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This weekend’s Caledon tournament marks the end of my first outdoor season. Similarly to what I mentioned at the End of the 2016-17 Indoor Season, this season I was involved in a few more charity events, I set a couple new personal bests under tournament conditions (one at the Canadian Championships), I learned a lot about my form and the sport, I started a physical training plan, I met even more wonderful new friends, had my first injury to deal with, and I even managed to win another medal at a Provincial Championship!

It’s been an amazing few months, and I’m sad that it’s coming to an end. I am just now feeling recovered from my injury and I was just starting to really feel like I was getting into a good groove outside. I guess I’ll just have to figure out how to take that mental state and bring it inside for the Winter season.

Review of Plans and Goals

In my last end of season post, I talked about some plans and goals Norm and I had for the summer. While I didn’t achieve all of my goals, I did achieve many of them, and I’m really happy with how the season has gone overall.

First off, physio and physical training. I definitely didn’t put as much time into hitting the gym and working on cardio as I had hoped to this season. The back injury in July was a major setback, and delayed the advancement of my training program. It did however give me some much needed time to work on the mental side of things and to take a short break, which I feel was very beneficial as my average score for a 720 round jumped about 30 points during my recovery.

The early morning training that Norm and I had talked about doing was actually very successful! Most weeks, we were out at the range Tuesday and Thursday mornings by about 7am. We were even pleasantly surprised to be joined by another archery friend for many of the Spring mornings! Even though getting out of bed is hard sometimes, it was a really fun experience, and one I’m sure we’ll do again next Spring/Summer!

I feel like I have moved away from the weekly arrow counts I threatened you all with, mostly because I created a home just for them, and I felt like it was kind of boring for you. I did however keep up my promise of weekly posts, in a mostly journal type format. I expect this trend to continue, but during the shooting season transitions, there may be weeks where there’s nothing to talk about. I don’t really want to say nothing during those times, so I’ll have to come up with some interesting content to fill the gaps. Now that I have an Athlete Page on Facebook, there’s a good chance that I may do some live or pre-recorded videos. Suggestions have included Tutorials, Q&A, Equipment Reviews, and the like, but I’m always open to hearing other ideas. What would you like me to talk about? What would be interesting or useful for you to see on here?

And finally, goals. I had set out to open the season shooting 510/720 and end the season by getting up into the 550 – 600 / 720 range. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet my 575 or 600 score goals, but they were pretty lofty. Looking at my Tournament Scores chart for Outdoor 720, 70m, you can see that I have definitely been improving. I didn’t start out as high as I had hoped, but I feel very satisfied with how I’ve developed over the season and how I’m consistently scoring in the 550 range now, which is where I wanted to end the season. I learned a LOT about shooting outside, with changing weather and lighting conditions, and how they can affect your equipment and your shot.

And as a reminder, it’s not about how many 10s you shoot, it’s all about minimizing those lower scoring arrows. As evidence, I shot four 720 rounds this weekend, and I had almost the same number of 10s in each of those rounds. BUT, in the two rounds that were about 550/720, I had 12 arrows that scored less than a 7, while in the two rounds that were about 520/720, I had around 21 that scored less than a 7. Sure, more 10s won’t hurt, but less 3s, 4s, and 5s is even better!

Indoor Goals

For this upcoming indoor season, I have a few goals in mind. Firstly, I would really like to be consistently shooting 270/300s and having a peak score of at least 280/300 for a half round and 560/600 for a full round.

Second, there is at least one major indoor tournament that Norm and I have talked about travelling to; the Lancaster Classic in January. If we can get the time off work and afford the trip to Pennsylvania, it will earn us some very valuable competition experience, and we’ll have the opportunity to meet and shoot with so many archers we haven’t met before.

And finally, I would like to keep up, and advance my fitness program and arrow volume so that when Spring comes around, I’m able to go up in draw weight by a couple pounds.

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