I’ve been posting clips from a book to my Kindle Amazon highlights file. This book deals with the more esoteric aspect of coaching, MENTAL development.
If you read through this post, you’ll be rewarded with the name of the book and a link to it on Amazon.
It’s normal for the archer to want to “work on” something everytime she shoots. We all want to be better at what we do, and the physical aspect is right in front of the brain. But if you are familiar with periodization, a means of physical training optimization, you may not have extended the concept beyond the physical. I like that the notion deals with MENTAL periodization also.
Don’t just work on “something” every time you go out. Set one day of practice out of every 7 that you shoot, to just shoot. But instead of working on that release, or that transfer, holding, relaxed wrist, etc., you can choose to become complete null mentally.
Look, if you have been shooting for more than a few months, you have begun to myelinize your shot pathways. It’s time for you to trust yourself and well, trust in the force, Luke.
Follow your normal shot mechanism conscientiously, carefully, till right before you go to the “up” position, (set to set-up). When you have gotten to that point, you are ready to engage autopilot, and perhaps think of nothing in particular. Emit a mantra, an “ommmmm” loud enough to hear between your ears. Think of a polar bear in a snow storm. Or, like one of the most successful female compound archers ever, visualize green legos. Just don’t work on anything in the physical realm, think only of smoothness. ease. flow.
The goal is to relax and let your body take its course. Disconnect from the desire to determine the results through force. Instead, learn how to go with the flow of your body’s natural abilities to complete the actions of delivering the arrow into the air. Like visualization, going with the flow takes practice and clever desire.
The book? ok, you’ve earned it…
Remember, as with several other excellent golf books you need to substitute the word golf with archery, ignore the sand traps, and think of how what he writes can apply to your particular desires to be a better archer/golfer.
PS: Are most archers practicing mental strengths, such as visualization? Not so much. Despite champions uniformly praising the skill development of visualizing as key to their success, I find it is amazingly difficult to persuade athletes to develop this skill. The students I coach that have given themselves over to this notion have become much happier with their abilities and performances. In archery, the power of the mind will exceed the power of the body given a chance to do so. This book in great part has mental strengths in well, mind. :) Well written, and I recommend it only for those who can trust in their mental force.
In times of pure stress and duress, when hitting the spider is the strongest desire in mind, allowing the subconscious to rule will win out, provided the athlete has laid the foundation for succeeding with flow by practicing the nothingness of the perfect unconscious release. Wow, how zen is that?