Master in Many Arenas: Meet Marianna Finkel


How did you come to archery and competing in the Master category?

I was introduced to the archery when I was 10 years old. It was one of many programs available and supported by government in Moldova, Soviet Union (in early 1980). The requirements were that you come to the range to train 2-3 times a week, and to start from bare bow on the blank bail at 3 meters for few months before you are moved to 18 meters mark. I have competed in the club shoots at 18 meters, but never own my own bow. I was fascinated by all fancy equipment older archers were able to shoot. Being from a poor family, I knew that my parents would never be able to afford and get me my own bow.  However, I was always looking for an opportunity to  shoot, or what I call “executing the shot” and started raffle competition in high school and continued for two years. I had to stop all my activities (shooting and ballroom dance), as I entered college, married and had kids, and later immigrated to America.   Three and half years ago I met a bowhunter at a birthday party and from him learned that there is no age limit for archery, and I can actually take few lessons and try different bows. I made a decision that night, and in a month I owned my own bow, a bow I would never have as a little girl in Moldova. In three months, I won my first California State 900 tournament in Adult Bowhunter category (NFAA), and I have been doing target shooting since then. This year I decided to challenge myself and try for USA Team trials in the Master division (USAT). It was interesting, challenging, and fulfilling season for me, as I made Team USA  2020 in Master Compound division; this season I have taken Silver in Arizona Cup, and Bronze at USA Open Nationals.

You recently had some amazing professional success. Tell us about your work in robotic surgery.

I am proud to work for an amazing company, Intuitive Surgical. I am a clinical research associate (CRA) and heavily involved in execution of Clinical Trials at Hospital and Academic Institutions. Intuitive Surgical is known as a the maker of da Vinci Robot, which is used by surgeons around the globe for minimally-invasive surgeries. Just recently, I was involved in the Prospective Multicentral Clinical Trial for Trans-oral procedure for resection of malignant tumor using single-port system. I am glad to say that we got FDA approval, and now multiple hospitals are using the system for this indication.


How do you balance archery with such a demanding career?

Sometimes I ask myself the same question. I learned how to prioritize and plan accordingly. I work well with timelines and trying to not to procrastinate. I cannot imagine myself not busy; I just wish I had a few more hours a day and few more days a week.

What is it that you do outside of archery?

As you know, I work full time and required to travel for work, I also own a business; I am a designer and seamstress. I make dance costumes; some of my costumes are featured on the Dancing with the Stars and World of Dance, and it takes significant amount of my evenings and weekends.  I also like to cook, bike, and spend time with family.


I know you are recruiting archers for the Maccabi Games. What are the games? How are you getting ready yourself for them?

Thank you for asking me this question. Maccabi is an Olympic-style sporting competition for Jewish people, and it’s third largest after Olympics and FIFA World Cup. It was first held in 1932. United Maccabi games occur every four years in Israel, during July, and last for two weeks. In the latest 20th Maccabi Games in 2017, there were participating athletes from 85 countries. Can you just imagine that?! And they competed in 45 sports.

Maccabi Games in 2021 will be my first game. I am working with USA Maccabi Federation as a volunteer, looking for archers to come on board and join in next games. There is lots of work to be done, and I hope to find enough archers to join recurve and compound team match and mixed teams match.

The Archers Association of America negotiates discounts in travel and archery equipment for archers of all disciplines. To learn more or sign up, go to

Learn More About Trevis Meseroll & SureShot Custom Jerseys


What is your archery journey? How did you become an archer?

I was taken hunting by my uncles and cousins growing up in Ohio. They hunted deer, turkey, raccoon and did some trapping as well, and my uncle showed me how to shoot a compound bow as a teenager.

How did you get in the business of archery jerseys?

About 12 years ago, my oldest son was playing paintball and got me into playing. I started playing competitive paintball. At the same time, I was working as a graphic designer. My son told me that he thought I would be able to make some great looking jersey designs. So I played with a few design ideas and posted them on my Trevis Meseroll Designs facebook page.

Then I started to see some interest in my design work, and then it kind of took off, and I was freelancing my design work for just about every custom jersey manufacturer in the paintball industry and also working with some of the industries top companies as well.

Then I got more involved in hunting as more than just a hobby and my passion for archery grew as well. So then SureShot Custom Jerseys was born. I wanted to do what I did in the paintball industry but in the archery realm. But have my own brand this time!

What do you think makes a great archery jersey?


My outlook on what a "custom" jersey is or should be was hatched about 10 years ago. "Custom" should be exactly that! CUSTOM. Not some "cookie cutter" pre-made jersey template that hundreds of people can buy and only change the color!

That to me ISN'T a custom jersey at all. As well when I launched SureShot, I intentionally didn't set up a website. Why? That is very easy to answer: I want to offer a hands on approach to our friends. You and I work together to get you a great looking jersey that YOU wanted in terms of layout, colors, and logos. I don't charge for vectorizing logos, or for the addition of this many or that many. SureShot cuts out the games of jersey making and sets the price, and that is the price! To me, it's about QUALITY and not QUANTITY!

What is your favorite part of the process/business?

The interaction with my new friend or friends that will be wearing that SureShot jersey "we" created! As well as the design aspect and layout of the art.

How does your faith influence your business practices?

That is a simple one for me. It's the driving force behind what I do. I set a great price point, making it an affordable custom jersey. I work full time and love to design and SureShot is my outlet for creativity. This isn't about the money, never has been. The Lord has always made a way and taken care of me. Yes we need money to survive in life. But I started SureShot to get my design fix and help archers, and other athletes of all sports, get a creatively unique jersey that will STAND OUT from the crowd!


As a creative writer myself, I find that archery and my writing can take up the same space in my brain; do you see any overlap between art and design and archery?

I honestly knew since i was about 8 or 9 I wanted to be a Graphic Designer. I would see logos, and I would critique them and think about how i could make them different or better. I took as many art classes as I could in school, I've also painted canvas art and custom murals in homes too. I truly love being able to design custom jerseys for archers or archery companies/shops. It does overlap on something I truly love. To me, there isn't anything like shooting a bow! I love to hunt and also just going to the range and letting them arrows fly is so freeing! My youngest son, who is 8, has stated shooting a compound bow and is liking it, which thrills me!


