Category Archives: Five Questions

Five Questions from Emma – Butch Johnson

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!

Butch Arizona

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.

Five Questions from Emma-Jacob Wukie

I got my first “Five Questions” back from an Olympian!  I hope you guys like it.  I didn’t get to meet Jacob at the Texas Shootout because he was busy but it is cool that he was willing to answer questions for ME.

photos by Teresa Iaconi

1.      Do you use different arrows for indoor vs. outdoor?  If so, what are the differences? I have used the same arrows for indoors that I use for outdoors (x10’s) and I have switched to aluminum arrows for indoors because they are a larger diameter.  In my experience I shoot about the same scores either way.  I think x10’s tend to be more forgiving but they don’t catch as many lines, while if I shoot aluminum arrows I will catch more lines but I’m more likely to have a flier.  Because of that I have shot my x10’s more than my aluminum arrows for indoors because I’m more consistent.

2.      Do you different string colors in different tournaments?  If so, how do they help?  I don’t use different color strings depending on the tournament.  I have used black, red, blue, and white and honestly don’t have much of a preference. . . I have kind of settled on white.  I put plenty of work into getting my bows to shoot exactly how I want them to, and once I get a setup working right I’m going to have more confidence shooting it exactly how it is, then if I switched the string based on conditions.

3.      Did you always want to be an Olympian, if not, what did you want to be when you grew up? I didn’t always have my sights on the Olympics, but I also didn’t have something that I always wanted to do in place of the Olympics.  What I did though is I’ve always believed that whatever I do I should do my very best, and so when I started shooting just for fun, I enjoyed it and gave my best, and that was when I shot compound archery in 3D tournaments.  From there I became interested in Olympic archery from age 15 and gradually learned more about it and began competing with the recurve.

4.      I have read that you used mosquitoes in training?  How does this work and       how does it help? Yes where I live in Ohio we have a lot of mosquitoes so I would get the bulk of my training done during the day when the mosquitoes weren’t out as much so I could make the most improvements on my technique.  But at the end of the day when I was already tired and it was difficult to make a good shot as it was, the mosquitoes would arrive, and I intentionally continued shooting with mosquitoes all over me because my physical exhaustion combined with the mosquitoes forced me to learn how to focus on my technique and still shoot a good shot, it taught me how to have more control over my body when my body wanted to do anything but what I was telling it.

5.   Since you have gone through trials more than once, what have you learned in the process that helps you each time? I think the most important thing when shooting Olympic Trials is to go out there and give it your best without worrying about where you stand and the best way to do that is to have already put in the work and gained the knowledge of how to compete at a high level.  If you know how to shoot your shot, you know how to shoot the scores that you need to be competitive at that level, and you know how to keep your mind focused on that during the competition, then you can go out there and give it your best and all of that can be prepared for.  If your technique needs work then you work on your technique, and if you need to be able to focus better when the conditions are difficult, your heart’s pounding and maybe you’re shaking more than normal, then be creative and figure out ways that you can teach yourself to focus more.  On top of that is my faith though, and the most important thing for me to remind myself is that I’m a Christian and because of what Jesus has done for me I’m saved for eternity, and that he has promised to work all things together for good, for those who have put their faith in Him.  So whether I’m competing in the Olympic Trials and my health is struggling, or right now I’m trying to figure out an occupation, or really whatever situation I find myself in and whether the results are what I had wanted or not, my focus is on the fact that He is in control and can be glorified through the results, and that is what’s most important to me during the trials.


Five Questions from Emma-Teresa Iaconi

This week I am starting a new set of posts where I will ask people in archery five questions.  My first one is with the super cool @teresaiaconi whom I got to meet in Colorado Springs.  I hope I enjoy it!

Teresa and Olympians

1.  You have the coolest job.  What is the best part about what you do?

There are lots of great parts about my job! I work with USA Archery on public relations, social media, and media relations – and I work with World Archery and Archery on social media – so I get to do lots of different tasks, which keeps me interested every day. Perhaps the most fulfilling part of my job is covering archery events, when people tell me that they love seeing their photos on USA Archery’s Facebook page, or when a World Archery fan says that our event tweets let them follow a tournament that’s far away. I love helping people to connect with the sport of archery and its amazing athletes, whether through photos, tweets or written stories.

 2.  I was excited that I got into the Arizona Cup.  Has it ever filled up so fast?  Why do you think that happened? 

This is the first time in history that the Arizona Cup has filled so quickly. As of February 21, over a month before the event, registration is closed at 392 archers, with a waiting list! What’s even more impressive is that a year ago, we had 267 archers as of the first day of competition – and many were from other countries due to the Arizona Cup’s status as a World Ranking Event. However, this year, there is a World Ranking Event right before the AZ Cup – so almost all of the registrations this year are from U.S. archers. We think this is due to the major increase in publicity for archery thanks to movies like “The Hunger Games” and “Brave,” and of course our teams’ amazing performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. People are just really excited about archery right now!

 3.   The 2016 Olympics will be here so quickly.  What do you have to do to prepare for that?  You must be so busy!

Right now, the work is really focused on covering the events that happen between now and the Olympic Games – learning who the emerging talents are, covering the different athletes as they work toward the goal of Rio 2016. Another big focus for USA Archery is building good relationships with the journalists covering archery now, so that they are familiar with our sport when we’re gearing up for Rio. Finally, there are some practical considerations that will come up quickly, like obtaining credentials (which will begin next year) and then helping USA Archery to conduct great Olympic Trials events.

 4.  Your presentation at JDT camp was really good.  I liked the example of that if  you wouldn’t say it or show it to your grandmother, you shouldn’t put it out on line.  Why do you think people don’t think of that?  Do you think it should be taught in school now?

Thank you! Yes, I do think social media skills could be taught in school, from an early age. The reality is that social media will continue to play an integral role in our society for a long time to come, however it changes, and we need to be aware of how to use this tool politely and in a constructive way. I love the idea of social media seminars or workshops in high school that talk about what is appropriate for sharing, how social media can be a great tool for marketing yourself professionally, and how social media posts can have a lasting negative impact on education or career if not used appropriately.

5.  Your photos are always so beautiful.  Did you go to school for photography?  What kind of equipment do you use?

Thank you so much. I have never taken any classes for photography; it’s a hobby I was always interested in, but never had good camera equipment until the last few  years. During Christmas a few years ago, my fiancé and I invested in a Canon Rebel T1i, and a good 70-300mm lens, which I used for many tournaments in 2010 and 2011. I got some great tips along the way from friends who are photographers, and spent a lot of time on the internet reading about how to use the equipment. Last year, I was able to produce some great images at the US Olympic Trials which decided to use in their London 2012 coverage. This year, I’m planning to upgrade my camera body to a Canon 6D, and will continue to use the Canon L series 70-200 mm lens which is my mainstay for tournaments.