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Archery and C.A.P.

Archery and C.A.P.

By Cadet Senior Airman Lauren Sol Flores, CAP
NV802 Jack Schofield Cadet Squadron

Sometimes the same sport can be almost completely different depending on the equipment you have. There are several different 'factions' in archery that all depend on the type of bow that is being shot, the two main types of bows are compound and recurve. I shoot compound, a relatively new type of bow having only been invented 1966 by Holless Wilbur Allen. It is quite different from the more classic recurve style of shooting even though the basics are the same. Many archers dream of one day going to the Olympics, for compound shooters currently the only way to do that is to switch to shooting recurve since they are currently the only ones allowed in, but hopefully one day that will change. This does not mean we do not train and practice hard. I was lucky enough to be an Invitee for a Junior Dream Team's archery camp. The Junior Dream Team consists of the most promising young archers in all of USA Archery, where they corrected my form and helped to teach me the things I couldn't learn on my own. I learned the proper way to draw my bow, fixed my stance and even was able to tune my bow properly something I had not ready done before. I learned the best way to practice, what to think about, and mental management for competitions. Now I know what I need to do in order to achieve my goals in the next competition, it will not be easy. I'll have to really cut back on my free time, work on time management, exercise more and eat better, practice harder and smarter. I can do my homework when I have extra time in class, I can make a checklist of things I need to do, I can pack my lunch the night before so I have extra time in the mornings, wake up earlier, I can do all these things to improve. Some are to be more efficient so I have time, others are to actually get better but the most important thing to remember is that I can do everything I need to do for archery and do everything I need to do for school and everything I need to do for C.A.P. Much like archery, C.A.P. teaches us how to utilize time management and working smarter!

C.A.P. brings out the best in its cadets. It teaches a work ethic that strives for excellence while still having fun. C.A.P. prepares its cadets to constantly strive to ask the question of how to achieve their goals. It pushed us to want to learn how to be pilots, engineers, robotics specialists, and cyber patriots. The experiences I have had in C.A.P. has helped shape me as a student, and has taught me how to work smarter, strive for leadership roles, and speak up and out when needed. Being a cadet, you learn to push yourself, and it helps to set you up for your future whether that is in the military or as a civilian. 

This year, I have achieves some of my goals in archery. I was able to compete at indoor nationals in Salt Lake City, Utah in January. At that moment in time, I had also been competing with the cyber patriots program through the 802nd. My time in C.A.P. has taught me to stay calm under pressure, and how to keep calm. Archery builds on that foundation. Archery teaches focus, strength and stamina. Archery is all about being focused and strong, while understanding aerodynamics and how the weights and balances of the bow and arrow affect your shot. My classes in C.A.P. on aerospace have helped me understand how the wind can alter an airplane through flight. When I recently competed at the Arizona Cup a few weeks ago, the wind was crazy, Being able to apply some of the knowledge I gained through C.A.P. I was able to quickly figure out how to modify my shot in order to not miss the target. While I did not do as well as I had wanted in Arizona, I will not let it deter me, being a cadet is all about striving for excellence, and something I will continue to strive for. My goals have changed for archery, I have a desire now more than ever to be a better and stronger archer and to hopefully have continued experiences with the Junior Dream Team, and hopefully be continued to be invited back to train with them again. I am also going to continue to pursue my dreams in C.A.P. by trying out for leadership roles, like NCOS in information technology, and cyber patriots. Through the encouragement I get through school, C.A.P. and archery, in the end in any sport or activity in life it takes hard work and determination to achieve your goals. Life is not about shoving as much as you can in as short of a time as possible, right now archery and C.A.P. is so much fun and learning and growing is exciting to me, and I cannot wait to see where this takes me. I highly encourage anyone interested in trying a sport that is challenging and exciting to try archery, you won't regret it!

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