The Archers Association of America negotiates discounts for travel and archery gear for it's members. To learn more, go to the Archers Association of America.

Meet All Around Athlete: Candice "Corc" Raines

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I have had the pleasure of shooting with Corc aka Candice Raines since I first started attending USA Archery events. Her counsel and friendship helped me through many a tournament and serve as a testament to her love of sport and teaching. Corc is accomplished in so many different disciplines from archery, to nordic skiing, to orienteering and golf! On top of all of this, she and her husband, Thayer, owned an overnight summer camp for boys for 35 years—while actively competed on the USAT circuit!

You have a long history in sports and recreation.  What are some of your other interests outside of archery?

I have many interests outside target archery, with most involving competitive sports and outdoor recreation. For competition, I participate in nordic ski marathons, ski and foot orienteering, archery biathlon and alpine skiing. My outdoor activities include backpacking, hiking, winter mountaineering, canoeing, kayaking, rock and ice climbing; and mountain biking. For overall fitness, I power walk, swim, lift weights and play golf. Music is important to me. I have played guitar and violin since I was young.  Community service organizations I serve include: Medical Reserve Corps, Community Emergency Response Team, Vermont State Guard, American Red Cross Instructor Corps and the National Ski Patrol. I enjoy living in Vermont. We have four distinct seasons, with ample snow. Changing activities by seasons keeps thing fresh.

What has being a multi-discipline athlete taught you that helped your archery game?

Playing other sports has prepared me for the rigors of a long shooting day and helped me stay physically strong. Many of my sports involve snow or the woods, but there are thousands of other sports one could play that would give the same benefits. Nordic marathons require long periods of training and races push the athlete to their physical and mental limits. A skier must exhibit the ability to “will” their way forward for 50 kilometers over a grueling course in harsh weather. This helps develop what is popularly known as “grit” or the ability to endure and be resilient in the face of adversity. Ski and foot orienteering; and archery biathlon are dual sports. They require speed, but are tempered by the need for mental acuity. They require athletes to balance their pace with reading a map or shooting a small target. A day on the target archery field can last over eight hours. One has to be able to stay focused, at least while on the line. While each of my other sports also increases balance, cardiovascular fitness and mental acuity, alpine skiing develops strong leg and core muscles and balance.

Fitness activities are designed to get athletes ready for the archery season. I lift heavy weights in rotation for specific body parts. I don’t listen to music when I walk. I use the time to solve problems, come up with new ideas or just mentally relax. Playing golf is also very form driven. Outdoor sports are my profession, so I get to practice them often. They also build muscle, require learning new skills, test your mental capacity and enhance your “grit.”

In addition to being so active, you also studied Recreation Science and earned your Doctorate degree from Indiana University and your Masters from Penn State.  What counsel do you have for athletes balancing school and sport?

As a university professor, I am often asked about balancing schoolwork and practice/playing time. There are more than enough hours in the day to be productive, but only if you adhere to a schedule, stay focused when you are doing schoolwork AND get off social media/streaming services. While in school, your main focus must be schoolwork, not athletics. You must put together a schedule of schoolwork just like you put together your yearly archery training/competition plan. All assignments must be mapped out with a start and end date with specific hours listed for working on them.

Most importantly, you have to stick with the plan. Find your own place to do your work. While in school, I always used the deepest recesses of the library to complete assignments. If you become more organized with schoolwork, you will find more than enough hours left over for exercise and socialization. Adding physical training does not have to involve long hours or special equipment. Using body exercises, simple weights and stretch bands works. Short periods for exercise during the day can be just as effective if you do not have an hour to exercise. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is best if time is limited.

Sleep is one of the most overlooked and important element of success in school and athletics. I sleep 8-9 hours a night. It allows my body to recover from work and training. I keep track of my resting heart rate. If it has not recovered to my goal of 49 BPM, I pull back on training for the day and focus on breathing and stretching instead.

The biggest problem I see with athletes today is the constant use of digital devices. I have had to dismiss students from class when, so addicted to their devices, they actually refused to put them away.  I have my students track their use of these devices and then formulate a plan for getting off them except for specific times. After a period of high anxiety, students, to the person, have reported being more productive AND happier/less anxious.

You and your beloved husband, Thayer, recently retired from owning Roaring Brook Camp.  What advice might you have for parents about getting their children exposed to the outdoors and involved in sports?

 Sports participation can also benefit children from a young age. Much has been written about the negative aspects of youth sports. There are so many sports to choose that create a positive experience for children. I think early childhood team sports should only be operated as all play, everyone learns, no one keeps score leagues. Individual sports allow children to develop skills sat their own pace and not be left out of competition. The benefits of sports participation are strong. Friendship, teamwork, overcoming obstacles, enduring failure and being a gracious humble winner, fitness, skills and cognitive development are developed by athletes. The development of self-esteem, confidence, resilience and grit are also part of athletics.

I would like to make the case for participation in overnight summer camp. Yes, I was the owner of a boy’s wilderness camp for 35 years, so I am biased. But I am also a university professor who gets to see the abilities of incoming freshmen. Overnight camp teaches children to make friends, socialize in acceptable manner, solve disputes amenably, chose their schedule and navigate the camp property. They learn new physical and cognitive skills and develop positive leadership qualities. They learn to trust adults outside the family and meet children and adults from across the US and the world. They grow in their self-esteem and self-confidence. The more years and the longer the weeks spent at camp, the stronger the positive values they develop. I know immediately when one of my students has had significant away from home experiences. They are ready for college. They can set their schedule, know how to seek resources to help them, make friends quickly, can live with others in a dorm and set their priorities. They do not get homesick, and they do not end up dropping out of school. Most long-term campers see college, as I did at 18, as a big summer camp. They already know how to be successful because of their years of experience away from home. Choosing the right overnight camp that fits with your values and goals you have for your child’s development is critical. The American Camp Association can help parents with this process.

I would like to leave you with one last thought. A major study by Harvard University of young people’s needs and desires accidentally revealed what youth and teenagers need and want the most. Not on the questionnaire, youth, even older high school students, wrote in an open comment box “I want more time with my parents.”  At camp, my staff (young adults) and I had many quality hours to spend with children and youth, especially on backpack and canoe trips. It broke my heart that they often commented that they could not get enough attention from their parents because they were always on their digital devices. It made them sad, and they felt as though they were not important to their parents. Just think on that for a bit.



