My name is Charlie Ray and I am a 7th grade student at St. Timothy Catholic School in Union, KY. I started archery when I was in the 4th grade. In the beginning I was very excited to see what this sport had to offer. I have now been playing archery for 4 years now and I am still having a really fun time playing.
Archery is an amazing sport. It is full of challenges and opportunities to grow. Last year was the worst year of my archery experience. Halfway through the season my performance began a downward spiral. I fought like crazy to improve my mental game and mechanics, so I could qualify for State.
I am 13 years old. When I started playing archery in the 4th grade, I did not know what archery was. I later learned that it is so much harder than it looks and it was not just shooting an arrow out of a bow. Archery requires a calm mindset; it really is a mental game. You have to be calm and focused to actually get a good score. I focus where I anchor and my aim point during every shot. This focus helped me improve my mental game and my mechanics.
I love archery and I am having the time of my life playing this sport. I love it because of how much time and dedication goes into this sport. Everyone thinks that you fling an arrow at a target but it is so much more. Through my 4 years of archery I have gone to a lot of tournaments, some of the ones that I have been to include State, 3D tournaments and multiple 10m/15m tournaments. I am working hard to improve so I take it upon myself to practice in my backyard and at a local archery range in addition to my team practice. Last year I shot my all time low of 119. This year I am consistently improving with a 235 at my last tournament. My highest score to date is 237 which I shot at the State tournament last year.
I want to continue to improve my archery. Specifically I want to get better scores and be able to concentrate on my aim point for longer. All this would help me become the best archer I can be, but more importantly help my team to qualify for different tournaments. These tournaments could be State, Nationals and the Open Championship.
All in all, I have so much fun every year no matter how rough the season is. The experience of archery is so different from any other sport. In sports you are always trying to beat your opponent and do better than the other team. In archery, it is solely on you to help your team out to be able to qualify for other tournaments. That is one of the many reasons I love archery.
-Charlie Ray is a 2023 student contributor-