My love of archery started on vacation. One or more times a year, my family and I visited my grandma in Poland. When my brother and I were bored, we went to a small forest nearby and looked for wood to make a bow. We made the string out of wool, the arrows from satay sticks and the vanes from duct tape. We just shot at the ground or improvised targets. Obviously the arrows didn't go so far, but it was a lot of fun! I also played soccer at the time.
Soon I started to become more interested about archery. I started searching on the web about the subject. This was the first time I started to understand the difference between recurve and compound archery. I also discovered that there was an archery range close to my town. Maybe I could give it a try, I thought! So I applied to an introduction course.
Sadly, there was a long waiting list. I really wanted to shoot, though. So, I got a fiberglass bow from my birthday and started shooting. The bow was really cheap and soon I wanted more. After a bit, my dad bought me a recurve bow (without stabilizers and a clicker) and a foam target. I started shooting in the backyard, and began to experiment with
different kinds of arrows. From wood, aluminum to carbon. I wanted to see which ones went the furthest! Of course carbon won.
Finally, the time had come! Like most beginners, I started with recurve. I was a fast learner, maybe because I already had started shooting on my own. After the introduction course I bought a real bow! It was a SF archery bow: a very nice bow, but sadly they don't make them any more.
Three months after, on February 22th, I did my first competition. It was an indoor match with a 60cm target. My scores were 188 and 158, not the best. I ended up fourth of of five. But my skills improved fast. A couple of months later I managed to join the selection group of my archery club Handboogschutterij Almere. In August I received a huge upgrade, my dad bought me a Hoyt bow (Prodigy XT). Also, from November on, we had to write down everything that we did during matches and training. Since then, I haven't stopped doing that. I have everything written down in notebooks and spreadsheets. Not only is that important to have better awareness of yourself, to see how to improve, it also helps guide my coaches to give me the best advice.
February 21th, same competition. This time, I was older and had to shoot at a 40cm carget. My scores were 249 and 265 (personal record) and I managed to get a second place! I am really proud of this performance.
In The Netherlands, there is a tournament series called JeugdFita. At the first stage, I managed to get the third place! First time I managed to get on the podium!
That year, I also became part of RTC Noord.
I finished in third place at the Dutch Indoor Youth Championships. I also won the JeugdFita Cup! (I had the best scores in the top three series)
On November 8th I got my lovely Hoyt Formula X! At the evening training I had to adjust my clicker. Two days after, I also switched my handle to a KSL branded one. On November 11th, I had my first competition. Of course I didn't have much expectations after these changes. But I had adapted fast! I shot a 278 and 286, a new PR!
At a Lowlands Shootout, I had to shoot against Steve Wijler (number 1 in the world at the time) in a tournament! I lost with 6-2, but I won a set and I am still really proud of that!
February 18th, and my success went on. I made a solid with with 285 and 287.
I finished in second place at the Dutch Outdoor youth Championships and won the JeugdFita Cup for the second time.