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!
Okay, 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. 🙂
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.
When I first started shooting outdoor I shot regular plastic vanes. Once I did some research and found out about the benefits of Kurly Vanes, we did a test with them versus my old ones. In continuous wind, the Kurly Vanes definitely shot better. I have been using them since with okay results and I do think in the gusty wind in Arizona would have been much harder on me if I had still had my old vanes. When I went to Texas Cup though, the wind was gusting on and off, completely picking up my arrows with them. It was crazy!
In Arizona, AAE was the tournament sponsor and we got sample packs in our bags of their new Wav vanes. We decided when I went to Texas in practice, we would try them against the Kurly Vanes to see how they worked out. I tried them on 60m in the crazy wind and they flew completely straight in a much tighter group! When I shot the same number at the same distance of the Kurly Vanes they went horizontally before hitting the target and the arrows were very far from each other.
Once we got back, we decided to use the AAE Wav vanes for Gator Cup. I will let you know what I think when I get back!
Kevin on the AAE Wav Vanes:
When we travel to tournaments we always look at what the top archer’s equipment choices are. If there is something Emma and I see interesting we take pictures and then do our research when we get back home.
We saw that Brady Ellison was using AAE Wave vanes at Arizona Cup we were excited to get a sample in our welcome bag. Emma was using Kurly Vanes at Arizona Cup and we were watching her arrows almost go completely sideways in flight to the target at 60 meters. I walked down to watch Mr. Ellison and his arrows had a much better flight in the same conditions. This made me decide to try the AAE vanes.
I fletched 3 arrows with the AAE Waves and we took then to Texas Shootout. I had Emma shoot 3 Kurly Vanes and then the 3 AAE vanes. The AAE vanes consistently flew better in the high wind conditions there.
Emma is now shooting the AAE Wave vanes and she has seen her grouping tighten and we are very satisfied with their performance.
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.
This weekend, I went to the Texas Shootout. When I went to practice I arrived next to Brady Ellison, one of the top men archers in the world, I was pretty excited. When I practiced, I was doing good. After a good practice, we went to Wal-Mart to pick up food and we got my favorite, roasted chicken, Hawaiian rolls and salad! After dinner I had some dessert (evil brownies made by my Aunt) and I started thinking about the next day and how I could get first and do really well. When I woke up, I got breakfast and went to the archery field.
The Competition Begins
I saw the pros arrive and my competition…I had the Junior Dream Team as my competition! I knew right there it would be tough. When we started shooting I was in 9th place for most of the tournament. Then I started to get tired and my arrows started dropping low and I fell in last place. ::sad face:: When we got done I was last but I learned a lot from my competitors Karissa, Mariam and Hye.
Day 3 in Texas
The next day I didn’t have to shoot but I watched the pros and got pictures with Brady Ellison, Jennifer Nichols, Khatuna, Miranda and the Coach Thomas from Texas A & M. I was very grateful that I got to watch them and take pictures with them. It was a really great experience and I am very glad I went!
I fell short of my goal of 400 but I am 12 so I think I get a little time to bring it up. For the next calendar year, I am setting my goal of a 550 or better for my next USAT qualifier. I want to do this so that I can apply for the Junior Dream Team Camp. If you would be interested in doing that, the requirements can be found on the USA Archery site here. Beyond that, I would hope to be ranked high enough to apply to the Resident Athlete program in a couple of years. Those requirements are on the USA Archery site here.
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. 🙂