Reversing a Downward Spiral

The past few weeks have been a flurry of competitive shooting.  It began with a USA Archery Sanctioned Indoor 18-meter event in Columbus, NC.  That was quickly followed by two leagues shoots and a Christmas Tournament in Elizabeth City, NC.

All four of these were interposed on other forms of sports training. Not to mention hours of archery practice everyday. After competing today, my wife Brenda mentioned, “You look tired.” Well, I admit, I was a bit tired. Maybe that had a little to do with shooting below par, maybe not.

The four shoots mentioned are not ‘A’ events.  They are all ‘C’ level events.  I rank competitions based on the goal of the contest.  Certainly, it is nice to win, but the primary objective in a ‘C’ is to discover what it takes to win.  In that effort I often try something I’ve practiced that I am not 100% comfortable with.  Examples of this are: a change of my release, my anchor point, or weight distribution on stabilizers.

During the all events I make notes, sometimes during the shooting, but always afterwards on problems or about things that worked.  What I know from the data is that I have been dropping points at each shoot.  Not horribly, but definitely moving in the wrong directions.  Reviewing my notes and data indicated the point degradation was associated with change I made in my release. It probably wasn’t a matter of fatigue as Brenda’s earlier comment suggested.

After shooting another low score today, dropping 19 points at 18-meters, it seemed clear there needed to be an adjustment.  I made one, another, then another, and after shooting to verify those changes I set up to test the modifications.

River checking my groups between playing catch

Those modifications weren’t huge, the misses had not been that far from center.  It turned out on a test at 18-meters in my yard and at that point 3 hours of shooting behind me, my test results revealed an improvement of 8 points, still down 11 by moving in the right directions.

Tomorrow I’ll be back on the front yard range hopefully continuing to move a positive direction.