Image Credits: SHEKHER
Shekher Vaidwan journey in Archery has been full of ups-and-downs, but it has taught him many things, including perseverance, etiquette, and most of all patience.
Shekher is one of the brightest up-and-coming Archer, he talks about the hard work that goes behind being an Archer and an Indian Army soldier, his journey so far in the sport and lots more!
How long have you been involved in archery?
I started my Archery course in 2009 in Vaidwan Archery Academy and my coach was Kuldeep Vaidwan. In the beginning, I started with Indian round and then in 2010 I shifted to compound bow.
What excites you about archery?
Archery is fun game and I got to learn one important thing, that every arrow we spell cannot be shot like bullseye, so need to learn the art of patience. It also implies in our life that during the hard days of our life we need to handle things with patience, persistence, and perseverance along the way. The theme that carries through all of these lessons is focus. Archery has taught me to be aware of my own readiness to release the arrow. It has also helped me ensure that I can concentrate under stress to clearly keep my target in focus. This takes patience and perseverance.
When was the first time you have hit the bullseye?
In 2010, U-14 Nationals which took place in Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada that was the first time I hit the bullseye. During practice days, we hit the bullseye, but during the competition it’s difficult. For bullseye, from distance till the finishing we have to give our perfect shot.
What was your first experience shooting a bow?
My very first experience was not good, as I was a beginner, I did not follow my techniques during my bow shot. When my bow hit the string, I got cuts on my fingers. From that day I never thought that I would shoot again. But Archery is like addiction for me, which drags me towards it.
Who has been the person behind your accomplishments in the sport?
My biggest pillars are my parents, my mom is my motivation pills who always supports me and inspires me. Any competition in which my performance is low, they are always there to cheer me and pat me up and say its ok next time put all your efforts and do well in the next time.
Do you participate in any other types of archery besides target?
No, from the beginning till now I have performed only target archery.
When did you know you wanted to be a competitive archer?
In 2010, I won my very first National medal. When I moved towards the podium for winning the medal that feeling was amazing. That moment is very special for me and I always feel this feeling and moment I wanted to live again and again. That’s the only reason, why we keep improving our games just to live that podium moments in our life.
What kind of set up do you shoot?
In Archery, there are 3 types of bow: Indian Round, Recurve Round and Compound Round. In Indian Round we can only play till the National rounds, Recurve Round is till Olympic Compound Round is except Olympics it will be in the rest. I shoot the compound bow.
To date, what state/National level competitions have you participated in?
I have participated in 23 Nationals and 2 International. In 2014, I participated in 2nd Asian Grand Prix and in 2018, in Asia Cup Stage 3.
What does it take to get to this level of competition e.g. What is your practice schedule like each week/month, level of dedication, etc?
From my school days I have been very dedicated and now, I am a Soldier in Indian Army so discipline is in my blood. I am very serious with my practise sessions. I do practise in Army Sports Institute, Pune. My daily routine is morning PT – 6.15 to 7.15, morning practice – 9 to 12, and evening practice – 3 to 6.30. We practise for daily 7 to 8 hours a day.
What can we expect from you in the next few years?
In the recent times I have given my trails for the Indian Team, during when I scored my best and also improved my ranking. I do not want to set my goals based on my number of medals. My focus is on my scores and myself. When my score increases automatically, I will get medals.
Is there a slogan or a mantra that you use as an athlete?
Everyone has their own strategies for their own backup. Any competition, athlete has to undergo pressure and the pressure to overcome it. While standing during my shoot I just relax and do self-talking to myself, and say that’s confidential, commercials and collaborations.