By Matt D’Ambrosi FULTON, N.Y. (NCC News) — During the past three winters, Eric Broekhuizen has taught children archery at the Pathfinder Fish and Game Club in Fulton.
Throughout this past February, Broekhuizen taught kids archery at the club over the course of four sessions. The age range of the children he taught was five to 13.
Broekhuizen, himself, however, didn’t begin shooting archery until he was much older.
“I was 26 years old,” Broekhuizen said. “And some friends of mine were in to archery. They talked me into giving it a try and it was instant falling in love.”
That was in 1992. In 2004, Broekhuizen actually became certified and started teaching archery to others.
“I was asked by the 4-H shooting sports to become an instructor,” Broekhuizen said. “So, I took the class, became certified and been teaching kids ever since, some adults also.”
Broekhuizen acknowledged he’s a strict teacher, but also that he wants the experience for the kids to be an enjoyable one.
“I want the kids to have fun,” he said. “So, I focus on safety a lot, their form, but I also try to keep ’em interested, keep ’em having fun.”
Broekhuizen indicated that different coaches teach archery different ways and that there’s no perfect way to do it. He explained that once students are out of his class, that they are free to shoot in whatever way they feel works best. But while he’s working with them, he wants them to consider his methods.
“The way I teach may be different than what you’ve learned,” Broekhuizen said. “But while you’re in my class, I want you to try my way.”
For Broekhuizen, teaching archery is his way of sustaining it.
“This is my way of keeping the sport alive,” he said.