This past weekend’s shoot was at Central Maine Archery. I like shooting at their range as it is large, well set up and the owners Tom and Jess Hartford run a good shop.
This shoot was a little different for me because my inlaws, Laurel my wife and my kids were coming to watch. I wondered if this would affect my shooting knowing I had an audience as I usually go on my own, I was very appreciative of them taking time out of their lives to come out and support me so I figured it’d be what it would be.
My in laws George and Greta showed up first and between ends I explained what was going on, practice ends, and next would be the first scoring end.
The first scoring end started and it was on like Donkey Kong (always wanted to say that). I scored fine on the first end then I heard the door open and someone else coming in, some whispered voices and I could hear a camera clicking away and I figured it had to be Laurel and the kids, and this my dear friends is the whole point of this little tale, I let my focus wander.
I’ve been learning (the hard way) that when your focus is not all about the X twenty yards away that it just doesn’t go as well. This little event providing ample proof. My five arrows for that end were X, 4, 2,2,2 for a 15 out of a possible 25 per end.
I rallied in the right direction with a 20 on my next end then shot another 15 – 4,4,3,2,2, as my son would say “OMG!”
After this I settled myself focused on shot sequence, shut the world out and sure enough my scores went up with all my ends in the 20 + range, on the 8th end I shot a 23 with 3 X’s – X, X, X, 4, 4. Perhaps this made me feel confident as I lost my focus on the following end with a dissapointing 17.
Overall this wasn’t my best shooting but it did provide a valuable lesson. Focus is just as important as any of the other components of your shot. I spend a fair amount of time practicing these components but other than to put myself in competitive situations I have spent little time practicing focus, can’t say I even know how to practice it but it is on my list.
Let me know if you have found ways to improve your focus on the range.