I shot in NASP from 2009 to 2018 and I was fortunate enough to win two $20,000 scholarships from the program. Some tips I would suggest to current/future archers are
- Number one tip is to try and make friends on your team that you can laugh and relax with! My teammates became some of my best friends because we would spend practices laughing and joking with each other (and our coaches) when we weren’t shooting. During tournaments, it really helped to continue having fun with my teammates off the line because we were able to treat the tournament just like practice! Also, it made the sport way more enjoyable and relaxing to be surrounded by some of my favorite people.
- Treat tournaments like practice. This kind of goes along with my previous tip, but it is important enough to be mentioned again! During practice, you focus on your form and make sure you’re focused on the line. Tournaments are no different; your form is the same and the target is the same. Treat the tournament like practice by reminding yourself that you are only here to focus on your form! That means no scoring and no thinking about what could happen after the tournament. The only thing you should be worried about at tournaments is what you work on at practice!
- The final tip is realize that archery is 90% mental! Practice your form in your head while you are waiting in line somewhere, write your goals in a journal every night, ask yourself how you can learn from your mistakes, and always be persistent when you are stuck. Once you realize how powerful your mind is, you can overcome any roadblock in archery and in life. I fully believe I would not be where I was today without the mental teachings of my archery coaches. With a strong mental perspective, you can overcome any nervousness you have in a tournament and use what you have learned to focus ONLY on your form!
I hope this helps and good luck to any future/current archers!