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Collegiate Archer to Coach: Meet Bryan Brady


With his Spyder Man bucket hat and the crew of Lancaster JOAD around him, you too may have encountered archery coach, Bryan Brady. It was great to find out more about how he manages the team and his roots at archery college powerhouse, JMU.

You attended JMU and participated in their archery program. What would you tell someone looking to shoot archery in college?

For anybody that is looking to shoot archery in college, there are a lot of opportunities out there. In answering this question, you’ve got two types of people: those who have never shot, but are looking to start, and those who competed before college, and are looking to continue. In both cases, if they are already going to a school that has an established team (JMU, Texas A&M, UCLA, etc.) then it may be as simple as emailing the coach or club President and asking to attend a meeting. There are dozens of colleges with archery sport clubs or official teams, and most are constantly on the look out for fresh talent. At the same time, there are many more universities that don’t have an archery team but would likely be receptive to a group of students starting one! Just because the school of your dreams doesn’t also have an archery program doesn’t mean that your archery goals have to be put on hold.


How did you get started in coaching?

I started coaching during my sophomore year of college in 2009. I was already attending JMU with the idea of going through their secondary education program to become a teacher, but I was not expecting to start teaching quite so quickly. Jacob Wukie was finishing up his senior year when I first started college. Along with Bob Ryder—our Head Coach—he was in charge of teaching inexperienced freshman archers how to shoot, and he is largely responsible for getting me hooked on archery in general. I remember that during a practice some point early on during my sophomore year, Wukie mentioned to me that I should shadow him during those initial freshman practices, so I could get a better idea how to teach incoming students what to do. He would be graduating that semester, after all, and someone was going to have to take over his informal role of instructional assistant. I’m pretty sure my eyes got pretty large, but I did what he asked. Each year after that until my graduation, I continued helping new archers learn to shoot, eventually getting my Level 2 Coaching certification in the process.

What do you think it takes to be successful as a coach? What does it take to build a cohesive team?

Being successful as a coach is a surprisingly difficult thing to quantify. Is it based off of how many students you reach, how successful they are, how happy they are? Maybe it is based on how many titles your team garners, or whether you can support yourself through your coaching career alone. I think the definition of ‘success’ will vary depending on each coach’s individual vision, but there are some requirements that I think every successful coach has to meet. First and foremost, I believe that to be an effective coach you need to know how to shoot. If you have never shot a bow in a regular capacity, you do not know what your students are feeling, and you will always lack the ability to describe how motions feel. Along the same lines, if you want to be a coach that can help people succeed at a competitive level, you also need to have experience competing. This experience does not necessarily have to be with archery, though that is certainly a bonus. If you do not have competitive experience in archery or a sport with similar structure, you will never completely understand the emotions, goals, successes, and disappointments that your students are going through, and that will hold you back as a teacher.

Building a cohesive team is probably the most difficult task of any sport. Most coaches can teach the technical skills of archery to one degree or another, but there are comparatively very few that can forge an effective, tight-knit team in what is a very individual sport. I think there are a lot of different ways to create an effective team, but the one requirement I would lay out is trust. You have to be able to connect with your athletes, which requires trust going both ways. If they are going to be talking to you about how they feel about their shooting (and any coach of a competitive athlete knows that there are few things more emotionally charged than an athlete’s performance), then you have to be willing to show trust by talking to them about how you feel as well. A lot of people have this vision of the ‘brilliant coach’ as this nigh-unassailable, inaccessible pillar of authority whose word is law. That works in the movies but generally not in real life. It can be uncomfortable to be honest with your athletes about your own personal struggles and successes, but if you are not willing to be honest with them, they will never be honest with you, and honest communication between athletes and coaches is a must. If there is no trust, then you don’t have a team. You have a group of people with a chaperone.

How do balance your own archery goals with coaching?

What a question to end with! For me, balancing my own goals in archery with my coaching has always been an immense struggle. I love teaching people how to shoot, and I love shooting my bow. It would have been easier years ago to stop shooting competitively and focus more of my attention on coaching, but that would have meant giving up on my own dreams. If I give up on those, I would feel hypocritical teaching others to follow theirs. Archery will always be a balance for me, and my students know this. I will help my athletes chase their dreams and goals, and I will never give up on chasing mine.


The Archers Association of America negotiates discounts for the archery community for travel, archery gear, and other merchandise for a $20 per year membership fee. To sign up or learn more, visit

Meet OPA Winner Katherine Collier

We just wanted to take a minute to introduce you to an upcoming compound archer from New Jersey, Katherine Collier. Her season highlight this year was winning the very challenging OPA for her division. We admire her drive to succeed in archery!


How did you get started in archery?

When I was eight years old, I received a bow and a target for Christmas. Although it was a very basic Bear Archery bow with the pink beginner’s arrows, I immediately fell in love with the sport.


What was winning OPA like? How did you get ready for that event?

Winning OPA was amazing. I was a very big win for me because I personally knew my competitor, and how well she shoots. To get ready for the event, I practiced a lot of NFAA Field because it was the closeted thing I could shoot that would "resemble" 3D. I do not have a lot of 3D courses where I live, so when I practiced in my backyard I also used my rangefinder and shot around the yard at different angles and distances. I also spent a lot of time with my coach and other team members that have previously shot the OPA and other 3D tournaments.

How do you balance practicing, competing, and school? 

It is very hard to balance practicing, competing, and school, but somehow I am able to do it. I think it really comes down to understanding time management and your top responsibilities. If I know that I have a very important assignment or test coming up, I will make that my top priority because education is one of the most important things to me. However, I try to shoot every day, even if it's for only a few ends.

What would you like other girls considering archery to know about the sport?

I would like girls to know that they can do it! Archery does not have to be a sport for only boys, and once you delve deeper into it, you realize that it’s not. I have made so many great friends and connections through archery, and I wish that I started sooner. Even though it is not the "normal", everyday sport, it's a great thing to participate in!


