I shot my first indoor competitive event this past Sunday.
Days prior I was fletching new arrows for the indoor season. I was switching from fast light arrows to long heavy slow arrows. My goal with heavier arrows was to get my point of aim higher, particularly since I am comfortable with and somewhat attached to a low anchor. (A high anchor raises your point of aim, which is why it is often favored by traditional shooters not using aiming devices, as it places the arrow beneath your eye and for many that is a plus)
I got a chance to practice with my new setup on Friday before work and Saturday amidst family events, friends, hunting and the like, enough to feel comfortable entering the “Shooter of the year” indoor session at Lakeside Archery on Sunday. This is a weekly event with a rotating location (range/pro shop). It runs through February and is sponsored by the Maine Archery Association under NFAA rules (National Field Archery Association).
I’ve done very little competition and so when we got called up to the line I found myself a bit jittery and had a bad release almost right off where I put an arrow outside of the target, I definitely felt discouraged for a moment, fortunately for me the first two ends were practice ends and I managed to settle down and get to the business of focusing on the target. Looking back on it I am amazed at how things change from one minute to the next, I was there early practicing shooting the same distance, same place, same bow, same arrows and the minute it became the “Official” competition it threw me a mental curve. On the plus side I had been strict about not doing any scoring during practice as I didn’t want to go in with any expectations, this worked as I did not feel the pressure of trying to reach or surpass a certain score.
I was also schooled by fellow archers in the art of scoring, with a caller and and double scoring for each person. I was one of the scorers, I did however see how it can so easily get confusing as a fellow scorer had some uncertainty with two cards at one point and had to make some corrections between archers, the potential for mistakes definitely exists.
In the end I shot 212 with 6 X’s in the recurve barebow division (no sights). I am satisfied with that score. I will continue to hone, practice get used to the new arrows, work on my release, get used to competition and hopefully that will turn into improved scores although I dare not count on it as I would like to keep the expectations out of the picture as much as possible.
Lastly I wanted to mention that the folks involved in this weekly pursuit that I’ve met so far, all answered my questions, were friendly, and supportive. It seems an interesting group with families, moms, kids, teenagers, seniors, truly a varied bunch brought together by the love of this discipline, also thanks to Trey Tankersley for taking pictures to post to this blog.