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2nd Annual Texas Cup

Another weekend, another tournament. I don’t usually do tournaments back to back, but they just worked out that way this month. The Texas Cup was held in Plano, so I didn’t have to travel for if, which made doing both the Texas Cup and the Winter Games so close together much more possible. No time off work needed for either!

This was a full Star FITA, 120 arrows over two days, and a lot larger participation. The men’s senior recurve line was actually pretty large. And though the women’s senior recurve line was smaller, and we were all outnumbered by the compounds, it was great to see so many Olympic recurves and barebows all in one place!

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The senior men's Olympic Recurve medalists and me!

I was a little concerned about how I would hold up, since I’ve only recently gone up in draw weight, but I think the proof that I can turn my limbs up is that I had no fatigue even at the end of the 2nd day. So they’ll get turned up on Tuesday.

Saturday morning I grouped really well. I was happy with how I was shooting, but would have liked to not be quite so left. I feel like I just got the “left” problem fixed, and now its back. So while I had nice fight groups the scores would have been better if I could have nudged them a little more center. I did shoot the most 10’s I’ve ever shot in a tournament, though!

Today I don’t feel I shot as well.  The line felt more cramped. I didn’t feel like I could set up the way I wanted to. But I had a better score over all. I’m firmly in the averaging 20 points per end, which is such a huge jump for me!!

831/1200 was my final score. I walked away from my previous double FITA a full 200 points lower. And after a year of work I’m finally breaking past the 50% mark. I consistently shoot more than 50% of a perfect score.

All that aside. I learned a really important lesson. And that is…scores matter less than walking into your arrows. Yup. I walked straight into the nocks of my own arrows because I was talking to (and looking at) someone down the line as we walked down to score. I was that girl, the one who caused the entire line to be held because she needed a bandaid. I was going to continue on, but didn’t realize how bad it was bleeding. Ashley, who took first and was scoring with me, was over to the judges before I could even set my clip board down.

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The buckle helped soothe my hurt pride a bit

Team Fulcrum had four people shooting the Texas Cup, and two of us placed. Dacota took first in senior men’s compound and I took 2nd in senior women’s recurve.

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Team Fulcrum brings home some hardware

It was a great weekend! But I’m really looking forward to the next three weeks of practice and tuning.

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How to Fail at a Tournament.

Forget your quiver, which has your finger sling and tab in it. Decide to borrow a tab from the range, which doesn’t fit and has a horrible feeling spacer in it. Decide to shoot without the finger sling, so that you now have 2 fingers on the riser at all times.

Put on shiny new stabilizer. Shoot first three rounds with weight and vibration dampener on the end. Realize the weight is dragging your arm down. Taken off weight and dampener.

Realize that you’ve only had a few hours to practice with your new anchor point, because the weather screwed you over and you couldn’t get to the range all week.

Proceed to shoot way right the whole time.

Score 145/300.

But. Be proud, because after those first three rounds you started focusing less on the target and more on your form.

Go home. Immediately rearrange gear bag to contain quiver, which was hanging neatly on its hanger the whole time.

Never. Ever. Leave home without quiver again.

Comet Tournament Report

Up until now I’ve only shot a 30-arrow local tournament league once a month. It’s a place where I can judge my own progress as opposed to competing against other people.

Last weekend I shot my first indoor tournament, a double FITA 120 arrow affair over 2 days. I was the only Senior female barebow participant, so I was using this as a jumping off point into a longer tournament format.

Overall, it was good. I shot a new personal best in one of the rounds and I’m that much closer to shooting my current personal goal. But this weekend taught me a lot about the mental aspect of the game, because I wound up shooting horribly on Saturday.

Why? Because I let things get inside my head. The three closed on-ramps onto Central that made me late getting there. The whole one arrow I got to shoot in practice. The comments made by my scoring partners. “What happened? You were doing so well!”. That’s all it took. I bombed hard. It took me most of the second round Saturday just to get back to where I had started our at, instead of gradual improvement as the day wore on.

So I learned the importance of no-mind, that mental space where you get out of your own head and out your body’s way. Some people call it concentration training, but I prefer to think of it as meditative kata. Do the form. Nothing else exists but the same repetitive action of the body in the same sequence. Your mind is down the range, on the target. And properly focused, everything else fades out of reality. Concentration brings to mind, for me, holding on to something. What I need us the opposite. To let go. It can be difficult to get to this no-mind place. From my past experience with karate I know what it feels like, though. I might even no how to get there. I just need to cultivate it much better.