Resolution – MORE ARCHERY!

 

Happy New Year from everyone here at Trojan Archery!

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We hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  Our New Year’s Resolution? More archery, of course! Most of us have had archery on the brain all through the academic break (some of us never stopped practicing!), and now we are preparing to enter the thick of Indoor Competition Season. We’re also preparing for round two of recruiting and training new archers.

Beyond our club or personal success, we enjoy all the new faces that pass through each semester, all for different reasons. Even if it is for a single practice, it is our mission to engage an archer and share the experience of the sport. The transformations are amazing to watch. So, as we look forward to the fresh start of competition season, the first experience for many, and to the new archers we’ll meet in the next month, we wonder if archery can be a new (or rekindled) adventure for YOU this year.

 

Set that Resolution!

Have you always wanted to try archery, but were unsure or didn’t have the time? Do you know a friend or family member who has always wanted to try? Do you want to know what its like to be your favorite archer character?

Maybe you’re already in! Do you want to hit gold? Maybe get more consistent? Want to earn your first award? Or are you on to your next achievement pin? Want to try a new bow style?

Or maybe you’re long distance. Want to be part of our Trojan network? Maybe you’re creative and want to create our new cheer? Or maybe you want some long distance archery advice?

Make Trojan Archery a New Year’s Resolution! 

 

Get More Involved with Trojan Archery

Think about how you would like to incorporate more archery into your life. Make it a goal. Write out achievable steps (baby steps!) to reach that goal. Take an action every day or every week to make it happen.

Below are some simple actions to take to meet your goal of getting more involved with Trojan Archery, specially. We would love to see it happen!

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SIGN UP 

Follow our newsletter to watch for practice sign ups. There’s no charge for your first two practices! FREE! Equipment and instruction provided. Experience archer with no further expectations than to try it.

FOLLOW US

Follow our Facebook and Instagram! Send us some love and support through the year as we post cool stuff about our activities and about archery in general.

JOIN US

Check out our Membership pages to open a new chapter in your life by committing to a semester, or a year, of archery! There are a number of benefits that come with membership. You can learn more about Team Membership, too, if you want boost your competitive Trojan spirit! Alumni, Faculty, and Staff are also welcome to join.

LEAD US

Check out our expanded Leadership Opportunities if you are interested in getting more involved in the club. The club exists thanks to our student leaders and instructors, as well as volunteers within the club and community. Become a cornerstone of the club and boost your resume at the same time!

SUPPORT US

Check out our new Support Us pages to find out how to support our club and collegiate team. We get limited funding from the University and depend upon our membership dues and fundraising to maintain the range and equipment, increase development opportunities, and to afford our competitions seasons. We also appreciate donations of targets, cardboard, and equipment. You can also send us some love! Give us a shout out to support our club and team members.

CONNECT WITH US

Are you a USC Alum? Are you a Trojan Archery Alum? We believe in the strength of connections through our Trojan network. Not only will you be able to link back to a passion you had (and still have!), but you will be an immense support network for your fellow archers and USC students. Our archers develop valuable leadership skills, time and stress management, mental and physical discipline. When they’re moving on and searching for their next career step, we want to be there to support them! Whether it’s archery or career advice, you can be there (or maybe we can be there for you!). Contact us to become part of the Trojan Archery Alumni Network – see how we have grown, access some cool SWAG, connect with old friends, support new generations!

 

Best wishes to you for this new year! Have you set any archery resolutions? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us to share your goals or send us a shout out to send us motivational New Year messages.

The September Social

With the month of September winding down, we are happy to report that the club practices are going strong! We have taught over 150 new archers, many of whom have since joined as official club members.

In light of the new members’ dedication to return to the same place every Friday night and launch projectiles into giant foam Oreos, we at Trojan Archery decided to forgo our traditional practice sessions with one celebrating their arrival in the world of collegiate archery. Pizza was served (seven boxes to be exact, all of which were devoured in less time than it takes to set up an Olympic recurve bow), and conversations of the social kind were held between members across all of USC’s various schools (a computational neuroscientist and a musician walked into a bar…). Games were played, as well: teams of archers strove to outdo their competitors at the all-hallowed tic-tac-toe, while others, taking our unofficial slogan of saving the bees to heart, aimed at honeycombs rather than our pollinary little pals.

The night was closed with a 300 scoring round, because what better way to end the evening with some good old-fashioned bulls-eyes? Several of our new members shot the official USA Archery format, many of whom earned their first pins. We look forward to watching their progress as they further their journey into the arcane study of the bow and arrow.

Until next time, shoot on!

