Outdoors Column

Preparation is the key

By Bill Howard | Jan 30, 2014
Photo by: File Bill Howard

With the Superbowl approaching much discussion has centered on the two quarterbacks and the amount of preparation each puts in to their success.
Peyton Manning is arguably the best quarterback there has ever been and is known as a leader, both on the field and by example.
He routinely watches film after film of both the teams he faces as well as his own.
That being said, Russell Wilson has established a reputation for dedication and hard work after only two seasons in the league, and has been known to start ‘work’ as early as 4:30 a.m.
Preparation is the key.
Many times when you see a successful hunter it is due to either the preparation of the hunter or the guide or both. Scouting the land for game animals and trail, prepping the land to entice the game to a certain area, clearing shooting lanes, practicing shooting skills, and even other things such as maintenance on all-terrain vehicles and washing hunting clothes with scent free detergent plays a part in the total preparation.
Anglers increase their odds of success by learning different tactics, checking for underwater structure, and learning behavior of different species of fish. Maintaining their rods and reels and changing types and strengths of lines plays an immense factor,  even if it is done more as an afterthought than a focused preparatory practice.
While you are reading this column I will be due south in Florida competing in the first Pro/Am tournament of the Archery Shooters Association’s 2014 season. Last year I competed for the first time in the same tournament. The tournament serves a duel role.
First, I have prepared for this tournament by shooting and sighting in two different bows. I have studied the 3d targets that will be used. I have studied the rules that govern the equipment I am allowed to use for the class I will be competing.
Second, by preparing for the tournament I am in essence preparing for my future hunts as well. The pressure of shooting alongside some of the greatest archers in the country easily equals any anxiety I may encounter in the field when I am face to face with the trophy of a lifetime. Vitals on a 3d target mirror the vitals on the real counterpart, helping to focus on the right spot for a quick ethical kill. Learning to judge yardage to within a yard or two is as vital to success as a well-executed and technically correct release.
Equipment must be in top notch shape; clean, mechanically sound, well balanced, and properly fitted. It does not have to be the most expensive, just the most suited for one’s size and strength. This is all accomplished through proper preparation.
Yes, preparation is definitely the key ingredient in the soup of success.
Preparation is the difference between hoping for luck and knowing your fate.
Will I finish poorly, in the middle of the pack, or towards the top? I cannot say as others have prepared for the 40 targets also. But those that have prepared less have less chance regardless of skill, while those that have prepared diligently and consistently are far better suited for a good showing.
The same can be said when in the field. I cannot say whether I will be able to get Mr. Big on a certain day, but with preparation I can be certain that one day, I will and when the opportunity arises I will be ready.
I will be prepared.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.