Let’s get bad things out of the way first. I scored poorly at my first SYWAT tournament. And by poorly I mean extremely poor.
As in my average was 3 of 5 arrows actually falling on a score able part of the target. Most of those were in the 1 or 2 ring. It was an NFAA tournament, so the highest score for bullseye was a 5. I did not get any 5’s
It was a busy tournament, which I’m only mildly accustomed to. So going to tournaments right now is way more about desensitization than it is about scoring well.
And while I’m OK with a crowded line. I have discovered I am not so OK shooting surrounded by compound archers. Its not the compound that bugs me. Its the scores. You can only walk down the line so many times to count everybody else’s X’s while being grateful that you managed to just not hit somebody else’s target before that starts to mess with your head.
I am accurate solely because of my form. The exact same amount of tension through the back. The exact same anchor. The exact same way of holding the bow and drawing the string. Compound archers are insanely accurate without the same amount of concentration on form. But during a tournament on the same line, all I start to think is that I am a bad archer and they are some kind of X killing gods.
I want to be an X killing god.
I refuse to use a compound bow now, maybe ever.
So I bombed my first SYWAT. But I also did some good things. I remembered, after the first four ends, that I had stopped opening up using my back muscles and was relying solely on arms. I fixed that! I discovered halfway through part of the reason that my shoulder keeps lifting. And I fixed that! I discovered that I do have the stamina to shoot sixty arrows in a day and go on to shoot OK the next day!
All that fixing of form was too much to score well. Especially when it takes two ends just to fully realize that I really didn’t need to aim as high as I had been because now the proper muscles were involved and each shot had more power behind it.
So I took those lessons to the TAIL tournament. And scored 40 points lower than my personal best. Oof. That was my self esteem dealing with its second sucker punch.
But I learned things! My coach was there, and told me during practice that my right shoulder was the lowest she had seen it. That in itself is a reason to celebrate! What else did I learn? I learned that sometimes a tournament is the best place to figure out what is going wrong. But also the worst place to fix it.