Archery wellness class hits the mark

Photo by Jamie Telander. Soren Poffenberger, Concordia 2013, aims at his target in the archery wellness course.

Piles of homework and jam-packed schedules can make for stressful days.

Concordia offers a variety of physical education classes throughout the year to “allow students to let loose during their busy days,” physical education instructor and wrestling coach Clay Nagel said.

One of the classes Nagel teaches is archery.

“I love activity classes,” Nagel said. “It’s cool to work one-on-one with students and help them learn new skills.”

His favorite part of teaching archery is that most students have not shot a bow and arrow before, so “it’s fun for them to develop a different skill and hobby. “

“They have a lot of fun,” Nagel said.

Once or twice a year, his class has different types of tournaments.

“The ‘Big Dog’ tournament is one of my favorites,” Nagel said. “I give the winners little toy dogs I buy at Fleet Farm.”

Nagel says this tournament is done in ladder form, meaning his students are listed by name and rank (or overall score), and they advance by challenging other students for their rank.

“A student in the last rank could challenge the top ranked student that week and beat them, which is why archery is a great hobby–not a lot of athleticism needs to be involved.”

The class competes daily, though, for “extrinsic motivators,” as Nagel calls them.

Seniors Nathan Schmitz and Matt Moenkedick said these motivators are their favorite part of class because they come in the form of Tootsie Rolls and Dots.

Schmitz is a business management and accounting major that chose to take archery to enhance his hunting skills.

“My favorite part of class is shooting bullseyes every time,” Schmitz said.

Moenkedick is a pre-engineering major, and he likes the satisfaction of hitting bullseyes and getting candy.

For senior Emily Nelson, archery is her stress relief.

“I come from neuroscience before this class, so archery is a good way to relieve the stress it brings.”

Nagel said he feels his class teaches lessons beyond learning a new skill.

“A lot of people are intimidated [when they start the course], but as they progress and keep trying, they get better,” Nagel said. “That’s a good life lesson.”

Nagel said a number of his students often join local archery clubs after taking his class because “they find it to be a great lifelong hobby.”



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