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4-H Archery Leader Guide: Basic and Advanced Levels, Ages 8–18 Years

Julia S. Kelly, Matt Benge, and Glenn Israel

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Table of Contents


Basic Lessons

1Eye Dominance

2Shooting Safety

3Shooting Form

4Archery Equipment

5Instinctive Shooting

6Archery Disciplines

Basic Assessment & Key

Advanced Lessons

1Bow Selection

2Choosing Equipment

3Trajectory of an Arrow

4Physiology of Archery

5Setting Up a Bow

6Fletching an Arrow

7Building and Using Sights

Advanced Assessment & Key

Appendices—PowerPoint Slide Shows

Basic Lesson 2: Shooting Safety

Basic Lesson 5: Setting Up a Bow

Basic Lesson 6: Competitive Archery Events

Advanced Lesson 3: Trajectory of an Arrow

Advanced Lesson 4: Physiology of Archery


The purpose of this guide is to provide a resource for archery leaders that includes reflection, application and evaluation with the activities. The primary objectives are:

  • To improve accuracy by performing proper shooting form
  • To practice safety in all aspects of archery
  • To develop life skills while learning archery

This guide was developed to address a need of archery leaders to plan activities that purposely incorporate life skills while teaching the youth about archery. The concepts and principles originate in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Committee Instructor’s Manual II. This guide is designed to be used only by Level I Certified Archery Instructors, the training required to be a 4-H archery leader, because the concepts included are covered indepth in the training.

There are 13 lessons. Six are in the Basic Section and seven are in the Advanced Section. The sections are divided up by both skill level and age. All beginning archers, regardless of age, should be learning the lessons from the Basic Section, especially 1–3. The Advanced Section is for more experienced archers (those who have shot for at least a year) who have mastered the lessons in the Basic Section and are age 11 or above.

In the Basic section, the evaluation in each lesson should be satisfactorily completed before moving to the next lesson. Some material takes more than one meeting to master so an understanding of the material may be sufficient for advancement. The Personal Safety life skill is featured in all six lessons. This lowers the risk of injury when the safety protocols included in the lessons are followed. Safety is a consideration whenever archery equipment is being handled, whether the archer is shooting or not. Many of the lessons in this section can be taught by older Advanced Level archers with the supervision of a Level I 4-H Archery Instructor.

The Advanced Section includes lessons that are critical for fun recreational shooting. The purpose of these lessons is not to teach the archer how to shoot; they are intended to develop the life skills of Marketable Skills and Personal Safety. These lessons also focus on Problem Solving and Decision Making. Proficiency in a lesson is not a requirement to learn the following lesson. However, while not required, it is recommended that Lessons 1 and 2 be completed sequentially.

Throughout the book, there are references to the 4-H Instructor Manual. It is recommended that you read the fact sheets included in the manual for in-depth information. The accompanying CD includes slide shows and a video that complement the lessons. Often in archery, seeing the action or concept is more powerful than simply reading or hearing about it. In the Appendices are fact sheets, diagrams, and printed copies of the slide shows.

Peer Reviewed

Publication #4H431

Release Date:September 21, 2023

Related Experts

Benge, Matt P.


University of Florida

Israel, Glenn D.


University of Florida

Kelly, Julia S.

County agent

University of Florida

Related Topics


About this Publication

This document is 4H431, one of a series of the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date June 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Julia S. Kelly, Extension agent II, MS, 4-H Youth Development, UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County; Matt Benge, assistant professor, Ph.D.; and Glenn Israel, emeritus professor, Ph.D., Department of Agricultural Education and Communication; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Julia Kelly