ATASCADERO – After his historic indoor season in early 2020, local archer Isabella Otter took part in an outdoor archery competition. She did so well that she officially earned a spot on the American archery team.
When The and The Paso Robles Press last talked about an otter, it had just come out of the completely dominant indoor season, which lasted three short months and filmed Atasquadero Junior School at two state, section and national championships.
After a record-breaking indoor season, the otter was surprised in May by sponsor money and a new bow from one of the world’s largest companies, Precision Shooting Equipment (PSE), just in time to prepare for the outdoor season.
On a tidal wave of confidence and with new equipment in hand, Greyhound Sr. is now aiming a little higher and has joined the U.S. archery team in the second half of 2020.
With his goal in mind, Otter invested in the work and training needed to realize his dream. She sorted her new onions for the first time, which took almost four months. She also wanted to approach this season in a slightly different way than previous years.
I went from intensive physical training to mental training, Otter said. Because it’s such a talented group of girls, you know you have an ability and you know you have an ability, so it really depends on your mental game. Anyone who can keep his head in the right place in situations of high pressure.
In the coming months, pending a salute, Otter focused on developing her mental resilience and her ability to stay calm and relaxed in tense situations, hoping that this would help her later in the season when she needed it most.
Everyone has a different method, she says. I meditate; my mother is a life coach, so she has tactics and tools that I learn from her. I have read many books of other competitors and talked to them to find out what their process looks like.
In September, after four months of waiting, Otter’s bow was perfectly calibrated, thanks to the help of his coaches and generous sponsors such as PSE, AAE, Truball, Bee Stingers, and the staff of the Central Archery Coast.
In the course of the next month, the otter picked him up, shot 72 shooters a day and went to small matches to prepare for the glove he was about to run.
When she started the season, the senior AHS thought she would have to compete in three out of four USAT tournaments and perform well, but after COVID-19 dropped the tournament in Arizona, she realized her performance would be counted in her place at the national championship. Suddenly the impossible mission has turned into the unbelievable.
Early October the otter went to the SoCal Cup in Chula Vista. A strong start led her to the qualifying round, where she reached the quarter finals and was defeated.
With points from his national title and the SoCal Cup, the otter knew he would have to spend a great weekend in Florida at the Alligator Cup in November to reach his final goal.
In order to qualify for the USAT, archers must be in the top five in their age group, gender and bow style. The otter class, called Cadet Complex, is for girls from 15 to 17 years old who are archery complex. To form a team and officially donate red, white and blue, they must be in the top five of more than 100 qualified participants.
The Alligator Trophy was awarded in the weekend of the 7th edition. November in Newberry, Florida. When it was 50 meters from his target during the warm-up on Friday, the otter realized he wanted to test his mental strength this weekend.
Not only did she have to deal with the nerves and daily stress of a big game, but also with Tropical Storm Eta, which hit Florida this weekend and brought a lot of wind.
Even with the wind otter, the otter passed the qualifying rounds and reached the first stage of the event, where eventually an accident occurred.
As soon as I let go, this gigantic gust of wind rises and regulates my release, lets my hand fly and I pull just behind the five rings, says the Otter.
Her shot scored zero points and left her in just two laps. Superstar Atascadero focused on what she had to do, kicked off the race and moved on to the next lap.
Otter won the next round and moved up again, this time with only one point, and got his ticket to the USAT.
The announcement was not made immediately. After the tournament in Florida, the otter and his family returned home. The next three days she checked her phone every 30 minutes and she couldn’t wait to die.
I had a bookmark so I could go there right away. Tuesday November 10th I refreshed her on the way back from my cross-country training and she froze. I couldn’t move, she said, remembering his name.
Unfortunately, the compound bow is not an Olympic sport at the moment, but it gets more promising every year.
It’s true that I only wear the US on my back during the race, which is the coolest thing, the otter said. It’s fantastic and I’m very happy, but clearly there’s still a lot to learn.
Many may have made their way to 2020, but the otter has succeeded, and although he is not entirely sure of his future, he knows that archery will probably be part of it. However, her main goal is to graduate before entering the professional ranks.
For those who are interested in archery or want to meet a future Olympian, the otter works on Saturday at the Central Coast Archery and invites anyone who wants to learn how to shoot.
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