–Adara A. – Archery is more a mental game than a physical one. When you shoot a good arrow you probably get excited, right? When you are excited, you want to move and shake with excitement. When you happen to shoot a bad arrow, you probably get sad and nervous. When you are nervous, your body reacts the same way as when you are excited. When you shake, your bow hand is less sturdy and that will throw off your shooting whether you are excited or nervous.
The greatest way to shoot your best is to shoot one arrow at a time and don’t care about your score until after you shoot. And then you can celebrate when the job is done.
Another trick to get in the Archery Zone is music. Before every tournament, no matter how close or how far, I always listen to music in the car on the way to the range. Music is great for getting your mind alive, awake, alert, and enthusiastic. I always listen to the same songs each time because when I hear those certain songs my mind gets triggered to start focusing on archery. Some of my go-to songs that focus me are, “Titanium” by Madlyn Bailey, “Livin on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi, and “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus.
Most times when I listen to music before I shoot, I get those songs stuck in my head and it keeps me from stressing about how good or bad I shoot. The song stuck in my head often helps me keep the rhythm of my eleven archery steps and slow down between arrows.
One more trick you could try to stay in the Archery Zone is to put your bow on your toe between arrows. This helps your mind reset the flight when you shoot a bad or good arrow. It mentally puts you back to step one and gives you a fresh start for the next arrow. When you get in the right mental game and in the Archery Zone, you can shoot your best even if you are shooting inside, outside, in hot weather, in cold weather, at a state, regional, or a championship, tournament.
Adara A. is a 2022 student contributor. Be on the watch for her future submissions.