The Archers Association of America negotiates discounts for the archery community for travel, archery gear, and other merchandise for a $20 per year membership fee. To sign up or learn more, visit

Seattle Horizon Archery: Shining Light on Archery in the Pacific Northwest


We recently noticed social media postings celebrating archery in the Pacific Northwest pop up on our feeds, and we were pleasantly surprised to find recurve archer, Timm Hines, and his wife, Jenn, behind the new initiative to bring light to the sport in their home turf.

First off, tell us more about your new endeavor; what is Seattle Horizon Archery? What do you hope to accomplish with this? How can people find you?

Absolutely. My wife and I began an organization called Seattle Horizon Archery just a little over a year ago and launched a website Our focus is to bring archery resources to the Pacific Northwest Region and provide recognition of the archers who compete at local, state, and national/international events.

We have a great State Association in Washington State however they don't necessarily recognize people or organizations that do not pay to be members. It is our hopes to recognize all archery organizations, shooting styles, and levels of competition regardless of who an individual or business aligns themselves with organizationally or if they shoot a longbow, crossbow, compound bow or recurve. Archery is archery. As a community we should be celebrating archery successes in our opinion. We are trying to make that happen in our area one post, one story, one picture at a time.

How did you get started in archery?

I got started in archery back in 2003 when a few kids at the school where I taught wanted to give it a try. I didn't know much about it so I went to local shops and clubs to learn more. One thing lead to another and 6 months later I shot a qualifying score to compete in the 2004 Olympic trials. Became addicted to the sport, realized I wanted to see how far I could go and made the 2007/2009 US National Team.

What do you like best about being part of an archery community?

I think I appreciate the archery community because it really attracts people who have a positive mental attitude and a different way of thinking. People are really supportive for the most part.

If you could wave a magic wand and improve some aspect of archery, what would you like to see happen?

If I could wave a wand, I would like to see people who are really trying to do something in the sport get more support. There is more information now more than ever before in online access. It seems that there are communities that are still trying to catch up to it. I think that's one reason we started Seattle Horizon Archery—to help people get connected to the information, equipment, lessons, and places to compete.


Meet Tony Cuchiara--On All Sides of Archery


Tony Cuchiara is founder of Arizona  Archery Club, a avid bow hunter, and now a regional sales manager representing Gold Tip, Primos, and Bee Stinger.   He recently sold the Arizona Archery Club and joined the Vista team. We had the pleasure of meeting him as he supported his wife, Heather, at the USAT So Cal Shootdown in June.  We love finding someone knowledgeable about so many sides of archery and excited to introduce you to Tony!

 You recently made a big change in your archery career, switching from shop owner to industry rep.  What do you miss about being behind the counter, and what do you love about being a representative?

 What do I miss about working behind the counter? I am writing this on a plane flying to a trade show in Reno. I am not sure why at this very moment this question is hitting me so hard. I am literally sobbing on the plane, trying my hardest to hold back my tears. This is a lot more difficult for me than I thought it would be. What do I miss the most you ask? I miss the people. I miss my staff shooters, my JOAD kids, my extraordinary coaching staff, my wonderful customers who were my family, Daniel and Chris and all the guys I had the distinct please of working with every day. I miss them so much, but most of all, I miss the place where I met my wife, my love, my future, the hopes and dreams of a better life with my dear Heather!

The pure fact that I can stay in the industry and interact with the people I adore the most, my archery family! The guys and gals at Vista Outdoor are AMAZING! My bosses treat me like family, like I have known them for years. My dealers (former competitors) are now those who I serve. Nothing is more important or humbling than taking care of my dealer family! They are ALL amazing. They are my archery family now!   I am honored, truly honored, to serve them and help them in any way I possibly can. Living a life of service to others is my calling. It’s my passion. It’s the Lord’s request of me and I am never happier than when I am helping others.

What did you need to learn in order to make the Arizona Archery Club so successful? 

I was successful not because of what I learned, but rather what I already knew. I know that sounds selfish, but the answer is so simple. Treating my customers as if they were my next best friend when they walked through the front door is what made me successful. I do not define success purely on profits. Being profitable is important, but it takes a back seat to the good of archery. Do right by others and profits will follow. Of course, I knew very little about working on and tuning bows when I opened the doors in 2012. Daniel Willett, taught me and paved the way for me to becoming a decent bow technician. In 10 lifetimes, I might not ever meet a finer human being than Daniel Willet. Chris Escarcega taught me so much as well. We had our bouts from time to time, but Chris was and will always be one of my best friends! Success is defined by the way others define you! Pure and simple.

In addition to working in archery, you also bow hunt.  How did you get started?  What advice would you have for someone looking to start?

I started bowhunting when I was in college at Embry Riddle in Prescott, AZ. I was enthralled with the challenge. The challenge of stalking up close enough to an animal to get that perfect shot opportunity is not just a challenge, it’s a passion. A pursuit of passion. The ability to harvest one of God’s creations is humbling to say the very least. My advice for someone who is getting started is to visit your local pro shop and ask questions. Learn the ropes by asking questions and shadowing someone who knows the ins and outs. Get properly fitted to your bow. Shoot a ton of arrows and learn how to make a good and ethical shot. Confidence in your ability and equipment comes from experience. All of us bowhunters live in a brotherhood of passion for what we do. It’s not a hobby; it’s a lifestyle. We don’t want to wound or lose animals to bad decision making. You and only you define your skill level, and that’s determined by how much effort you put into it! Seek out your local pro shop, find some friends to help guide you along, and always take a knee in prayer when harvesting your game. Thank the Lord for the opportunity and more will follow.

 Your wife, Heather, competes in USA Archery, and you support her in many ways including her equipment.  Do you have any tips or tricks for working with people with short draw lengths?

Tips for short draw lengths.......absolutely! Find a bow that fits. Make sure your archer torque tunes. Tune the bow to the archer! Make sure your arrows are spined properly. Short draw lengths mean short arrows. The shorter the arrow the stiffer it becomes. Having an arrow that is spined properly will make the shot that much more forgiving for the shooter. I have always found that arrow length cut to the nodal point results in the most accurate groups for shorter draw lengths. Always listen to your shooter!!! Never assume they don’t know what is going on with their equipment. If they tell you something isn’t right, go back to the drawing board and make it right! It’s easy for a bow tech to accuse the shooter of blaming their equipment for poor performance. A good bow tech will do 80% listening and 20% talking. An archer becomes one with his or her equipment. They know stuff as my sweet wife would say!! Haha!

