I have written about plateaus before but other ideas come along and I have additional thoughts, so I want to address plateaus again . . . some more.

For one, you need to verify you are on an actual plateau. Do you keep records of your scores? Some people don’t and are just going on the “feeling” that they haven’t gotten better recently. This may or may not be true. Keeping records of your scores on the various rounds you compete on and, better, charting those scores will be instructive. I remember one guy who felt he hadn’t made any improvement in months. It was just the beginning of indoor season and his first two scores of the season were the same as he was shooting at the end of the previous season. Of course, he hadn’t made any improvement in months . . . he hadn’t shot that round in months. And shooting the same scores as you were shooting previously after such a log break indicates that there has been no loss of scoring ability in that situation, and that is not a negative thing.

Some Things to Try
To avoid a plateau that is due to being in a rut, you should try mixing it up some. Try:
• shifting venues. Shoot at a different range or indoor range. Shoot with different people. Shoot at different times.
• doing something differently. Consult coaches, books, magazines, videos, YouTube, etc. for a form improvement and see if you can incorporate that into your shot. This is not to be done thoughtlessly, as a panacea, but with due consideration. And remember that anytime you try something new, your scores are inclined to dip some. The question (always) is do they come back up higher than they were.
• different equipment. Maybe this indoor season, try shooting Barebow, or if you shoot Barebow Compound, try shooting Barebow Recurve. If you shoot Compound Unlimited/Freestyle, try shooting with a pin sight rather than a moveable sight. Sometimes a holiday from your old routines will reset your systems to get back on a pattern that is “trending upward.”

The basic idea is to disrupt your old routines a bit (not massively!) to give you enough of a different feel as to get your attention, then you bring that attention back to your normal shooting.


Filed under For All Coaches

2 responses to “Plateaus

  1. I find I just have good days and bad days. Sometimes I didn’t slept well. Sometimes I am hungry. Sometimes I am feeling unmotivated to be perfectionist about my shot and I just want to fudge the shots even though I know I should be pushing myself towards perfectionism, but if I am not motivated then I just don’t care if it isn’t perfect. Sometimes I just want to relax and shoot, without thinking too much about trying to improve.


    • That’s just normal variation, not a plateau. A plateau is when your normal cycle (normal ups and downs) gets stuck … when you are trying to improve. A key thing is can you marshall your motivation when you need it. Such as when you are going to what you think is an important trad shoot and you wake up that day with the blahs … plus a lot of your students are attending and you don’t want them to see you suck. :o) Can you rouse yourself? (I understand that some days it is just too much trouble and you just want to shoot for fun … me too!)

      As a rule of thumb I say that the variations in your performances diminishes as you become better. When I was just a crappy archer my scores were all over the place. But when I became fairly good my highs and lows were closer together.

      On Tue, Jan 26, 2021 at 1:24 PM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:



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