Photo by Meg Enquist ’23
During P.E. class, students often expect to engage in a variety of activities that require a significant amount of physical movement. As I entered my first Junior Mind & Physical Performance class, I was surprised to learn that the course curriculum included an archery unit. I initially wasn’t looking forward to this unit; however, it proved to be a valuable experience.
We began the unit by learning the parts of a bow and arrow as well as the procedures regarding entering the range and shooting. Finally, I was ready to shoot my first round of three arrows. Much to my dismay, I sent two arrows flying into the curtain behind the blocks with only one arrow barely going into the target. I instantly wasn’t a fan of this unit.
During the course, we learned about the differences between having a fixed or a growth mindset. We focused on the benefits of having a growth mindset and how this could be applied to archery. We were also taught how our self-efficacy could have a positive impact on our performances. As I developed these skills, my accuracy and precision gradually improved as I shot from greater distances. I also began to enjoy practicing archery.
In the past, I had found P.E. classes to not always be the most beneficial use of my time. Given that I had a three hour swim practice after school everyday, I felt as though an additional 50 minutes of exercise during P.E. class was unnecessary.
Despite my past experiences, this class proved to be a productive use of my time. Although I may never use a bow and arrow again, I learned many valuable lessons from this course that can be applied to other aspects of my life. I encourage those who are opposed to having an archery unit in P.E. to reflect on how they can use the skills pertaining to self-efficacy and having a growth mindset when faced with a challenge.