Starting to Come Together

I’ve got this 2014 Mathews Conquest Apex 7. Mathews no longer makes that bow. I’d sold it to a friend, and then got it back from him. My coach Charlie Sneed, a Level 4 USA Archery coach,  has encouraged me to shoot the Mathews rather than the Elite 35 Energy that had replaced the Apex 7. Statistically, there is no difference between my shooting regardless of the bow. There may not be enough data to measure the interactions of the numbers recorded for the bows. To complicate the math, I’ve improved over time. I’ve also changed arrows, releases, sights, scopes, and stabilizers. All of those variables make the math tough. I enjoy math so I’ll play with the number more later.

What I know is that I have been in a slump. While in this slump I changed bows. Whether or not the switch back to the Mathew made a difference I honestly cannot support with data. In two days of practice I shot my worst and best scores with the bow.

To clarify, I have not been shooting the Mathews bow. My plan was to use it only as a 3D practice bow so I wouldn’t have to mess around with changing my sight/scope setting between shooting paper targets and 3D targets. I use different arrows for 3D than used for indoor shooting. My objects are yardage practice as well as general practice. Changing arrows with the same bow means wasting time aligning the scope/sight after 18-meter shooting.

The past two competitive 18-meter shoots have resulting in two 2nd place finishes. Each time I shot below par. Last night, while reviewing my notes on those contests my errors popped into clarity. Today, I planned to verify my finding. I did it with the Mathews bow.

To start, and a potential error in my test, I used 3 pistol targets arranged like a Vegas 3-spot. What I intended to do was isolate the center ring. On those pistol targets the center 10 is orange and all other rings are black. Essentially, there’s a real clear frame of the center ring. The 10-ring and nine ring are the same size as the archery target.

This desk is a cluttered, but there’s room to record notes on shots.

Next, I worked through 25 warm up shots to get a feel for the wind that was kicking up off the river. I ended up having to shoot from inside my shed out toward the target.  Then, I shot 75 arrows of which 66 were tens and 9 were nines. Sadly, I didn’t get an arrangement where I had 60 tens in a row.

My pistol targets with a highly visible center ring in a Vegas 3-spot arrangement. (Looks about right)

The better shooting was even more of a surprise since this was ‘arm’ day at the gym.  It was also swim day and run day.  I always swim before I lift. Trying to swim after lifting weight is tough, archery after swimming and lifting can be a bear. The weight lifting and swimming can lead to fatigue during the afternoon archery practice session.  Today, it didn’t appear to be much of a bother.

What I did get was a more confident feeling, which is all-important. I also worked to eliminate the form errors that have been plaguing me of late. I suppose the Mathews bow is what I’ll be shooting during the upcoming events.