Thinking While Shooting

Occasionally I run into a student who has been thinking his way through every shot. It is always shocking when I discover this as I don’t look for it. I have been doing some writing about this topic lately and while doing so ran across this tidbit:
In a 2013 survey, 28 PGA Tour golf professionals we’re asked about what their favorite swing thought was.danger-sign-b

“Here’re the results:
•  18 pro’s said they didn’t think about anything at all during their swing.
•  10 who did have a swing thought said it was to focus on a spot a few inches in front of the ball, to encourage swinging through, instead of hitting at the ball or they focused on the desired shape of their shot.
•  None of them said they had any technical thoughts about their swing.”

From Darrell Klassen’s Cut the Crap Golf Blog

I also recall baseball great Yogi Berra being asked what he thought about while hitting and his answer was (approximately) “If I had to think while hittin’ I couldn’t hit nothin’!”

If you have students who are talking themselves through their shots (mentally), you need to find ways to discourage that practice. It is a real barrier to better performances.


Filed under For All Coaches

3 responses to “Thinking While Shooting

  1. Coach Krish Rama

    I teach my students the four basic steps.
    1. Prepare to shoot (go through biological checklist in brain).
    2. Lift bow (perform technical checklist in brain).
    3. Stop thinking and start feeling.
    4. Calmly let the string go.

    The brain can be an archers enemy if allowed to constantly analyse. It leads to doubt.
    The mind is not geared to technical areas but is great for visualising the shot.
    Developing a third archery personality within oneself is hard but necessary. This extra entity will control the mind and the brain with a view to both being positive parts of the ‘whole’ of the shot.
    There is a balance that must be sought before the release.


  2. thatgirlkestrel

    I am someone who used to think through every part of the shot. It was frustrating to say the least, and took a really long time to curb. Now I focus on one thing, like many of the golf professionals. It doesn’t even matter which thing, really (right now, it is to continue backwards momentum of the draw muscles all the way through the shot instead of stopping, easing, relaxing, etc). As long as I can give me conscious brain that one task to think about, the rest of the shot goes pretty well. But as soon as I start analyzing to fix a problem, my shot steadily detiorates. I almost have to leave fixing the problem to my coach instead of trying to fix it myself.


    • Yeah, I need to get this information out to coaches because this is not something that is visible, you have to ask a student to share what is going on mentally while they are shooting and that conversation is not always comfortable,

      On Sat, Jan 28, 2017 at 8:40 PM, A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.