The Archers Association of America thanks Tony for this great interview! If you want to learn more about saving money on archery gear and any time travel, go to For $20 a year, you get access to over 50 discounts selected with archers in mind.

Meet Maggie Brensinger: S3DA Barebow Champion


We first met Maggie Brensinger at the Palmyra Sportsmen’s Summer Series. We were impressed with her focus and drive the first time we met her, and then even more so the second time, when she competed with a severely sprained ankle and crutches! With barebow nation growing, they are certainly lucky to have recruited such a dedicated archer into their ranks.

What has been your best day in archery?

My best day in archery so far has to be August 4, 2019, at the Palmyra Sportsmen's Summer Series #3. I shot a 622/720. My mental game was on point that day, which shocked me because I had sprained my ankle the night before the tournament.

How did you decide on barebow?

Barebow was an easy decision for me, really. I chose it because I had shot a type of barebow in the NASP program at my school for two seasons beforehand. I also chose it because of a process with different bow types. I shot a Genesis bow, and now I'm shooting a regular barebow. I tried Olympic Recurve but didn't find myself enjoying it as much as I did barebow. I didn't like the weight, and that it wasn't as instinctive as barebow.


How did you learn?

I started learning with my Genesis bow, and with my coaches at school. After my second season with the NASP program I decided I wanted to compete all year round, so I joined Grass Hollow Archery and started learning from my coaches there. I haven't been shooting my barebow for very long, since the beginning of May 2019, so I am still learning.

Who do you work with?

I work with Frank and Sarah McDonough, my coaches and the owners of Grass Hollow Archery in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. I currently am a team member there. They've been so supportive of this journey.

What goals do you have for shooting?

Since I have all eleven of the main outdoor JOAD pins, including the Bronze, Silver and Gold Olympian pins, my goal is definitely to finish getting my indoor JOAD pins this season, and my 6-10 pin.

Are you someone who looks at score or do you focus on form?

I am most definitely somebody who looks at score, but I am trying to focus more on form because it isn't mentally healthy to focus on where your arrows land all of the time. As long as your form is good, and you put the tip of the arrow where you want to hit, you're going to hit it. If you don't, you just make some minor adjustments.

Which do you like better: indoor, outdoor, field, or 3D? What do you like about it?

I have tried and competed in every discipline except field, which I will be trying in September. I really found my love for outdoor growing at the Palmyra Sportsmen's Summer Series. There's quite a few barebow shooters who attend it, and it's growing. I like outdoor most because I like the distance, and the target size. I took first place at S3DA Outdoor Target Nationals in Metropolis, IL and 3rd place in 3 D Nationals, so outdoor has been my favorite so far. I'm excited to try field and looking forward to competing in my first real indoor season!


Shore Shot Archery: Anthony Marino


You may have seen recurve archer, Anthony Marino, at USAT events but not because of the bow in his hand, but because of the camera. We asked him some questions to find out more about what Shore Shot Archery is and what he is doing to support the sport we love.

Where did Shore Shot Archery come from?

Shore Shot Archery came from me trying my best to combine where I live (The East Coast of New Jersey by the Atlantic Ocean) with my passion for archery. So, the Shore in Shore Shot is, well, the Sea Shore. It’s an identifier of my roots and where I am from. At the same time, it is a great play on words because it sounds like the word Sure and we all want to be Sure or Shore of our shot. The last part Archery is easy it tells people what I do. If I just went with Shore Shot as my companies name it may get confused with firearms, pool or anything else that has a shot in it. Plus, archery needs more visibility so I am right out front with it here. That’s why we are Shore Shot Archery.  


What are your goals for this video series?

My goals of the videos and the different series come from 3 different fronts. Now these fronts sometimes overlap but in their purest form they are to educate, entertain, and to inspire. On the education front I have videos like “How To…” and “Tournament Tour XYZ”. This helps get people to be more comfortable in the sport. This was driven some by a story I read about a new NASA employee who said his 1st day on the job was like learning a new language. Well archery may not be rocket science but to someone new it can be overwhelming. So, I have done my best to make it simple and explain things. Now for the entertainment front this is my attempt to entertain archers and archers-to-be. With the goal to get them to look further into archery content and just new ways of thinking about archery. Some examples of these videos are my “Funday Sunday” and “My Thoughts” videos. With the first being funnier and the latter being more serious. Now for the 3rd inspiring archers. This is aimed at filming top archers and sharing those clips with everyone. I can not tell you how many people thank me for filming their top/favorite archer. They tell me the clips inspire them to shoot more and they like to examine them to see how top shooters form works.

Do you prefer behind the camera or behind the bow?

Now that’s a tough question! I would say it depends on the situation. Being behind the bow is awesome; its just me, the bow, and we are shooting arrows into the target. I can focus on myself and working on my shot. I feel it really allows me to work on myself, it’s like targeted self-improvement. On the other hand, being behind the camera has its own benefits. I can really pour my passion of archery into my videos. It allows me to create something that can affect the lives of others. I can express my creativity in my videos and that is something I can not do in my shot if I want to consistently hit the target. So, in short, when I want to be the best I can be its behind the bow. When I want to take creative risks and discover new things, it behind the camera.

What has archery taught you beyond the sport?

It has taught me that if you putting everything you have into something without a plan, you will probably find 1,000 ways to climb a mountain without ever actually getting to the top. I am not saying you will not learn something, because you will. You should learn things like your patience, work ethic, desire to success, and mental fortitude, but most importantly, a plan. Because without a plan, it doesn’t matter how good you are at the above things. You just have potential with no direction. What you really want is direction and magnitude. You get the magnitude from using your patience, work ethic, desire to succeed, and mental fortitude in a direction. I feel archery has taught me this, especially since for most things in archery I had to learn the hard way. I have found 1,000 ways to climb that mountain or shoot that bow. But now I know what I am made of, and I have a direction. That lesson I can apply to every part of my life for the rest of my life.

 Your mom, Sharon, is a big member of team Shore Shot. What does it take to work as a team?

