My name is Matthew Ebner and I am a senior in high school. I live in Southern Oregon and have a strong passion for archery. Archery has benefited me in more ways than I could have ever imagined when I began shooting a bow. The sport of archery is incredible, and I am so lucky to be involved in something that provides many benefits and opportunities. I’m excited to share these benefits and opportunities with other youth that are looking to get into the sport.
I first started shooting a bow when I was 9 years old. I really wanted to practice so I could bow hunt with my dad someday. The first bow I ever shot was a Genesis.
I attended an event at a park, and a bow shop was there with bows for kids to try. I have a photo my parents took of the very first shot out of that first bow (the picture isn’t the best quality, but the memory is still so clear!).
Shooting that bow led to purchasing a compound bow, joining 4-H as a Shooting Sports member, being on a NASP® team, as well as joining many other clubs and organizations.
New Experiences and Skills
I have made some of my very best friends through archery, traveled the country participating in tournaments and bowhunting, earned scholarship money for college, and gained physical strength and confidence.
I believe that the benefits of shooting a bow extend into other areas of my life. I have learned amazing concentration skills, math skills, communication skills, how to work independently and as part of a team, budgeting skills, and so much more. All of these skills I’ve acquired through archery will be beneficial as I move into college and beyond.
Today I am still involved with many archery programs, including NASP®, and attend as many tournaments each year as I can. I practice almost daily at home, and constantly want to improve.
I have many archery goals for 2022. I will be shooting in Oregon’s Regional NASP® tournament soon and am hopeful my dedication and practice will earn me a spot at the State Tournament with an ultimate goal of competing at a NASP® national event. The scholarship opportunities are so impressive with NASP and proof that hard work and dedication can help with your future goals. I will be traveling to Las Vegas soon to shoot compound archery in one of the world’s largest archery competitions, and later this year I will shoot in an USA Archery event. It’s so cool to be part of a sport that can possibly lead to being in the Olympics someday.
I can’t imagine my life without the sport of archery.
-Matthew Ebner is a 2022 student contributor. Watch for his future submissions.-