Jack Wallace II
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Jack Wallace II Bio
Jack Wallace always wanted to be a professional athlete. He was a successful high school football player, but his prospects were looking grim for a post high school career.
“I was playing football for a pretty good team, but I knew I would never be a pro football player,” says Jack.
On the other hand, Jack realized that his skill with a bow and arrow was special.
“I thought I could be a pro archer.”
In 1995, Jack's dreams of becoming a pro athlete came true with a surprise monetary gift from a long lost relative. That gift provided Jack with enough money to pay his entry fees and travel the professional archery circuit. That season started it all for Jack.
One short year later he won his first ASA Shooter of the Year title.
Jack credits his dad, Jack Sr., with providing inspiration for his career along with archery idols Randy Ulmer and Dave Powers.
“They have helped shape me, who I am and what I strive to be.”
One of Jack's most memorable moments in archery came when he got the chance to go head to head in an eight target shoot off with Randy Ulmer for ASA Shooter of the Year and $50,000. Jack won that competition and later went on to win the IBO National Championship Triple Crown and the IBO World Championship two times each.
“Archery has taught me how to visualize a dream, make it a goal, and work towards turning it into a reality,” says Jack.
Jack believes that with the right guidance and determination, other archers can achieve similar goals.
“Find a coach or a well-known pro that is willing to help or teach you,” says Jack. “They will help you to sort through all the misinformation out there.”
Strategies of the pros
Everything Jack does as an archer is designed to improve the consistency of his tournament performance. His goal is to reward his sponsors by placing as high as possible in each competition that he enters.
The challenge is to develop a technique that allows him to shoot the same shot under any conditions.
When he practices, Jack works very hard on his shot process. “When I get to a tournament, everything is completely automatic. I waste no mental effort thinking of anything other than aiming.”
Jack practices on his father’s private indoor range. He also has about 70 McKenzie 3D targets set on 3 different courses.
“To me perfect 3D practice would be to walk to a blank bale, shoot a group to warm up, go to the animals, judge the distance to a target, set the sight and shoot an arrow, range the target’s true distance, make a sight adjustment if necessary and fire a second arrow referencing the first.
“Twenty targets like this, finishing with a group or two of blank baling, would be a great round of 3D practice for me. This done 3 days per week with 3 days per week of strictly yardage estimation would be about as good as anyone can prepare for 3D archery tournaments.”
Jack intentionally spends enough time with each bow that he and the bow begin to function together like one machine.
“I like a bow with at least 7 inches of brace height…38 inches of axle length…a fairly smooth draw cycle at my draw weight…just a touch of a soft wall in the back so I’m less likely to pull off the dot and a grip that I get no left to right or low to high slippage in. This helps me maintain a steady consistent sight picture.”
While many archers spend hours relentlessly fine tuning their equipment, Jack keeps his as close to factory specs as possible.
“I spend very little time on the equipment as I believe the physical shot and the shooter’s mental preparation and confidence are the true keys to success.”
That’s not to say that Jack doesn’t tune his equipment, he simply doesn’t obsess over it.
“I try to shoot the largest diameter arrow I can reach my 3D speeds with. I start with paper tuning to check each individual shaft then, if everything lines up well down the stabilizer I will go to longer distance group tuning by moving the rest in very small amounts up, down, left and right. I typically don’t tiller tune my single cam bows.”
Jack credits stabilizers for balancing the entire shot process. “Stabilizers are key in getting a bow to not only hold steadier on the bulls-eye but, also to maintain a consistent motion you are comfortable with in order to execute a your own style of shot.”
“On 3D targets I shoot a .010 blue fiber optic with no lens. On indoor bulls-eyes I shoot a 4X lens with a black dot.”
Shoot it in the middle
“My favorite indoor round to play is the Lancaster Archery Classic format,” says Jack. “It truly rewards an archer for hitting the middle.”
But Jack’s strongest performances are in 3D archery where he has won world and national titles with both a wrist strap release and a back tension release.
“With the back tension I pull to the wall, stay against it as I aim and squeeze through the shot. I do not pull against the string as I pull myself off the aiming spot. With a wrist strap I pull to the wall, stay against it and squeeze slow and continuous as I aim - as if I am shooting a bench rest rifle.”
In 2002, shortly after winning his second IBO World Championship, Jack was in a near-death auto accident.
Jack was hit when a dump truck pulling a back-hoe ran a stop sign. The impact crushed his passenger door and pushed him across traffic where he was hit again by an on-coming semi. He was air lifted to the nearest major trauma center. Jack had broken his right arm in two places, tore the right bicep off the tendon, broke his left wrist, his left ankle, had his hip broken and glass cut into his left eye.
That wreck and the long recovery refocused Jack's love and passion for life and the sport of archery.
“I love the sport of archery,” says Jack. “I played it when there was no money in the game. I play it now and hope to play it as long as I live.”