When I was a competitive cyclist I knew, as well as all my competition did, my numbers and the numbers of the guys I’d be racing against. For example, I knew how long it took me to ride 40 kilometers. I also knew how long it took others to go the same distance on their bikes.
We were all pretty close, within seconds. Ten seconds over 40-kilometers is a significant margin. Those seconds could be decreased through training or simple equipment changes. On race day, there would be little additional one could do to improve.
In archery, a few people have told me, “Don’t worry about your numbers.” First, worry isn’t going to help. Knowing your numbers will help.
On nearly every practice I go out with a plan. I’ve laid out a training plan. It is used for a specific practice and during that practice I record every shot. Sure, there are days, rare ones, where I simply go out a shoot for fun. Those are nice breaks. They are what I label as active recovery. So, in fact, they are part of a larger training cycle.
From of the numbers trends emerge. I also know that against a perfect score at 18-meters I am currently averaging 95% and at 50-meters I’ll shoot around 94%. Certainly, some days are better than others.
The top archers in the world are going to shoot around 100% at 18-meters and 98% at 50-meters. In both cases, I need to improve by around 5% to be in their league. It doesn’t seem like a lot but 5% is a huge number. It, also, provide me with goals.
Here’s the thing about a 5% goal – it will not happen overnight. Absolutely, I’m going to have that day where I end up shooting closer to 704, say 696 – been there done that; once. Still, there are a lot of points between 696 and 720. This is were patience is a virtue.
With 3D my matrix is a little difference. I look at points per arrow. The reasons being that targets are different, terrain is different and the yardage is different. In that shooting style I measure points per arrow to set goals.
Back to the comment, “Don’t worry about the score.” Well, no don’t worry about the score. There is nothing you can do about another archer’s score. Knowing your score, however, will help create training plans and set goals. Without knowing where you stand, you’re left guessing.