The night before practice, after a lot of questions and thinking, we realized that I may be ambidextrous. This may seem like no big deal outside of archery, but this could explain issues I have been having when I get tired and my arrow tend to hit to the right of the target. In order to compensate, I need to cover one eye during shooting. This will be the first tournament in which I have done that so I was stressing about it a bit as I went to sleep.
Arriving to the practice field I was a little nervous at first because I had to try shooting with sunglasses with one side blocked out. The reason for the sunglasses was because every time I would practice my shots would consistently go right no matter how much I moved my sight so we thought it might be a result of an eye dominance problem. When we got to the field I went to go find a target to set up at and thankfully I had my coach’s help so we could figure out what was going wrong. While I was shooting my coach and I noticed my arrows were more centered so we decided I should give the sunglasses a shot for the tournament.
First Qualification Day
When I got up the day of qualification I was excited to see my friends and interested to see how the sunglasses would work out. As I was warming up with the 3 practice ends given I felt confident and I was ready to get started. Throughout the tournament my shoulder muscles continued to get more tired because of my previous shoulder injury but I managed to power through and ended up with no misses in a really long time. My scores were 255 and 232.
Second Qualification Day
The next morning, I woke and my shoulders were extremely sore but I knew I could get through it. I was bummed out to be sore but I have been unable to exercise the muscles for several months so they were weak. Even though I ended up with two misses (that were just because I dropped my arm and they both landed in the same spot right outside of the 1 ring) I still managed a 232 and a 217. This felt like a win for me because I figured out the issue of going to the right, as well as having sore muscles and no longer any pain.
I did not make it to eliminations because my scores were too low but that meant I would get to straight to team rounds, which is my favorite part of the tournament. Team rounds are always fun to me and this time I didn’t know anyone on my team so that meant new friends. One of the girls on my team had never shot team rounds before so we had to help her out and coach her through it she was a little nervous which affected her shooting which was totally fine because team rounds are just for fun and we had fun for sure.
Overall, I was happy with what I learned. Once back home, I cranked my limbs up a couple of pounds so that I can strengthen the muscles. I am looking forward to shooting over the fall where I can see the results of the hard work. Finally I feel like I am making progress!
I was really excited for Gator Cup because I get to see all my friends and meet new ones. Although I had just gone to the chiropractor, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of how my shoulder would feel. When I started shooting, I realized that I got tired after only two ends. I shot another one and I felt that my shoulders were really weak because the lack of practice and exercise. After practice, my family and I thought that it was just a matter of getting through the tournament.
On qualification day I stepped up and thought “Okay, Emma do your best.” (Which for me that meant getting through the tournament.) Once I was shooting, my shoulders got tired very fast, as expected, but by the end of the first half I wasn’t sure my shoulders could handle another 36 arrows. But, oh, I heard “There will be no break between the 36 arrows,” and I couldn’t help it but I said out loud “GREAT.” Once I realized there was no break, I crammed all the food in my mouth that I could and moved on with the tournament.
As you could’ve probably guessed, my score was not too great at this moment but I was having fun and that’s more important to me. Thankfully I was able to get through the tournament and some how I made it to elimination rounds. I woke up and my shoulders were really sore but I knew I could get through because it’s only 3 arrows instead of 6. It was funny because the girl that I was going against was on my target for qualification rounds. As I was shooting, my arrows were going all over the place because my shoulders were preventing me from executing proper form. In the end, the other shooter won but I was some what okay with it because I just got through the whole tournament.
I made new friends, which is always the best part of tournaments. Now I’m getting excited for Outdoor Nationals and hopefully I will be more prepared for that tournament now that my shoulder is starting to feel better.
This season has been a hard one for me. I have had some pretty intense pain in my shoulder and have had a rough time figuring out what was going on. It was during this tournament that I discovered these awesome ice packs:
Indoor was a challenging tournament to get through because my shoulder was in so much pain. I also prefer being outside to inside so that is another mental hurdle for me to get through. During the tournament, I was getting fatigued fairly easily because of my shoulder but I did everything in my power to keep it going. I use ice packs, protein shakes, Tylenol and massages.
