Every tournament holds the promise of an emotional roller coaster. Tournaments start gnawing at my brain about one month prior. The dreaded travel. Thankfully, most concerns are pushed away until the week prior and much more time is spent focusing on centering in prayer. This is also when the travel file for the year comes out to ensure, everything is correct. All the dates for the travel, car, and hotel match the dates of the tournament.
A week prior, the city that the tournament is located at has weather information added to the phone. This is when this parent starts to plan for weather at the tournament. Certain items are always added just in case, for example, Ziploc bags. Why? In rain, they can keep the scope rain drop free between rounds. Additionally, this archery parent uses them to fill up with ice each day that goes in a little traveling ice cooler that gets packed. A Ziploc bag may include a wet (cold) rag for the archer and parent in the cooler. Water bottles and fruit are often added to the bag. This is the time, that items are starting to be rounded up slowly. The essentials like binoculars, travel umbrella, books or work start to migrate to the bedroom.
Like any archery or sports parent, we go in with hopes for the archer in our life. There are also disappointments to think about. What if’s to consider. What if the equipment doesn’t arrive? What if the bow breaks? What if this parent or the archer gets sick? What if, what if… Ah, back to centering on prayer. Social, is hard on this archery parent. Surprise, most would not know. By nature, this parent is a hermit. By God, this parent has been required to stretch into and past fears through pray and then the cycle repeats.
The most important aspect of any tournament to this parent is that no matter what happens on the line, that the archer handles himself with respect for self and others. That stress and frustration do not lead to anger or disagreements. This archery parent has a goal for this tournament season, is to stay calm and relaxed around the archer. It was in Vegas, this year, that the archer ask me to relax because my stress of the whole thing was making him more stressed! He was right, this is not the time for me to show the stress. Those moments, the hope is, to be able to just take a break or walk or breath and just flow with it…So much easier said than done. However, goals are set for a reason. To stretch to, to focus on and to pray through.