From the Lions' Den - A freestylers' journey.


I do appreciate the feedback guys, but perhaps you're not taking the variability of my condition into account. A fortnight ago I was feeling - well, I won't say 'good', more 'as good as it gets these days' - and shooting as well as I've ever shot.

A week ago I was feeling like absolute crap and thus my shooting suffered too. I have no idea how I'll feel on Sunday, hence it would be futile to set any 'goals', to have any 'expectations' when it comes to the score for any given arrow, end or the whole damned competition.

I'll play the cards I'm dealt, and play them as well as I can, on the day. I can't ask more of myself than that.


Nice post.
When others want the "best " for you it is not always easy to keep a still tongue. The good intentions flow out.
It's your archery, and you have to get out of it what you want. We can only guess at what that really means. I imagine some will err on the side of saying something rather than nothing. I line up in that queue quite frequently.


I must admit that my idea of goals is usually - try to remember to keep the front shoulder relaxed, feel that the bow isn't torquing, concentrate on the release arm/hand.


LOL I'm still at the "don't shoot until after the clicker clicks" stage ;)

- at least I'm getting my moneys' worth from the fletching jig.


Well-known member
I do appreciate the feedback guys, but perhaps you're not taking the variability of my condition into account....
I'll play the cards I'm dealt, and play them as well as I can, on the day. I can't ask more of myself than that.
Ahh... I think we are talking at cross purposes :) From the above I think you have no expectation of how the day may pan out. What I mean is, if you turn up feeling on top, feeling one of your best days, would your expectations be one of your better scores?
I think lots of people turn up with unrealistic expectations, this is not to imply you do Lion, and I do often. For instance, six weeks ago I shot a 328 Frostbite. Until November I was shooting around 312-314 Frostbites. I now expect myself to shoot 320+ every time. However every Frostbite since then has been a 320+. I was happy (ish) with 314, now I'm not. Now I want 330 before the end of the season. I was simply replying to your question :)


Well, it wasn't so much a question I was seeking an answer for in the first place, more of just a 'quizzical comment' really.

I'm actually still a little bemused by how much response it has generated, especially as there have been a couple of occasions when I have asked questions that I was genuinely hoping for constructive suggestions on that have 'slipped the net' somehow.

N'er mind though, it has undoubtedly evolved into a valid discussion point so I'm happy to let it play out.

Perhaps this illustrates the difference between 'plans', 'hopes' & 'expectations'?

The original comment/question was intended to highlight that it would be 'wrong thinking' to set an expected score/performance level a fortnight before the actual event. For anyone, never mind an early intermediate with variable challenges.

The one aspect I have no 'fears' over is my attitude/mindset, in all things not just archery competitions, in that I know I'm not going to 'fall apart' if/when things don't go as hoped. To use the technical term, I have high base level of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) which has been honed & strengthened through both formal study & more casual research (I have an Advanced Diploma in 'Humanistic Counselling & the Management of Change' from the late '90s).

- Whatever FMS deals me on the day, I'll handle it with dignity & take just as much enjoyment & learning away with me afterwards regardless of performance. As it happens, with 24 hrs to go, I seem to be in something of an 'up-cycle' health-wise. I hope to shoot at or even above my average, which is around 220 for the Worcester. Yes, I'll be disappointed in myself if I don't break 200, and 'reet chuffed' if I'm above 230, but it's pretty certain that I'm not going to be in medal contention (yet!) so whatever, "taint no thang".

The route has been surveyed, my kit has been checked, maintained & packed, I'm as ready as I can be. All I need now is a decent nights' sleep. In an ideal world I'd have had a practice round last night, but it was the club crimbo party so no shooting.


before getting into the compo report, here's a quiz question for you

Plunger B 19Jan20.jpg

The question ISN'T 'what is wrong?'
It's 'why did it take me 9 ends before I even noticed?'
Answers in pencil on the back of a £20 note to the usual address 😉


Archery forum +keyboard+ coffee =A disaster, darling!( Craig Revel Horwood)
I think there is a firm in the Midlands making splatter guards for just such eventualities. I've seen them used in recording studios; but I think that is a secondary use.


Thank you all for brightening what has been, so far, a fairly dismal Monday :D

I could prevent a recurrence by using one of my 2 wrap-around rests (1 is already on my SPT bow) but ripping off a decent rest (shibby) before it falls off 'naturally' just seems a waste to me. I think the closest answer is that it didn't appear to affect arrow flight in any obvious way, but I still feel like a total lemon for a) doing it & b) not noticing when it so bloody obvious.

Haven't even started the write-up yet, sozzles, I've had a do-nothing recovery day so far - despite 10 hrs sleep I still had to go back to bed at 3pm until a few minutes ago - but I will after dinner & dog-walk.


19th January 2020, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

An excellent venue & a few friendly familiar faces to welcome me proved to be just the appetiser for what turned out to be not only my best archery day so far, but my best day of any kind for quite a few years :D

I didn't shoot my absolute best, but close enough to be totally satisfied with my overall performance. I was only 5 points below my PB, and am aware of exactly what the issues that prevented a new PB were. Notably my one miss, which landed about two feet below my white, a 3 on the lower target exactly on the 6 o'clock line.

- That's what happens when your conscious brain tells you to come down at exactly the same time as your unconscious brain is giving the 'let it fly' instruction i.e. such a violent collapse that the tab slammed painfully into my chin!

That's not a mistake I wish to repeat!

The other issue, pointed out by my boss-mate Adam - who went on to take the bronze medal for Gents' recurve - was a slight tendency to weakness/early collapse of the bow hand, which explains the 2's, especially (it seems) for the 'middle' arrow(s) of the end. Something to work on in the (maximum) 5 sessions at the club before the next compo on 9th Feb. Eliminate those 2's (& the painful miss) and I'm looking at close to 250.

Here's the card...

GreenLane 19Jan20.jpg

OK, acceptable but nothing to inspire the joy I felt driving home, you'd be right in thinking.

What made that difference was the fact that Green Lane Disabled & Able-Bodied Archers, to give them their full & correct name did indeed have a separate category for Gents' Recurve - Disabled, and guess who blagged the GOLD MEDAL?

GL Medal reverse.jpg

Not only the medal, but also a lovely silver plate for the year, which will have my name engraved on the back for perpetuity. It was first awarded in 2008, and if you'll permit, I'd like to take a moment to honour the names of the previous recipients:-

2008 - Brian Lown
2010 - Geoff Harrison
2011 - James Aitchison
2014 - Paul LLoyd
2018 - Connor Rathbone
2019 - Connor Rathbone

(Other years - not awarded)

GL plate.jpg

'Just because' here's one of me wearing the medal & holding the plate - with my ugly mug tastefully cropped out!

GL plate Medal obverse.jpg

My very first gold medal of any kind whatsoever, so I'm making no apologies for being DAMNED proud of it!

- What I'm most looking forward to is seeing the look on mums' face when I show her, she's 92 & very fragile, at a very good care home in Carlisle. Wednesday, I hope.

To add sprinkles to the icing on the cake, with only 2 strips of tickets, the raffle godz smiled on me too, snaffling a very good bottle of Australian Shiraz Cabernet (emptied 'medicinally' last night ;) ), 4 cans of 'the best lager in the world', & a set of England stickers & car flags which I hope to still be displaying proudly after the group stages of Euro 2020.

The only 'negative' for the day was the breaking of the 'strap holders' on the upper part of my Fivics 'rainbow' armguard, I'll need to bodge a fix for now as I need every penny for my car MOT next week.

Happy, happy Lion :D