Mostly, I learned in this tournament that the issues I was having are physical and not mental. We made an appointment with my doctor to get checked out and hopefully resolve what is going on. I have been seeing a chiropractor and he has helped a great deal. It has allowed me to work on strengthening muscles that were not worked enough due to the pain. I have a long road ahead in getting stronger but at least I know I am on the road to recovery.
This tournament did not provide the best score outcome but I was glad to see some of the people in my region and had some fun. (Mom also got to sit next to one of her favorite boy band members so that was a bonus.)
I was extremely excited about the Texas Shootout tournament because I was ready to use my new riser in a competition as well as see my archery family. During practice I shot well considering the wind was pretty bad, so I was confident going into the tournament. In addition to being not stressed about archery, I wasn’t stressed about school either because I have great teachers this year who actually gave me my homework in advance. Anyone who knows me know that school normally stresses me out so much. I think that helped my performance as well.
I started off really well and had nice people on my target so I was excited. During the tournament, I shot really consistently despite not being in the center every time. I ended up with a 504 with two 252s. This was good because I am finally seeing my numbers go back up after so many form changes. I placed 27th.
Going into OR’s I was really confident because there was barely any wind. We got practice in and it only made me more confident because I did well. As soon as the whistle came on for the first end, I was ready to go. I won the first (2-0) won the second (4-0) then I started to shake because I was so excited. I was doing well then I thought my clicker went off when it was actually the girls next to me so I shot a 3 so my competitor and I tied (5-1). This was it if I got this I would win. I have never gotten past the 1/32 in a tournament before. I stepped up to the line and shot three great shots and won! The second match I was against my friend and I was excited about the friendly competition. My shoulders had begun hurting around this time so it made it harder to rotate but I got through it. She won the first two and then I was on fire and one the third putting it at (4-2). She won the next end because she is a great shot and won (6-2). I had a great time!
I am finally back and getting caught up! This is my journal for Outdoor Nationals…man it rained so much!
Official Practice Day
As I was shooting during practice most of my arrows were going low and I knew I wasn’t dropping my arm so I moved my sight down and begun to shoot in the middle.
First Qualification Day
When I woke up this morning I had a huge pain in my front shoulder, realizing that my arrows were going low because I had too much pressure on my front shoulder. I hadn’t been sighted in that way at home! As we arrived at the field I soon realized that the wind was very fast and normally I would do great (I LOVE WIND) but my shoulder hurt so bad, I knew it would be rough. In addition to it being hard because of my shoulder, it was also hard because of the wind would change speed and/or direction after every arrow.
Second Qualification Day
There was a really bad storm this day and our shooting was delayed for 6 hours and we only got 42 arrows done. I did a lot better during those arrows.
During OR’s I won the first one so we were (0-2). My competitor won the second, third and last bringing it to (6-2). I was bummed but we had a good time.
I was really happy because for team rounds I was paired with people I already knew and that were nice as well as great shooters. We were paired against a great team and it made for a great competition! They won the first and second round making it (4-0) then we came back and tied (4-4). This meant ONE ARROW SHOOT OFF! Each person goes up and shoots one arrow, three total. Each shot performed by my team and the other team were great; we knew we were close. When we got down there and scored, WE TIED AGAIN! At first, the judges said they were going to make us shoot again but then they decided to go by closest to the center…theirs was a 9 and ours was an 8. L
I was excited for this tournament because I was ready to see all my friends since I didn’t go to Arizona Cup. When we arrived, the weather was perfect and there was barely any wind, I was ready to shoot! As I began shooting, I noticed my arrows were grouping to the right so I moved my sight because I knew it wasn’t the wind. Then I saw my arrows weren’t as tight as they should be which made me think. I realized that my form was not consistent enough because I wasn’t using my back every time. I worked on fixing that. My score wasn’t where I wanted it to be but I realized things on my own so I consider that a major achievement.
Youth World Trials-Day 2
This was a second day of shooting 72 arrows to combine with the first day in order to get a chance to make the Youth World team. I was able to get more sleep and I was feeling good but I realized I had been badly sunburned the day before. My mom had been on me about putting on the sunscreen but I didn’t do it when she said to. I wish I had remembered what happened that year in Arizona and maybe it would have helped me pay attention better. It is hard for sunburn to not be distracting. I shot about the same, talked it over with Kevin, and knew that I have to work on my consistency. When I shoot with the perfect form I have finally figured out for me, I shoot 9s and 10s. It is my goal this year to get better at always remembering that form.
