We Play Archery | Abdullah Mirza
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We Play Archery | Abdullah Mirza

August 12, 2019

– So when I first found out about that St. John’s had an archery team, I was pretty excited
because archery has a sort of traditional significance for me religiously and culturally. In Islamic civilization,
there were traditionally three martial arts which were archery, swimming and horseback riding. So I think it’s very exciting
to be able to connect with that tradition that goes
back over 1000 years and sort of see that come
alive in the modern world. I saw that we had a coach,
a level three NTS coach, and that was the first thing that I did when I came on campus,
we had the career fair. I went up to the coach and said hi, and have been shooting
regularly every since. Archery is actually a
very demanding sport, and it takes a while to
train your body physically to the level where you can be competitive. But once you’ve sort of
conditioned your body to be able to shoot
hundreds of arrows a day, then it really becomes a
mental game to the point where all the archers at the top level, the physicality is not an issue for them, and it’s purely a matter of
mental control and focus, and demands a high degree of focus, and attention and concentration. I quickly progressed, my freshmen year, I shot every week, and we had a tournament at the end of the year with the local Institute of American
Indian Arts, which I won. But, that was just a local tournament. It was actually the first
intercollegiate archery tournament in the history of New Mexico. This year, because of my training, I was able to compete at a higher level and actually competed in the
Indoor National Championships where by marvelous coincidence, I was placed right next to Brady Ellison, who’s the top archer in the country. And I got to shoot next to him, and he gave me some pointers. That was a great experience shooting next to an Olympic medalist. And my dream is eventually to compete in the international
level or in the Olympics.

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