By no means are my family and I experts, but we all do enjoy bow-hunting or target-shooting with our compound bows. Hubby taught our sons and daughter all how to shoot around the age of ten. (All of the photos in this post are of my daughter several years ago at that age trying her best to be as good at archery as her brothers. She’s quite good!)
What does archery and compound bows and arrows and targets have to do with mentoring???
When I started mentoring teens, newlyweds, young mommies, and singles I wasn’t much farther ahead of them on the path of life.
I have always heard that to lead, you just need to be one step ahead of the person following you. Thank goodness for that! Oftentimes, that was all I had to offer, one size 5 1/2 foot in front of the girl following me.
Without getting too technical, I want to show you how archery and mentoring relate….
Basically, the steps are easy and simple, but critical to hitting the target.
First and foremost, LISTEN TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR!
- Assume the shooting position, feet planted, knees loose, body turned 90 degrees away from the target, with your head facing it.
- Nock your arrow in its correct spot on the string. (Again, basics of shooting here so I won’t go into detail!)
- Draw and anchor your bow. This is probably one of the most critical things to get down, but for the sake of this discussion, I won’t go into all of the do’s and don’ts. Here, you pull the bowstring back and use your arm that holds the bow to stablize it, then anchor the string by your cheek. This allows you to prepare to shoot while finding your target through your sight.
- We shoot with sights to help detect the target so this is the point where you find your target PRECISELY before you shoot. At the very beginning, the shooter knows where the target is, but now is the time where the fine-tuning is done to hit the mark.
- Release your arrow and look to the target as it hopefully hits the mark.
Don’t get me wrong; practice is imperative to hitting the bulls eye! But it is possible! And once you find your stance, learn the basics of preparing to release the arrow, you can begin to get close to the target with some adjustments knowing you will hit it!
I hope you haven’t left me yet!
Here’s the connection to mentoring…..
- Others have needed me and you to instruct them, to coach them, to make corrections and adjustments to their way of doing things.
- Others need to hear that it is possible to hit the target.
- Others need to know they can become skilled at not just seeing a larger target down the way, but that with help they can fine-tune their aim and hit a bulls eye!
- Others need our patience, our life-lessons and experiences, our encouragement.
- Others need their elbow tipped up, told to plant their feet, find a comfortable stance, look through the sight to the tiny bulls eye, take a deep breathe, and release that arrow!
- Others need help adjusting their sight to line up with the target.
Life demands that we all need an instructor and mentor. We need someone telling us how to stand.
Life demands that we need help finding and hitting the mark.
Life demands that we get do-overs, again and again and again until one day…..SUCCESS AND VICTORY!
But it takes the one, the mentor, the instructor, the elbow-lifter, the aim-corrector, the one telling us to breathe and relax and just try!
It takes me and you to help HER.
Mentor, you can do this!
And she can succeed!