Gator Cup Elimination Round-Day 3
I went into the 1/32 round feeling good about it. I like the OR part of tournaments but I still haven’t figured out how to not be overly excited. That is something I have to work on. I had a good time in my match and we went back and forth the whole time. There was a rain delay when we were at 5-3 so we sat for a long time waiting. Once we got started again, I won the match and tied. It came down to us being 5-5, a ONE ARROW SHOOT OFF. Try to stay calm during that? It isn’t easy. My sunburn is blisters at this point and making me miserable. There was ANOTHER rain break for even longer and I really thought that I wouldn’t be able to finish my match. Just when it seemed they would cancel everything entirely, the clouds broke open, the sun came out and we got another chance to finish! We finally got up on the line and were just about to shoot when some of my friends, too many of them, started cheering my name. It was weird. I was trying to stay calm and focus but they made me laugh. Here I was, two hours after a rain delay, trying to shoot one arrow with blistered sunburn. I couldn’t stop shaking! I finally shot and was too busy trying to drop the bow and see where I shot that I didn’t think about what that was going to do to the arrow. I SHOT A THREE. It was terrible. I didn’t think I had a shot but my opponent did the same thing! When we got to look closer, she had just broken the line into the four. I lost by one stinking point. It was a bummer but also funny. I spent the remainder of the afternoon cheering on the same friends that had done that for me.
All together, I accomplished a few things this time around. I know now that I am getting better at self-diagnosing problems. I also know I have to keep trying to get stronger and pull some more weight on my bow, with out sacrificing my form. I know I am on the right track and I have to exercise patience as things come along in their own time. That part is hard. I am looking forward to seeing my friends again this summer at Outdoor Nationals. Hopefully I will see more of you then!
WOW! This couple of months have been crazy. After camp I went into changing up my training, added in an archery class and going to JOAD/US Indoor Nationals. A ton of great things happened and I am working on a blog post about that and a video about what I learned in camp this January. In two weeks I go to State Nationals and NFAA sectionals so I am working on what I learned and adding it to my training routine.
I promise this week I will get caught up. I am very thankful for all the nice messages I received while I was at Nationals and I am looking forward to what this year has in store for me!
I hope everyone’s holiday break was amazing! I spent Christmas with my favorite Marvel character so that was pretty awesome. 🙂
I am getting ready to head to JDT camp in Colorado Springs as an invitee next week. I will be keeping a journal as usual to let you guys know what new stuff I learn. Are there any new questions you might have? Anything you want me to find out for you?
Going to Texas I was really excited (like I am for every tournament) but especially for this one because some of my family from DFW came down for the weekend. I was really excited to see all the coaches and friends I have in the archery community.
As I got prepared for the tournament both mentally and physically, the wind gusts started. At first I thought that this was no big deal because I had shoot in this weather all the time in Florida now. When I walked down to the target and realized only half my arrows hit the target I felt a little discouraged. Looking back at it now I shouldn’t have thought about it at all because it was only practice.
Even though I knew that, I kept getting down on myself. I realized that I have to work on that over the fall to improve for the next tournament. I am hoping that I have the opportunity to head to a Junior Dream Team camp so that I can get past the anxiety stuff.
The US Nationals in Ohio was really fun but definitely not my best score wise. The wind was TERRIBLE and I had gone down in limb poundage because of a growth cycle making me pull too much. This resulted in my arrows being easier to blow all over the place. Another issue is I am having a problem with my release being inconsistent. That didn’t help in terms of score.
I don’t want this to be a negative post though so lets focus on the positives. I hydrated and ate really well and if you have read any of my previous posts, you know that is something I have been working hard on because of how my very first Arizona Cup went. I worked on maintaining a positive attitude even though things were not going well. We learned a lot from a couple of coaches which was very helpful. I didn’t make it to eliminations and they canceled team rounds due to severe weather so the trip ended early for everyone.
Now I am working on training for Texas Shootout and trying to work on my mental game. I hope that I get to see you guys there!