Tag Archives: Form and Execution

Before You Can (String) Walk, You Have to Learn to Crawl

One of the very best aiming techniques when eschewing sights is stringwalking. Basically, stringwalking is just hooking onto the string slightly below the arrow in order to shoot distances inside of your point-on-target distance (using ordinary point-of-aim technique).

So, if your three-finger-under string grip when your tab is touching the bottom of your arrow is, say, 40 m then moving down the string in small increments will allow you to shoot targets inside of 40 m using the same sight picture.

This is in contrast to gap shooting in which you must aim higher or lower than the center of the target on every shot not at the POT distance. In stringwalking, the sight picture is always the same.

Stringwalking works because when you draw and anchor gripping the string below the arrow somewhat, you are just rotating your bow so that the arrow is pointing slightly downward. Doing this de-tunes your bow, of course, so there are limits. As a rough estimate, a crawl past two inches below the arrow is fairly extreme.

The detuning is substantial which is why we “walk” down the string and not up (which is a much worse detune). As an example of the detuning, a recurve bow is usually set with its tiller to be one eighth to one quarter of an inch positive. If you are shooting three-fingers-under, it is more typical to be about 0˝ of tiller. This is difference in string grip has the effect of moving the center of pressure of the string grip down the width of your top finger. A crawl of 2˝ would be 2-3 times as much as that change in the string center of pressure, so tiller is going to be way off at that crawl. (What archery giveth with one hand, it taketh away . . .)

The Point of this Post
The message I want to give to you in this post is that you need to be very precise in setting your crawls. One would hope you would be accurate, too, but here I am talking about being precise.

Here is a series of photos showing me making a crawl. The first photo shows the initial placement of the my tap so that it is touching the arrow and the base of the tab is up against the string itself. This allows me to make sure the tab is in the same position each time.

I use the stitches on the tab to gauge how much of a crawl I am setting up but recent rule changes allow printed scales now (very limited printed scales). Once I have decided how much crawl I am taking, I then insert my thumb nail into the center serving in that location.

And this is where you need to be very careful. I have the bow, bowstring, and my head in the same position each time and I sight along the top of my thumbnail when I am setting that crawl distance. (“Be wery, wery careful . . . he, he, heh.” Elmer Fudd He may be a cartoon careful but that doesn’t make him wrong.)

Then the tab is slid down to the spot my fingernail is at and again, I am sighting along the top of my fingernail to make sure everything is consistently lined up.

From this point onward I have a 2-3˝ draw on the bow to keep my hands from slipping out of position (because if they do, it is “do over” time). You need to be ready to shoot as soon as your crawl is set.

I set my crawls down to the quarter of the length of a single stitch, which is less than a sixteenth of an inch/1 mm. That amount of crawl equates to just under two yards of distance on one of my bows . . . which is why you need to be precise. Consider how carefully sight shooters set their sight apertures. I ended up converting many of my “ten click sights,” sights whose “micro adjustment” made ten clicks per rotation (and a whole rotation wasn’t that much) when I discovered that at 90 meters by groups were centered on the nine-ring above the ten and one click adjustment cause my groups to be centered on the nine-ring below the ten. Those sights are now “twenty click sights.” (Actually the groups were 10-9-ish and I couldn’t get them to center on the ten ring. Gosh, I wish I could shoot that well again . . . truthfully, that period lasted only a little over a year when I was practicing up a storm.) Setting crawls is not as precise as setting a good sight aperture, so if you are at all sloppy, you are throwing away a fair amount of precision.

Addendum I mentioned “walking up the string” in passing, dismissing it somewhat but it isn’t entirely illogical. For example, if you have a young sight archer struggling to make distance, one easy fix is to swap his tab for an opposite handed one and have them shoot “two fingers over.” Yes, you read that right. The slot in the tab for the arrow for an “upside down opposite handed tab” is between the second and third fingers then. This grip moves the arrow down the width of the middle finger which is substantial. When I did this I got around an extra 10% cast (28% better when I shot three fingers over). What your archer will get depends.

This is just a stop gap measure your archer can take until he/she grows taller (longer DL) and/or stronger (higher DW) and it only costs about $10 for an off-handed tab. This is only needed for their longest distance and they can go back to their regular tab for all of the shorter ones.

Leave a comment

Filed under For All Coaches

How Many Pounds Should I Pull?

I have an Olympic Recurve student (who switched from compound) who is currently building his shot. Besides being a delight to work with, he is bringing up questions us coaches should be able to answer. One of those is “how much draw weight do I need?”

I am in the camp of “as little as possible for most recreational archers” as “it ’posed to be fun, bro.” But here is the answer I sent back to him.

* * *

As to what draw weight to settle on, you are looking for something you can handle. Our goal is to shoot our last arrow of a competition as well as we shot our first arrow, so too much draw weight creates fatigue that foils this goal. You also want it to be as high as possible (while meeting the other criteria). This is because the higher the DW, the flatter the arrow trajectory and the closer to “indoor form” we get. Young archers experience the problem that because of their short DL and low DW it means that at longer distances, they have to hold their bows at fairly steep angles, which distorts their form and results in their sight aperture being above the target face. We would rather not to have to distort our form so much and we would rather have our aperture line up somewhere on the target face for consistency (e.g. 12 o’clock—7-ring, dead center is even better).

Unless you are ferociously competitive, something in the mid-40’s would serve you well for all applications. There are some people who only compete indoors and so only shoot 18 m and 20 yds. They do not need much DW at all. Just enough tension on the bowstring to get off of it cleanly. If you plan on competing outdoors, pick your longest distance and see if you can sight in on the target, that is get a sight setting with your aperture somewhere on the target face. If you can you are good (enough) to go. If you cannot, and you can handle a higher DW, that is your solution. Many people find such a spot at the mid-30’s to higher 30’s of pounds of DW. (Cast depends on a lot of variables, one of which is draw length, another being arrow mass.) This is the gift given us by the creators of lightweight, stiff all-carbon arrows. If you cannot handle much draw weight, then all-carbon arrows are part of the perfect solution. Having less mass they accelerate to fairly high arrow speeds at low-ish draw weights.

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

Is It Safe to Draw a Bow Behind Your Ear?

This is an interesting question. Is it safe to draw a bow behind your ear? The answer is yes . . . and no.

For some styles of shooting, drawing behind your ear is standard form, such as Kyudo. However, these styles are usually shot with a thumb release. In a thumb release, the draw thumb is wrapped around the bowstring (from inside to out) and then wrapped with a finger or two to lock it in place. Because fairly heavy bows were shot this way, thumb rings were used to distribute the pressure around a wider area to prevent injury.

In a thumb release, the arrow is held on the other side of the bow (if a modern recurve bow were to be shot with a thumb release, a right-handed archer would shoot a left-handed bow) and the string slides off the thumb away from the archer. This causes a string deflection in the opposite direction of the “normal” Mediterranean release. So, instead of the string leaving the string hand moving forward and toward the archer as we are used to, the string moves forward and away form the archer in a thumb release of the string. This is why archers using this technique don’t accidentally rip off their ears when shooting.

Here is a photo of a modern archer drawing a 170# Tartar bow using a standard finger hook (just to show you it can be done). Look carefully and you will see that he is holding the string away from his face (note the shadow of the string). And, do you now know why, boys and girls? Yes, he would rip off his ear if he held a tight anchor. This is why these bows were shot, historically, with a thumb release.

What you sacrifice when holding the string off from your face is accuracy. Keeping a tight anchor, that is against your face is necessary to get your aiming eye into the plane the arrow will be shot in. When your aiming eye is outside of that plane, you are guessing as to your windage. Since the arrow is an ordinary projectile, if you can line up the arrow with your target (in plane, as it were), then your windage is taken care of and the only thing to concern you is elevation of the bow to get the correct distance.

I note in passing that archery was often used as artillery in the Middle Ages. The arrow cloud scene in the movie Braveheart demonstrated this technique. Historically comments on this technique include hyperbole such as “their arrows darkened the sun,” and whatnot. The archers lobbing arrows this way with English longbows (and a Mediterranean loose) often drew to their breasts with their heads turned slightly away so as to not catch their ears on the loose.

So, the answer to this question if you are a coach is “Only if you know what you are doing” which means “No” for all beginner to intermediate students.

2 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches, Q & A

To Really Improve Should I . . .

The question I address here is the one archers face: Should I focus on what needs improving, that is my weaknesses, or should I focus on my strengths? This a very good question and it must be answered if one is to shape good practice plans for the simple reason that working on the wrong solution rarely solves problems.

We humans, please note, have a bad case of awfulizing. When confronted with something negative we tend to dwell on it, make it out to be a bigger issue than it really is and be negatively affected by our thoughts. We quickly go from “Boy, this is awful” to “We’re doomed!” This propensity not withstanding, most archers are told to work on their weaknesses. I even made it into a practice framework.

My recommended practice structure is: you identify the weak points in your shot and list them for improvement (on The List), then when all aspects of your shot are at the same level of quality (the factor that tells you when you can stop working on each of those issues), you assess whether you are content with your performance at that level and if not then you go another round. If you can’t find any weaknesses, then all of the form elements making up your shot are to be improved to get to a new, higher level of performance.

So, that is what you should do, right?

Uh . . . maybe.

There is a downside to doing this. One of the big ones is we do not track progress at all well and we can get to a point of “I have been working to fix my problems for years now and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere! And I seem to have the same number of problems now that I had then.” The failing here is in not recognizing that there will always be weaker and stronger points in your shot. And as you progress, that is get better and better and better, it becomes more and more difficult to make progress. Economists call this the law of diminishing returns. It shows up in things like the Pareto Law, which is often stated as the 80:20 Rule: 80% of the progress comes from the first 20% of the effort. The flip side of which is the last 20% of the progress comes from 80% of the effort! For archers to understand this, have them compare how difficult it was to achieve a score of ten points (0 to a total score of 10 points), the first time in an Indoor 300 Round with how difficult it is scoring the last ten points for the first time in an Indoor 300 Round (290 to a total score of 300 points).

And, if you don’t keep careful records, you may not be seeing the progress made. I recently blogged about my use of “The List” and why it is important to not throw away old lists or to obliterate items on the list, with just single line outs allowed so you can go back and read about all of the items you have improved.

Plus there are good arguments to be made for working on your strengths. A big one is you are working on positives rather than negatives. And studies do show that if you concentrate on strengths, often weakness just sort of drift away. For example, reading well written texts enhances your ability to spell. If you read words with, well let’s just call them “different” spellings, then your ability to spell those words is eroded. As a teacher tasked with grading students’ written work, I can attest to this. I would see certain words miss-spelled so often that my ability to spell those words correctly suffered to the point of having to look up the correct spellings of those words quite often.

So, really, what are you supposed to do?

It is obvious: both. Do both.

I suggest working on your weakness and, from time to time working on your strengths. As yet another example, if you increase the strength of a certain muscle group, say your biceps muscles, gaining that increased strength leads to your handling of, say, heavier objects, which taxes other neighboring muscle groups that tends to make them stronger, so by all means, do work on your strengths, they are contagious!. Also, characterizing your weaknesses can be really helpful in feeling as if you have “left no stone unturned,” and that when things go wrong, if it is a recognized problem, you will also have a recognized solution that you have been working on. So, if you tend to drop your bow arm too early in a shot and have been applying a drill to fix that, if you drop your bow arm in competition, you are in a position of not only recognizing what had happened, but confident in a fix you can apply.

So, Grasshopper, do both.

4 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

Coach Lessons

About a week and a half ago, I had a number of coaching lessons scheduled, probably the last face-to-face lessons I will be giving for several months due to the pandemic, and I had a bit of an epiphany. I had finished my last lesson and was packing up to go and I struck up a conversation with another archer, as we archers so often do. This gentleman has had a couple of coaching sessions with me recently so we were acquainted. He was at our indoor range trying to get a new bow set up and tuned for his 16-year old son.

There was clearly something not working as he seemed frustrated. The conversation naturally gravitated to the issue: his son and he, both Recurve archers, had been recommended the same arrows over the phone. This rang an alarm for me, not because of the phone conversation, the dealer referenced was quite reputable, but because of the situation. The son looked a couple of inches shorter than the dad and when asked, that was confirmed along with the fact that dad’s draw weight was seven pounds higher than the son’s. I asked about their draw lengths and he said, “they are the same.” To my eye, and brain, they should have had about two spine groups difference between their shafts.

Now, I say “about two spine groups difference” because arrows are very sensitive to “cut length.” The rule of thumb is there is a one inch difference between spine groups. (Go ahead and look at any spine chart and that is about how they work out.) So, an arrow two spine groups too stiff could be made shootable by cutting them two inches “too long,” too long being longer than the recommended cut length.

So, the son is shooting bare shafts to set up these arrows and, again, my eye immediately told me the problem. Being two inches shorter than his dad, the son’s draw length should have been one inch shorter, but it was not. It was clear, to my mind, why it was not in that the youth was leaning away from the target, which results in a raised bow shoulder. So, I asked the dad about this. “Was this a new adaption to his shot or had it been there for some time?” This leaning away from the target is a time honored adaption youths make to deal with a bow that is just too heavy (the shoulder muscles responsible for holding the bow up against gravity, the deltoids, develop rather late). But, this may have been a habit developed when the youth was younger or recently adopted and I wanted to know which it was. It seems to have been around for some time, so I explained what was going on. The net result is that a high bow shoulder leads to an overly long draw length.

So, we did a test to see if he could handle the physical mass of his new bow. The test is simply to hold the bow with one arm in full draw position (we had to adjust his posture a touch) and count . . . slowly . . . one thousand one, one thousand two, . . . etc. If you cant make it to “five” before the bow starts to descend, the bow is definitely too heavy. If the bow begins to drop after five, it is probably too heavy. If you can get to 10 without the bow dropping, then it is probably not too heavy and if you can keep going past ten, you are as strong as you need to be. The young man passed the test which means he no longer had a need to lean away from the target.

So we got him “plumb” and raising the bow without raising his bow shoulder and checked his draw length. It was now roughly an inch shorter than his dad’s. The dad asked me what else they needed to do and I responded, without thinking, “Nothing, everything will just cascade down because of that one correction,” and it seem to do just that.

I said my goodbyes with the hope that their tuning session would go well from that point onward.

On the drive home, I realized that I hadn’t really thought things through . . . consciously. I just “looked” and “saw” and spoke. I spent a little time figuring out the “whys” involved on the way home, for example when you lean away from the target, if you think of the bow arm as being just part of your reference system, the leaning of the upper body moves the head, and your anchor point, farther away from your bow hand (and the bow). This is what causes the “too long” draw length. When the archer stands plumb (straight up and down) the rear elbow is elevated, the angle the fingers make on the bowstring becomes square, for all of the reasons that we adopt that form, those postures, in the first place, so if you remove the lean, everything else just falls into place.

The young man involved sucked all of this up and made the corrections needed in just a shot or three. (He learns fast as many of the young do.)

But the lesson for me, and possibly for you, is to accept that your intuition is a very useful tool. I didn’t think all of this through, I just reacted to the situation. This can lead to chasing one’s tail, as I have done many times before, but that chasing is probably also part of the learning process. And if my intuition doesn’t work, and sometimes it does not, then thinking through everything consciously is necessary.

And, I have been working on a book project lately which is how to coach archery from physical principles. I hope this will lead to me having a better understanding of what is going on and by sharing that will help you diagnose the technical problems you encounter. Maybe this story will become a “case study” for that book.

Leave a comment

Filed under For All Coaches

Well, This is Sad

Sorry this has been a slow posting time. I have been sick for almost a month now (and quite tired of being so). Steve

♠  ♣  ♥  ♦

I bit on a book offered on Amazon.com entitled: Mastery of Re-curve Bow Shooting: Full Guide to Learn as Well as Master Re-curve Bow Shooting; Shoot Just Like a Pro with Precision Plus Accuracy by Kenny B.A. Hardwood

Since it was only $3.99 in the Kindle version, I though I would take a look. If it was any good, I might be able to recommend it to you and my students.

The book is very, very short and seems to have been written by someone whose mother tongue is not English. I found quite a bit of it to be undecipherable. Here are some excerpts:

“This is a fascinating guide and a perfect introduction to the way to shoot a re-curve bow. There are more details concerned with the shooting methods or techniques, or better still stuff you will do to make your aim perfect one. The goal of this guide is to provide you a basic step by step guide so you don’t find yourself scratching your head once get your initial re-curve bow and conceive to shoot it.”

and . . .

“Also, ever-suffering sinistrals (left-handers? SR) can probably be experienced at swapping right for left. Besides, the steering is aimed toward curve target archers.

The shortcuts:
*Your stance or the stance is poor
*The string hits your arm
*You grip the bow too firmly or tightly
*You do not perpetually anchor within the same place
*You do not check the string image
*You do not meditate enough.”

and . . .

“Normal recommendation for born bow arms is to line up early, and to stay up aim throughout the shot – the sight need to air the target and stable, but not managed stiffly once you unhitch, and you need to be looking the arrows in the centre.”

If I am missing something here and you have read and understood this book, I will be quite glad to hear from you.

4 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

What Constitutes a Safe and Effective Warm Up for Archery?

From a blog I follow comes this tidbit:

“What most people do to warm up before a workout actually relaxes your muscles and decreases your power and energy . . . which decreases your performance during your workout, and the gains and benefits you get from it, and increases the chances of you getting injured during your workout . . . because your muscles and joints just aren’t ready!”

So, if you conclude we shouldn’t warn up before shooting I think you are getting your exercise by jumping to conclusions. The key words here are “What most people do to warm up. . . .” The person who wrote this is suggesting we are doing it wrong.

So, what constitutes a safe and effective warm up for archery?

Does anybody know?

5 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

What Do You Think?

On a golf teacher blog I found the following regarding practice:

LEARN, TRUST AND TEST…
The cycle that I recommend that you go through while practicing is called Learn, Trust and Test. During the Learn phase, we are learning how to improve our technical skills. During the Trust phase of practice, we are developing trust in those skills, and then in the Test phase, we are going to Test the skills with pressurized or “performance” practice. You’re far better off testing your game in practice, than you are on the course!

As a golf teacher, the author was talking about developing a new or different shot and this pattern is to create a larger set of available shots while playing. Archery is different in that we “play” almost the exact same shot each time and don’t need a vast array of versions of our shot.

I have advocated for some time now that the overarching approach of archery development has a similar structure. Here that is:

Stage One—Create a Shot
In this phase one works diligently to create a consistent technique and a consistent shot. The goal is being able to shoot small groups consistently. High volume shooting is to be avoided. High intensity learning is the focus, aka deliberate practice. (This is not the process of learning an off-the-shelf shot, it is the creation of a personal shot, unique to you.)

Stage Two—Learn Your Shot to the Bone
Here is where high volume shooting comes. This is a process of memorization and, unfortunately, too many of us end up memorizing a poor shot, which makes for a great deal of work later on (fix the shot’s weakness, memorize that shot, then fix that shot’s weaknesses, and . . .). This results in more than one shot being in long term memory (which explains why “old habits” pop up in moments of high stress, they are still available to be turned to when what we are doing now isn’t working).

Stage Three—Develop Archery Skills
Through practice rounds and competitions we determine benchmarks of our development. These benchmarks are to prove to ourselves that we can “score well” in practice (and then in competition) so we can believe that we can do that in competition. Here we also develop skills that improve our scoring abilities (compensating for wind and weather, developing a tune, dealing with disappointments, finding our personal scoring weakness (lacks of strength, stamina, concentration, focus, etc.) and rectifying those.

Stage Four—Getting to Higher Levels
This is for advanced archers only and involves analysis of form, execution, scoring patterns, mental habits/patterns, and more, plus exploring competitions with higher levels of personal value.

Throughout each of these becoming “one with one’s equipment” is an ongoing skill development process. Even if one doesn’t repair/modify/optimize one’s own equipment, one needs to be able to adjust and work through malfunctions during scoring rounds.

What do you think?

PS Where do you think the help of a coach is most valuable? (I think it is in stages 1 & 4.)

Leave a comment

Filed under For All Coaches

The Zen of Target Archery

Articles written by me are not needed as much as in the past as authors are responding more positively to my requests. So, this post and the previous one are two things I wrote for AFm and have just been sitting for a while. I hope you enjoy them. Steve

* * *

A question often asked when the mental game of archery comes up is “What should I be thinking while I am shooting?” It appeared to me last night that the perfect mental state for shooting is very much like a state described in Zen Buddhism as the state of “no mind.” This state represents a total acceptance of reality as it is without human thoughts being woven through it. There is what to Buddhists call “no attachments” mentally to thoughts or ideas or feelings. There is no thinking, just doing.

This immediately connected in my mind to the stages of competence. Here they are:

Unconscious Incompetence
Conscious Incompetence
Conscious Competence
Unconscious Competence.

Now one could easily ask, but aren’t you delving immediately into thoughts and ideas? The answer is, of course, yes. But, I also am not shooting right now. I am trying to explain how one achieves a desired state for optimal shooting.

Back to “the stages of competence.” To explain this, think of your progression through youth and being able to tie your shoes. As a toddler, when you first began to wear shoes, a parent might say “Oh, your shoe is untied!” and you would look around in bewilderment. What? After several repetitions of this little play, when someone would say “Oh, your shoe is untied!” you might place that foot outward in your stance to have that person tie it. If you got the correct foot (the one with the untied shoe), you were entering the stage of “Conscious Incompetence” in that you were aware of the task needed to be done, but were still unable to do it yourself. When you learned to ask to have a shoe tied, you had made it fully into this stage. From there, you learned to tie your own shoelaces and, at first, it was a quite laborious process (Cross the laces, uh . . . , tuck one under, uh . . . , pull on both ends. . . .) but you were beginning to acquire “Conscious Competence.” Operating on physical tasks in the conscious realm is always awkward and slow. Soon, you were able to get through the entire sequence producing tied shoes, albeit ones that weren’t tied perfectly and they came loose often, hence a parent would be imploring you to “please tie your shoes.” Then with many, many practice repetitions you got to where you are now. You can tie your shoes without thinking about the process at all. If you tied your shoes this morning, do you remember what you were thinking about? If you can, you will discover that it was not about tying your shoes, anything but. This is because you are finally in the stage of “Unconscious Competence.” (Whew!)

Now, an important fine point needs to be addressed and now is a good time. What happens when you flub tying one of your shoes? (C’mon now, you know this happens occasionally.) Do you revert back to Conscious Competence and work your way through tying that shoes in a step-by-step fashion (First cross the laces. . . .)? No you don’t. What you do is “attend to the process” by removing any distracting thoughts and just unconsciously and competently tie that shoe. My point is that distractions can derail your mental state of Unconscious Competence and that “attention” is the cure.

In archery, we prefer not to “flub” our shot process at all, so attending to our shot process is continuous while shooting. But . . . what does this mean?

In the language of Zen, you might be encouraged to “be with your shoes” when tying them (New Agers say “be present,” that is exist in the present moment). Some Zen practitioners go so far as to say “You are the shoe.” So, attending to the process does not mean thinking about the process. I liken it to observing the process, almost as if you are another person. If you are “present” and “attending” to your shot process, how can there be any mental distractions? There are no thoughts. All actions are occurring in the realm of Unconscious Competence and you have “gotten out of your own way” in that you are not inserting thoughts or physical steps into a routine that you have created to shoot good shots. Therefore, you shoot good shots. If you get through a long string of shots this way, you may even call that “being in the Zone” because that is, indeed, what we are talking about.

Getting There
To get to this idealized state, you must learn your process “to the bone,” that is deep into your body so that no thoughts are needed to function as you wish. This state comes through or via the other three stages of competence. It takes a lot of conscious work to create a reliable shot and then it takes a lot of shots to memorize it “to the bone.”

The process of accomplishing this expertise is facilitated if you can accept and adjust your thinking as you go. Become an observer of your thoughts. Learn about thoughts that get in your way and learn to dismiss them. For example, when in a shoot-off, I would invariably think about winning the shoot-off. This is a distracting thought as it doesn’t help me execute my shot process. If you were observing me in such a shoot-off you might see me use my free hand to shoo away a fly from in front of my face. That was not a fly, it was an unhelpful thought I was shooing away. A physical cue helps the mental act of dismissing such thoughts.

The only distraction you have is yourself. Loud noises, the smells of lunch being cooked, other archer’s bad breath are not the distractions; your thoughts about them are.

A Caveat
On rare occasions your shot can desert you. You lose your Unconscious Competence. In these circumstances, you have no other option but to revert to Conscious Competence. Grinding away consciously is not fun. In archery we call it “losing your shot.” But the shot clock is still ticking, or your target mates are still waiting for you to finish the end, so you must continue. How to get back to shooting unconsciously isn’t something that can be taught, but some things seem to apply. Trying to operate as if you were still in that Unconscious Competence state . . . without actually trying is basically what you are attempting. You certainly do not need all of those thoughts flying through your head when you you’re your shot (fear of failure, fear of not winning, fear of embarrassment, confused thoughts, etc.) so dismiss them. Watch yourself shoot; don’t interfere. Hopefully the process itself can pull you back into the state you want. Your body and unconscious mind know what to do, if you let them do it.

4 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

An Olympic Recurve Bargain

I can’t remember whether I have posted this before. (They told me “the knees go first!”) So, I will post it again.

For years I have recommended The Simple Art of Winning by Rick McKinney as the “bible” of Olympic Recurve archery, and I do still recommend it as one of the best books for those archers. But recently I have been recommending The Competitive Archer by Simon Needham a great deal, too. The reason is that it is chock-a-block full of practical advice, things like how to trim a tab and read the amount of wear on it, etc.

I was recommending this book more because Simon’s other book (The Art of Repetition), a masterwork was very, very expensive, being available only as a hardbound book. But Simon has made both of these books available in Kindle format, bringing their costs down below US $10, a considerable savings even over the paperbound The Art of Repetition.

If you are an OR archer or coach, I can’t recommend these three books enough.

3 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches