As an optics brand that takes pride in providing some of the very best optics in the world, we also take an immense amount of pride in our fans; we wholeheartedly appreciate our customers who choose to use our products. We believe that our success is built upon the loyalty and support of our passionate fanbase and that includes the professionals who rely on our gear everyday. Enter Team Maven. The professional archers who dedicate their entire lives to the sport.

Meet Toja Ellison. A self-described wife and mother, who just happens to be a European Champion, World Record Holder, World Champion, and top 10 World Ranking Professional Archer for the Slovenian Archery Team.

1. How much time do you spend practicing?

"Before I became a mom, I would practice 6-8 hours a day, six times a week. That’s just what Brady and I did. Since becoming a mom, that has significantly decreased. Being a mom is just hard, but I make time for archery. When my son was born, I would shoot 4-5 times a day during his naps. When his naps started being longer I’d shoot 2-3 hours a day, 5-6 times a week. I still shoot, but I don't get to shoot 400 arrows and then go to the gym like I used to."

2. Can you talk about how and why you decided to become an archery professional?

"In a way I think it was just meant to be. It was the way life took me. I was very hard working, very determined. Full of drive with a very supportive family at home. Living in the USA has allowed me to become a true professional, where I probably wouldn’t have if I had stayed in Europe since we have more tournaments here. It's my job and my passion at the same time. I love archery and I wouldn't want it any other way."

3. What's the most rewarding part of being an pro? 

"Probably the most rewarding part is the love you get from fans, being supported by the industry and sponsors, and being able to do this with my family. My followers are excited for me and that I’m able to make a living doing what I love. It allows me to pay the bills doing what I love and am passionate about. I would say those things are the most rewarding for me personally."


4. Is there another profession that you'd like to explore if/when you decide to leave the world of professional archery?

"I'm very passionate about a healthy lifestyle and healthy foods. I do SCENAR therapy so who knows, maybe one day I'll help people feel better when it comes to their health. I think I’ll still live an active, healthy lifestyle, but who knows what life will throw at me when I decide to leave archery, if I ever decide to leave. It’s not an easy thought to have because it’s been a part of my life for so long. It's hard to think about completely leaving it. Who knows? We'll see!"

5. What do you do on your off days?

"I'm a mom, every day I give love to my baby so it's never an off day. I actually don't have a set schedule. Maybe I have two days in a row where we traveled or something happened and I didn't get to shoot, but I don't have a normal schedule. I take advantage of every time I can shoot. I never sit down on the couch, ever - that does not happen in my life. I do not have an off day where I would just do nothing - it doesn't exist. So, it's either I work hard, trying better myself in archery or I work hard being a mom, trying to better my child. But it's pretty much my life - a balance between love for my family and archery."

6. Do you have any advice for others? Is there something else you'd like readers to know?

"Archery has always been a way for me to grow as a person. It has pointed out all my strengths and weaknesses, and it’s helped make my strengths stronger. I love archery for the journey. Winning is amazing. Everything that comes with being successful is great. Getting a paycheck is even better. 

However, the best archers will always have ups and downs. Sometimes they’re personal, sometimes they're physical, sometimes they’re emotional or mental. If that defines you, if that's all that drives you, it's going to be really hard to stay with archery. No individuals are on top all the time.

I want to really encourage anyone that is struggling to think what your passion is. What drives you? Is it winning? Because if you’re not winning, then find something else that will give you that winning satisfaction. The people that are going to be successful are going to be those that overcame those ups and downs."