Have you ever wondered how you can figure out if you are ready enough to participate in an archery tournament?
There are many ways to approach archery and most people only enjoy this as a pastime without any serious commitment. Then you have those of us who take this to a whole new level by entering the competitive scene. In my case, it took a while before I was able to feel confident enough to do this, but there are many things that I learned in the process.
This is the reason why I decided to create this particular post. I want to share some of the things that will allow you to know if you are ready for a tournament or not. I will also share some tips on how to prepare for any competitive event.
Are you ready for a competitive event?
Most people who are faced with this question will usually say that they don’t feel like they are skilled enough to enter a tournament. While this is the most common answer, this is not a valid reason to avoid entering a tournament. Allow me to explain why I’m saying this with a quick story that sums up my first tournament experience.
The first time I went to a tournament I went with the idea of being a spectator only, but I remember a friend of mine entered and I didn’t even know he was an archer. We were friends in high school but we hadn’t seen each other in about five years. I remember I asked him how good he was and he told me he was just getting started. I immediately asked him why he would join a tournament if he had no practice under his belt, to which he replied, “Because I’m here for the experience”.
Tournaments improving the experience
This was a very important thing for me to hear because it took away the fear of having very little experience. Somehow, his words affected me in a very positive way. I immediately decided to see if I was still able to enter the tournament and I did. Needless to say, I was unable to place and I was out from the start. My friend was also unable to move forward, but he told me that we had just learned a very valuable lesson – we had learned to handle the pressure of shooting the bow and arrow in front of a large audience.
This was a great lesson for me to learn that day because it gave me the chance to see the value of entering a tournament even if I had very little skill and experience. I understood at that point that learning how to deal with the emotions involved with shooting the bow and arrow is essential.
This brings me to the first thing you need to consider to know if you are ready for a tournament. You need to ask yourself if you have the emotional experience that allows you to perform at your best. This means performing in public the same way you perform at home or at the local shooting range.
You need to see your first tournament experiences as emotional experience boosters. Go to the tournament with a winning attitude even if you are just learning. Don’t worry about the outcome, just consider the value of learning to perform in front of an audience.
Emotional control is essential
I think that you can consider yourself ready for a tournament once you have been to enough tournaments. You might think this makes no sense, but that is the best way to get ready for a tournament. This means that you can just enter tournaments as often as you can. Don’t worry about your skill level, but keep practicing and getting better as you attend more and more tournaments.
Being able to handle the pressure of performing in front of an audience has always been a huge test. For example, some people are great singers, but they feel so nervous about singing in front of people that they only do it when they are alone. When they sing to an audience, their voice cracks and they can’t control their pitch. This is often caused by anxiety that usually happens when a person hasn’t been exposed to a certain environment or situation.
Professionals can also make mistakes
The exact same phenomenon can happen to an archer that decides to go to a tournament after practicing for a long time. They might have the shooting skills, but their lack of tournament experience is going to work against them. The point is that you should always consider the importance of going to tournaments just to gain emotional experience.
Most locations have small tournaments and events that have very affordable entry fees. I suggest you look for those type of events to start getting a feel for the competitive world of archery. This is also a great way to see what kind of competition you have in your area.
Compete with yourself
You should ever compete with others during tournaments. This might sound confusing, but it’s very simple. The best way to deal with competition is to look for ways to improve your skills and never try to compete with other people. Just continue to improve your shooting and study the way that professional archers shoot. Don’t consider better archers competition, instead, look at them as teachers and learn as much as you can from them.
People who excel at anything always study and learn from those who are better than they are. This is the right attitude to have because it allows you to grow and evolve. It works with archery as it does with everything else in life.
Do you feel confident with your shooting skills?
There will be a point when you will have plenty of local tournament experience. You want to start taking things seriously and register for a professional tournament. One thing is to join a local tournament with a small entry fee, and another thing is to join a pro tournament that has a higher entry fee.
At this point, you need to ask yourself if you have the required shooting skills to compete with other archers. It’s always a good idea to make sure that you can find out about the average performance expectations of archers in tournaments. This is going to give you a good idea of where you stand with your current skills.
If you are planning to attend any tournament, you need to practice using the same distance and the same type of targets that will be used in the tournament. This is a good way to prepare for any specific requirements.
Is your equipment ready?
Going to a tournament and having good archery skills is great, but this is not going to be enough. The bow you use and the arrows you use are going to play an important role. Is the bow properly tuned? Is it performing at optimal levels? These are things that you need to consider because they will affect your shots. Make sure that you can get your bow tuned and that it has been properly calibrated for optimal accuracy.
It’s important to understand that even the slightest issue with your calibration is going to be a problem. It could turn an otherwise perfect shot, into a complete miss, so be sure to invest in proper bow maintenance.
Preparing for a competitive event
Once you decide to enter a tournament, it’s always a good idea to learn the details of the event. For example, some tournaments will have a specific dress code that they require from all archers. In other cases, tournaments will require that very specific types of bows and arrows are used, so you need to make sure that your equipment meets the requirements of that specific tournament.
Register early and
Make sure that you arrive on time and you register early. There are some tournaments that will close entries even if people are only a minute late. This is why you should always make sure that you can arrive with plenty of time. Also, find out if there are any specific rules that are unusual. There should be no rule that requires more than your presence at a certain time with the required equipment and gear, but always read the rules to avoid any surprises.
Last but not least, you should get to know other archers and share tips on practice, gear and anything else you might find useful. One of the best things about attending tournaments is to get to know other people who love archery as much as you do.
Now that you have a better idea of how to know if you are ready for a tournament, I suggest you start by going to as many local tournaments as you can. This is an essential part of the learning experience and it’s completely unrelated to your skill levels. The good thing is that it allows you to perform much better because you are going to be able to control your emotions.