My name is Charli Long, and I am an 8th grader at Benton Middle School. I have done NASP® in 5th, 7th, and, this year, 8th grade. I have also participated in 4H since 6th grade and have been a member of the Junior Olympic Archery Development Team, JOAD, for almost two years.
I became interested in NASP® while shooting in gym class in 5th grade. I decided to try out, with little hope of making the team. When I found out I made the team it was a surprise and I wanted to start concentrating on building my archery experience. In 6th grade, I tried out for the team again but was disappointed that I did not make it, which made me want to improve to ensure I could make the team the next year. After practicing a lot during the summer to make the team in 7th grade, I went to tryouts and made the team. I started the season with high 270s and low 280s, and as it became the middle to end of the season, I was shooting high 280s and low 290s. I shot my personal best, 295 with 25 tens, at Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. I then qualified for the scholarship shoot-off at the Open tournament and got first with a perfect 50 to win a five-thousand-dollar scholarship. I also placed fourth in 3D at the open championship. After the 2021-2022 season ended, I practiced a lot during the summer to be entirely ready for the 2022-2023 NASP season.
I’ve done 4H for the past two years, and last year I was the regional and state champion for Genesis Bullseye and 3D and Compound Bullseye. I got into 4H to help me improve and be able to compete in tournaments to help me get used to a tournament atmosphere. 4H is also not as stressful as some larger tournaments. It helps me get comfortable with shooting with people I don’t know and to be prepared for upcoming NASP® tournaments.
Lastly, I have been participating in JOAD for close to two years, and I believe practicing as much as I do with JOAD is what is helping me improve the most and keeps me practicing throughout the week. I met multiple pros at the 2022 Vegas Shoot and have gotten a lot of experience going to big tournaments like Outdoor Nationals and Indoor Nationals.
One goal I have for the NASP 2022-2023 season is to perfect my shooting form to shoot a perfect 30 arrows during a tournament. Another goal is for me to find a way for me to calm my nerves. Finally, my last goal is to inspire other young archers to keep trying and never give up.
-Charli Long is a 2023 student contributor-