Physically it is good to take a break because it will give your muscles and body time to relax. If you shoot all year round with no break and you don't workout either, you could potentially hurt your bones, tear muscles or tendons because your body is just doing the same motion over and over and over again. Even though I do a morning workout almost everyday, it is still good to give your body a time to chill. This is more for kids since our body is still growing unlike adults, but even adults can hurt themselves by shooting to much too.
Mentally it is good to take a break because sometimes you need to get your mind off of archery and think about something else for awhile. If you think about something too hard and for too long, it can fry your brain which then makes it easier to lose focus on what your trying to focus on. Then you end up shooting worse, and then you will start focusing on that you're shooting bad instead of the steps that you need to take so that you shoot good. And then you may end up wanting to quit because things are not going good.
Emotionally it is good to take a break because of the pressure you may put on yourself to shoot really good at tournaments. I use to not want to take a break because I thought if I took any break from practicing, that I would fall behind. But most of the kids will take the offseason off too, so you really won't be falling behind like you think you will. And if they don't take a break, they will probably eventually burn themselves out or have breakdown at a tournament because of all the pressure they put on themselves.
At the end of the 2021 season I got two new PSE Citation 36 compound bows. My parents bought me one and I bought the other with money I earned from my yard service business that I own. I wanted two identical bows because I wanted to have one bow for 3D and one for target archery. Before now I was always having to change my setup when I went to different tournaments, and I didn't want to do that anymore. I just wanted to be able to pick up a bow and shoot it no matter what type of target I was going to shoot. Plus my current bow was going to be maxed out on poundage by summer, so it made sense to make this change before the season started. After these two bows came in, I thought I was not going to be able to take the offseason off because I was going to have to get them tuned and broke in. But that wasn't the case, I did the testing and tuning pretty fast. I still actually took my first offseason off, but I did end up shooting once or twice a week just to shoot my new bows since I really like shooting them.
During this offseason I have been going up to Ray's MTB Park, which is where I ride freestyle BMX at. I have been going up there as much as I can because I have so much fun there and I just keep getting better and better, and I have been learning a lot of new tricks and get to hang out with other kids that like to ride. I have also gone out hunting a bunch of times for deer and pheasant with my dad. I got a nice button buck with a shotgun which I was super happy about since it had been 4 years and 3 days since I got a deer, and I never got one with a shotgun. I knew exactly how long it's been since my last deer because I got my first and only deer on my tenth birthday. This year my dad, aka my coach got a big 10 point buck which is the biggest buck he has ever got. It had been 5 years since he last got a deer, and this was his first with a rifle. For the 2022 hunting season my goal is to get something with my compound bow; either a turkey, squirrel, deer or whatever. I'm still doing good in school like I need to, I have been getting all A’s which I am pretty surprised about since last year in 7th grade I didn't do great with the online classes even though I still managed to make the honor roll.
When my training for the 2022 season started back up in the middle of November, I slowly got back into practicing again so that I wouldn't hurt myself. For the first week I lowered my poundage and just shot single games, the next week I slowly got my poundage back up to my normal poundage and still just shot single games. Now I am back in normal training where I shoot double the amount I would shoot in the next tournament on that same style target four times a week; two days before the tournament I will shoot a triple game and the day before just a single game. I mostly practice with my target setup because it has a lower poundage, this way I can shoot more arrows easier so I can work on my form and shooting routine. My 3D setup has a higher poundage, so I wouldn't be able to get in a lot of practice in a short time before getting worn out. But the week leading up to a 3D event, I will shoot only my 3D setup. The reason for the different poundage is because in target archery depending on the tournament you may have to shoot your bow 5 times in 4 minutes, but in 3D archery its maybe once every 10 minutes.
Last year on spots my practice scores were in the high 270's. My first week back of training from taking this offseason off my practice scores were only in 260's, and I was actually OK with this since it was my first week back of training after taking a couple months off. The next week I started shooting in the 270's, then the low 280's. I was feeling really good because just starting back up I was shooting better scores then I was last year. Then that weekend I had my first competition of the new season, I was excited but nervous since it had been months since I shot in front of people. It was at a Vegas Style target and I got 1st in my class and shot a new personal best.
So all in all I think taking this offseason off was the best decision for me to give my body and brain a break from archery. And now I am looking forward to getting back into tournaments because of my fun offseason. After taking this offseason off and coming back good, I decided that I will now take mini breaks during the season. I will take a mini break after a big tournaments and before a smaller local shoot to help me not get burnt out and to just chill a little bit. And if I practice and take them serious the way I should, these mini breaks will help me and not hurt me during the season mentally and physically so I can shoot longer and stronger. This applies to more than just archery, it can apply to any sport or activity.