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.
This past weekend we here at Trojan Archery sent a whopping 20 archers to the USA Archery 2018 Indoor National Championship. As strong as our team has been this season, we went on to break all expectations that we have set for ourselves. Though there were no team rating this time around, we had 12 archers who broke their personal bests (lovingly referred to as PB by our captains); some even breaking their PB multiple times! In addition to this, our compound team made a very strong debut for the season and we are excited to see their performance for the rest of the season. Check out the pictures from the tournament below; you’ll have to excuse the dead eyes in some of the photos, 8AM shooting time does no one justice.
National Indoor also officially marks the end of our team’s indoor season. As outdoor season involves shooting across significantly longer distances, this marks the end of the competitive seasons for many of our team members. To those who will not be continuing into the outdoor leg of the season, congratulation on your overwhelmingly positive indoor season, rest up, and train for next season. To those who are slated to compete in our outdoor competition, good luck and keep up your training!
Until next time, fellow Trojans: shoot on!
P.S. For those who have been inquiring about our “So You Want to Be an Archer” series, we had to to put it on hold for indoor season. We will resume adding posts to that series in the near future as our team members return to range for summer training.
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.
As our competition season ramps up, it is starting to feel like we here at Trojan Archery are simply trying to make it from one tournament to the next in one piece. To give all of our beloved readers a quick update, we sent a cadre of archers to the California State Indoor Championship two weekends ago. Though the numbers are a bit small this time around, we still managed to reach some noteworthy milestones. In particular, we’d like to congratulate our Most Highly Beloved President, Dan Kwasniewski, on an outstanding weekend. He broke some personal records on this one.
As we move away from California State Indoor, the team is now focusing our attention to the last indoor competition of our season: USA Archery National Indoor Championships. To that end, expect to see more posts about equipment, form, and techniques in the weeks to come as we work to help our archers improve and build our educational database. To keep yourself in the loop as our semester progresses, please sign-up for our mailing list and follow our Facebook page.