Patience and practise...
I picked up my bow nearly two years ago and there hasn't been a moment of regret. From the Martin Panther takedown recurve, I've added a few more bows to my keeps.
Since the first time I shot my bow, I have been constantly practising at our range in Subang Jaya.
That said, we kept in the loop by entering local tournaments to hone our minds and overcome performance anxiety.
The road to Bangkok 2017
One of the highlights of the year will be the Princess Cup Archery tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.
We look forward to this and learned a lot from our first-time experience competing with some of the best barebow archers in the Southeast Asian region.
The Thais are no stranger to shooting a bow without sight and they are very good at it. Nearly 60% of their archers made it through qualifying rounds.
|The team in Bangkok last year|
That said, the local tournaments held around the country actually helped us to gauge our ability to perform under pressure.
Just a few months after the Thailand event, we took part in a small tournament in Perak. This was an eye-opener to most of the barebow archers in the country.
Many are still grappling with the concept of shooting a modern bow without the aid of an aiming sight.
Most barebow archers are still shooting with the "split-finger" release technique while a handful of archers shot with the "three-under" release technique with is apparent with good barebow archery.
|Shooting at round 1 of the Malaysia Cup in Perak|
|At an indoor tournament in Malacca|
In the months that came, we went back to Perak for round 2.
That's when the organiser had changed the height of the target stand resulting in some surprises.
The top-seeded archer from round 1 went crashing.
Now that more archers are becoming aware of the barebow event, some new talents sprang up in Perak.
As for me, I did badly shooting two rounds at the tournament. I scored 274 points and my shot placements were really poor.
We left Perak with our heads down. A new champion had emerged and the biggest upset was the second-seeded archer from round 1 had gone down to the 28th placing.
|With my buddy Jeff in Perak during round 2|
|The qualifying round|
I was rather surprised with the overall combined ranking after two rounds of the Malaysia Cup. (There are four stages and the winners of the league championships will be sponsored for Thailand Princess Cup in June).
My team members were in the top 20 place after two rounds.
I came in at 9th, while Jeff's score placed him at 17th on the final tally.
Most who didn't shot in round 2 were ranked lower due to the lack of points collected.
The results motivated us to train harder. The real test in my humble opinion will be the 2017 Thailand Princess Cup in Bangkok.
Registration will open in April and this time round, we will be mentally prepared to take on some of the best barebow archers in the region...