Dropping 3%

Vince Lombardi said, “Perfect practice, makes perfect.” Archery requires a lot of perfection to earn a perfect score. I’ve not done it, yet. Very few people have shot a perfect score against the current USA Archery inner ten 3-spot. In fact, at the 2017 indoor National Championships, no one shot a 1200 (two days with a maximum score of 600 per day.)

The highest score I found was by Brady Ellison, a recurve shooter and Olympian, with an 1192. In the compound bow divisions John Freeman took the top score with an 1189. There were no 1200 scores from what I could find.

My top score for 120 arrows is 1149. That score ties me for third in my division, only on the weekend of the nationals I didn’t make that score and finished a little further down the line despite winning in the region where I competed. Regarding the 1149, it has been several weeks since I’ve been able to put together a similar or better score. I’ve been in the ballpark just a tad off on the X count.

Practice started today is such a way that I was feeling pretty optimistic. The first 6 shots all tens. I finished the first 30 shots on a high note and was eager to keep going with the next 30 arrows thinking a personal best was on the line.

That first shot couldn’t have been any better. The fourth cut the line. (The hole off the line was expanded by the 7th shot a nine)

The next 30 arrows turned out to be a bust. Two tens and 28 nines. I nearly stopped practice recognizing I was simply off and there was no reason to continue a bad practice.

Except, the reasoning to regain my form and try figuring out that on earth was happening. The misses, not hitting a 10, weren’t all over the place. However, they were consistently high just above the 10 ring.

When I get tired I drop my release hand a little. The slight shift makes supporting the bow easier. This always pulls my arrows up a little. I wasn’t tired from today’s practice. The fatigue was built up soreness from many long days on the range. I recognized the problem, did what I could to correct it and continued shooting nines missing the 10 ring by just a little.

Only a few of years ago I was trying to stay above 500 after 60 arrows. Despite the fatigue and an abundance of nines today I was still hoping for around 580. (“Hope springs eternal”) I ended up shooting 3% lower this morning versus yesterday afternoon. I’ll rest this afternoon and tomorrow I’ll aim for 590 or higher. Perfect doesn’t come overnight.

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