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  1. #1
    At least I admit Im Crazy Looney Bin's Avatar
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    Default What is it??????

    What seperates us 300 mid 50's x shooters from the Pro's????? What seperates us 300 high 20's x shooters from the cream of the crop?? Its got to be mental at this point. I can shoot a 300 59x by myself or when I'm goofing off with my friends. If you put me on a line when a competition is on the line or even when there feels like one is there. I crack like an egg for Sunday morning breakfast. Pressure gets to me. I've surpassed so,so many things in my life.

    How do I crack the next level?????

    How do you get past the mental aspect of it all????


    Music helps me alot when I'm shooting, but it has to loud enough that it blocks everything out. Which pretty much means its loud enough though my Ipod that everyone else can hear it. Which is a no go.
    Of all the things I lost I miss my mind the Most!?!?!?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Daniel Boone's Avatar
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    Default I understand

    Honestly using some the audio tapes from Lanny Bassham have helped me and several good pro friends with the mental game. Sometimes while driving to the shoots I will pop them in and listen to them. It helps!

    But the mental game is toughest thing to conquer in archery

    My coach sas the more you put yourself into pressure tournament will help.

    Gets frustrating and I diffiantly im right ther with you.
    DB

    Xquest and Javi are both good coachs. Maybe they can give some insight. Xquest has shot against the best of the best in pressure tournaments. Maybe he can give you some thoughts.
    Last edited by Daniel Boone; 02-23-2009 at 07:23 AM.
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  3. #3
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    whether it is archery, golf, baseball, football, or chess the hardest part of any game is the mental side. Why, because it is something that cannot not tangibly be taught. You can go see a coach about your form and do all the techniqual and physical stuff right but if you are weak mentally then it will not matter in competition. Unfortuntaely, it is very hard to coach mental toughness because you cannot see it. If I am coaching you, then I can tell you how to think through it, but I cannot see if you are actually going it.

    Think about what separates a Navy Seal from a regular solider. Everyday in training the Drill Sargent try's to mentally break every single person. Why, because he knows if he pushes them farther than anything or anyone will ever push them then when it comes down to it during battle those soldiers will know that there is nothing that they will come up against that they cannot handle. Over time the begin to realize that there is nothing that is going to break them and that is when they because one of the Elite soldiers in the world.

    My high school wrestling coach did much the same to us. He wanted us to reach our mental and physical limits every single day, and he would try and break us, but he would never let us quit either. We would wrestle 9 min matches in practice instead of 6 min matches. Every single day he would push us so hard that it would make us cry, make us puke, make us pass out, some days we would lash out on him for pushing us so hard, but you know what, every single day our limits grew just a bit and everyday we were becoming mentally stronger than the day before. Why, because when we hit the mat in competition at 6 min we were just getting warmed up.

    I am not sure if you can handle watching golf on TV for more than about 30 seconds but some weekend when there is a golf tournement on watch it for a bit. Watch the top golfers, Tiger Woods, Phil Mikleson, Vijay Shign: what separates them from the others, its not the physical sides because they all have every shot in the book. Its the mental side, the are mentally tougher than anyone else out there.

    Now, how does one go about gaining that mental toughness. Well that is a challenge and it is going to be different for everyone. When I played golf I had a routine that I had to follow, much like most archers do, it was very specific and very mapped out, all of it was done for a reason. I had many different parts of this routine and there was a reason for that too. It kept my mind busy, I had to go through each step in my mind before I did it physically so that I would get myself out of my own head and stop worrying about the SCORE!!!

    How many times when you are shooting in a competition do you go in knowing that you have to shoot 300 55X+ (there is is again the score) to finish towards the top. You have already put yourself in second place or worse, why because you are worry about the outcome and not about what is at hand. Do not worry about the damn score EVER its not important, it will be what will be the only thing the score is for is so other people can seperate you from the guy next to you. You need to worry about that arrow that is nocked on your bow string and nothing but that arrow. The arrow you just shot, (IT DOESN'T MATTER), the arrow you have sitting in your quiver (IT DOESN'T MATTER), the guy who just put the finishing touch on a 300 59X (DOESN'T MATTER), You worry about the arrow that is on the bow string right now.

    Get yourself a step by step routine that you go through on every single arrow. Run this routine through your head and make it part of your routine, like I said before this will keep you out of your own head and give you something to concentrate on.

  4. #4
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    Looney,

    I agree with DB & scmelik. Once you have the technique & form to shoot 50 x's, it becomes a mental game.

    This is why a shot sequence is so important. We can only hold one thought at a time in our conscious mind. If that thought is worry about the pressure, score or what another shooter is doing, it's not going to help us. But if that thought is about the next step in our shot sequence, chances are it will be a good shot.

    In pressure situations, you must focus only on the process of shooting. Allowing any other thoughts to intrude will interfer with your shot and reduce your score. It's these other thoughts that bring on the infamous choke.

