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!
WOW what a week! There was so much to see and learn.
Day before practice:
As we drove up to the field I was so excited that I had actually arrived. Then as I started unpacking my stuff from the car I realized I left my glasses in the room! So as we were walking down to the practice side of the field I tried to think of where I left them, but I couldn’t so I just let it go. When we finally reached the practice side and I started putting my bow together I saw friends and talked to them. After I got my bow together I went over to a target and started to shoot. As I shot more and more, a lot of people started to show up and take up bales at 60m, because there was only 3. So they moved 1 more up but it still didn’t help; because there were at least four lines and not enough time. So I only got to shoot 50 arrows and eventually went back to the hotel and found my glasses. I also discovered that I had put my limbs on upside down. Funny, right?
WHAT A DAY!
We agreed we would change them around the next morning.
We arrived at the field I had remembered my glasses AND my limbs were on the right way.
I WAS READY TO SHOOT!
As time passed, more of my friends showed up and decided to shoot with me. When I was done shooting, I put every arrow in the blue and in which was my goal for 60m this year, so YEAH! I felt ready for the tournament.
First Day of Qualifier:
I arrived at the field confident because of my shooting the days before. As I put my bow and toolbox by my bale, I got to meet the people I was shooting with. On my bale I had a team member from the Chinese Taipei team. It was so cool watching them go through their shot sequence and seeing that their shots were so consistent. It was also cool that I go to trade a pin with here and get a Taiwan pin. I started shooting and was low and got easily discouraged. I moved my sight down and shot level so that made me feel better. At the end of the first 36, the majority of problems were from dropping my arm. I even missed and shot below the target. I sat down and drank some water and shot a higher score at the end of the second 36 arrows. At the end of the day, I scored a 220 and a 234.
Second Day of Qualifier:
As I was approaching the field the second day I felt confident because I knew what when wrong with my low arrows so I could fix it, or try. Since I shot in the morning the second day, there was a lot less wind. When I started shooting I kept in mind to keep my arm up and I shot high because I moved my sight. I realized now that the previous day I was low because I was dropping my arm! After I shot an end and was consistently high, I moved my sight back to where it was and put three arrows in the gold. I shot three in the gold and automatically was so excited and I was ready to start scoring. I shot 2 more practice ends then it was time to score. As we scored the first end I had no arrows outside of the blue. I was shooting everything in my form felt good; then the wind picked up and was blowing against me and my front follow through wasn’t good two shots in a row. I got two 4s low in the 6th end. After the 4s I got discouraged but then I realized that they were my only 2 out of the blue so far. I tried to keep a positive outlook on it through the rest of the day and only ended up with 5 out of the blue that day. At the end of the day, I shot a 257 the first 36 and a 269 the second 36. I improved throughout the tournament a lot because Coach Diane was able to be there with me throughout the tournament and help me think things through more quickly. Since my form was broken down completely in January and then again in March at JDT camp, this was the first time I was able to get back up to the 260-270s I was shooting before. It has taken so long but I am glad to know that I have the tools for the proper form and I am finally going back up! I ended up 40th out of 70th, not the best but I shot my personal best for a FITA round so I am still happy with my second day improvements.
US Open OR and Team Rounds:
In the morning I didn’t have to shoot but Compound Kevin did so I went along and coached him. Up first was the 1/32 round and the wind was blowing consistently left and that’s where they were hitting. I told him to watch the wind and it worked! He shot an X! It was so much fun coaching him and he won his first match and advanced to shoot against Jesse Broadwater, a pro and really, really good compound shooter. I thought Kevin would be really nervous, and he was a little, but not as much as I thought. He shot really well (all red and in) but Jesse shot better by about 15 points so Kevin did not advance to the 3rd round. He shot well though and I was proud of him. After he was done we went back to the hotel and I rested until it was time to go back for my team round.