Yes, my mom is a great help but my father Tony and brother Matthew have also been a big help. They are more of the behind-the-scenes work that no one sees. Shore Shot has really become a family business. At first it was just me with inputs from the rest of my family, but now they play an active part in Shore Shot Archery’s growth and development.  I find that to work as a team, you need great communication and to understand where the other person is coming from. Because if you can’t talk about a problem then its doesn’t get solved and it can’t grow into something bigger. My family has always been good at communicating with each other and I think this is one of the aspects that is driving Shore Shot’s success.

What has been your best day so far – either as an archer or a camera man?

For this question, I have one for both. As a camera man, it is great to capture that moment in someone’s shot where its complete poetry, it’s a work of art in itself. Then being able to share that with others all over the world via video just puts the cherry on top.  As an archer, my best days are either when I am struggling and figure out a solution which leads to great shooting or when I am just shooting well. You know when that shot, whether it’s mine or someone else’s, is just pure poetry, that’s what makes the best days for me.

Where can people find your videos?

You can find my videos on my YouTube Channel Shore Shot Archery. I also post the videos on Shore Shot Archery Facebook and the behind the scenes clips and things I am up to on my Instagram anthonyarchery720.

Got Mojo? Eric & Tracy Yost of Yost Archery Products


You both shoot in the barebow category at multiple archery events and work together with Yost Archery Products; what advice might you have for couples looking to share this sport together, either on or off the field?  What do you to keep the competition friendly and the teamwork intact?

 Definitely get into archery together—if you don’t want to be sitting around waiting on your spouse.  Archery can take up a lot of time, and when you are both shooting,  you look forward to spending that time together.  Plus watching your partner hit a goal makes you proud of them. And you get to witness it instead of hearing about it.  Most things between Eric and I become a competition as we are both pretty competitive.  In archery, my goal is to beat him, and he knows that. We will talk smack to each other throughout the shoot, but we will also say good shot or say fix this, do this, and encourage each other along the way too. The teamwork is to see each other succeed at archery. That is the ultimate goal we both want.

 What advice could you give someone looking to get started in barebow archery?

Get ready to have fun and work! It is very rewarding to shoot barebow. Shooting barebow really makes you accountable for each shot. As it really focuses on your form.  

Got Mojo appears at the Yost motto—how do you define mojo? What makes for a great day of shooting for either of you?

Mojo- Magic and Awesomeness.  Everyday we get to go shoot makes for a great day of shooting. We love to spend the day outside with our son,  family and friends. We are fortunate to have a great local barebow community that we get to shoot with fairly often. Eric’s side of the family has many traditional archers, and we try to shoot together as much as possible.


Yost Archery Products is one of the biggest innovators around for barebow archery.  What are some of the products you have designed?  Where do your ideas come from?  Is there anything new on the horizon?

 Eric came up with the designs of the products. I designed the website and do the marketing and business practices. Our ideas come from our love of the sport, our experiences, and how we can improve a product. We strive for innovative and superior quality products.  We have new designs  currently in development and are hoping to have them in production by next year.  

Meet Todd Mead: Archer, Bowhunter, Author


What are the ingredients for a great day in archery for you?

A great day in archery for me consists of being able to shoot arrows. After having reconstructive shoulder surgery in which I was told I would never shoot a bow again by three different orthopedic surgeons, I'm just happy to be able to compete and shoot my bow. There are many other things that go along with that, but I never realized how fortunate most archers are just to be able to draw their bows and shoot them. 

What techniques do you use for judging distance?  How do you get ready for an IBO style tournament?

I use a lot of different techniques to judge yardage. My go-to method consists of an average of three guesses. I walk to the target and get a first impression. After that, I look at the ground in front of me and imagine how many steps it would take me to get to the target. When I have those two numbers stored in my brain, I find something that is 10 yards in front of me. Once I find that, I picture 10-yard increments from that point. If there's not enough yardage to make it to 10 on the last stage, I figure out how many are there. So in the end, I have three guesses: 44 yards, 40 yards and 42 yards. I set my sight for 42 because it's the average of the three guesses. This will usually get you close, providing you're good at estimating distance. 

 What piece of equipment is on your must have list?

I can't go on the range without my bow, arrows or release, but I also would not go on the range without my binoculars. Binoculars make it easier to see where I want to hit, and they confirm where my arrows are landing. (AAoA Members note—we have great deals with Vortex Optics and the Total Optics Shop.)

You marry your passion for archery with your love of writing.  What do you like to write about?  What do you think archery and writing share?  How can people find your writing?

A long time ago, I attended the Outdoor Writers of America Conference and an editor from Outdoor Life discussed his successes and failures. Since I had always done personal narratives, I wanted to know what he would suggest if someone wanted to tackle a novel. His answer was simple: write about the things that you know; the things that bring you happiness. Thinking about it, it made perfect sense. I love writing about things that give me a sense of familiarity. I spend a lot of time in the outdoors doing the things I love, and I find it easy to write about those things. In the past, I've been successful with poetry, and I have dabbled with editorial type entries on a blog that has received feedback from readers across the globe. That alone has been mind-boggling, especially when I'm sharing my journey, and someone else tells me that whatever I wrote about comforted them to know there was another person who was in the same place. Archery and writing might not share the same thing for everyone, so I can only answer from my biased point of view.

Although I'm not an introvert, I have always been a loner with my thoughts. I've always been a good listener but not much of a talker. When I shoot my bow, I do it to let my mind go numb. I focus 100% on the task at hand, and I let my mind to what it wants to do. I encounter many types of situations while shooting. My mind is completely quiet on some days, while on others it's in overdrive. I let the thoughts come and go while focusing on what I'm doing, much like people who meditate. Writing is the same in many ways. When I sit down to write about something, I usually have an idea where I want to end up. However, I don't force things, just as I don't force shots in archery, and I let my mind take me wherever it wants me to go. I'm not sure if I really answered the question, but archery and writing both allow my mind to be free. When I'm doing those things, I'm doing them on my own time. It's important to pay attention to detail in both hobbies if you want to achieve goals. Both hobbies allow me to set goals and achieve them.

