The new year is almost here, and many of us would LOVE to shove 2020 into the far recesses of our minds. It’s been a historically tumultuous year with wildly ranging emotions, but with 2021 approaching, let’s consider some New Year’s resolutions.
With so many resolutions possible for archers, this article can’t possibly list them all. We can, however, zero in on a few that are appropriate for nearly every archer, no matter their skills or experience level.
Warm Up Before Shooting … Every Time
Many of us want to get right into shooting when arriving at the range. We set up our equipment, chat a bit with friends, step onto the line, and start shooting. That habit could easily cause an injury that just as easily could’ve been prevented. Archers simply must activate their joints and put some movement into their body.
Score Once a Week
Even though in-person competitions have been put on the back burner during winter, it’s good to keep score, not just fling arrows. Scoring weekly gives you something to work toward while providing an easy way to see your progress as you work on form or technique each week.
Exercise At Least Weekly
If you aren’t already exercising for archery, the new year is a great time to start. Exercise that includes cardio, strength training, or a combination of both helps improve archery skills by making you more aware of your movements. In turn, that awareness helps improve your form. You’ll also find it helps control your heart rate when pressure mounts during competition.
Shoot Different Styles
Monotony can quickly kill motivation. Do you want an easy way to beat it? Try shooting different formats, such as target vs. 3D or recurve vs. compound. By practicing a different round or type of equipment you’ll stimulate your thought process for shooting. All that thinking keeps archery interesting and you might learn something from one style that improves you in another.
Journal and Plan
Some clubs or stores must restrict the number of archers on the range because of COVID-19 rules. Therefore, archers must plan their practice sessions to maximize their time on the range. Keep notes about what you’re working on, and what you’ll next practice to ensure each training session is productive. And yes, visiting the range to simply shoot lots of arrows counts as a plan.
The new year doesn’t have to mark your start of a new or changed habit. It’s just convenient for most people to reflect on what they’ve done the past year and consider what they want to change for the year ahead. Either way, don’t wait. Start your new habits as soon as possible.