My name is Rebecca Vogel and I am from Thief River Falls, Minnesota. I have been shooting archery for almost 4 years. I am a member of Form First JOAD and North Central Elite Archers (NCEA). I am always looking to improve my skills and get better. I love archery because there is always a challenge, there is always something to work on. It is a sport of progress, not perfection.
Over this past weekend I was happy to be able to attend the outdoor North Central Elite Archers camp inSioux Falls, SD. Since I joined NCEA I have enjoyed the camps and this weekend was no different. I alwayslearn. At these camps I have made many friends, and I look forward to seeing these archers at the next tournament or camp. We get together as friends whether that is going down to the pool or going out to eat. It is good to catch up. Getting to see everyone again and see how much we have improved is awesome. It was great meeting our invitees as well. It’s so cool that I get to create such great bonds through something that I love to do (archery). With everything changed due to COVID, it was great to have a slice of “normal”.
The coaches (Linda Beck, Lee and Penny Hetletved, Jack Moulton, and Dan Hastings) on this team are incredible and I thank them for all they do. They have taught me so much and since working with them I have noticed a dramatic change. Not only do I see a change in my form, I see a change in the way I think. With their help, my thinking is more positive, my form and technique improved, and my scores reflect these attributes. Whether it is a practice at home, a competitive practice, or the competition I am training for, every shot has purpose.
I learned new tools over the weekend. I learned that pressure can be a good thing and I need to embrace it. I learned that things happen for me, not to me. I also learned that I need to use my core more through my shots and, I feel a lot more stable through my shot process. The coaches talked about when the sun changes, you will probably need to adjust your sight. Coaches and fellow archers shared experiences to help everyone improve.
Unexpected things can happen at any time, and this weekend was full of them. We were staying at a local hotel which was supposed to have weights, but when we arrived there were no weights. I had to figure out a way to get in a workout and how to achieve that without weights. Christian Williams of Archery Strong developed a workout for me that used bodyweight instead . We also experienced very hot and humid weather. It was a good experience shooting in the heat. JOAD Outdoor Nationals in Raleigh, NC last summer was the last time I had shot in that type of weather. It was also beneficial to practice going on a long delay and coming back to shoot. My age now dictates moving from 30 meters to50 meters and that was a bit of a jump. Figuring out the differences in my sight picture and pinfloat at 50 meters was also a challenge. I was able to overcome all these things by using a mental management system. I realized that archers should spend as much time and effort on the mental management system as form and equipment. The Mental Management System is vital because it allows me to focus on my shooting while not allowing outside distractions or negativity to impact my shooting process. When I run my system correctly I only hear muffled sounds because I am not focused on what anybody is saying, or other noises. I am in the zone. This system is not only used for archery. People of all different sports and even jobs use this tool. Thanks to Coach Penny, I know how to run my system correctly and efficiently and continually improve it.
Now I am training with all the information I took away from camp for the Buckeye Classic. I am so excitedto see more friends and to finally compete again(hopefully).