NFAA: What did it mean to you to make the shoot-off at Indoor Nationals for the first time?
Steve Anderson: It was my first time attending Indoor Nationals and I went there with the goal of shooting 600-120x and giving myself a chance to win it. I accomplished my goal of making the shoot-off, and came a little short of the podium at 4th place. Nonetheless, it’s always a success if you make a shoot-off at an event like Indoor Nationals or Vegas.
NFAA: What is it about this tournament that makes the elusive shoot-off so hard to make?
Steve Anderson: Two days and 120 arrows of staying mentally focused within myself is challenging. You can’t have a slip up. As soon as you lose focus, you make it very easy to miss an X.
NFAA: How are you preparing for 2016 National Indoor?
Steve Anderson: Trying to shooting meaningful practice and as many tournaments as I can. I work a full time job, so I don’t get to practice or experiment with equipment as often as the pros that shoot full time. To counter that, I make sure I have the best equipment that I have confidence in. With that peace of mind, all I have to do is prepare myself.
NFAA: Anything you are looking forward to the most next year?
Steve Anderson: I feel like I am improving over last year because I have more experience under my belt. The 50th anniversary of the Vegas Shoot is set to be a great tournament, as usual, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with the NFAA as part of a planning committee that is working to make the upcoming season a banner year at every stop of the three star tour.
NFAA: Do you have any rituals or superstitions before or during a tournament?
Steve Anderson: I do not. I just try to make sure I’ve eaten. I’m really tall and if I don’t eat, I have a hard time shooting. I try not to be superstitious because that opens the door for something out of your control to have a negative effect on you.
NFAA: Do you have a piece of advice for fellow archers?
Steve Anderson: Never be afraid that you might do something awesome.
NFAA: How do you handle and control your nerves?
Steve Anderson: A lot of archers are egotistical and want so badly to shoot great scores so they can show them off on social media, or try to earn sponsors, and they usually struggle to perform at tournaments because their focus is in the wrong place. I try to remember to be humble because I have failed over and over again in archery. You can look at my first round as a “professional” at Vegas and see that I shot a 292. I’m not afraid to fail again and that helps me approach a tournament with controlled nerves. That’s not to say I don’t get nervous. Rather than the nerves working against me, I have found that the most rewarding moments in archery come when you can let your hard work and practice overcome those nerves.