When I started archery in 2018, I had no clue about the sport. No one in my family had ever shot archery before. I had selected the purple bow to shoot because purple is my favorite color. When I walked up to the archery range, I noticed how other older archers were shooting, so I made sense of how a bow is held. I began standing behind the 10 meter line to shoot and was puzzled when I was told that I was supposed to stand over the line, one foot on each side of the line. In seemingly every other sport you stand behind the line. As most 4th graders begin, like me at the time, pulling the string back was hard, even with the bow draw weight nearly as loose as it goes.
After practicing and practicing, the first tournament rolled around and it was my time to shine. I just did what I had practiced- shoot a bow. I scored a 58 and was extremely proud of myself. My following tournaments, I continued to show growth overall. Some weeks I would do just a few points worse, but by the end of elementary school, my personal best had reached a 263 out of 300. When Covid-19 had hit, I was not able to practice, but after some time my parents bought me an archery target to shoot at. Luckily, to this day, I haven’t accidentally shot at a wall. Now my personal best is a 278.
Shooting 3D archery is a bit different than bullseye, but it is a blast. Archers shoot each round at one of 6 animals between 10-15 meters. I didn’t start shooting 3D archery until the 5th grade, but 3D archery does help to learn how to adjust your aiming spot, and it is just fun! My first score was 252 and now I have made it all the way to a 268 and hope to improve in the weeks ahead.
My biggest goal for this archery season is to reach the 280’s club. If I can improve just one point every tournament or two, I will be able to achieve and surpass my goals. Alongside that, I hope to improve my archery form itself in order to be more consistent and get the 280’s that I want.
If there is one takeaway from my experience as an archer, it is that you don’t magically wake up one day and are able to shoot well. Archery takes practice, persistence, and a good attitude. It is vital to practice over and over again in order to get better. Being told how to shoot archery is one step, but learning for yourself how to shoot, where to aim, what is correct, and so much more is a whole other step. Just because an archer practices doesn’t mean that they will reach their full potential, persistence is another piece of the puzzle. Repetitively practicing archery a few times a week allows for an archer to not forget what they have learned and continue to grow on what they have learned and experienced. Consequently, practicing too much can be bad because of the potential to get too tired and even grow a bad attitude. Having a good attitude is what motivates an archer to give effort and attempt to improve. In general, being positive about a sport will encourage athletes to reach their goals. From my experience as an archer throughout the years, it is key to have practice, persistence, and a good attitude.