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 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 get to go to JDT camp in Colorado Springs in January!
I am SO EXCITED!
It has been a hard year for me since getting my form broken down there last January. Combine that with moving to another state and growing, everything is changing. Just a little bit of growing in height, arm length, and neck length can change how it feels when you pull back the bow. How do people get through this I wonder?
This Christmas I had a list of stuff I wanted that was non-archery related but now it is mostly asking for donations to help with a new bow and travel expenses. It is nuts how much it costs to go to all the events you need to in a year. I would shoot more places if I could!
So I think I answered everyone’s questions last year but is there any thing else you would like to learn about Junior Dream Team camp? Let me know and I will take notes for you while I am there!
Here is my next tournament round-up! I am back at home to pack up, move to Florida and then head to Ohio. Oh, and I still have to train! 🙂
I arrived to the field confident and ready to shoot. When we finished putting my bow together, I stretched and walked to the field just as they were closing it for an hour to finish set up. I decided to get my equipment inspected and go through registration. By the time I was finished, it was almost time for the field to open back up, so I sat down and waited. The field opened so I started to shoot and I shot really well and was ready for tournament day.
The day of the tournament I was going into it prepared mentally and physically; because I had listened to my music and got myself psyched up. It was 20 minutes before the tournament and I got my book and iPod out to spend my time reading and listening to music. It was down to one minute until we started so I got up and grabbed my bow. I shot my first end and my arrows were low so I moved my sight and I was level. I shot well through out the tournament and ended up beating my score by 51 points!
When I got to the field on Olympic round day I was so excited because OR’s are fun to me! I started shooting some practice rounds and I was shooting really well. I had to sit down because I had a bye (this is a thing where you don’t have to shoot in the first matches). I waited until the other rounds were done and then started shooting mine. I shot well for the first end, then in my second I hit my arm two times and my arrows went into the four ring. Because of those, I lost my match.
I was still happy over all because I set goals to improve each time. Since I am moving to Florida so that I can train year round, I am excited to see what happens in each tournament next year!
So, awesome news…I AM MOVING TO FLORIDA! I changed my background to the beach scene to celebrate. I am very excited because this will allow me to work outside all year round. I will be shooting with Newberry JOAD and I took a picture so you can see the cool shooter shirts they have. It will have my last name on the back in a couple of days so please make sure to say “HI” if you see me at a tournament! I have some friends in the club already and my JDT coach, Diane Watson, works with them in person every month so it will be awesome to see her more frequently!
There was so much interesting stuff that had nothing to do with archery at this event! There was a snake wrangler to catch rattlesnakes and our first briefing was about making sure to KICK the target before picking it up because of crawly things like spiders and scorpions! One day, we had a huge dust devil come through, big enough to pick up tents and flip over targets came through and the tournament was delayed until they could right everything else. Some people had arrows break in half! NEVER SAY ARCHERY ISN’T AN EXTREME SPORT!
My notes are posted below. I am back to training again because I have to be in Texas at the end of the month. YEAH archery season!
Do you guys have questions?
Day 1-Qualification Rounds
I went into the tournament pretty confident I was going to do well. When I got to the field and I saw the flags flapping in the wind, it gave me a little shock. Once I regained my focus, I began to shoot. I started shooting to where my arrows were spread all around the target. After about two ends my arrows started to compress more towards the center of the target, with an occasional one in the blue. When the whole tournament was over and the scores were totaled, I ended up with a 501, which was 49 points of the minimum qualifying score. I know I could have gotten it if it weren’t for so much wind and if I hadn’t dropped a two and some in the black and blue. Overall though, I thought every thing went really well.
Well, this was an interesting day…but I didn’t know that from the start. I went into the Olympic Round feeling confident, but I made the mistake of not eating much breakfast, not finishing my lunch and not drinking enough water. I was nervous but I understand now that I have to make sure that I load my protein in early that morning. I started shooting and shot consistently high right and even missed the target. When we were done, I only scored 35 points out of 15 arrows when I normally get that in 5 arrows and lost that round 6-0 and didn’t get to advance. We had to leave after that since we drove. By the time we stopped to get dinner, I wasn’t feeling good. I started to get dizzy and couldn’t walk. I learned a lot that day. Hahaha, I will never skip breakfast and lunch again.
NOTE: My mom wants me to mention that I was given protein bars, shakes, sports drink and water in my cooler but I decided not to use them. She also said that she would become one of those crazy archery parents that yell at their kids if I do this again. Since that would be embarrassing, I don’t think that I will make the same choices over again.
I just don’t even know what to think right now but as you all know by now I AM SUPER EXCITED! Getting invited to another camp is beyond what I imagined for myself this year and now I will be home schooled so that will be its own adventure.
Hopefully, you guys get something out of this. It is a really cool backpack and I am hoping that you look at it and think, “Hey, I want to get one of those!’ The people at Legend Archery are really nice.
If you are interested in getting one of these, email Lancaster Archery HERE and tell them you would like to buy a Legend Archery Akiles Backpack!