So You Want to be a (Barebow) Archer: Instincts, Gap, and String Walking

A common quandary we here at Trojan Archery encounters when teaching beginners–who all are introduced to archery through the barebow style–is how to teach them to aim. For shorter distances, the concept of “instinctive” aiming is straightforward; what you’re looking at is usually what you hit. However for longer distances, and especially with elevation changes akin to those in a field round, the answer of “instinctive” becomes a rather useless one.
Though some archers do develop the necessary instinct to aim across a wide range of distances and terrains, we find it more useful to formalize the less “mystical” aiming techniques used by barebow archers: gap aiming and string walking. We present below a short article written by our barebow Captain, Rob Campbell, on the topic of gap aiming and string walking.

 

Disclaimer: This information is only based on my limited knowledge and research acquired but I believe it all to be true. If anyone has any suggestions for more accurate information, please let me know.

There are three main types of barebow shooting in my opinion (there are many more but I think these are the main groups that can contain different subsection).

1. Gap method: the gap method uses a technique that I think every barebow archer starts with if you use the arrow tip to aim. When I aim at a target, I am aiming with the tip of my arrow at the ground and the gap that I create helps me hit the target.

2. Instinctive shooting: This method is sort of the ‘mystical’ way to shoot. It is said by many archers to take many years to develop and you only use your ‘instincts’ to hit the desired target.

3. String Walking: This method is for barebow archers that want to shoot point on. That means you use the tip of your arrow to aim directly in the middle of the target. By moving your finger tab down the string, you are creating the gap on your string rather than using your arrow as in the gap method.

In this message, I would like to explain a little about the String Walking method. String walking, when used in conjunction with a finely tuned plunger can allow the archer to put the tip of the arrow exactly on the target. By adjusting the position of the tab in a specific place on the bowstring, you move the nock of the arrow closer to your eye (you can also move it farther away from your eye for farther distances but that is another message). If you currently use the three-finger-under method, you are already ahead of the game. If you are using split finger, you will have to get used to closing your fingers and moving them under the nock.

The process begins with the right type of finger tab. You need to have a three-under tab with notches or stitches. The next step is data collection. By shooting at targets with various lengths you can figure out which specific stitch in your finger tab to adjust to. When you count down the stitches, you simply put your thumb on the stitch and move the tab down the string to the desired position. You will notice that the nock of the arrow moves closer to your eye. This will give you better point-on target accuracy that can eventually rival a sight using archer. As the distances of the target get shorter, the position away from the nock gets larger.

To test for left/right accuracy, you need to use and tune the plunger. First, shoot five arrows at a specific distance. If the arrows are drifting to the right, tighten the plunger ¼ turn. Re-check and adjust accordingly. If the arrows are in the target at an angle, the spring tensions must be adjusted. If the arrow is going in an arc to the left or the right with distance, the plunger position needs to be adjusted.

By tuning the plunger to perfection and learning the practice of string walking, we can bring home much more hardware in the competitions to come! To use this method, all you need is a three-finger-under tab with stitching and the time to practice.

Let’s do this!
SHOOT ON!

Until next time, fellow Trojans, shoot on!

So You Want to be an Archer: Beginner’s Introduction to Gears

Archery is a sport in which both the physicality of the shooter and the physical performance and design of the bows and its parts work in tandem to produce accurate and reproducible shots. To that end, the bow itself contains significantly more pieces than most casual observers can surmise; with each piece serving a particular function in making the shot the most accurate and reproducible. The upside to all of this is that for beginners and  intermediate archers, many pieces are not essential. In the following post, we here at Trojan Archery will attempt to introduce what we consider to be the “essentials” to getting you started on your journey of archery development. For a comprehensive list of all the different things that you can attach to your bow, see our full equipment guide/recommendation. Note that the information here is not meant to be comprehensive and should be taken as a starting point; if you have access to a more experienced archer (e.g. one of our officers) consult them before making a purchase. 

Before tackling the bow itself, there are a few wearable pieces that should be considered first.  These pieces are rather universal and you will always want to maintain your own set. Note that if you are shooting as a part of an archery club (e.g. Trojan Archery), these pieces can be loaned out to you. Note that in most cases, competition rules forbid the use of camo-patterned equipment.

