For the win?

Challenge or for the win?

Challenge Spirit or for the win?

The NFAS 3D championship is just round the corner and yes I hope to shoot well but in reality I know I am a long way off placing. 
For those not familiar with the event it is a 2 day shoot which sees approximately 600 archers of different styles shooting two courses one each day. It’s called a 3D championship as all targets are 3Ds.  You can see previous year reviews here for 2013 and 2012

This doesn’t mean I don’t want to aim to do well though. This thought got me thinking about how different people measure success.

So here are a couple of questions to all readers. 

How do you measure your own success in archery?

Is the win important or not so important to you as you just want to enjoy the day?

Is it about getting a placing or medal or having a good shoot?

Is it the possibility of recording a personal best or just getting round the course?  I know last year I just wanted to get round following the problems with my shoulder.

For me I think it is nice to place at shoots but in truth I’m competing against myself each time I go out. 
If I start thinking of how others are doing or what my score is it plays with my head and negatively affects my shooting. 
I know I’m very self critical and if I don’t feel I’m shooting well tend to beat myself up. Not good and something I try and get my students to avoid. Easier said than done though. 
I tend to have in mind what I think I should score in total and after each shot. 
These goals have changed over time though. 
When I started I was happy not to blank half the targets on a course. I now get cross with myself if I blank any!
My next goal was to reduce the number of third arrows I was taking.  Still working on that one.

I started looking at average scores for shoots but realised this didn’t factor in the course difficulty, weather etc. We all know some shoots are more challenging than others so averages have to be taken with a pinch of salt. 
Best measure I found was identifying someone in your shooting class who you know shoots consistently that you can match your score against. They become your base line. This gives you a guide to the difficulty level of the course. 
But scoring isn’t the only thing you have to enjoy the day or why do the hobby?

As always thanks for reading and if you have any comments or thoughts let me know.