You Are Shooting Terribly; Should You Quit?

We have all experienced this if you have competed much at all. Maybe you started well and then your game came apart, or you started poorly and then went south afterward. The thoughts come easily: “Why am I doing this? I am wasting my time. I should just quit and go home.”

Well, should you quit?

I have seen a great many archers do this. It is not unusual at all. I have never heard of an archer being accosted for doing this, accused somehow of poor behavior. They paid their fee. Is there a rule that they must finish? (No, there is not.)

So, there are some real benefits to quitting. There is no sense in trying to deny it. One is simply you don’t shoot any more agonizing bad shots that day. Another might be you don’t have any more embarrassment associated with your poor round. And, hey, there’s a cold beer in the fridge at home.

I can’t imagine that you are shocked that I recommend to my students that they do not quit, unless unable to continue. The reason for this is simple: every round you shoot is an opportunity to learn and build towards something better down the road. When you give up and pack it in mentally for the day, it’s a missed opportunity to improve.

I suggest that my students may want to set a new goal for what remains of the tournament. Obviously they can practice their recovery program. They could also switch to a back-up bow and give it a good test.

What are some other good ideas to support “keeping going?”

2 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

2 responses to “You Are Shooting Terribly; Should You Quit?

  1. Tom Dorigatti

    Many years ago, I asked then top professional Archer, Dean Pridgen about having a bad day and quitting or dropping out of that event. He promptly replied something like, “Never, ever quit during any scoring round, but especially never quit during a competition no matter how bad it gets.” He then went on to explain that quitting during a bad day plants the seed in your sub conscious that when you are having a bad day, you can just fold it up and go home. Pretty soon, you will have formed s gabit of giving up and will never learn how to analyze it, tough it out, suck it up and learn how to do so.
    He also said the worst thing to do during a practice scoring round that turns ugly is to quit and start over…Once again planting the seed of an easy way out.
    I asked about the philosophy of by not quitting on a bad day because you might reinforce a bad habit by continuing on. He simply said something like needing to think it through, go to basics, finish that score no matter what, and then look for patterns. He felt that quitting would be a far worse habit to get started.

    Liked by 1 person

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