You Cannot Unsee What You Are Looking At

I was reading a piece in The Guardian about the protests in Hong Kong, including horrific battles between the protesters and police involving tear gas and Molotov Cocktails . . . and a new weapon which had been introduced by the protesters: bows and arrows. (Target bows and arrows, I saw no hunting equipment in the videos).

So, in the top of the article photo, here are protesters, looking like paramilitary troops with body armor, helmets, and such and one person holding a bow with an arrow on it.

What is the first thing I see?

The “archer” is shooting a right-handed bow . . . left-handed.

That was the first thing I noticed consciously.


Once you have trained yourself to see what an archery coach must see, you can’t “unsee” it. This ability, which must be trained in, also has some drawbacks. What you “see” automatically, can push aside other things that are important but take more effort to see, analyze, and understand.

This is something you might want to keep in the back of your mind as you progress as a coach, that you can train yourself to see just certain things and other things get pushed into the background, things that can be important. So, pausing to take a deeper look may be a good coaching practice.


Filed under For All Coaches

4 responses to “You Cannot Unsee What You Are Looking At

  1. Yes, I so agree. I sometimes do try to look at a photo of an archer and analyze the archer’s form/execution. Sometimes I find myself doing so at the range with other club and recreational archers practicing. Of course, I most often try to be subtle about it so as not to disturb those people. By the way and off topic, thanks so much for the Archery Focus article on Masters Archery! A fine article. I look forward to the next one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beesley, James (Jim)

    Hi Steve, great article. I use lots of still shots and videos before and after practice to help fine tune the kids form and processes. I also ask them “How that felt” after shooting so they can self learn. I love this stuff…Coach Grandpa


    • Having dabbled a little in “remote coaching,” I am still impressed with in person coaching as being optimal. The immediacy of the input and feedback from the archer make progress a great deal easier. And, a “trained eye” is always an asset.

      On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 9:50 AM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:



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