  • Arm Guard: A piece of tough material ranging from plastic, to canvas, to leather use to cover up the arm holding the bow. It is intended to protect the arm against unintended contact with the bowstring during the shot.
  • Chest Guard: A piece of netting/covering to be worn over the chest on your bow arm’s side. Like the arm guard, it is intended to protect the covered regions from accidental contact with the bowstring mid-flight.
  • Finger Tab/Glove: A leather glove or finger covering worn on the bow hand. It is used to reduce friction between the drawing hand and the bow string. You may not think that the act of shooting will hurt your hand, but after 60-100 arrows, small amounts of chaffing will accumulate. The gloves are typically used by bare bow shooters while the tabs are used by Olympic recurve shooters. Compound shooters will use a release aid instead of a tab/glove.
  • Quiver: a tube used to hold your arrows and often time has pockets for other accessories. Competition rules forbid the use of back quivers so stick to hip/field quivers.
  • Stringer: Used to bend back your bow for stringing.
  • Arrows: Their use is self-evident. They are listed here for the sake of completeness. Arrows are fairly personalized pieces of equipment that depends on your physiology, shooting form, and competition need. Investing in them is only recommended for competing intermediate to advance archers.

All of the pieces below constitute the actual bow itself and will be marked with a C if it is found only in compound bows. In almost every case, the equipment are not interchangeable between the two disciplines.

Note that while recurve bows are bought in pieces, compound bows are essentially bought as a complete package (the whole bow plus some accessories). Because of this and the higher number of moving parts in a compounds, we will, for the sake of brevity, only talk about what is considered the “big” components when discussing parts exclusive to compound bows.

  • Riser: The center portion of the bow usually associated with the grip of the bow. It serves as the attachment point for almost all of the other parts and accessories. Risers have a built in handedness and are not interchangeable for left-handed and right-handed shooter
  • Limbs: the pair of springy arms that gets drawn back and stores energy during the process of shooting. They determine how much energy you can impart to the arrow as well as the drawing weight of the bow. Since most archers grow rather rapidly in draw weight at the beginner and intermediate stages, expect to change limbs rather often until you reach ~30lb draw weight for recurve.
  • Cams (C): a compound exclusive, cams are the pulley systems attached to the compound limbs that enable the let off as well as enforces the “wall” in a compound draw.
  • Arrow Rest: a small arm–usually plastic or metal–attached to the risers where the arrows sits through the entire shooting process. It is meant to elevate the arrow and prevents it from falling away from the body of the riser.
  • Plunger (Recurve only): a spring loaded rod attached to the riser to push the arrow slightly off the body of the bow (while still staying on the arrow reset) and facilitates the realization of the archer’s paradox.
  • String: connects the two limbs and is drawn back to convert mechanical energy of the drawing motion into stored energy in the limbs.
  • Nocking Point: a marker placed on the bow string to denote where the arrow’s nock should make contact with the string to achieve horizontal alignment. It is also usually big enough to prevent the arrow from tipping forward off the bow. In a compound bow, the nocking point is actually a small loop of string–termed the D-loop–that flanks the arrow’s point of contact and acts as the point of contact for the release aid.
  • Release Aid (C): A mechanical trigger used in the drawing and release of the bow strings. Sometimes seen in adaptive archery forms, they are an essential part of a compound shooter’s gear. They can technically be viewed as a form of protection for the drawing hand during release.

 

The First Pin’s the Sweetest

This past Friday, our club members participated in their first official scoring round: 3 arrows over 10 ends for a total of 300 points. Did things get intense? Maybe. Did people enjoy themselves? Sure looks like it.

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This was also the first opportunity for our club members to begin earning their achievement pins. This was an opportunity for our members to check their growth and appreciate how far they have progressed since beginning this semester. Many archers earned their first pin as well; pictures were taken; parents were called.

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We look forward to hosting more scoring rounds in the future and hope to see all our club members grow and continue on to earn more and more pins in their respective disciplines. If you have not had a chance to dip your toe into the scoring rounds yet and would like to get more information, please check in with an officer and our sign up for our mailing list.

Until next time, fellow Trojans. Shoot on!

Calling All Achievement Hunters!

We here at Trojan Archery are excited to announce that our club will be participating in the USA Archery Adult Achievement Program!

In order to for the developing archer to track—and, honestly, flaunt–their progress in the sport, we will begin offering mini tournament style 300 Rounds (ten ends of three arrows for a maximum of 300 points). By tracking the score with USAA’s scoring matrix, archers may earn different achievement pins that show they have reached a particular milestone in their shooting. The different achieve pins/award levels are given out based on score performance at a particular distance and target face size and varies from between the three archery disciplines. The USAA scoring matrix for indoor achievement pins is shown below as an example. For more information please check out this link for the USAA Adult Achievement Program or talk to a Trojan Archery officer.

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So whether you are shooting for recreation, to train for competition, or just to figure out what exactly is transfer-to-holding, keep an eye out for information on upcoming 300 Rounds and come join us for some friendly competition and achievement pin earning.

Until next time, shoot on!