Archery – First semester in review

Late update on Bruna Pickler’s first semester achery competition results.

As the year progressed with so many restrictions, I believe many athletes found it hard to keep the pace up and the mental strong to remain positive and training despite the world’s pandemic scenario.

As this year’s focus for me was to improve on shooting the Olympic 70m distance, I already knew it was going to be a tough year no matter what. After winning in the 30m category on state’s level competition (read here the review for Bruna Pickler’s first competition in Brazil), I determined to start shooting a further distance. So I left the begginer’s category after competing only once.

For so, I jumped with the same technique into the Olympic distance, where I ended up scoring very low on that next weekend.

Then the pandemic hit and by March the local competitions stopped completely, so we were forced to stop competing.

I started then to train and improve body conditioning so I could pull a higher poundage bow. And as the pandemic hit, I started training even harder, as I hired a personal trainer and trained #AtHome. My training consists in: general purpose strenght training and specific archery reps, to improve my skills on the sports.

And only by the end of August we had the glimpse of competing again in an online event.

Despite not being a big fan of indoor shooting, as I have learned to shoot on outdoors, and spent most of my all-time-count practice time in an outdoor setting, I then needed to practice indoors.

I consider my whole training very unique, as it consists in:

Physical training – I play archery because I had always had a good conditioning as I love to go to gym. And not the other way around. I do not do physical exercises because I play archery, I play archery because ever since I am 11 year old I have never skipped on day at gym. And that is how I would like it to be even thought I have added up a few exercises in gym that are more specific to the sport. Besides, on specific times of the year I do horse riding, wich I consider an enhancement for lower body conditioning and to stay strong while I ride horses, core exercises are so important for both sports I practice.

Mental training – besides psychological support, my mental training is tied up with other trainings, such as writing and studying about other sports. The main reason this website exists. So I believe I can do both things at one time. As I take care of studying and publishing content about archery, motorsports and equitation, they take care of my mental strength. This way, even if I am losing, I see some of my friends on other sports winning, and that projects that “winning is natural” to me. Believe me, I have done that for many years already, and believed in this techinique since before I have gotten a first golden medal.

Another way to look at my mental training is all the time I spend with horses at the Jockey Club, from analysing odds probability, betting, to learning to loose, and the most important, beeing for and cheering for all my jockey friends and horse owner friends when they collect victory.

Focus enhancing training – Since last year, I have added this up as a way to learn to ignore all the signs around me that could distract me on the day of competition. There are so many variables that don’t add up to performance. Such as: screams from the audience, other industrial sounds in the background… as well as visual elements such as people running in the background, label of a drink or any other thing that you are not used to.
There are so many things going on in a competition day, and I found out that the best way for me to improve focus is if I am surrounded of these things on training days as well, and so I can learn to ignore them. Pro-tip: that is one of the main reasons I like to be on field during motorsports events and be the photographer of the action. That is a great reproduction of a competition scenario, remastered, full of noise and distraction. So if you can learn to hold a camera for 24 hours during a motorsport event, while you trigger and capture the best images, you can get through a round of qualifying holding a bow for the same amount of time and collecting tens.

That all said, I competed in the official Online Archery Cup of the Americas | Recurve Bow Female 18 meters at the end of August, and — despite finishing qualy only in 11th position on national level, and 97th on international level; I felt great, because this is my personal best score for indoor shooting.

Indoor Online Shooting