    Shooting well under pressure is a difficult skill to learn because you can only practice it in pressure situations. It would be great to have a Navy Seal drill sargent to work with, but that's probably not practical for most of us. The best that most of us can do it to compete at a local level as frequently as possible.

    A good book on the mental side of sports is "Free Throw" by Dr Tom Amberry. At age 71, he set a record of 2,750 consecutive free throws without a miss. There is nothing about archery in the book, but it has some great stuff about the mental techniques in doing something over & over perfectly.

    Hope this helps,
    Allen

  5. #5

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    what seprates ME from the Pros is ability,form, arrow placement

    I know what you mean 1 day I can shoot lights-out, next day I can suck eggs, But I know it is a mental game. Thats why when you pratice make it a high pressure game, Say I wont go to the house till I shoot 5 perfect rounds or something of the sort. Or when your buddies are shooting with ya put a pop on the line and really want it.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Daniel Boone's Avatar
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    Default Hey Buddy

    From Xquest on this subject.

    EXPOSURE Dan,that's the key.I've said it before and I stand behind it now.You can home school yourself all you want but being out there with your competition is the only thing that will relax you down the road.
    In the day when I was in the top, all of the top shooters were good friends,we knew all of us could shoot so it was a contest to see who could shoot the best that weekend.Didn't matter who you shot for,we didn't care,the individual was recognized for his or her ability and we all knew where we stood at any paticular time and place.I could ask a favor of any one of those past champions today and get it same as I would do for any one of them........we were family.You can only have this through EXPOSURE and respect for the others.

    Hear a good answer
    DB
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  7. #7
    Senior Member JAVI's Avatar
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    Default

    This is part of a letter I wrote today in answer to almost exactly the same question...

    I believe that once you reach a certain level in expertise it doesn't matter what release you use...

    However, it isn't the release that is the issue, it is the amount of repetitive training your muscles and brain have endured. In your case it simply hasn't been enough time with one single method. You have just begun to get comfortable with your current method of shooting and in a non-pressure situation it works well, yet put you on the line with a group of shooters who will actually provide a challenge and the brain starts working overtime.. Until you commit to a single method of shooting and a single form long enough that your brain can turn off, you will never realize your potential. No one can be a great shooter while constantly changing style or equipment; it just can't be done.
    Mike "Javi" Cooper

  8. #8
    At least I admit Im Crazy Looney Bin's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Boone View Post
    From Xquest on this subject.

    EXPOSURE Dan,that's the key.I've said it before and I stand behind it now.You can home school yourself all you want but being out there with your competition is the only thing that will relax you down the road.
    In the day when I was in the top, all of the top shooters were good friends,we knew all of us could shoot so it was a contest to see who could shoot the best that weekend.Didn't matter who you shot for,we didn't care,the individual was recognized for his or her ability and we all knew where we stood at any paticular time and place.I could ask a favor of any one of those past champions today and get it same as I would do for any one of them........we were family.You can only have this through EXPOSURE and respect for the others.

    Hear a good answer
    DB

    I can definetly believe that. The only problem is that its like learning to shoot all over again. Learning to cope with different evironmental factors. I was more or less hoping for a magic pill(That know doesn't exist) to solve the problem. I knew deep down that it would come to just putting your self in high pressure situations and learning to cope.

    Thanks for the info DB.
    Of all the things I lost I miss my mind the Most!?!?!?


  9. #9
    Senior Member Daniel Boone's Avatar
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    Default I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Looney Bin View Post
    I can definetly believe that. The only problem is that its like learning to shoot all over again. Learning to cope with different evironmental factors. I was more or less hoping for a magic pill(That know doesn't exist) to solve the problem. I knew deep down that it would come to just putting your self in high pressure situations and learning to cope.

    Thanks for the info DB.

    Indoor archery seems so easy but yet so hard.
    DB
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  10. #10
    At least I admit Im Crazy Looney Bin's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JAVI View Post
    This is part of a letter I wrote today in answer to almost exactly the same question...

    I believe that once you reach a certain level in expertise it doesn't matter what release you use...

    However, it isn't the release that is the issue, it is the amount of repetitive training your muscles and brain have endured. In your case it simply hasn't been enough time with one single method. You have just begun to get comfortable with your current method of shooting and in a non-pressure situation it works well, yet put you on the line with a group of shooters who will actually provide a challenge and the brain starts working overtime.. Until you commit to a single method of shooting and a single form long enough that your brain can turn off, you will never realize your potential. No one can be a great shooter while constantly changing style or equipment; it just can't be done.
    Mike,

    Your right. I never commit to a single form for very long with out changing something. I think its the ADHD. I'm just a tinkerer by nature. I keep thinking that some minor change will lead to a Eurecka or Presto moment. Like a magic pill to take me to the next level.
    Of all the things I lost I miss my mind the Most!?!?!?


