Prior to and during major tournaments I like to have every thing under my control, well as much as possible, leaving as little to chance as I can, this should apply just as much to a hunting trip as it dose to a FITA, NFAA, IBO,ASA or IFAA target tournament.
The following is a rough guide only as I prefer to design a full individual training schedule to suit each archer
1) Physical and mental conditioning
Identify factors that will impact on your performance e.g. temperature, duration of event and steepness of terrain in the case of field or 3D. Your training plan should be built to a time table spanning from a few weeks to years in the case of a major international tournament.
Draw up a general overview of your training program including regular rest intervals and tapering when approaching competitions. This will form a basic framework to support your targeted training programs; these programs require continual revision by the archer and coach through a process of consultation and evaluation.
b) Investigate all aspects of the competition you are attending look at photos and or videos of the venue during past events and familiarize yourself with it, talk to other archers who have competed there, ask about lighting problems range conditions. Your aim is to feel as comfortable as possible at a new venue, thereby reducing the number of surprises you will have to deal with and keeping your stress levels down
a) As you are approaching the tournament say a month before check all strings, servings and cables more carefully than normal as this is the point you are going to decide if they require renewing. As the bow will need tuning after any major changes to your equipment and this will need to be done well before the event, remember if in doubt through them out don’t risk losing an event by being disqualified at the bow check on the morning of an event with a broken $2 serving. I have refused to pass a dangerous bow at a World Championships while scrutinizing equipment.
b) When you are sure your equipment is in perfect condition and tuned to perfection all shafts are weighed, group tuned and any flyers (shafts that just wont tune) dumped, it is time to record all measurements. This is done so when you have a problem that is hard to work out or you have gear failure you only have to consult a list of measurements to set it all up as it was when you started. One example is you notice persistent low shots, you check nock height and this shows nock to be too high in relation to rest. This can be caused by a bent rest, jammed rest, weak limb, nock locator movement, drop away rest line slippage or several other malfunctions.
Now you refer to your measurements and find; nock locator correct position on string, tiller correct, brace height correct, Axle to axle correct, tip of spring steel rest 1/32” low now you know that your rest is bent down you replace it with a spare set to your measurements and you are back shooting in minuets.
c) The following is an example of the measurements I use, if you use Ontarget2 software for archers most of these measurements are printed out by clicking the user record button other wise they can all be taken with a retractable builders tape measure and bow square.
· Brace height
· Bow draw weight
· Axle to axle
· Nock height
· Rest height from riser shelf
· Rest position in relation to riser
· Distance from rest to front of riser shelf
· Tiller height for both limbs
· Cable guide rod position marked with white out
· Sight radius from peep to lens or pin
· Peep height from center of peep to top of shaft
Don’t forget any side bars or weights must be in the same position as normal as movement here will cause the bow to be drawn at a cant you will naturally straighten the bow to your sight bubble up as you are aiming this will induce Torque into the riser and give you left or right shots.
When competing at the highest level you will be competing alongside hundreds if not thousands of archers and there are always some dramas and hassles. It might be that someone has a problem with the course or the officials or other competitors, just stay clear of people creating trouble as you have spent thousands to get here don’t blow it because of others or because of things beyond your control keep cool and concentrate on you.