Be Your Alter Ego?

I have been working on another book of my coaching writings. I have several in print now and there are more to come. These books originally started as a compilation of the writings I had done for Archery Focus magazine. (I started writing for AF from sheer need. When we were still a “print” magazine, we could not have a three page “hole” in an issue. Blank pages were the equivalent of dead air in TV and radio production, so I (as the editor) wrote pieces because promised pieces had not yet come in.

Now, I have always wanted to write and do layouts of writing, so it wasn’t something I had rather not been doing, it was just the circumstances, that is writing because . . . terror.

Since then I have continued to write pieces that could end up articles in AF or chapters in books and I knew that the folder I kept these things in was quite stuffed, so I did a rough count and saw that I had about two books worth of previously unpublished material, so when a slight opening in our book production process happened I started on this task.

One of the chapters in this new book is a short discussion of the aphorisms “Be yourself!” and “Shoot your shot!” Both of which can be helpful . . . in the right circumstances. I feel the “Be yourself!” admonition to be mostly less than helpful as it is based upon a mistake (that there is a “real you” deep down inside). I thought, and wrote, that a better exercise for a serious archer is to explore what their “archery persona” was. This is based upon the fact that we all have different roles in our communities: in our families it might “son,” or “brother” or “father” or “husband” or “grandfather.” We also have roles as employees, citizens, colleagues, customers, church members, whatever. When we are involved in archery, we are in our “archer” guise. And I thought it a worthwhile exercise to have serious athletes explore how it is they wished to be viewed in that role and compare that with how they are actually behaving. If they want to be viewed as a “champion archer” and they practice at most once a week, well then there is something to look at . . . and a way of looking at it (have your student research how often champion archers practice).

So, of course, one of my golf coaching blogs has a post this morning entitled “How to Use the Alter Ego Effect to Unlock the Best Player Within You.” The poster, David MacKenzie, reports that “Todd Herman tells us that the Alter Ego Effect is about identifying the role that we want to play and creating an embodiment of it i.e. your “Alter Ego,” which we can use it as a vehicle to bring out those qualities that we need to perform at our best.”

David continues with sections with the headings “What Player Do You Want to Show Up?” and “‘Acting As If’ Can Make You Feel Like You Are” and “Detaching You as a Player from You as a Person” and “Activating Your Alter Ego” and more.

If you are interested, you can find this interesting post here.

2 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

2 responses to “Be Your Alter Ego?

  1. This persona idea is a good thing to consider. I am a member of a large, highly competitive club filled with excellent, and some champion archers. Most all are quite modest about being National or State/Regional champions. If you did not know their success, you would not think about them in that vein. Balance and keeping ego under control is key. Self-confidence, poise and outstanding sportsmanship are necessary in my opinion.

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    • I had the same good luck with my first archery club. And … obviously I think discussions along these lines would be healthy for coaches and their charges.

      On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 10:27 AM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:

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