Adaptive Archery opens the world of archery to "those with disabilities" or as Coach AJ says "those with challenges." Whether a physical condition, such as one that is muscular-skeletal related including whether or not the archer is in a wheelchair. Alternatively, perhaps an archer having a neurological condition such as living with Autism, Asperger's, ADHD or any of several others. Few sports offer the adaptability that archery does for the participant.
When we speak of being an "adaptive sport," we not only mean making the equipment fit, but also making the archer be a part of and feel inclusive in the process. Perhaps the archer needs to adjust their wheelchair to prevent the bow from hitting the wheel or needs to remove the chair arm to allow for greater movement stability. We must do what works best for the archer's needs and that should be taken into consideration always. Of course, safety and fun are crucial parts as well.
Devices such as using shooting wedges for uneven leg length or use of a stool for shooting stability are often an easy fix. However, it may take several attempts to find the best option for the particular archer. Every archer is an individual and consideration is given for each circumstance encountered. Keeping in mind that all archers have their own challenges whether they are able-bodied, physically or neurologically challenged.
When it comes to the neurological challenges, some archers have issues with focus and/or concentration. Archery is one way that helps them improve both. The ability to help the archer develop focus during the process of shooting allows the archer to learn how to improve while developing their confidence, skills and their concentration. The "I CAN" attitude begins with their first step in the process focusing on the shot process and not their challenge. Their challenge becomes secondary to the process with the beginning of real fun and learning.
Coach AJ, through the years, has had many students with challenges whether physical or neurological. She has participated in several Coaches Symposiums in which Adaptive Archery presentations were given. In 2017, she travelled to Baja California University in Tijuana, Mexico for a 3-day "International Adaptive Archery Seminar."
Should you or someone you know need to adapt archery to their situation contact Coach AJ to discuss the options available.
One thing that Coach AJ has always said: "Anyone can do archery, we just need to figure out how and make it work for them."