NFAA: How old where you when you first got into archery, and how did you get your start?
Crystal Gauvin: I was 28, and it all started as a bet in the backyard with my husband.
NFAA: How do you normally train for a tournament?
Crystal Gauvin: I use a method of training called periodization. Basically, it means I build for a period of time, and then I have a short rest period. I try to have a rough plan for the entire year with many micro cycles within. My “A” events for the year are the ones I want to be at my peak coming into. In addition to actually shooting my bow, I try my best to incorporate core work and cardio into my training as well.
NFAA: You placed 2nd at World Championships in Denmark. How did placing at the World level make you feel?
Crystal Gauvin: If I were to be completely honest, I would tell you I was crushed to finish 2nd. I was shooting really well leading up to World Champs, and the weather and conditions in Denmark were perfect (for me). It felt great to take out many archers in the top 10 for World rankings (including the #1), but to fall just short was tough. Now that I have had more time to reflect on it, I feel truly blest to have finished 2nd in the World at my first ever outdoor World Champs.
NFAA: So I heard you juggle working at FEA and being a professional archer, how do you manage both? Is it hard or easy?
Crystal Gauvin: I’d be lying if I said this was easy, but as many have said over the years, “nothing worth doing is easy!” I’ve definitely struggled this year trying to give 100% to both my job and my archery career, especially with all the travel. Luckily, I developed a lot of great habits throughout junior and senior high school that make me great at multi tasking and scheduling my time. The only way for me to successfully manage both is to be very strict in planning out my days, and being very honest and up front with my employer. Do I work when traveling? Yes. Airplanes and airports make great “offices” because many times I am stuck there for hours at time, and my work laptop is easy to bring in a carry on. Do I work at tournaments? Of course. If I didn’t, I’d never be able to do both. The majority of tournaments I shoot in are not all day affairs, so there is plenty of time before or after I shoot to fit in at least a half-day of work. Ultimately, I have had to practice smarter and work more efficiently to make shooting around the world while maintaining a job possible.
NFAA: What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome during your archery career?
Crystal Gauvin: My biggest obstacle has always been believing in myself. As someone who entered the sport much later then most, I always feel like I am trying to play catch up. I’ve proven I can beat anyone in the World, but I still struggle with believing I really am one of the best.
NFAA: What is your favorite archery memory?
Crystal Gauvin: My favorite memory is probably placing 4th at my first US Open. That may sound strange, but this was my first taste at having a chance at a podium at a national tournament. Being my first year in the sport, I qualified poorly in tournaments meaning I had to face Erika (or one of the top qualified women) in the second round at every tournament. No matter how good I shot, I ALWAYS lost to them. My goal for the season was to just make the top 8 at a tournament. At the US Open, I managed to take this one step further by winning all my matches until the semi finals when, guess what, I faced Erika. However, this time I wasn’t discouraged or upset. I had beaten some of the top women this time to even get there, so I gained a lot of confidence. In addition, my husband was there with me, unlike the tournaments I have won, which makes it that much more meaningful for me.
NFAA: What are your goals for 2016?
Crystal Gauvin: My long-term goals are mapped out, but due to the fact that I still have some tournaments left in this season (including World Cup Finals!), I have not yet set my goals for 2016. I do know that just like my training, my goals are going to need to be redefined and made more efficient, just like my training. I can’t do EVERY tournament that I want to with working as an economist, so I need to be smart and choose tournaments that will maximize my chances of reaching my long-term goals.
NFAA: I know one of your goals is to become a coach. What advice would you give to an archer who is trying to become a pro?
Crystal Gauvin: The biggest advice I give my students is to work the program and not try to rush things. We all want to win NOW, but I always ask them would you rather win 1 tournament this year or win 100 tournaments over your lifetime. This is especially true for young archers, but it applies to everyone since archery truly is a lifetime sport.
If you want to follow along with Crystal’s tournament journey check out her blog at http://www.crystalgauvin.com/. You can follow Crystal on twitter @CJG_X10 and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CrystalFun2Race.