NFAA: How long have you participated in archery and how did you get your start in the sport?
Kendall Woody: Well, I have been into archery since I was around 10 years old when I started bowhunting with a recurve bow with my Dad and Granddad. How I actually got started in the sport was basically from my desire to hunt. I was around 12 years old and I had asked for a semi-automatic shotgun for Christmas. Well, my parents thought I was still a little too young to handle a semi-auto so when I woke up on Christmas morning, to my surprise, there was a compound bow under the Christmas tree instead of that semi-auto shotgun. I was a little disappointed at first and then after I picked it up and played with it a little I became very interested in it. It wasn’t very long and I had a serious desire to shoot. I guess the rest as they say is history!
NFAA: How did you become a pro?
Kendall Woody: I took a break from competitive archery for several years due to an apprenticeship program that I was selected to be in, and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It took a lot of commitment to work a fulltime job and go to school 3-4 nights a week. I finished the 4 year program in 3.5 years and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. Then, basically, I was begged to get back into archery by some friends in early 2005 and it didn’t take long to get the fever again. I shot the Indoor Nationals that year and I didn’t shoot as I had hoped, but it was respectable. After the Nationals I was fully committed again, I worked hard all year for the next Indoor Nationals. Once the tournament rolled around, I won it in a shootoff in the Adult Male Freestyle division. I had been asked before that when I was turning pro and I said if I ever win a National Championship I would turn pro. I finished out 2006 as an Amateur and turned pro in 2007.
NFAA: How did it feel to grab your first big win?
Kendall Woody: It is a feeling I will never forget! 8 years is a long time to wait for a win but it was well worth the wait. I always felt like I had the talent just could never seem to get over the hurdle. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of some of my accomplishments but not having a win is well, just winless!
NFAA: How did it feel to shoot off (again) against Jesse?
Kendall Woody: Well, as most people in the industry know, Jesse and I are very close friends. The very first year I met Jesse he was pretty much a phenom then. I nicknamed him the “ICEMAN” back then after watching him shootoff against Braden Gellenthiem at the Indoor Nationals the same year I won. I always have a great time shooting either against or with Jesse. The last 2 days we shot together at Outdoor Nationals we all reminded each other on what targets to shoot, but Jesse reminded me constantly. He knew I was shooting good and didn’t want me to make any mistakes. After the shootoff, I looked at Jesse and he just had a big ole smile on his face. I honestly feel like he was glad to see me win more than if he had won. Even at Lancaster after he knocked me out of the shootup, he told me coming back from scoring that he was hoping that I would go all the way. He said, “I couldn’t give it to you though and I told him I wouldn’t want it any other way.” I have to say that he is one of the greatest ambassadors of the sport that I have ever seen. I also have to say that he has played a major role in my accomplishments since turning pro in 2007. Whether it be form related, tuning advice or whatever. Thanks buddy, hope we have many more shootoffs against one another. Doesn’t get much better than that.
NFAA: How did you celebrate your win?
Kendall Woody: I celebrated right away with a couple of cold beverages. After the awards ceremony I took several friends to Outback and bought dinner for all. We have a little thing we do and that is that the winner has to buy dinner. Needless to say the Jesse has bought several of my dinners and I couldn’t wait to repay the favor.
NFAA: What are your goals for the future?
Kendall Woody: I would love to get a couple more wins under my belt before moving to the Senior division. Vegas is one that I would love to win, and I probably practice more for that tournament than any other. But I’ve been lucky enough to make the shootoff 3 times but never a win.. Yet?!
NFAA: Do you have any advice for aspiring archers?
Kendall Woody: I would like to just tell the aspiring archers to never give up hope and never get down on yourself too much. This is one tough game and it’s probably one of the toughest games mentally there is. You generally get back out of archery what you put in it. Make sure to always make it fun because it can be extremely frustrating at times. When I am frustrated I always just think about the friendships and relationships I have made through the years, it really helps put things back in perspective for me. Winning is not everything, it feels pretty darn good but anyone that knows me, knows that I have fun with it even when I’m not at my best. Just keep it fun!
NFAA: Did you have anything else to say?
Kendall Woody: I would like to thank all my family and friends for all their support and congratulatory comments after my first win. It feels great to have such a huge support group. I would also like to thank my sponsors: Hoyt, AAE, Easton, Truball/Axcel, Leupold, Feather Vision, BCY, Specialty Archery, and Lancaster Archery. I definitely have the best equipment sponsors in the universe. Thank you all dearly!