They have also shown me that the mind is incredibly powerful. When we are able to allow the subconscious mind to do things, they become much easier and more fluent. When we fight back and get involved in a wrestling match with the conscious mind, things become more difficult. Archery and writing have allowed me to find a happy place in that world. Being a member of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association, I have writing that has appeared in many places, so it can be found in many magazines, in papers and on websites. The easiest place to find things would be to visit my website or my archery blog: or

Meet Lesley Winker of First Flight Archery

Lesley shoots all forms of archery from field to 3D to World Archery Target Indoor and Outdoor! She even represented the USA at the   ROBION 2017 WORLD ARCHERY 3D CHAMPIONSHIPS   .

Lesley shoots all forms of archery from field to 3D to World Archery Target Indoor and Outdoor! She even represented the USA at the ROBION 2017 WORLD ARCHERY 3D CHAMPIONSHIPS.

How did you get started in archery?

My husband, John, got me started in archery. He got into archery for bow hunting originally in Tennessee around 2007. Then we moved to PA, and he found that there was more to archery than just bow hunting. He quickly became obsessed and was gone a lot either practicing, hunting, shooting league, or tournaments. I felt left out. So, he bought me a used bow online, and I began to take lessons from Doug Williams at Kinsey's in 2009. Soon, Doug suggested that if I was to continue to improve, I needed to upgrade my equipment. So, John bought me a Hoyt Kobalt, and the rest is history!

What has been your best moment as a shop owner for First Flight Archery?

Honestly, there isn't just one moment. I have great moments in the shop on a monthly basis. These moments happen when I'm coaching. One moment that stands out recently was during a lesson with a deaf couple. I knew that the lesson was going to test my coaching abilities as I had not coached anyone with hearing difficulties. I relied heavily on direct eye contact, slowing my speech down, and more demonstration than I normally employ. The gentleman was not only deaf but unsteady on his feet. So, I had to adapt his teachings to a chair also. We had SO much fun in this lesson. The couple smiled, clapped, and took pictures. They even bought First Flight Archery T-shirts on their way out of the shop. When individuals, like this couple, come in for lesson, have a blast learning, and leave happy, these are the moments that make being a shop owner a great experience.

Lesley and some of her JOAD crew from First Flight Archery

Lesley and some of her JOAD crew from First Flight Archery

I recently saw you picked up bare bow, and your husband, John, did too. What have you experienced with this switch? Do you have new goals for yourself?

Let me begin by saying that bare bow is NOT easy. But, there is a simplicity to bare bow that I don't feel with my compound shooting. I feel like it's quicker and easier to go pick up my bare bow and start shooting than with my compound. Then, at the same time, it's more complex. The body alignment feels tighter to me, the shooting is more of a feel, and finding consistent string blur is a fight. When I shot compound, I would NEVER look up scores. I guess I just knew that I had to shoot 295 or better to be competitive. Yet, now with bare bow. I'm looking up scores to see what I need to shoot to be in the top 5 or top 10 depending on the tournament. Consequently, there are goals arising already. My practice has increased as well as my journaling. It's a brand new world that holds new challenges. At this moment, bare bow is making my archery less of struggle and fun again.

Lesley rocks the  Yost Products  finger tab—use your  AAoA discount code  to get one for yourself.

Lesley rocks the Yost Products finger tab—use your AAoA discount code to get one for yourself.

$50 Payout for Members with a First Place Win at ASA Winter CanAm Classic March 7-10th.


The Archers Association of America will offer $50 contingency to for a Association Member's first place finish in the eligible divisions at the Winter CanAm Classic in Syracuse NY on March 7-10th 2019.

These eligible divisions include: Men’s Known Pro, Women’s Known Pro, Senior Known Pro, Men’s Known 50 Open, Men’s Known 40 Open, Men’s Hunter, Women’s Known 45 Open, Women’s Hunter, Men’s Senior Known, Senior Women’s Known, Senior Hunter, Barebow.

Membership in the AAoA must be valid prior to 3:00pm EST on Saturday, 9 March 2019 to be eligible to receive contingency for a first place flight finish.

You can join or renew here at

We wish all of our Members good luck! Shoot straight, and have a great time!

—Avram & Brandi Granett


1. To be eligible for contingency, competitors must be a paid member in good standing with the Archers Association of America by 3:00PM on Saturday, 9 March 2019.

2. Eligible divisions include: Men’s Known Pro, Women’s Known Pro, Senior Known Pro, Men’s Known 50 Open, Men’s Known 40 Open, Men’s Hunter, Women’s Known 45 Open, Women’s Hunter, Men’s Senior Known, Senior Women’s Known, Senior Hunter, Barebow .

3. There must be at least ten (10) competitors registered in any contingency-eligible flight to qualify for payment in that flight.

4. Only a first place win by an Association member in good standing (as of by 3:00pm EST on Saturday, 9 March 2019) in an eligible division will be qualified for contingency.

5. Email us at to notify us of a first place win.

Archery Contingency Money Explained


Have you ever seen a pro archer struggle to hold up all of the big checks at the end of a major tournament?  Only one of those checks will be from the tournament itself.  The others may stem from contingency money.

Contingency money is money pledged by sponsors and manufacturers for athletes that met certain standards or contractual obligations while winning at tournaments eligible for contingency.  For example, the Easton Arrow Contingency Program requires archers to shoot their products, be members in good standing of the national organization, register at the booth before the tournament starts,  and in a shooting class with at least ten registrants.  Black Eagle arrows requires archers who wish to be eligible for contingency to shoot their product, wear a jersey or hat that features their logo the entire time, provide a podium photo, and at ASA and IBO tournaments to sign in at the booth before shooting. 

If you are attending a major event, it can be a good idea to check out the programs offered by different sponsors or manufacturers; you never know when it might be your turn to stand on the podium and smile with those big checks!

And remember, this year, the Archers Association of America is adding to these payouts with contingency on the line for members competing at the Vegas Shoot in the flight divisions.   Any AAoA member (in good standing as of 2/9 at 4:30PST) who ranks first in their flight will be eligible for $50 in contingency funds.  More about this contingency program can be founds on our website!


What are Flights at the Vegas Archery Shoot?


