An Archer’s Journey: A Bumpy Road 1:2




Trying to get back to targets like this, which I shot with a BHFS set-up. One day at a time.


Over the years, I’ve realized that shooting bows can be easy if I allow it to be easy. I’ve also noticed that it can be incredibly difficult if I let my conscious mind become overly involved. Quieting the mind has always been something I’ve worked hard to achieve. When I was practicing this week, I had an extremely difficult time quieting my mind. I will need to focus more on that in the coming weeks. Sometimes archers have no idea that working on these things is essential for people of my skill level. Although I can’t confirm it, I don’t think that all archers face this battle. I believe that some people just shoot and don’t have to deal with the outside noise. I could be totally wrong, and I will never truly know because it’s impossible to interview every archery in the world.

This week was trying for me because of all of the bad weather we had. Having to shovel three times this week and break ice in the driveway made it really hard to hold the bow steady when I had time to shoot. I started the week my working on my aiming since aiming seems to be coming along the slowest of all of the things I’m working on. I spent about a half hour working on my aiming on Monday night without firing an arrow.  I pulled back, set the shot into my back, kept my finger of the trigger and just aimed. I aimed until the sight picture  broke down. I noticed that it was more difficult than I had imagined it would be due to my breathing. I never think about breathing when I’m shooting, but my breathing came into play during this exercise. After I finished my aiming drills, which consisted of sets of 10, I ended the session by shooting a dozen blank bale shots.

Tuesday found me at the range for my weekly Vegas league. I decided I would work on the transfer into the back for the entire round and focus on that. I would do the best I could with the aiming, but the transfer is what I decided to focus on. When the dust settled I ended up with a 446. I was happy with the score, but realized it could have been much better or worse. A few centimeters one way or the other could have made it an incredible round or a bad one, which is usually the way it goes for everyone. Sometimes we don’t realize how lucky — or unlucky– we are when we calculate scores.

Wednesday was a busy day for me, so I didn’t get to do too terribly much with my bow, but I did take the time to do some blind-baling. I always find it amazing how easy it is to get the shot to go off when blind-baling as compared to when your eyes are open and you’re aiming at something. For me, I all comes down to tension. I run into issues when I have tension coursing through my body.

I got out of work early on Thursday to run down to Flying Arrow Sports to see my friends Jim Despart and Paul Bertrand. I texted Jim the day before and asked if he had a module I was looking for, and he told me he had it. I figured I would run down and get it so I would have enough time to put it on and shoot a little bit that evening.

After eating dinner, I ran to the club to see how it felt. My shot felt pretty good, and the transfer seemed smooth. I felt that the draw was still a hair too short, so I put four twists in each cable to give me a little bit  more length. When all was said and done, I felt good about it.

Friday was a miserable day for me at work. I also had to do some running around to check on things for my parents. When I got settled in, I barely had time to do sit down before I had to rush out to Friday night league. When I got there, I couldn’t hold the bow steady to save my life, and I also couldn’t hold the shot in my back. I didn’t have any energy. Since those days happen every now and then when I’m attending tournaments, I decided to stay and push through the round. In hindsight, it was a horrible decision. I ended up shooting two arrows out of the white, and both of them went out of the white because I lost back tension, the arrow crept forward, and it couldn’t save either of the shots. After doing that, I stood straight, imagined what would have happened if I followed the steps correctly, then I watched the arrow go into the center of the target in my visualization. After doing that, I moved onto the next arrow. I never focus on the bad part of anything. Instead, I visualize the right thing with the right outcome and move on. I ended the night with a 298 and low 50 X count. I guess it’s not all that bad because the last time I shot a 298, I shot 57Xs. If you do that math, it’s painful to think about. This 298 didn’t hit as hard as that one. I’ll keep plugging. After having shoulder surgery a few years back, the 5-spot round has always given my trouble due to the number of arrows. Unfortunately, it’s like speed shooting when we’re shooting in the league and there’s no time to rest in between ends. I need the rest.

I ended the week this morning by working on transferring the shot and holding it in my back. I put the stock handle back on my bow to see if it felt any worse or better than the Shrewd handle I’ve been using or the no grip that I used for the last week. After shooting, I’m unsure if I liked the handle or disliked it. I’ll have to shoot it a little more to make a solid determination. After practicing the anchoring and transferring, I decided to shoot a 450 round. I was happy with many of the shots. It seemed like I made two great shots out of the three on every end. I’m still not shooting very many Xs, but I think I’m shooting as good as the bow is aiming. I ended up with a 446 and 25xs. I need to work to improve the number of great shots. When I make a great shot, I will not miss. I feel like I was horrible with that at the beginning of the week, but I steadily improved up until today. The week ahead will be a new test.

I will be shooting the annual Guan Ho Ha tournament this coming weekend, and I’ll be shooting the annual tournament at Reedy’s Archery on Sunday. Although I was hesitant to sign up for either of these, I can’t get any better if I don’t put myself out there and take it on the chin if that’s what needs to be done. I feel much better than I did a few weeks ago, but I still feel like I have a very long way to go. Usually, the average person’s scores go down a few points in tournaments, so I don’t expect any miracles this weekend. I’m going to work on the changes I’ve been making and see if I’ve made any progress in a tournament type atmosphere.

Until next week—————>  keeping grinding……….because that’s what I’ll be doing.


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