Passion for targets, bows and arrows

Photo courtesy of Abby Kottke

After trying a variety of sports, sophomore Abby Kottke finally discovered her love for the bow and arrow four years ago. 

Her passion for archery started at the Gryphon Fencing Club after she did a quick Google search and asked her mom if she could start the sport. She began with a loaner bow for around a year and a half before getting her own recurve bow.

“I tried other sports before like tennis, dance, gymnastics and basketball,” Kottke said. “I never really enjoyed those sports and didn’t like the idea of projectiles coming at me.” 

Kottke practices for two hours weekly at the fencing club while also occasionally practicing on her own at Santiago Creek Park. During club training sessions, Kottke practices with five other people along with her coach. 

Although she mainly does recreational archery, Kottke has recently started testing her shooting skills in area competitions. One of the more well-known Los Angeles competitions she competed in was the Target  Cancer charity tournament, in which she placed third.

“Sometimes shooting in competitions can be scary,” Kottke said. “It’s just you without your team.”

Kottke said she hopes to  participate in one of the archery competitions in Las Vegas. 

Every year, her coach chooses one archer  out of the team of six to go to Las Vegas for a shooting competition. However, getting chosen is a difficult task. 

“My mindset [for getting there] is to do better than I’ve been doing,” Kottke said. 

 After she began archery, she realized that many of the skills she learned in the sport could also be applied to other life situations.

“A major part of archery is the breathing technique,” Kottke said. “You have to be tense and relaxed at the same time.” 

She said these breathing techniques have been especially useful in other aspects of her life such as calming down from stressful situations.

One of Kottke’s favorite parts of archery is how flexible the sport can be. Although the sport still requires lots of practice, she likes how she still has time for other activities. 

“It still takes lots of effort, but it’s not super intense, and it’s less time consuming than other sports,” Kottke said. “I still have room for other school activities.”