Tag Archives: archery

Radio First

Radio First

Hello Dear Reader

A few days ago I had a request from members of my archery club to attend an event with one of my fellow archers. Now, I am no stranger to taking part in competitions or arranging county training sessions, as I did in the past. This request was an unexpected one. Stafford archers had been asked along to the Sports Sandwich on Stafford FM.

Like millions of others, I listen to the radio daily, in the morning, in my car for whatever I need. The presenters always appear very relaxed, at ease, almost ‘at home’ with how they tackle this form of communication.  I agreed to go along as support as it was put to me, thinking I would say very little. Naturally I was curious, one might be about how you may sound, how you would react to being in this very same place.

My colleague and myself, arranged to meet outside the station offices and to consider what we had to say. After all, this was just promoting our archery club. This was my first time on the radio I had no idea what to expect. I imagined various situations but could not settle on anything. My best thought was to like this to an interview for a job. You face questions, you give answers, you walk away wondering why you said Fred.

I could not have been more poles apart. We were greeted by friendly presenters all of whom understood what we were thinking. The ‘interview’ would be more a chat, as though we were socializing. That put me at ease a little and yet made me think more.

radio-microphone-vector-s-elvismic_6117There is a scene in a famous (well to me famous) film with James Garner and Doris Day – The Thrill of it all. The scene has Garner making a phone call hoping to speak to his wife.  However, his young son picks up the phone and answers the questions with either a nod or shake of his head. It  is clear the young son thinks his father see’s his answers. It is very funny. The point being, I had the same thought. What if I answered with a nod and not a word. We have all done it when someone asks you a simple yes/no question.

There was also another odd thing. No matter who asked you the question, you had to keep looking forward and not turn to answer the person. It was not rude as if you spoke away from the mic, you created dead air. Two simple things to keep in mind.  I ran through a list of things to say. Of course that disappeared the moment I started to talk. Trying to explain on the radio how shoot a recurve bow is really difficult. I had to concentrate on not lifting my arms and doing the motions. But it was fun. It was relaxing once you allowed yourself to relax. My colleague did very well, as we answered questions in turn. We had no idea who was listening.

Just as, for me anyway, I felt the most relaxed, it was over. We had our photo taken with one of the presenters and that was that. My first time on radio. Secretly, now I reflect on things, would I do it again? Yes and maybe more.

I must thank the presenters of The Sports Sandwich on Stafford FM they were brilliant and my fellow archer Natasha who did a wonderful job.

Tagline: ‘Where is that mic?’

Stafford Archery AGM

Hello Dear Reader

It has been sometime since I wrote a blog about archery. In the past few weeks, I posted an old archery blog on my take regarding the mental game. Last night was our AGM at Stafford archers and something of another new experience for me.

Along side everything else that has gone on, this year (2014/15) I was tournaments officer for the club. It is never to be underestimated just how much work goes into running any sort of club. It may seem from the outside that it is just a group of people getting together to shoot arrows. Far from it. It takes a team of people working together to make sure ‘“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one’. (Yes I did it again)

The club runs very smoothly considering this year we had a major move handled with great enthusiasm by the club. As tournaments officer, I had the job to arrange various postal shoots (not putting arrows in the post either), getting people to take part in competitions and of course the all-important Christmas shoot.

A Christmas shoot was the highlight for me. It was fun, daft, exciting and unpredictable. Given we had over 50 archers taking part shows just how much fun it can be. You have to really think how to make it fun as well. This is not just shoot the gold, this is shoot the nose of Santa or hope you don’t shoot what could be minus 50 to your score.

The AGM itself was a more formal affair until I stepped up of course. Presenting prizes for winners is always uplifting, knowing that these new archers (as well as some older ones) are keeping the sport and tradition alive. It also meant the chance to say thank you to some people whom do so much without always being noticed.

I enjoyed my time as tournaments officer and hopefully will go back in the future. At the moment I needed to step into the background a bit and help support another good person and archer take over.

Lots of people help out at the club and long may it continue. I know many clubs have that same feeling. As for the evening, well it ended with a darn good buffet. Well done all.

Tagline: ‘An archer may shoot alone on the line but the club is always behind them.’

The Mental Arrow

Hello dear archer and reader,

I have looked back through some old blogs, as I rebuild this little site and came across this one. It is one of my favourites and I have decided to repost it once more. There are others who understand this far better than I do, but it is my view of something many find hard to fathom. Enjoy.

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 the first thing you are taught is how to shoot safely. Getting the right technique is built up over time and can be hard to learn. In time you are taught how to shoot various distances.  All of these are needed 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 is needed 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 the 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 your 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.

For me, basically it comes down to four main elements;

Commitment;

Concentration;

Confidence;

Control.

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.

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.

Enjoy

 

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;

Commitment;

Concentration;

Confidence;

Control.

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.