I had some new students when coaching in the suburbs yesterday. Part of my initial interview is the question: “Why do you want to be coached?” Yesterday I got thoughtful and well-reasoned answers from the two adults but most youths just shrug and answer “to get better.” But yesterday I got two teenagers to admit they were taking lessons because it made their parents happy.
Parents often find archery a very attractive activity for their children. It gets their kids away from their computers/smartphones, it gets them outdoors (in the summer), it is a physical activity, and a social sport. Archery promotes safety, being responsible, etc. I am sure you know all of these things. Parents support their children participating in archery by buying them archery equipment, paying club dues, signing them up for a JOAD or other youth program, and even getting them lessons.
When I got the honest answer from those two teenagers, I lauded them for being honest and for wanting to please their parents. (I often say that archery is one of the few activities than teenagers will willingly do with their parents.)
I do go on, though, to explain that if they decide they want to become very good at archery there are a couple of consequences. One, of course, is they have to ramp up the amount of effort they are making to learn and grow in the sport, the other is that they cannot let their parents goals guide them anymore. If they want to become very, very good, the motivation behind that has to come from inside them.
I ask whether they understand that and if they signal yes, I leave it there. The rest can come when they are making the transition from recreational competitive archer to serious competitive archer, if they indeed do that.