When it stops being fun – should I just quit or should I do competitive archery?
Recreational archers are motivated by fun alone. Competitive archers are not just motivated by fun. They want to win!!
Competitive Archery is all about Practice
To become better archers, of course it is practice, practice, practice.
Most people do not consider DRILLS to be fun. Same with piano lessons, shooting guns or God forbid driving between those cones on the drivers training coarse.
Doing drills is, well, boring. They are repetitive by nature and that may just not be fun But getting better is fun and sometimes we are willing to do drills.
Seriously competitive archers are motivated by learning to win and they will do drills.
Recreational archers will get bored or never bother starting a drill because, well, they aren’t fun. Just give then a bail of straw and some weird targets and they are good to go. You know who you are.
Competitive Archery Tricks
If you are an archery instructor, a trick for that competitive lesson might be to ask the students to choose a couple of drills that they like and add a playful nature to them. For example, balloons to burst or hoops to shoot through.
You could engage them in their practice by asking, “How do you want to address this particular issue that you are having?” You describe the drills and you ask if they want to try the drills. You keep asking for them to make decisions as if their opinion actually mattered to you (I hope it does). If they want to do something you do not approve of, you can say “I don’t think that will work, but if you do, it is worth a try.”
Talk to your student in the same manner as you would a friend. You would not boss around your best friend and you would be truly interested in how they feel about a certain activity. You also want them to succeed. If they actually WIN the competition – you will become their best friend, even if just temporarily.
By developing better competitive archery skills you will get excited to learn more. You will get even more excited by the higher scores that may result from that learning. There are those of you who object to skill being separated from technique, and who claim that technique is involved in developing skill. My point is that it is not just technique that drives better scores.
For example, shooting perfect shot after perfect shot and getting lousy groups because you possess no tuning ability cannot be solved by working harder on your technique. It is truly a combo of both technique and skill and all that goes back to doing those “Boring Drills”.
Doing these drills it will cause the actions to be so deeply ingrained in your muscle memory that you can focus solely on the moment. No calculating shot angles or worrying about punching the release. Without the clutter and distractions in your head, you’ll have a much better chance at shooting consistently when it counts!!!
Good luck and keep practicing!