Tag Archives: USA Archery

Outdoor Nationals 2016

 

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Me with my coach, Amanda Kaminski

Official Practice Day

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.

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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.

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Team Rounds

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!

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Gator Cup Round Up

IMG_0195Gator Cup-Day 1

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 IMG_0228before. 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 IMG_0230blisters 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.IMG_0232

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!

Happy New Year

Emma and Cap

 

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?

I am excited!

 

Arizona Cup Round Up

Arizona1Okay, I am trying to get my round ups posted before the next tournament! Since I only have a few days until Gator Cup I thought I should get this one done. 🙂

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Arizona Cup was awesome, as usual. I think it is my favorite tournament to shoot all year with Ohio being a close second. The weather was great and it was a little less hot than last year so that is always a plus.  The wind was NUTS but it always is so this is a great place to get some wind practice in!  I scored a little higher, not where I wanted to be, but I advanced further in the OR rounds so that is an improvement I will take! I met some really great people and there were SO many cool international teams that I got to watch. It’s awesome to see every year how the sport is growing at such a rapid rate.

 

I hope I will see some of you at Gator Cup!

 

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Tournament Round Up

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!

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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!

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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.

My Week at the Olympic Training Center

Photo from USA Archery
Photo from USA Archery

Last year when I got to go to camp, I thought it was the coolest thing that ever happened.  Getting the opportunity to return still feels that way.  Getting to meet new people and learn new skills is so helpful.  If you are interested in previous posts on the OTF facility in Colorado Springs and Chula Vista, check them out.  If you have a chance to attend a camp, I can recommend it!

 

Monday-

Today was a list day of work because it was the first day.  We shot a 300 round and I shot a 222 (blech).  After Coach Lee gave us updates on the NTS shooting system, we stopped and had lunch.  The coaches started rectification so the coaches could look at us and start working on what changes we need.  The big things that I need to work on are reaching barrel of the gun at set up and my motion from load to anchor.  I am assigned to Coach Alex Meyer and he is a great coach.  Throughout the day I shot 145 arrows.  I had so much fun because I got to see old friends and meet new ones.  When free time arrived we played a lot of games.  We played Apples to Apples and Knockout.

Arrow count:  145

Tuesday-

Today was so much fun!  We did a really good workout in PT today and after we ate delicious waffles.  After PT and breakfast we went back to rectification, which really went well.  I am now working on a better set to set up and load to anchor.  Overall I shot 206 arrows with a light bow and my bow.  After rectification we went to dinner then free time, which was followed by homework .  In free time I played card games with my friends then we did homework, SPTs and more homework (blech.) One of my favorite things is the Archer’s Teapot song!

It goes like this:

I’m a little teapot short and stout (this is where you get your posture for the shot)

Here is my handle (set up)

Here is my spout (extra set)

LOAD, ANCHOR, TRANSFER

Hear me shout! (expansion-holding)

Tip me over (Release)

And pour me out (Follow through count 1, 2, 3)

We had to do it way more than originally planned (he said 10 perfect ones) but we had to do it 30 or more because people weren’t synchronized or forgot follow through.  YOU THINK IT’S EASY, IT’S HARDER THAN IT SEEMS!  Hahaha.  I will do a video of this for you guys so you can see what I mean.

Arrow count:  206

Wednesday-

Today in PT I lead yoga with two other girls.  At breakfast I requested French toast!  I also had bacon, hash browns and eggs.  After breakfast we warmed up and did one arrow shoot offs at 18m which was so much fun!  Drawing a number out of a bag randomized one arrow shoot offs. I only lost 5 times out of a ton of tries.  I shot really well today and it was awesome.  That always makes things more fun.  We ate lunch and went back to the gym and played basketball.  As the coaches started arriving, some of them jumped in and played. It was hilarious.  Everyone played, complete with trash talking!  This was, in my opinion, the best part of the day.  It was super-duper fun!  After that we did team rounds and there was even more trash talking.  For the break, one of the coaches had the idea to do a dance competition and it wasn’t optional so I was like “I’m down.”  I WON AND FIRST PRIZE WAS REESE’S PIECES…Woot!  It was the most fun.  We played more games at night.

Arrow count:  181

Thursday-

I was the girl team leader for stretches all day today. It was amazing fun and the session was called the 12 days of Christmas.  It included:

  1. Sprints
  2. Burpees
  3. Squats
  4. Push Ups
  5. Jumps
  6. Bananas
  7. Toe Touches
  8. Sit Ups
  9. Lunges

10. Calf raises

11. Skater hops

12. High knees

You start over each time you add the next exercise, reps are associated with the number next to them.  For example, the first time you do 1 sprint, then you start over, 1 sprint, 2 burpees, start over, 1 sprint, 2 burpees, 3 squats, etc.  We doubled the amounts of Skater hops and high knees to 22 and 24 but you can customize it to your own workout.  After this we took a break for breakfast and the morning was all clicker drills.  After lunch we came back for more rectification.  I made a deal with my coach that if I could use perfect form and shoot in the yellow, I could change the song if I didn’t like it.  It was a good way to get what we both wanted and I won every time!  The rest of the day was rectification and dinner (with ice cream of course.

Arrow count:  211

Friday-

Today was the last day of camp.  We did another 300 round (I shot a 250) and more clicker drills.  In between everything we just worked on blank bale.  This day is always fun but also sad because I have to say good-bye.  Our coaches let us stay up playing games a little later because we were flying out the next morning.  We played a game called Paranoia, it was fun!

Arrow count: 165

World Archery Indoor Youth Trials

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Going into World Indoor I wasn’t really nervous because of the age group I was competing against.  I was shooting as a Junior and I am 13, that’s just crazy, right?  I had a great time because I got to see old friends and meet new ones.

 

I got really upset in the beginning because I shot two misses in the first 30 arrows, which had not happened in practice.  I slowly redeemed myself through the tournament and went up through the rankings.  I still was able to squeeze out a 978 and came in 10th out of 13.  I wasn’t happy with it but my parents reminded me it was the first time I attempted trials and I am 13.  I didn’t get to go forward because they only took the top 8 and if I had shot as a Senior, my score would have gotten me to the second day.  Bummer.  But who thinks of shooting up that high?

 

Overall I had a good time, got to see some of my favorite coaches and met some new ones.  Maybe some of you guys will shoot with me next year?

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January in Colorado Springs

 

GUYS!

 

I get to go to JDT camp in Colorado Springs in January!

 

I am SO EXCITED!

 

 

Emma at the range

 

 

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!

 

 

 

YEAH!

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.

JOAD Outdoor-My week in Ohio!

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.

Official practice:

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.

Emma and Diane
Me with Coach Diane

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:

Spotting Kevin
Me coaching Kevin

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.

My Team
My Team

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.

OR Rounds:

Me and Ashleigh
Me and Ashleigh

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.

TOO 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.

Spotting for Ashleigh
Spotting for Ashleigh

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.

Also, I am tired.  🙂