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.

Shoot report – Lyme Valley archers August 2013

Been a short while since my last shoot report so here is one for the nfas lyme valley shoot last weekend. For those of  you who are interested here is the last report on Lyme valley.

Dave, Graham, Sharon and Peter

Dave, Graham, Sharon and Peter

Early Sunday morning we set off up the motorway to just outside Stoke on Trent; about an hour and 20 minutes depending on traffic. We’d missed the last shoot but I had managed to shoot their excellent 3D course at this year’s 3D champs.
For those of you who are new readers Lyme valley archers ground consists of a wooded valley which gives them the opportunity for some nice up and down hill shots.
In all I would say it was a good course with a few challenging targets. The only real problem was the afternoon dragged as progress was slow. We were constantly catching up with the group in front who were only just getting to shoot the target. This made for a slow days shooting as you could never get into a rhythm.
Lyme valley is a very popular shoot and I wonder if it suffers from it’s own popularity by trying to accommodate all the archers it can and sometimes that’s too many.
downhill 3D mountain lion

downhill 3D mountain lion

5 on a peg but a few with 6, combined with a challenging course means archers take second or third arrows. All slows down the day. Personally I think they would be better to have 4 maybe 5 to a peg.
Weather was good, warm but not hot with sunny spells.

View up the slope after shooting down the hillside

View up the slope after shooting down the hillside

The course was a mix of paper faces and 3D targets with some very long down hill shots like the giant komodo dragon shot from the top of the hill to the stream bed.

komodo dragon as seen from bottom of slope

komodo dragon as seen from bottom of slope

There were some new paths in some cases but glad it was dry as we would have been slipping and sliding all day.
Generally we like Lyme valley shoots and I enjoyed the course the only thing that put a downer to on the day were the hold ups.

Sharon won ladies Bare Bow and I was lucky enough to come away with first in Gents Hunting Tackle.

Thanks for reading.