When I set my goals for 2017 I needed to make them achievable. For example, hitting a perfect 60X 600, on a 3-spot is statistically unlikely this year. However, hitting a 60X 300 on a 5-spot is expected. Aside from practice scoring goals (tournaments are not the same as shooting in the yard no matter what you’re told) I have a number of high place finishes on my list.
Two of those have been achieved, winning the NC State Indoor Championship and the 48th USA Archery Indoor Championship in Snellville. Those were my early season goals. As the months move forward 3D season gets into swing.
When preparing my goals for 2017 I considered the USA Archery Outdoor Nationals and took a look at the National Field Archery Association events. Those were compared with the ASA and IBO events. Both the ASA and IBO had more opportunities to compete within a more reasonable travel expense base. So, I made specific choices on travel costs as well as competitive training events.
By, competitive training events I mean tournaments within a similar venue frequently available to shoot. Plainly, I can get more 3D competition to practice than I can anything else.
See, not every event is one where the total focus is on winning. Sure it’s nice to win and I want to win every contest. But, if a local 3D tournament is near and I am working on distance, I might sign up in a 50-yard max class. Last year, that was not atypical since my max distances were 45 to 50 yards depending on whether I shot ASA or IBO. This year, I’ve also switched back to pins and a short stabilizer meaning my max distance is either 35 or 40 yards, IBO or ASA, respectively. So, I’ll likely shoot some courses in the Open class to get work at distance. Chances are the folks with a scope might out score me. But it is excellent practice for the three major 3D events on my list: ASA Pro/Am Augusta, Virginia State IBO Championship, and the IBO World Championship.
This year, because I’ve moved from a sight/scope to pins (last used in competition in 2015) it’s taking a bit of work to familiarize myself with the set-up. Aside from working yardage, I do intermittent verification on my progress. Beyond how I might score at a local 3D shoot, I do somewhat controlled tests of my shooting accuracy on my 3D range. I’ve mentioned this in the past and I’m a believer in measuring and managing my training. (I record all sorts of data)
Today was an example of one of the methods I written about where I use a Random Number generator to assign targets in series to yardages generated. In this case, I wanted to make a comparison of where I would be at an IBO two-day shoot, such as the IBO World Championship, in the Masters Hunter Class. I set the random number generation to provide 20 numbers (to be yardage) between 18 and 35 yards. I chose 18 as the low value because there might be a close target on a 3D course meant to throw archers off. The max range for the MHC class is 35 yards, which is where I set the upper limit.
I selected 20 values because that’s what I think the IBO uses for a 2-day event, 20 targets each day. Then, I went and shot the targets recording the scores. When approaching a target, I have the yardage recorded for where to stand and make the yardage estimate based on what I think is, for example 34 yards. After shooting I check the yardage with a rangefinder.
I ended the practice with an even 200. Lower than I would have liked but it is still early in the season. I shot nine 11s, eight 10s, two 8s and a 5. The two eights were really tough – small targets at longer yards. The five was a brain fart. It was an easy 34-yard shot where I mentally drifted. The result was an average of 10 points per target. While that is pretty good, it is not good enough to make it into the MHC class finals. Those other guys are excellent archers who average more than 10 points per target. The IBO World Champion MHC in 2016 hit 11s nearly 50% of the time (His average was 10.24 points per target). So, did I today, but I also hit a couple of 8s and a 5 dropped my average points per arrow to 10. That won’t cut it.