I keep extensive records of my archery practice. Today, I looked back over the past 3 years to evaluate the changes at 18-meters.
In October of 2013, a month after I’d purchased a Mathews Conquest Apex 7; I scored a 447 shooting a 3-spot. At the time the score was based on the larger inner ring being 10 points. (The old USA Archery Scoring)
That is the scoring system I used until switching to the current USA scoring where the former X ring and the next ring where both valued a 10. Today only the smallest ring is a 10.
With the old scoring method in October 2014 I shot a 539. That turned out to be my largest increase in score; consistent with advancement in a new sports disciple. The following October (2015 for non-math folks) my score was 551, still using the old scoring system.
The new scoring system makes hitting 10 a little more difficult. It further complicates data analysis – trying to monitor new versus old scoring methods and improvement. Nevertheless, for November 5, 2016 the score is 570 or 30Xs and 30 nines. It’s not my best score under the new rules, the best score was 584. I don’t include that score because it remains an outlier.
The jumps in annual score between the 1st and 2nd year was 90 points, between years two and three there was a 12 point gain, and the current jump is 19 points.
The final 30 points, 570 to 600, don’t seem impossible. The percentage difference is 5%. When I measure size of the groups, the holes left my arrows, they are getting tighter. In other words there are less wide nines and more nines that are closer to the penny-sized 10 rings. Equipment has made a difference as well as 36 more months of practice.
Until recently I had been shooting an improperly set stabilizer system. Believe me when I say don’t trust the sales person to set up your equipment unless you’re totally confident. I was so naïve I trusted everyone that spoke the archery language.
A new coach during our first lesson pointed out I had an incorrect stablilizing system.
The stabilizers, the same brand – Bee Stinger, where switched to more appropriate length and weight. The average scores since the change is 6 points higher than the last corresponding scores. That comes to a 2% improvement.
I am still shooting 3D arrows at 18-meters. I have new ones ordered. Aside from practice where I can gain another percentage point or two, I am looking for changes in equipment that might add a percentage point or two. I am trying to reduce my need from 5% to 0%.
I think there is another 2% can be gained from equipment adjustments. (Arrows specific for 18-meters and a target arrow rest versus a hunting 3D style arrow rest) This could mean an average score of 581.4. More practice with those changes (and the strictly back tension hinge) needs to reach the remaining 3% improvement.