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Well, that’s it (almost) for my second indoor season! There are still a few more fun nights coming up, but all the major tournaments are complete and it’s time to fully focus on 70m. I have almost finalized my tournament schedule for the upcoming outdoor season, but there are still a few tournaments that I’m uncertain about; mainly because they involve a lot of travel, and the travel days are right next to some other tournaments. Meaning that I would need to leave one tournament and head straight to the next. For example, in August there’s the potential of heading out to one tournament on the 5th and going to two more consecutively, and returning home on the 27th.

I had only set a few goals for myself last fall for the indoor season, and at the time they felt a little lofty. Let’s have a look at them now:

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.

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This one I would definitely call achieved! Scores in the 260s are pretty low for me now, and I have shot several 280s and one 281 this season. I wasn’t able to hit the 560 mark, but I did shoot three scores of 556, which is pretty darn close. Because I have been plotting my arrows with Artemis, I was able to convert my IFAA (5-ring) scores to FITA (10-ring) scores to get a better picture of how the IFAA scores compared. At the IFAA Ontario Championship, I shot a 146 and 147 for a 293 total. Not only did that set a new Provincial record (barely), it was also my best performance of the season. The converted scores worked out to be a 281 and a 282 for a total of 563. So I kinda achieved my 560+ goal ..

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.

This one is a definite ACHIEVED! Prior to heading out to Lancaster, I had been comparing last year’s tournament results with my current performance to get an idea of where I might place this year. So of course I had set a few goals for myself based on that information. Firstly, for such a huge tournament (and my first time at one), I wanted to just shoot an average score for me. Dealing with increased anxiety and pressure from such a large event with lots of pro archers was going to be a good test of my mental game. Second, I felt that I had a decent chance of making the eliminations (top 8) based on last year’s scores. And third (and most lofty of them all), I wanted to make the shootup (top 4), meaning I had to win my first match.

IMG_0199The results were interesting. I only shot four Xs during the entire competition (Xs counted as 11s at this tournament), but I also shot a LOT of 9s which I think was almost entirely caused by extra tension from nerves. This also means that I shot really well overall and I was very happy with how my mental game had improved. I ended up qualifying 8th, achieving my primary goal, but losing my elimination match to Mackenzie Brown. At the time, I believe she was ranked 9th in the world. It was an amazing experience, and this photo represents one my favourite memories. During the practice ends for the elimination rounds, I had noticed all these world class athletes all on the same shooting line as me! It was a really cool moment and it felt good; proper 😀 Check out my 2018 Lancaster Archery Classic post for more details, photos, and a video!

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.

With a few hiccups, I have managed to maintain my weekly arrow count, and have just started slowly increasing my draw weight. My fitness program hasn’t been as aggressive as I had hoped it would be, but taking it slow is really important, especially when you want to build and support proper form and technique. It’s not always easy to take it slow, but trust me, it’s well worth it!

IMG_0235I just received my order of new Easton A/C/G arrows from Canada Archery Online, but I won’t be able to really try them out until I’ve gone up a little more in weight. Hopefully I can get them to tune as well as my previous arrows were. Slightly better quality arrows should help my group sizes stay a little more consistent, especially in the wind. Which leads me into some goal setting for the upcoming outdoor season! Norm and I are now members of the Peel Archery Club which has an indoor 70m range; It’s allowed us to get an earlier start on outdoor training this year.

Based on my indoor 70m performance so far and the big major goal I have for the summer (I’ll talk about that in a moment), there are some score goals I have in mind. I think the main goal this year is to make Blue Squad. This is just a ranking system Archery Canada uses, and to make Blue Squad last year required an average of your top 5 scores to be 588+ (last year my top 5 average was 540ish). Currently, some of my poorer indoor 70m scores have been in the 560s and 570s while my better scores are in the 580s and 590s. With the assumption that I will continue improving through the Spring, and my new arrows helping to mitigate the wind a little, I’m seriously aiming to have several scores in the 630+ range. I know building goals based on scores isn’t always the best approach, but this year is a big tournament that has minimum score requirements. Which leads me to the big major goal; the Pan Am Championships. This tournament acts as the primary qualifier for next year’s Pan Am Games, which itself is a qualifier for the 2020 Olympics. You can see now how this is a big deal, right? 😀 Well, I really want to be named to the team going to the the Pan Am Championships, and do well enough there to earn Canada a spot at the Pan Am Games!

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