When we went back to the field, I had no idea who was on my team so it was a surprise. Mom went to check while I put my bow together and it turned out I was placed on a team with a girl from my old archery club and one that was right above me in placement. My team worked well together and we shot an end where we each shot a 5 and then a 10 in that order. We got all excited that we were ahead by 20 and then the last end we all dropped our arms and shot 4s and below. We lost and didn’t move on but we had so much FUN.
I shot in the morning and my mom checked who I was shooting against and it was Ashleigh Koval and she is on the Junior Dream Team. I was a little worried but decided I would just step up my game. I stepped up to the line she was there too and she is so nice! She is also left-handed so we shot face to face. We started scoring and two points went on the board for me so I thought it was just a lucky end. We shot another and I won the set again so it was 4-0. I couldn’t believe it. I got excited.
The next one passed and she won which put us at 4-2. The next round we tied and it was 5-3, then another she won which put us at 5-5. I was taking her to a one-arrow shoot off! I got so excited and I didn’t breath, dropped my arm and forgot to aim off for the wind. Ashleigh won and advanced. She didn’t have a spotting scope so I went to spot for her. She did really well but her competitor won. I had so much fun shooting with her and spotting for her.
The tournament was so much fun and if you are reading this thinking “Hey, I want to try archery!” I recommend the Outdoor Nationals. It was a LONG tournament but it was so much fun because we had time to enjoy each round instead of rushing through them.
I am not an expert but sometimes I try to help with questions people send me about how things work when you are trying to learn archery. If I have a day when I will be at the range for a long time, I will ask everyone on my Twitter and Tumblr if they have questions. A couple of weeks ago, I got a great question and I asked permission to repost it here. It was VERY confusing in the beginning trying to figure out what organization to go to for what types of tournaments when I first started to shoot. Hopefully, sharing my Tumblr post here will help someone else!
Hi! I have a few questions. I’ve googled this a bit, but it’s hard for me to get a grasp on the proper information. How do tournaments work in the U.S.? Is there a website that lists tournament dates and such? Can anyone with skill compete in the more professional tournaments? If not, what would be the process in working your way up to competing in one? And what about world tournaments? Thanks!
It can be really confusing. The short answer is “it depends on what you want to do.” Here is the long answer:
When I started shooting, I wanted to try some of everything. The only reason I figured this stuff out is my mom is super good at internet searches. I thought I would eventually pick one thing but so far, I still like it all. My question is, what kind of bow do you shoot? Each organization has a list of “classes” so you have to determine which one you are in. Unfortunately it does not translate from organization to organization, for example, a “cub” in USA Archery is a different class than a “cub” in NFAA! (see? confusing!) If you want to do Olympic type shooting and rounds, you would choose USA Archery in the US. They have a great calendar where you can see monthly whats going on. Important to note, some have closing dates or huge late fees on tournaments so look in advance on the calendar to make sure you get stuff in on time. There is also the World Archery site which is the group that covers international tournaments and some in the US. For example, the Vegas shoot is a World Archery event but also an NFAA one…confused yet? The NFAA has a good calendar that has events from several groups. Then there is the IFAA, IBO…ugh…but that’s more information than you needed, right?
You can shoot your class or you can “upshoot” like I did going to Texas. In the tournament in Texas, there was not an option for my class which in the USA Archery organization right now is Bowman. I shot as a Cadet (high school), two levels up, so I was allowed to compete. When you do that, you have to be able to shoot the distance required of that group. Since I want to try to apply for a Junior Dream Team Camp, I will continue to upshoot for those events so I can try to get ranked. When I go to Vegas, I will shoot as a Youth because that is my category now for NFAA.
I haven’t found any that I was prohibited from competing in but you have to check the rules on the entry forms. Sometimes you have to be a member of a certain organization in order to shoot. You can look on any of the above sites or check the USA Archery for JOAD clubs in your state and back track from those sites. I found some tournaments from just looking up the state stuff. You wanting to compete is up to you, not your skill level. If you want to shoot and are relatively certain that you won’t shoot the target over from yours, you can shoot. LOL.
If you shoot a compound especially, you will need to look at what class you would be because certain pieces of equipment can put you up a class. It’s a little easier for recurves to figure out.