like the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act and the Great American Outdoors Act were put into motion to improve wetlands, fund clean water solutions, address the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, and provide public land opportunities to ensure that recreational activities like archery and bowhunting can continue for generations to come.
The archery industry is resilient and can make it through trying times. Whether you’re a hunter, competitive archer, or recreational archer, archery can bring you an inner peace that will help get you through the challenge. Archery is one of the few sports that can be practiced either indoors or outdoors. We can be grateful that we can practice archery anywhere it’s safe to do so.
When you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal this week, give thanks for the wild game you caught yourself, the connection you felt with the outdoors, and the mentors who have inspired you. Most of all, give thanks you are part of an industry that is full of supportive, passionate and committed individuals who love the sport as much as you do.