“Believe in yourself”: Jinghan Li (‘26) competes in national archery tournaments


Jinghan Li (‘26) smiles for the camera with her archery equipment at practice. (Photo provided by Jinghan Li)

Starting archery around two years ago, Jinghan Li (‘26) wanted to do archery ever since sixth grade. Yet it was only after the end of the pandemic that Li pursued competitive archery.

“I remember the first time I shot at a club and the coach came up to me and said I had the potential to be good. After a few more months of practice, I decided I wanted to do archery competitively because I realized how much I enjoy the sport,” said Li.

Li works hard to balance school and archery practice. She aims to maintain a schedule of one hour of practice each day working on techniques in the garage. During competition season, Li practices with her coach around three times a week for two hours.

“With tournaments, I bring my homework with me since most tournaments usually last a few days but don’t take up the whole day. However, national tournaments last around a week so I have a lot of stuff to catch up on after that,” said Li.

She attended two national tournaments and plans to attend two more in the summer. The AAE Arizona Cup was the most recent archery national tournament Li competed in this year.

“National tournaments always last at least 4 days. The first two days are practice. The third day is qualification, and the fourth day is elimination. I really enjoy going to tournaments because I get to see many people I normally don’t and it’s just a fun experience overall,” said Li.

Li enjoys attending tournaments with her team Chia Archery. She also enjoys the small moments outside of the competing process at the tournaments.

“My favorite memory with my team is probably meeting up in hotel lobbies after tournaments. We once stayed up until 11 PM in the hotel lobby playing Mario Kart and we got told several times to be quiet,” said Li.

Jinghan Li (‘26) pulls the bow string with the arrow as she nocked it towards the target (Photo provided by Jinghan Li)

From preparing during the first few days to being on the brink of elimination or qualification, Li always remembers to believe in her team, her abilities, and most importantly herself. 

“The best advice I’ve received is simply to just believe in yourself. A big part of being successful in tournaments is simply confidence. Sometimes, confidence can decide between a win or a loss, especially in eliminations,” said Li.

Li sets her sights on competing with the USA national archery team in the future. While she is still unsure of how her archery dreams will play out as a career, Li’s passion for archery will continue on with her future for a long time. 

“I plan on continuing to compete and I want to make it onto the national team. I’m still not sure if I want to do it as a career though,” said Li.