I have a new Five Questions and its with an Olympian! Butch Johnson has competed in five Olympics, isn’t that so cool? I hope you learn something from him today, I know I did!
1. You have been a successful shooter for much longer than most. What are the top three things that you credit to your successful archery career?
I would say, first, love for the sport. I still enjoy archery, it’s still fun for me. If it stopped being fun, I’d stop shooting, but I still enjoy practicing and competing. Second, a willingness to practice. Without the willingness to put the time in, it would be hard for anyone to be competitive. And third, having a place to practice and a work schedule that allows me the time to train.
2. What things have you noticed that have significantly changed in archery since your first Olympics?
The main thing I’ve noticed is that the world has gotten better. Yes, equipment has improved in some ways and technology has benefited the sport, but in general, more countries have invested more money into training athletes and growing the sport. This is resulting in countries that were completely not competitive twenty years ago being a major challenge now.
3. What kind of equipment do you use? What advantages do you feel you get from it?
Currently, I’m shooting a Win & Win Inno Max riser at 27”, with Win & Win EX Power limbs. I am using Easton X10 arrows, and have been shooting Sure-Loc sights for many years. My stabilizer setup is Doinker Estremos, and I am using BCY string. The best advantages anyone can get from their equipment come when they take the time to experiment – but only if they are shooting consistent groups to begin with. If the archer is shooting well enough to see a consistent group in the target, then small changes – bowstring material, number of strands, type of nock, point weight, etc. can potentially help improve the groups. But the archer has to be shooting consistently well enough first to notice the difference.
4. Do you think the technology advances in equipment have created better shooters or do you think it is still about mastery of the ideal form?
I do think it’s about mastering the form. At international competitions, you see many archers who are not necessarily using the latest and greatest bows but still shooting top scores versus the best archers in the world. In fact, many of today’s high end risers still have a lot in common with the best designs from ten plus years ago. In coaching, I see many archers who try to upgrade equipment, thinking it will make a huge difference in scores, but the reality is that perfecting the shooting form – which only comes from thoughtful and consistent practice – is what makes the scores. Equipment changes help, but only so much.
5. You have a chapter in Archery: The Ultimate Resource for Recurve and Compound Archers . I shot JOAD and US Nationals when I was sick and then was put on a bale with my best friend. It was VERY distracting. Can you talk about the importance of what you describe as “shooting your own game?”
Basically, I try to only focus on what is within my own control. For example, lots of people shoot elimination matches while thinking about their opponent’s scores. I try instead to only focus on the arrow that’s on my bow at that very moment. If you start thinking about your opponent, the weather, how you’re feeling, etc. you can become very distracted very quickly. Some people read, or listen to music between ends, and that helps them. For me, I really just try to keep my head in the game, take one step at a time, keep my mind clear, and focus on making good strong shots.