During the Texas Winter Games last weekend I had a really nice chat with Troy Albert from Fulcrum Archery. I knew he had started an archery team, but had assumed that his was focused only on compound shooters. It made me a little sad, his team seemed to have great cohesion and vision, but I understood that in pragmatic terms there is a wider audience for compound shooters and a deeper market. So it made sense that his team would be compound focused.
Boy was I wrong! I did ask him point blank if the Fulcrum Archery team was just for compound shooters. And he set me straight quickly. They wanted recurvists! Apparently we are just hard to find. True, you don’t see many of us at NFAA, IBO, or ASA tournaments. Be it barebow, traditional, or Olympic, but especially Olympic, recurvists are hard to find in large numbers unless you are at a National level FITA shoot. Even state level FITA shoots have a small number of recurvists compared to compound. Or maybe I just live in the wrong state. Anyway. Troy wanted us on his team, but we were never in the same place to talk. Until the Texas Winter Games, that is, when I blatantly walked up to him and basically asked him outright if his team was just for compounds.
We talked about his team and his goals for it. We talked about his business. And in the end our vision seemed to line up pretty well. I had long wanted, and had even tried to get off the ground via Urban Shooters, a competitive adult recurve team. But that small numbers thing made it hard. He already had a competitive team and a great vision for it, and wanted recurves to join. It gave him something, another venue where he could promote his business, and it gave me a prepaved path to promote a competitive team.
This week we exchanged a few emails, and on Thursday I became the first Oly on the Fulcrum Archery team. Thursday night was the first team practice. I was nervous. No really. I was nervous. I know heart only counts for so much. All those nerves translated directly into my shooting. So I didn’t shoot 50 meters with them. Impossible, really, because I have no sight settings for long distance because of going up in draw weight recently. I barely have sight settings for 18 meters. But I did enjoy the easy way everyone came in and just did their thing. They were either just working on shooting, or getting some specific stuff done for a tournament this weekend, or hanging out together. Everyone said hi, shook my hand, welcomed me on. They were really nice! I am a textbook introvert, so Troy had to literally drag me off the range to meet people. But it was a good night!
I think the Fulcrum team is split across several different tournaments this weekend. A few of us, including me, will be shooting the Texas Cup double FITA in Plano. Several more are headed to an ASA tournament in College Station. Who knows, maybe these guys will eventually get me out into the field archery world.
No, I don’t have to be on a team to shoot. But it makes a difference when other people are encouraging you to shoot and get better.