Mentor Day for the older one with her fantastic mentor – K. It’s been a sluggish and snowy day and K made it all the way down from Fort Collins to help her with 1:1 time. It was a tough national shoot in Albuquerque last weekend and K injected Her with renewed confidence in her self and what she is capable of doing. The mentor program for No Limits Sharp Shooters may not always work out, but this pairing has really made a difference for the older one.
The younger one is no longer a yeomen, she’s now a bowmen. More info here. She shot her first full distance indoor tournament. It was a predictable struggle for the little one, but she survived and completed the event.
The older one headed to Albuquerque for Indoor Nationals. Indoor Nationals is combined with JOAD Nationals at many venues. More background information is here.
Albuquerque has its own unique attractions, but it doesn’t feel as elite as being in SLC at the Easton Archery Center with the home of Hoyt right around the corner.
The tournament is held inside the Albuquerque convention center.
Brady Ellison was also at this event, but shot his two sessions back to back and then disappeared.
It was a difficult shoot for her. She may have even suffered a bout of target panic. She persevered and completed all three sessions. For this event, most of her team and her coaches had selected SLC as their venue and date. As such, she was shooting alone.
For nine different sessions the older one has been flinging arrows at the target and collecting data for her science project. After the spreadsheet counted down the last arrow, she was pretty happy.
At the range this weekend, we got to see the end of an indoor 3D tournament and then an unusual archer shooting a yumi
Wikipedia informs us that:
Yumi (弓) is the Japanese term for a bow. As used in English, yumi refers more specifically to traditional Japanese asymmetrical bows, and includes the longer daikyū (大弓) and the shorter hankyū (半弓) used in the practice of kyūdō and kyūjutsu, or Japanese archery. The yumi was an important weapon of the samurai warrior during the feudal period of Japan.
I think this yumi was probably close to nine feet long. The archer was close to 6’4″. It was bamboo and full of natural features. I suspect his bow was made locally, maybe even in the Boulder area. What’s interesting about the Japanese bow making craft is that it is passed on in a documented inheritance.
The December rotational is in the books. This rotational was slightly more agitated – it’s hard to schedule anything in December, the shooting times were not released until very late, and this tournament overlapped with Junior Dream Team.
For the little one, it was her last shoot as a yeoman. She also got the 8:00 AM start, 7:00 AM check-in. She has become pretty good friends with other yeoman recurve and barebow shooters. Nearly all of them will be ending their yeoman (or “yo-women” as it is called in our house) status.
Her shooting was a bit erratic, but she was still doing pretty well. She ended up with a slightly lower score compared to the November shoot and ended up with a second place medal.
The older one got the 4:00 PM start with of course the transitionary check in at 3:00 while the other session is nearly finished. She shot well, getting past her scores in November, but not quite to her combined 450 goal.
It was a day when her normal coaches were not around so she wore her favorite combo – galaxy skater skirt, Wonder Woman quiver belt, and Star Wars “vans”.
Her second half was not as good as her first, but she kept her form nearly throughout.
She has returned to the sport. She couldn’t make the first indoor shoot because of another sport conflict. For this tournament, scheduling was a bit strange. The older one shot at 08:00 and she shot at 16:00. All in all, I was at the range from 07:00 to 20:30. A long day of being any type of archery parent.
Both sisters are on the same team which is focused on slightly older kids – Cadet and Juniors for the most part. I would say that her team is also aligning around recurve with only a small number of kids shooting compound or barebow. Other teams in our area have different niches and demographics. She is the only Yeoman on her team and although it doesn’t bother her much at practice or on team night, it is sort of odd to show up at a tournament and not know anyone. Thankfully, another club (from the hosting archery range) had plenty of Yeoman. You can see them in the green shirts while the younger one is waiting for her line to shoot. Yeoman tend to start in barebow too, so a lot of kids on the yeoman side are shooting barebow. This archer is of course shooting recurve with her hand-me-down kit including a riser, ILF limbs, stabilizer, and sight; all not normally seen for the Yeoman class which is dominated by wooden risers and knock down limbs. She is sporting her new archery Puma shoes (not officially archery shoes, but good for archery according to KiSik Lee). She also likes her family to wear Puma shoes in support.
She made friends quickly with two girls from the green team – one a barebow shooter and the other a recurve shooter. They became good enough pals that she has a holiday party invite waiting and a new FaceTime friend. (This tournament is just about an hour travel distance and both girls are probably further away than the range).
Her scores seem to be a natural extension of where she left off last indoor season. In the first 30, she shot 228. In the last 30, she shot 200. I could see that the event was beginning to grind on her – a lot of arrows, new friends, and shooting when she is normally getting ready for bed. She persisted and came home with a first place finish and two new friends. I don’t know which she is more excited about. She’s already asked about next month’s tournament.
The first shoot to kick off the 2017/2018 indoor season is complete. It was an OK day. Her scores were pretty low, her form looked better. The baseline is set.
Archery is not really a team sport. You shoot on a team, but those people are generally competing against you. And unlike a team sport, shooting with your team isn’t much different than shooting with anyone else. In a team sport, it will different playing a pick up game and playing with your dedicated team. Unlike head to head sports like tennis (reacting to the other person’s shot) or soccer (moving without the ball, playing defense in a team), archery has no real lessons to learn from the team. In archery, when you are with your team, you are practicing your shot sequence. When you practice alone in archery, you are practicing your shot sequence. As such, archery is one of those sports where coaching is usually done on a 1:1 basis. You may join a team, but more than likely you will pay for lessons separately. In private/personal lessons the coach works directly with you, possibly over a very long time.
A high ranking coach in USA Volleyball once told me, “The game teaches the game.” This is why the USA Volleyball team plays game after game in practice. Isolated drills have value, but they can only approximate the game. In archery, there are only a limited number of drills a shooter can do that aren’t a full shot sequence. So the archery equivalent is “Shooting teaches shooting.” You can certainly hear echoes of this sentiment when you listen to Steve “Big Cat” Anderson. For those people who need more feedback on the process of shooting, you have a personal coach. You see this in other sports that have teams, but focus on the individual – track and field, wrestling, etc.
With the return of indoor season, we are also back on track with personal lessons. Her coach participates in the fairly crazy summer outdoor season and is traveling at least 7-10 days every month without an ‘r’.
As a parent, you have a lot of down time with archery lessons. A lot of ranges are working on razor thin margins anyways, so amenities are few and WiFi is rare. Here’s a pretty typical Monday at her home range. After 6:30 or 7:00 PM, there will probably be a league, but maybe not…it is hunting season and that will tie up a lot of the compound shooters.
In this picture, the 4:00 student is packing up, the 5:00 student is still working on something, and the 6:00 student is getting personal coaching and feedback. This is not unusual.
The indoor season begins. Probably the same number of changes on the team this year. Some kids age out, some kids may burn out, Those kids aren’t back. We will miss all of them. The younger one is still the only one in her age group shooting the 10 meter distance.