– Kelby Gjovik – Have you ever been on the line shooting and then, all of a sudden you hear something from around you, or someone just burst out laughing on the line? This has happened to me, and it makes it hard to concentrate. The one thing that I wish every archer knew when they are on the line there is to have mutual respect and consideration for other archers.
One tournament experience that comes to mind is when the archer next to me made inappropriate jokes and laughed uncontrollably while I shot. This affected me mentally. I had trouble concentrating on what I needed to do. To try and stop this disruption was first tried to ignore them. They became so disruptive that I no longer could block them out. I politely asked them to stop so people could concentrate while they were shooting. When this did not work, and the archer continued, I went and told a line official, and the line official asked them to stop.
Be considerate of other archers on the line as to not cause distractions to their shooting.
There are many things that are appropriate to talk about on the line.
You can have a normal conversation with the person you are shooting with or you’re your friend a few targets down. You can talk about your pet dog, your new baby sister, niece, or nephew; you can really talk about anything when you are on the line just try to keep it quiet so you do not distract the shooters that are still shooting. Make sure that what you are saying is something you would not mind telling your grandma and you would not mind telling everyone there.
There are a few ways that I have found have helped me combat outside noises while I am shooting. The first is to zone out everything going on around you. This sounds hard to do at first but as you focus on what you are doing and not what is going on around you it gets easier. One thing that I use to help me focus on what I am doing is to talk myself through each step: draw, anchor, aim, deep breath, and release.
The second thing I have found that helps me combat outside noises is to use earplugs so you can just focus on what you are doing and what you are telling yourself with the steps of shooting. Once you have worked with earplugs and you feel confident that you can start shooting without them try it. You may find it hard at first to go back without them but the more you do without them the better you get at just focusing on what you are doing.