Brennan Stephans March – Archery is full of distractions. From parents trying to coach you to other shooters who cannot stop talking, there are many ways to lose focus. In middle school, I had peculiar distraction that I never dreamed would have happened. It was the regional tournament, and I was shooting well. Suddenly, I noticed there was an unusual spectator to this tournament.
There was a bird flying around in the rafters! This bird was fine – if it stayed away from me or anything pertaining to archery.
Thankfully, I did not do as the famed baseball pitcher Randy Johnson did in 2001 and hit the bird, but rather the bird launched something at my equipment. While in flight directly above my scorecard, the bird “did its business”.
Normally my dad and coaches would have been frustrated at me for losing focus but I think everyone understood why I could not focus the rest of the tournament. It is quite distracting to stand over your scorecard in dismay at your lack of luck and find that your score was not the only thing dropping. I simply could not get my head straight the rest of the tournament. To be completely honest, even if it happened today, I would probably be just as easily distracted.
Now you may wonder what happened to the score card. The officials got a paper towel and we just kept using it.
While this makes for an interesting story, I hope I am the only one that has experienced this. In the end, my team and I made it to state and then Eastern Nationals and I definitely made a memory I will not soon forget.
~Brennan is a 2023 student contributor~