Shining in the Athlete Academy Spotlight
Continuing along with Athlete Academy, I am bringing a second one of my Athletes into the spotlight. Today’s spotlight is on Zach Dutton. Zach competes widely for archery, and just recently was selected to a regional team made up of some of the best archers in the region. I got some additional information about his accomplishment and what it means for him moving forward:
"The Regional Dream Team is a prerequisite program for the Junior Dream Team. There are two teams: RDT-East and RDT-West, comprised of 30 dedicated and promising archers from each region of the country. This self-funded program is for recurve archers looking to improve their skills and gain access to the best-quality training in some of the most excellent archery training facilities in the world with a dedicated set of USA Archery certified coaches."
What exactly he qualified for: Regional Dream Team as a probationary member. Age group: he is a "cadet", which is ages 14-17. This is a pretty wide range for boys when you think about their muscle development. There can be cadets shooting next to him that I swear have arms bigger than both of Zach's put together! As a Cub, the age group he just finished in 2015, he placed first at Northeast indoor nationals, and was 16th and 24th in the country. Now as a cadet, he'd starting over again.
What he is going to be doing: He gets the lead RDT coach, Linda Beck, who said: "I will be your RDT coach and work with you and your personal coach to improve your National Training System Technique." The selection camp that he went to was at the Easton Center in Newberry, FL (we arrived the day the Olympic Trials were finishing!). There are other locations for future camps. His local club is Pioneer JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development), run by Frank and Christy Schackart in Dunbarton.
What it means for him going forward: He'll have access to some of the best coaches in the country. He has asked for more coaching for a long time, and a year ago he went to a camp in Arizona. He sends his RDT coach videos of him shooting (from 4 vantage points) for feedback.
A little background on Zach's story: He started archery when a friend invited him to an "invite your friend" night at a YMCA archery program. That was in October/November 2013. He joined a JOAD club in December 2013, shot in his first tournament in February 2014 (where, as he likes to joke, he placed "dead last"). That was the Northeast Indoor Nationals 2014. A year later, in 2015, is when he placed first. Pretty nice progression! Now, as I said above, the new age bracket with boys up to age 17, is a whole new ball game. Zach is 14.”
Zach has worked hard and taken well to the Athlete Academy Program. The plan now is to get him on the same level as those other archers. Even those older than him. With his hard work and dedication to his craft I have no doubts he can do it!