The term “practice makes perfect” could be the biggest cliché in sports but after four years of daily training at Chula Vista’s Olympic Training Center, archer Mackenzie Brown now believes every shot will indeed be perfect.
The 21-year-old Texan moved to Chula Vista after finishing in eighth place in the 2012 Olympic Archery Trials and started making changes to her body and mind with the goal of making the 2016 Olympic team.
"Getting to train all the time and having things taken care of for me really takes that weight off my shoulders. Not having to pay for rent and food and stuff, that's taken care of, so I focus on archery all the time," said Brown, who shoots about 300 arrows a day.
Brown said she lost “quite a bit of weight” two years ago and although archery doesn’t require a specific body type like other Olympic sports, it helped her to feel healthier and more acclimated to her goals.
Today, Brown sits alone at the top of the USA archery rankings, which is significant since the U.S. has only secured one spot so far for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She is also currently ranked No. 3 in her sport in the world.
Brown told NBC 7 she credits the power of positive thinking for helping her focus on her ultimate goal.
"What I do while I'm shooting has definitely changed a whole lot especially in the last two years just being overly more positive, not that I wasn't before, just becoming better at that,” said Brown.
The Americans will have one final chance to earn the additional two slots at the Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey, this June. The pressure is on for the women to both earn that top position in the U.S. Trials, and to train harder as a team to make the Antalya podium and send a full team to Brazil.