Are you interested in competing in archery tournaments? Signing up for a local tournament is the best way to get started. You avoid the stress of travel and compete against familiar faces. But shooting a tournament on your home turf provides a unique set of challenges. Here’s how to give it your best shot.
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How to Sign Up
If you’re ready to take the step into competitive archery, your shop will have information about nearby events. There are many different types and styles of tournaments. Some are hosted by sanctioned organizations like USA Archery; others are nonsanctioned or fundraiser events. It’s important to understand what type and style of tournament you plan to participate in. Some people find it intimidating to ask questions, even or especially if they know the organizers. However, everybody got their start somewhere, and hosts want participants to feel comfortable.
Don’t let the fact that it’s on your home turf make you too comfortable. You should walk onto the course with confidence, but only after having done your homework. As with any other event, review the tournament’s rules. Know when the event starts and when you’re scheduled to shoot. Pick the right division for your equipment and know how many arrows you’ll shoot. Be sure to follow the dress code and dress for the weather if it’s an outdoor event.
Don’t Get Cocky
There are benefits to shooting in a location you’re comfortable with and also potential disadvantages. Athletes might get too confident because of the familiarity. Or they can get thrown off by the competition element. Regardless of how you feel heading into the tournament, competing will make you a better archer. You can take the experience of the shoot and use it to improve your performance in the future.
Competing Against Friends
Shooting on your home turf can be more nerve-wracking than competing somewhere new. You’re likely to see more familiar faces. Some people face higher levels of anxiety when it comes to competing in front of friends. Don’t let this discourage you. Friendly competition elevates the entire tournament. Channel the nerves into focus and determination. And even though you’re facing off against friends, at the end of the day they’ll want to see you shoot your best. When all of the local shooters do well, it benefits the entire group.
Share Your Local Knowledge
Whether it’s your first local tournament or you’re a seasoned vet, you’re in a unique position to guide others. If there are visitors who have traveled to the area, they might need help finding parking or hotels. You can also provide them with restaurant recommendations and tips for local attractions. Share your local knowledge with others to elevate their experience.
Meet New Friends
Local tournaments often attract a crowd. If you always shoot at the same shop or range, or you always shoot at the same time of day, this is your chance to meet some new people. Connecting with new archers from your community is a great chance to network and make new friends.
Clubs and shops often use tournaments as an opportunity to raise money for organizations and causes. Entering one of these tournaments can benefit your local community. Raising money for local causes is one of the many benefits of being part of a thriving archery community.
Archery tournaments are a fun way to test your skills against yourself and others. The competition gives you a new, exciting twist to shooting your home course. The next time you’re at the shop or range, sign up for an upcoming event in your area.