Anyone can win at the Vegas Shoot.  Yup, anyone.  Well maybe not in the Championship Open—that requires a score of 900 for all three days, or winning the Lucky Dog shoot off, and then making it through the big show on Sunday.  But for those of us registered in the Flights divisions—we all have a chance.

Archers sign up for a flight based on shooting style with divisions for: Bowhunter, Recurve Barebow, Recurve, Compound, Compound Limited, Crossbow Unlimited, Crossbow.  Archers in the flight divisions shoot as a group on Friday and Saturday.  Then on Saturday night, the flights, or groupings of approximately 30 archers, are announced.  Archers are slotted into flight by score, grouping like archers together.

Then on Sunday, the flighted archers compete in these smaller 30-shooter groups for ranking, and hopefully, the flight payout.  Payouts vary between the flights based on how many people are in your division overall and how high of a flight you ranked into.  This great system gives any registered archer a chance to be competitive among their peers while competing at the biggest indoor archery tournament on the calendar.

This year, the Archers Association of America is adding to these payouts with contingency on the line for members competing in flight divisions in The Vegas Shoot.   Any AAoA member (in good standing as of 2/9 at 4:30PST) who ranks first in their flight will be eligible for $50 in contingency funds.  More about this contingency program can be founds on our website!


Archers Association of America Announces Members' Contingency for Vegas


The Archers Association of America will offer $50 contingency to for a Association Member's first place finish in the eligible flights of The Vegas Shoot 2019.  

These flights include: Bowhunter flights, Recurve Barebow Flights, Recurve Flights, Compound Flights, Crossbow Unlimited Flights, Crossbow Flights, Compound Limited Flights for the adult divisions. Membership in the AAoA must be valid prior to 4:30pm PST on Saturday, 9 February 2019 to be eligible to receive contingency for a first place flight finish.

You can join or renew here at

We wish all of our Members good luck! Shoot straight, and have a great time!

—Avram & Brandi Granett


1. To be eligible for contingency, competitors must be a paid member in good standing with the Archers Association of America by 4:30pm PST on Saturday, 9 February 2019.

2. Eligible flights: Bowhunter flights, Recurve Barebow Flights, Recurve Flights, Compound Flights, Crossbow Unlimited Flights, Crossbow Flights, Compound Limited Flights.

3. There must be at least ten (10) competitors registered in any contingency-eligible flight to qualify for payment in that flight.

4. Only a first place win by an Association member in good standing (as of by 4:30pm PST on Saturday, 9 February 2019) in an eligible flight will be qualified for contingency.

5. Email us at to notify us of a first place win.

Archery & Cold Season


You start to feel it on Friday night after work, a tickle in your throat.  Then Saturday you start to sneeze. By Sunday, you feel like death warmed over.  But Sunday is your club shoot; the one day a week where you can shoot your bow and let everything else slide.  What can you do? For most of us, on a regular Sunday, we stay home, sleep in, and just hope to feel good enough to get back to work, but what happens if you get sick in February, you know, right before Vegas or in March before NFAA Indoor Nationals or some other tournament that you have been working toward and already laid the money out for?  How can you rescue the situation and get your arrows down range?


First off, sleep makes everything better. It is when your body stops working and starts repairing.  Even though the bright lights of the Strip might be calling you, find your hotel room and get to sleep.  The more rest you have the stronger you will be for shooting.

Old Wives Tales--Try Em

People may scoff at the idea of chicken soup helping them get better, but the warm liquid opens congested passages, helps you to breath, and gives you easy nutrition at a time when you might not feel like eating.  Hot tea, especially ginger or peppermint, can also help to open up your airways.

Check Your Meds

For many of us our go to over the counter solutions for colds and flus might be out of reach at a tournament because of anti-doping policies.  Before you take anything, check out the product at the Global DRO website.

Sudafed for example is prohibited in competition:


Keep a Good Attitude

You may hear some legends floating around on the line about people putting up their best scores when they are under the weather.  There may be some truth to these legends. If you are over-thinking your shooting, you might just let those tens happen! So don’t let a cold or flu derail your mental game, and perhaps contemplate that you might just have given yourself an advantage.

And Finally Be A Good Sport

If you are feeling sick, don’t share it with everyone else.  You know the drill: wash your hands, cough into your elbow, fist bump or wave instead of shaking hands.  While we all want to win, doing so because you laid your competition low with a winter bug isn’t the way to go.

Vegas Shoot Discounts

The Archers Association of America has partnered with Tickets at Work to get archers deals on all sorts of entertainment and travel. One of the biggest deals we have found is for Vegas shows, experiences, and concerts—perfect for your downtime during the upcoming Vegas Shoot.

Here’s an example of a deal we found using the Tickets at Work system on Cirque Du Soleil Zumanity tickets.

If purchased directly from the casino, they would cost: $182.32 for two tickets.


Using Tickets at Work, these same two tickets would come to: $146.90.

zumanity-cirque-du soleil.png

To access this deal, log into the Members Area and go to the Vegas section. There you will find the details on how to sign up for Tickets At Work and how to access these great entertainment deals.

Lancaster Classic Time

It's the most wonderful time of the year....indoor archery season!!

The Lancaster Classic will be in full swing this weekend at the Spooky Nooks Sports Complex in Manheim, PA.  Over 1,000 archers of all ages will compete using the Lancaster format with 60 arrows where the X counts as an eleven for 660 total point round. 

After qualification, archers that make the cut will continue forward with head to head matches culminating in the shoot up format on Sunday.  Unique to Lancaster, the shoot-up matches the two lowest ranked archers in the bracket, with the winner moving up to face the next higher one.  So 7 and 8 shoot off, and the winner goes against 6.  They keep moving up the bracket until there is one final winner. 

A hallmark of Sunday's shoot-up is Lancaster Archery Supply's President, Rob Kaufhold interviewing archers in the middle of the round.  This unique format makes this tournament one of the best of the year.

For those you heading out to Pennsylvania, we wish you great luck; for those you at home, you can watch the live feed here:

Our members will find some local restaurant deals in the Members area of the newly revamped website.  We have deals at Fuddruckers, Lancaster Brewing Company, and Today's Pizza.  Just log in to the Members area to see those coupons.

May your arrows always find the middle,

Brandi, Avram, and Megan, Archers Association of America

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