Teaching Archery with OREOS

11112461_821482524594304_7134509611897923840_n-667x499When I was a kid, I was always learning new things. I wanted to be great at everything I tried. I hung on to every word that was being said to me when I was being told how to do something new. And I have to admit to a fault, that I don’t quit until I get it 100% right. I can’t just be good enough to make it by. I have to be THE BEST! However, I had a major issue with people telling me what I was doing wrong every step of the way. I hated it! I would eventually become so disgusted and disappointed in myself that I would have to walk away. Being a kid, I got stuck on what I was being told was wrong, and never really had light shed on what I was actually doing right. I know it was to make me better, as a kid it’s hard to hear what you’re doing wrong ALL THE TIME! Even as an adult, who can stand that?
I use that experience as a kid to be a better instructor now. Now, when I say I teach archery with Oreos, I don’t mean the most heavenly divine cookie that has ever had the pleasure to grace milk’s presence. Although, they do make a great reward when the students do a great job. Metaphorically, an Oreo is the perfect way to correct an issue with a shooter. Think of the cookie part to be the positive reinforcement on each side of a suggestion. Consider the cream to be the best part, the teaching moment – the driving point that will ultimately make your student a better shooter.

11230854_862975987111624_3526402209807688197_nFor instance, a major focus for my students with archery is follow-through. I always see a kid dropping their bow right after the arrow leaves the rest, causing the arrow to drop and miss a target. “Hey, you’re dropping your bow and not following through on the shot”, seems like a likely thing to say to them; after all, that’s what is really going on. But, rather than calling them out on the one bad thing they are doing, mention to them the techniques they are getting right. “I noticed you have a great shot setup and stance. When you release the arrow, the bow drops on the follow through. Next time, let’s try keeping the bow up on the whole follow through. You’re doing a great job.” Keeping positive reinforcement on both sides of a suggestion or a correction both boosts their confidence in shooting, while giving them the suggestion to change a bad habit.

Keeping a positive environment encourages the student to come back,
and to increases their drive to improve.

Samantha Lance

Samantha was born and raised in Middle Tennessee. She has lived there her whole life, and still lives within minutes of her childhood home. In her full-time career, Samantha is a Vendor Marketing Specialist with Servpro Industries, Inc. Married to her best friend, Bud, the two have a beautiful young daughter, Alyssa. Samantha grew up in the outdoors, camping and fishing with her mom, dad, and kid sister. Her heart lies either on the river or in the woods. Her dad took her hunting for small game when she was young. Work, family, and school took over, and she lost sight of her outdoor passion for a while. After several years, her husband introduced her back into hunting. She harvested her first turkey, and has been in back in love with the outdoors since. Passion has morphed into an obsession that she thoroughly enjoys. Nowadays, she and her family spend every moment they can outside fishing, hunting, hiking, exploring, and just spending time together. Specifically, Samantha enjoys whitetail and squirrel hunting in the winter, turkey hunting in the Spring, bowfishing during the summer, and dove and turkey hunting in the fall. She also had the honor of becoming a certified archery instructor through the Sumner County 4-H in Tennessee, and enjoys teaching archery to Tennessee’s youth.

Samantha is a lifetime learner, and always keeps her ears open to those who are willing to share their knowledge and experience. She loves passing on what she’s learned to the next generation, so that it’s not lost with us. Additionally, she is also a member of the Bayou Pursuit Team, with Muddy Bayou Archery. They are strongly geared towards hunting and the outdoors as a family, and focused on instilling a love and a respect for the outdoors to the next generation. They have hunted as a team for hogs, most recently in Louisiana, and are looking forward to many more adventures in the coming years.

Samantha is currently working on her Business Management Degree, with plans to continue on to a Wildlife Management and Conservation degree.