How much are you willing to give for your dreams? Beto Flores of Green River has a few things that push him to achieve his dreams.
Studying, Saving and Shooting
Beto Flores studies, saves and shoots. He is currently studying biology, with a minor in communication, while working and saving money for the expenses associated with archery competitions. That would be a full plate for most people, but Flores adds shooting in the mix to take his archery to the next level.
During training, Flores sets up scenarios to be prepared for anything. If surprise situations occur at competitions, he can say, “Hey I have done this in practice, I can do this.”
In competitions, Flores shoots a compound bow set at 55-60 lbs. Locally, he uses his hunting bow set at 65-67 lbs.
Becoming a Master Bowman
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, says it takes 10,000 hours to become a master of something. If anyone dares to think Flores got to where he is solely because of luck or raw talent, this might make you think twice. Talent is absolutely part of it, but it took several years of hardwork.
Beto first started shooting a bow when he was 12. He watched his dad shoot and followed suit. The more he shot the bow, the more he wanted to shoot. At age 23, Beto has been shooting for 11 years and competing for eight. He currently trains 3-5 hours a day, 5-6 days a week and has spent an estimated 8,000 hours practicing.
According to Gladwell, Flores is well on his way to becoming a master bowman.
Flores loves bow hunting. His dream hunt would be a New Zealand stag.
When I asked Flores if he had any crazy hunting stories, he told me about a time a bull elk almost ran him over when he was hunting around La Barge Creek .
It was getting dark and I was going to head back to camp. It would take a couple hours to get to my truck. I heard a bull right below me and thought, I am going to give it one last chance before I give up. I started cow calling and I heard something running through the trees so I got set-up, cow called some more and that thing came blasting through the trees. He was coming in fast. I was at full draw with my bow waiting, I just let my arrow go. I hit him dead center in the chest.
Salt Lake City Shootout
Beto said he has won several local championships. Knowing there are several good local archers, Flores started to think that if he could win among the local talent, he could do well at the next level.
Flores’ first big tournament was Archery Indoor Nationals in Salt Lake City, March 6-8 of this year at the Easton Center. He shot against 60 competitors in the collegiate level and ended up taking 4th overall. I’d say that is a good first-showing.
Sighting-Up in Chula Vista
June 19-22, Flores competed in the 2015 U.S. Olympic Archery trials for compound bow at Chula Vista, California. He competed with 60 other archers. Flores said,
I have always wanted to compete at the US trials but I never had the time or the money to actually do it. Once I got the opportunity to do it, I decided I’m young I may as well go give it a shot.
Competition on the first day narrows things down to 32 archers that advance to a bracket on the next day. Flores barely qualified. The bracket is a knockout, the last ranked guy versus the first ranked guy and so on. Those competing in this bracket are facing some of the best, if not the best, archers in the U.S. They are all competing to be on the U.S. Olympic Archery Team.
Flores said, “The bracket is a different ball game. The atmosphere different. You are shooting against another archer in a face-off, trying to knock each other out.” Knocked out in the very first round, Flores recognizes that he has a long way to go but was pretty happy with his performance.
The Target at the End of the Range
Flores spends around 20-25 hours a week working to get closer groupings but his final target is the Olympics. The words of Flores’ cousin Luis have helped to drive him to excel and probably also through times of doubt.
Don’t ever let anybody tell you you can’t do anything!
Beto believes anybody can do anything. All a person has to do is put his or her mind to it. With a drive like that, his goal of shooting on the Olympic Team is a definite possibility.
Flores is always looking for sponsors. When he competed in California, he spent pretty much everything he had to go there. Flores said, “I’m just trying to chase my dream.” He has a few local sponsors but it is hard to go to college and have the funds to compete, even though he is working. He has missed several big competitions because of lack of money.
If you are interested in helping out, you can reach out to Beto on his Facebook or at 307-870-2364.