drawnonwords - A Writers Tale

My own views, posts, musings, stories and the odd picture for all to enjoy and let others know.

Category: sports

Sporting Rant

Hello Dear Reader

Sporting Rant.

I must warn you that these are all my own thoughts.

In the past few months and weeks, there have been a number of high-profile changes to televised sporting events. The last most notable one was the Open golf championship, held here in the UK. This has moved from the BBC (free-to-air) to pay-per-view.

Why? It is certainly not for coverage these days as free-to-air reach as many homes as cable and satellite, I would argue. Given the advances in televisions, set-top boxes and the interweb, you no longer need the old fashioned ariel to see these channels. There can be only one motivation in my view, money.

Now we hear that one of my most enjoyed competitions, the rugby union 6 Nations is to be split between BBC and ITV. This,they say is a good thing. No it is not. Not for me anyway, The last time ITV took over one of my favoured sports was F1. That was a disaster given the so-called conditions they claimed they would show F1. ITV cannot exist without advert breaks, hence F1, a live moving, changing sport, would come complete with advert breaks. However, they would be sensitive to the action, make sure you never missed anything and be better than the Beeb. What rubbish. There was one notorious moment when in the British Grand Prix of all places, Hill was about to overtake Schumacher. It was amazing driving, wheel-to-wheel, Hill was fighting to get past, you could his front tyres level with Schumacher’s rear. Then he was almost level, the left hand of corner coming up, Hill would take the lead or they would crash or the box for soap power would make clothes all cleaner?

I sat there for seconds thinking I had changed channel, what was I doing? But no, ITV had gone to an advert break because it was half past the hour and no make what the advert break had to come before the amazing action. It took me almost an hour to get through to ITV to explain to a very fed-up sounding person, how the idiots had been allowed to ruin the race. Not only did they cut at the action point but they rejoined at a point where clearly Hill had finished his move and was well clear. They lied. At no point did they ‘freeze’ the action and come back as though we missed nothing. F1 went into the dustbin for me.

This is why I am so against ITV with my favoured sports. Currently, highlights of Premier Rugby Union (once on BBC 2 Sunday evening) can now be found, well only if you really really look, somewhere on an ITV channel at midnight or 1am.

At a time when we need to get people into sport, when people need to enjoy sport or just have something to look forward to rather than soaps, why does this country allow the removal of sports from good broadcasters? Don’t forget, the BBC showed paralympic long before channel 4 did. Their coverage of the London games was poor in many places.  They missed 90% of the marathon just about, they missed a gold medal archery match between two, TWO, Brits. BBC did a far better coverage. Now the Olympics is under threat and guess who will clearly want to bid.

We need money in sports, but not at the expense of good coverage to boost interest in the young. Cricket, now almost gone from free-to-air often struggles to get people into grounds. Golf, may well suffer the same fate as less will see it. Many years ago, the RFU had all the England 6 Nation matches on Sky for one year. It nearly cost them more than just a few pennies.

There needs to be a change in how free-to-air is financed in order to keep sporting interests alive. Remember when athletics went to ITV, they disappeared and nothing from overseas was shown. However,the BBC (again) brought coverage from the overseas meetings.  I wonder if interest went down in the sports then? Like wise, when the BBC showed the Olympics in my sport, archery, numbers went up. Maybe that is just to simple. There is in some countries what is called the ‘Crown Jewels’, those sports that must remain free-to-air. It is said by Sky and BT that they have enhanced certain sports by taking them away from free-to-air, but for me at what cost. You can read more of this at the BBC here; http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/33357440

So now I have to consider watching England rugby 6 Nations matches with adverts and annoying bits. Humm.

Tagline: ‘Can someone tell them the match started’

The Mental Arrow

Hello Dear Reader

A few years ago I wrote a short blog called ‘The Mental Arrow’, concentrating on a side of archery not often mentioned. Well, at the time it appeared to me there was little information. However after some research, I found a number of people whom dug into the mental side of sport. Since my last web site was lost, I decided I would re-post some of my old favourites and this one has always been one I enjoyed.

There are a number of people who understand this in greater detail and I do look towards. They are pushing the boundaries of what an archer or in fact any sportsman needs to understand. There is of course your own limits, what do you want to know and how far do you  wish to compete? Is it for enjoyment or do you want to make it to that  top spot?

Well here is my old blog for my new site. It has been updated a little but stays the same.



The Mental Arrow

Archery is a great sport, hobby and pastime. So what does an outsider see? Well, they see a physical sport, a person picking up a bow, drawing back the string and letting an arrow fly. Is it that simple? Like many sports, there is an element that is very difficult to see, understand and importantly master.

The mental game is something that for me is often overlooked. On a beginners course you’re taught how to shoot safely. Getting the right technique takes time and can be hard to learn. In time you learn how to shoot various distances.  All of these help you to become a good archer. Yet there are some countries who understand that the mental part is the core to pushing further. In archery, you are competing against very few things; yourself, the conditions and target.

I have started to understand a little about what’s required to make me a ‘better’ archer. It takes time and patience, of which the latter I seem to lack some days. You know you want to do well every time and sometimes feel disappointed when you don’t. So how do you progress? What makes a top archer?

For me, you have to master elements that are not always taught. The mental arrow. The moment you put a bit of doubt into your own mind, your body reacts. If you think – ‘I can’t beat Fred’ then you wont beat Fred, because your body will find someway of hitting a 5 instead of a 10.

So what then can you do to stop that. When should the mental attitude start?

As you arrive at the venue?

As you walk to the line?

As you draw the bow?

As you settle on the target?

As you release the arrow?

To me it has to be in all of those situations. It should be something you have deep inside you so that it starts the moment you set off to either practice or competitions. Again that could sound very high handed and conceited.  But it’s what the top coaches teach.

The Koreans, we are led to believe, don’t pick a bow up for the first few weeks or even longer. So what do they do? They are taught to focus the mind first. Visualisation. It is something you can do anywhere. In the office, at home, having a drink. It is simple and builds a strong mind. It is one way to teach the your subconscious how to shoot. It has been said by writing down what you do and reading it time and time again, you push it into your subconscious. There are also negative thoughts and sayings which distract you from the shot. How many people have learned to drive? Millions. After you have learnt, do you consciously remember what to do? I would say no. You let your subconscious mind do certain things, like all the elements when changing gear. The same needs to be with archery. You need to learn how to clear your mind and just think gold rather than the technique.

If you start saying to yourself ‘I need to a score 10’ or getting close to a personal best, your mind can start thinking of problems. This will add pressure. So how do you avoid that?  That is the time you have to be mentally strong. Wipe away the doubts. Don’t think a bad shot or bad posture. Shield yourself. You have to be able to stand on a line and think you are the only one there. Only you are shooting. Each arrow is the only one to shoot. The ‘money’ shot so to speak.

In practice you can test out remembering the steps you have written, you can have people standing around you talking trying to put you off. You have to think, you, the bow, the arrow and the shot are the only things there. However like driving or walking, you soon learn to ‘forget’. It sounds odd however it is true. If you keep thinking you will bring in doubt. So at some point, like driving or walking, it needs to become something you don’t think about. You just shoot.

Basically it comes down to four main elements;





Each element has more to it of course, goal setting, positive self talk, relaxation training, practice competitions and faith. Self belief is key. You can hit the target, you can hit the gold, you can score well. The mental game is the hardest part to master. The top archers, in fact top sports people, push themselves to that highest level. Technique is important but understand the mental arrow and each shot should be golden.

To be one with the bow, you need to be at one with yourself, mind, body and soul.

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