Coaches and athletes often say, “Trust the process.” That mantra means you must focus on what you can control, and not worry about what you can’t control, including the result.
Archers cannot will an arrow into the bull’s-eye. Instead, we must focus on our shooting steps. If we execute them correctly, good results follow.
That might be easier said than done. It’s easy to let your desire for a picture-worthy target take over. So, how must you train to stay focused on the process?
John Demmer III, a multi-time USA Archery champion and IBO World Champion, has a simple yet effective training tip. He uses a pitch counter to keep track of his good shots in each round. He only clicks the counter when he thinks the shot grades a 9 or 10. That doesn’t mean those shots scored a 9 or 10, but the grades gauge how the shot felt.
“We want to shift focus from the desire to hit the 10 to rewarding yourself for a well-executed shot no matter where the arrow lands,” Demmer said. “Your goal is to reward yourself with that click.”
Demmer’s goal is to click his counter on 85% of his shots. However, the goal for new archers might be about 50%.
Beginning archers likely wonder how a good shot feels.
“My suggestion for a new archer is to seek out a good archery coach who can ingrain what your form should be,” Demmer said. “As an individual, you’ll go off of that to develop what a good shot feels like.”
This tip also works if you’re emphasizing a specific part of your form. Let’s say you just started archery, and you’re working on your anchor point. Each time you properly anchor, reward yourself with a click. When you can do that step properly on 90% of your shots, start working on another part of your form. Experienced archers can also use this tip. If you have the bad habit of punching your trigger, reward yourself with a click each time you execute a proper release.
Try this tip, and let us know on our Archery 360 Facebook or Instagram pages how it’s working for you.