Editor’s Note: Georgianna Braden of Houston, Texas, is a petite, pixie like lady. If you saw her on the street or in the courtroom, you’d never consider her as one of the top female archers. She is not only a tournament archer, but also an avid bowhunter and an advocate for women’s archery. Georgianna, who’s been shooting a bow for 7 years, and her husband Michael are both members of the PSE Pro Staff.
Georgianna, why would you encourage other women to pick up bows, learn to shoot them, compete in tournaments and possibly become bowhunters?
Braden: There are a couple of reasons. Archery is a sport that helps build self-discipline. Archery also helps to relieve stress and to develop a calm spirit. When you go out and practice, you can focus on yourself and improving yourself. It also allows you to compete with yourself and see where you can make improvements. Archery is an avenue that allows you to have healthy competition with other people, meet new people, excel and become a better competitor. You many not be athletically talented, super strong or ever have seen yourself as an athlete, but archery provides the vehicle to attain these and many more skills, regardless of your strength and athletic ability. Archery also enables you to become friends with other people who have similar interests. You can really connect with them through this type of sport.
What percentage of archery are skills based, and what percentage is social based?
Braden: I believe that archery is 90% social and only 10% skill based. Sure, you have to develop your skills as an archer to improve competitively and to be an efficient bowhunter. But, when you look at the amount of time we all spend at archery tournaments and when we go bowhunting, the largest percentage of time is spent talking and visiting with our friends, and that is what I love about the sport. I love making friends with people at competitions. At an archery competition, you shoot with other archers in a group, and you move station to station with that group. Only when you are at the line are you participating in the shoot. The rest of the time you’re getting to know people in your group, and we talk on and off the field of competition. Each of the groups that I have shot with has been tremendously supportive, and they are also a lot of fun.
Georgianna, why would you encourage mothers to get their children and husbands into archery?
Braden: Archery provides a chance to spend time with your children and your husband away from cell phones, TV, video games and all the other distractions that keep families from interacting together. Your family can see that their mother enjoys archery and has a passion for it. Everyone in the family can participate in the sport of archery. Archery is a healthy way to introduce youngsters to competitive sports. In archery, they can learn that to get better at a sport, they don’t have to beat someone else. They have to constantly improve themselves. At our local archery club, we have several single moms who bring their children, have them involved in archery and shoot as a family and practice together. Shooting archery is a way not only for single moms to connect with their children, but also moms in a more traditional family. Everyone in the family can participate in a sport that’s fun. It gives the family a way to connect with each other and share an interest together. When a mom is helping a child learn to shoot archery, there is a trust bond that develops to help the child to trust the mom more and also helps the mom to trust the child. Both the youngster and the mom want to spend more time together, when they’re participating in a fun activity like archery. If there is anything I can do to encourage more women to get involved in archery. I’ll do it in a heartbeat. I also encourage them to get into bowhunting. I believe bowhunting gives a lady a lot of self-esteem, because it may have been a sport she’s thought she can’t do. However, the main reason I encourage women to embrace the sport of archery is that it’s just a lot of fun.