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!
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.
So much going on the last couple of weeks! I know that things are about to get super crazy so I wanted to make sure to post the past two events since I missed doing that do to traveling!
At JOAD Nationals in Snellville, GA I was glad to be there because I got to meet new people. The first day I was so excited to shoot; I was ready and pumped up. I found myself doing the right things and going through my process and in the correct timing more than previous shoots. I was able to self-coach as well. Both days this happened and I was proud of myself for reaching this point. I didn’t shoot the highest score at this location (I think I was second) but I had so much fun!
At State Indoor/NFAA Sectionals in Gainesville, FL I was excited to go shoot with my team and meat more people! As I was shooting I realized I was going to fast and I had to slow down. When I did, I shot very well. I met new people and had a lot of fun! Guess what? I also broke 1000! FINALLY MY SCORE IS GOING BACK UP AFTER BEING BROKEN DOWN LAST YEAR! It was only by five points but STILL, it made me really happy.
The tournament I was going into was three days but two different tournaments. JOAD Indoor was one day and US Indoor was two days. Going into the tournament I was really confident I was going to do well. When I got up on the line, I was shooting next to my friends from my club. This was good and bad. It was good because I had the comfort of my friends but bad because they were also distractions. I finished and thought I did well.
The second day went about the same. I wasn’t feeling really good when I was traveling up to the tournament and it seemed like it might be going away. After the tournament the second day, I went with a friend to Mall of America. We shopped and rode roller coasters then went back to the hotel. I woke up the next day feeling really bad with a lot of pressure in my ears. I knew I still had to shoot. I was trying to get in the mental state for shooting but it just wasn’t working. When we arrived and I shot, I just couldn’t concentrate. I wasn’t able to focus on shooting; I was just focusing on being sick. After the tournament was over, I had shot my lowest score of the three days. It was disappointing.
After the official scores were posted from all the regions, I didn’t do as well as I wanted, but I felt good about where I placed. I have been working with my coaches since the last JDT camp on completely changing my form and I can see the progress but I still have a few months before I get it perfect.
LESSON LEARNED: Now I know to load up on Vitamin C the week BEFORE tournaments!
JOAD – Placed 23rd out of 68 people
US Nationals – Placed 19th out of 54
My goal was to place top 50% so I got that, good starting place and it helps me know what I need to focus on in training!
After going to JDT camp and on the advice of some of the coaches, I will not be shooting in Vegas this year. 😦 I love going there but I need to compete this year in all of the UDA Archery events I can in hopes of getting a ranking. I will be putting up a schedule page that I can update through the year. Not every tournament I am doing is open for registration yet and some have multiple sites so we are still trying to work through which location we will be at. Right now this is what I know for sure:
JOAD Indoor and US Indoor – March at Mankato location (I think)
Arizona Cup – April
Texas Shootout – April
Gator Cup – May
There are more but I will put them on the schedule tab. Also, my step-dad will be shooting with me at Texas Shootout, how cool is that?
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.
This isn’t necessarily “funny” as much as it is cool. When I went to the Vegas shoot this year (I won 3rd place!), I got to meet Andre Agassi and get his autograph. He was super nice but I didn’t really know at first that he was such a big deal. I found that out because of my mom. The funny part was her reaction to this photo. She lost it and then wished she had been able to go with me. I had to travel without my parents to Vegas to go with Coach Bill and the team but mom lost it when she found out. Turns out to mom, Andre Agassi is a really big deal! After meeting him, I can see why. He was professional but also very kind and does a lot of really cool stuff for kids in Las Vegas. That’s the kind of person I want to be.
Today I got to the field for practice rounds and equipment inspection. It was pretty grey and looked like it would rain until we got ready to go. I got a couple of Olympians signatures so that was cool. There was a lot of wind but it was blowing right in my face so I didn’t have to aim off much. I got assigned to target 1A so I am thinking this is a good thing. 🙂
This week I head to the Texas Shoot Out. I am super excited because it is at Texas A & M and they have the best college archery team in the US. THIS IS WHERE I WANT TO GO TO COLLEGE. My mom said that is okay now that they are part of the SEC. I don’t know what that means but she is from Georgia so I know it is about football.
I am excited to try the format, this will be my first in person USA Archery tournament. I don’t really think my bow is supposed to do what it is doing (I am pulling under 25 pounds) but I am hitting the bale most of the time. Since I am 12, I am okay with this. They had a change to the schedule at the last minute so I found out yesterday there are no team rounds and that Cadet OR will be Saturday afternoon. I shoot 72 arrows before lunch and the OR after lunch. It is a lot of arrows but I thought about with practice arrows and a round of field archery like in Pennsylvania, I was over 120 arrows a day. I will be tired but I think it is the best way to learn the style and work on improving my performance over and over. I hope next year that I can upshoot in all the qualifiers. Wish me luck!