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As the weather continues to improve, Norm and I have been able to get a lot more outdoor training in. This week, I shot 492 total arrows.

IMG_20170523_083139Earlier this week, I had my first end of all gold! In this case, all 6 arrows were 9s. It wasn’t my highest scoring end (which was a 56 from a couple weeks ago), but it’s a great group, and a sign of the progress I’ve been able to make so far this year.

A few days later, we were shooting “blank” bale at 50m, partly for fun, and partly because most of the range was swampy from an overnight downpour. With growing confidence in my form and equipment, I was really able to feel some strong mental focus and a solid shot cycle with smooth, consistent timing.

IMG_20170527_135635I know I’m a little hard on myself at times, which is part of the mental game that I need to work on (and this is a perfect example). I know that this is a great group for me, but I also know that I can do better. I know there are still some minor form issues and strength/stamina things that I can work on to help tighten my groups up, but mostly it’s all in my head at this point. I have shared many of my better groups and scores with you, we all know I can do it. It’s just a matter of training that mental focus to always be there, especially when something doesn’t quite feel right physically.

The day after, I decided to do a little scoring and managed a new personal best of 531/720 at 70m. The weather was amazing; calm and warm! With the weather effectively being very consistent and a non-issue, it was a great opportunity to identify some minor form issues for me to work on. In this video, while I think my overall form is pretty good, there are a few things I see that I’m not happy with:

  • Head motion at full draw – I have a slight backward movement, my guess is that my clicker is too far back.
  • Bow shoulder creeping in at full draw – with my previous form change of “setting my shoulder” I’ve noticed it gets fatigued a little quicker, and when that happens, my shoulder starts to turn inward. This may also be a clicker position issue.
  • Fingers aren’t relaxed enough on release – this something that I have struggled with since I began archery. It’s definitely a lot better than it used to be, but there’s definitely more room for improvement here.
  • Elbow, wrist, fingers, and knuckles position and rotation – they should be more “in line” with each other, creating a straight, flat line with the arrow. This video of Ki Bo Bae really shows what I’m talking about. You can see all her bones and joints line up nicely: