Anna Rawe, February – Reflection, one word that seems so simple but is commonly overlooked. Most shooters, especially beginners, tend to skip past the reflection step. Some people purely just don’t understand or know what to do, so let me help you!
I’ve been involved in competitive shooting sports since I was around 11 years old, and now as a 17-year-old I feel like I finally understand what works best for me and even what I did to help me win a world championship title with shotgun sports. Refection can happen at different points, whether it is right after a single shot or after you come off the line. Personally, I reflect after every shot that I take, it helps give me clarity on what I can improve on.
After every shot that I take in all my shooting sports, I ask myself one simple question, “Did I execute that shot to the best of my ability?” If the answer is yes, then I move on to my next shot. If the answer is no, I ask myself, “What can I do to make the next one better?” I typically tend to find myself making small mistakes, what me and my teammates call “silly mistakes.” In the end, they are all silly little mistakes. Once you have shot a certain number of practices or tournaments, you know what it is that you need to do to be successful. Sometimes, that can become difficult in a competition setting under pressure. Just remember to take a breath and regain your thoughts before knocking the next arrow.
A problem that I have run into recently is hitting my wrist brace. I have a bone separation in my wrist, when I pull back the bowstring the tendons in my middle and ring finger roll in and out of that gap. Doing so it causes me a lot of pain, to fix that, and keep me shooting, I have to wear a brace. The brace holds my pinky and ring fingers straight, so I have to pull back with only two fingers. Sometimes when I release too soon, the string hits my brace causing my shot to go a different direction. That can frustrate me, but I just have to remember to follow my reflection steps, and move onto the next shot.
When you can consistently and positively identify what different things can impact the quality of your shot, you can gain much more consistency. Reflection can be very important as well when you are done with your shots waiting to pull your arrows. In a picture attached, I am helping my teammate Hailee with her reflection before continuing to the next target.
I hope that next time you practice or compete you will practice your refection skills, and even help your teammates when they need it with their own reflection. Reflection plays a very important role in the 11 steps to archery success, and I hope that by adding in this element you can improve on your skills and even your confidence.