Jan. 9 marked the start of an exciting new season for archers across California. The 23rd annual State Indoor Archery Target Championships, hosted by the State Archers of California, attracted 788 archers to Tulare, Calif. The tournament had to be split into two sessions–January 9-10 and January 16-17–in order to accommodate the large number of participants.
Archers of all ages and skill levels shot at targets with a 40-cm diameter, from 18 meters away, with a variety of shooting styles, such as Olympic recurve, compound, and barebow. They were observed by many spectators, including a few former Olympians and some world-renowned coaches.The largest number of competitors were in the youth categories: Cub (ages 12-14), Cadet (ages 14-16), Junior (ages 16-18), and Collegiate.
On the shooting line, archers said they felt a variety of mixed emotions: typically emotions of nervousness and excitement.
Grace Kim–who has been shooting for five years at HSS Sports Academy in Irvine, Calif.–understands the mix of emotions that runs through people’s heads, especially during the first end of shooting. “Everyone gets nervous, especially when they know they’re not shooting as well as they can. I just try to relax as much as possible and try to remember the advice from my coaches. Trust your form, and the arrow will go where you want it to go,” said Kim.
Kim is coached by Olympic gold-medalist Kyung Wook Kim, who stood behind her students throughout the tournament and provided them with moral support. She said, “It is interesting to see my students experience the same excitement and thrill as I experienced when I competed. I just want them to do their best, and I want to help them reach their goals.”
The starting point for the 2016 archery season, the state indoor tournament opens doors–to meet new people, develop a stronger mental focus, and evaluate one’s abilities to improve. Archery is a universal sport that anyone can do, as long as they have the motivation to invest time and effort for improvement.