Yesterday I posted pics from the San Diego Zoo. R and I had a great time, but our mini vacation lasted only a day, as we had to head to the Olympic Training Center the next day for registration, bow inspection and practice day for the SoCal Showdown.
After two days off, I was expecting to struggle a little during the practice day, as I’ve found I always shoot my worst the day after taking a day off. I definitely didn’t shoot my best, but it wasn’t my worst either, so I was looking forward to the tournament starting the next day.
Saturday came and we were up bright and early to make it to the field in plenty of time to get a good parking spot (didn’t want to end up in the overfill lot). Apparently everyone else had the same idea, as there was a mile long backup of cars waiting to get in to the field when we arrived.
I felt decent during my practice ends, and then the tournament began. I opened with a 57, followed by a 58 (out of 60). I was excited, thinking, finally I am going to have a good day when it counts. I managed to stay shooting well (was sitting in 6th or 7th most of this first set), until the final end.
As I mentioned before, something I have been working on is making sure I let down on a bad shot, instead of taking it anyways. I went to do this, and as I was letting down, the arrow popped off the rest and landed inches past the 3M line. For those who aren’t familiar with archery, what does this mean? Well, if an arrow lands anywhere between you and the 3M line, it is a dead arrow and you are free to shoot another one in its place, however, if the arrow crosses the 3M line, it is officially a scored arrow. Meaning it’s considered a miss if it doesn’t hit the target.
So, yep, my luck officially ran out as I now had a miss, shooting me down into about 20th place. The only good news was I had a 49, with a miss, so I had a great end minus that arrow (four 10s and a 9). I knew I couldn’t focus on that, since it was a long day, I had plenty of room to make up ground. However, in the 2nd set for the day, I had a similar occurrence when I went to let down, except this time I did get lucky and it landed inches on my side of the 3M line. At this point, however, my nerves were shaken and I knew I would be too afraid to let down again in the tournament. I figured a 5 or 6 was better than a 0!
The rest of the day went ok. I didn’t shoot good, but I didn’t shoot necessarily bad either. I ended up with a 1311, which was 16 points above my previous 144 arrow record I set in Florida. I was bummed because 1)I knew I could shoot better and 2)even if my miss was a 9, I would have moved up something like 8-10 spots in the ranking. Ohh well, tomorrow is when it really counts I tried to tell myself.
Sunday started with the men’s eliminations, since they had a round with 64 archers and we did not. I had to be at the field with R since he was shooting in these, so no sleeping in for me. I watched the first two men’s elimination rounds, then it was finally time for the women to get to practice. Ughhh, what a disaster. My hold was awful, and I felt like I couldn’t keep my sight on the target. There was a little bit of wind, but nothing to account for my issues. I reminded myself it was just practice, and I thought maybe this is the way to get in my competitor’s head. If she thinks I’m shooting poorly she won’t take me as a serious threat and then hopefully I can shoot well and win.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. I opened up with first end of 3 arrows with a 27 (8 and two 10s) to her 28 (10,9,9), giving her a 1 point advantage, but then I tanked in the 2nd end, allowing her to gain an additional 3 points, so now she was up by 4 with just 9 arrows left to shoot. I tried to remind myself that it wasn’t over until it was over, but I knew in compound, without the set scoring for matches, it pretty much was over. I matched her the next two ends, with wildly inconsistent shooting 10,7,10, etc. The wind was now pretty intense and she was struggling to get her 3 shots off in time.
I had two poor shots and then one final good shot to end the match. I was mad at myself, more than I was upset in losing the match. We went down to score, and she had shot a 6 on her last arrow! That meant, had I just shot 3 decent shots, I actually would have at least tied, if not won the match! Ughhh, now I was REALLY mad at myself. I know we all have off days, but after shooting so well at the Ace Archer’s Tournament, getting bronze olympian status (and just missing silver), I was really disappointed in my results for SoCal over all.
After a long weekend of competition it can be hard to keep your emotions in check. I knew that with such a poor performance, I had pretty much destroyed my chances of making the national team. This was definitely hard to swallow, knowing that I hadn’t lost a spot by shooting well, that I could live with. I had sucked and that had cost me dearly. Then R reminded me that I just got my bow 6 1/2 months ago. These woman I am shooting against have been doing it most of their lives. They all have been members of world cup teams, jr national or cadet national teams. They have travelled, shot and competed more days than the total hours I’ve shot. I have to remember to put things in perspective, but as a competitive person, it can be tough sometimes!