  11. #11
    Senior Member Daniel Boone's Avatar
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    Default Xquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Looney Bin View Post
    Mike,

    Your right. I never commit to a single form for very long with out changing something. I think its the ADHD. I'm just a tinkerer by nature. I keep thinking that some minor change will lead to a Eurecka or Presto moment. Like a magic pill to take me to the next level.
    Tells me to look in the mirror for the promblem when I start talking about changing equipment.
    DB
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  12. #12
    At least I admit Im Crazy Looney Bin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Boone View Post
    Tells me to look in the mirror for the promblem when I start talking about changing equipment.
    DB
    Not always an equipment change. Alot of times its tuning or tweaking my setup. Minor adjustments. I tend to overthink things. Like its a math problem. It has a set form to equate an answer that is right and consistant.

    I keep running my math and don't get the same answers.
    Of all the things I lost I miss my mind the Most!?!?!?


  13. #13
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    Just a few things

    Go to every event with the mindset that you will shoot your average, thus not applying any additional pressure on yourself forcing you to shoot better. End result if you do shoot better than your average you just bettered yourself and achieved one of your goals.

    Another is to set the bow up to shoot when your nerved – a lot of folks don’t realize the amount of additional pressure that is applied when the adrenaline is flowing in your system this effects a change in how hard your pulling into the wall on the cam thus changing the range of motion in your sight pin and also how your back reacts when working the release end.
    Also how much time have you dedicated to practicing, most shoot and shoot hours on end working on that perfect shot and keeping track of their progression in scores.
    But! I have always stated that archery is 95% mental. How many hours have you practiced on your mental game compared to shooting? Most none to very little in comparison, take time to tell yourself mentally as well as jotting it down on paper every day that you can and will achieve your goals be it a 300 game or a 60X round be fair and work your goals upward achieving one at a time, in time your mind will build confidence and you will tend to believe in yourself more and great things will happen.

    Every time you walk up to a line or stake to shoot an arrow picture that arrow smashing the X or 12 ring, then as you draw your bow back think about one of your shots that went off perfectly where your body exploded exactly the way you desired and you smashed the X zone as desired – Note every time you walk up (or draw a arrow repeat this) – this keeps your head screwed on right and keeps the numbers from sneaking in.

    Just some of my thoughts
    Hope this helps
    Jeff
    The only one that is your competitor is the air between your ears!



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDX-- View Post

    ...take time to tell yourself mentally as well as jotting it down on paper every day that you can and will achieve your goals be it a 300 game or a 60X round be fair and work your goals upward achieving one at a time, in time your mind will build confidence and you will tend to believe in yourself more and great things will happen.

    Jeff,
    Some good points in your post! But this one caught my attention because I find that it seems to cause me more problems than not.

    If I go into a shoot with a specific score goal, it seems to set up expectations that increase stress and poor shots.

    I've been more successful going in with the goal of shooting good shots or if I am working on a specific problem, set a goal of shooting every arrow with that problem area done correctly.

    What is your experience with this?

    Thanks,
    Allen

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    Very true
    Some of the key words here would be

    Be fair and work your goals upward achieving one at a time

    If you focus on achieving a great shot that felt good as you so desire
    Then this is one of the first and foremost stepping stones in this process

    The numbers can be barriers that will be knocked down in time, when practicing at home if you’re trying to break the 300 level and you always fall short then shoot an extra round or so for score in your daily practice until you hit the 300
    The same goes with your X counts
    And in time you will be able to do this 12 rounds instead of 13 or14 and your sub conscious mind will be used to the scores which you so desire and this will not be as much of a barrier to cross
    The only one that is your competitor is the air between your ears!



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDX-- View Post

    The numbers can be barriers that will be knocked down in time, when practicing at home if you’re trying to break the 300 level and you always fall short then shoot an extra round or so for score in your daily practice until you hit the 300
    The same goes with your X counts
    This is an interesting idea that I haven't come across before. While 300 isn't the problem any more, the X count definitely is.

    I shoot league tonight. It may take me until midnight to get the 60 X's but I'll do it.

    Of course if my wife gives me a hard time about coming in late, I'm blaming you!

    Thanks,
    Allen

  17. #17
    Bisquit....... BowhuntnHoosier's Avatar
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    Its all about the money.................


    Or you could just think about the next shot as the only shot and not as 60 of them put together. Just say you only have one shot each time to yourself. But what the heck do I know I'm not a PRO or friends of any PRO's.


    "HONDA"

  18. #18
    Movin on up!!! bullfiddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BowhuntnHoosier View Post
    Its all about the money.................


    Or you could just think about the next shot as the only shot and not as 60 of them put together. Just say you only have one shot each time to yourself. But what the heck do I know I'm not a PRO or friends of any PRO's.
    Hoosier you take that back.... Now Mister... Jeff and Jess are both Pro shooters and BFF's..
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  19. #19
    Bisquit....... BowhuntnHoosier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullfiddle View Post
    Hoosier you take that back.... Now Mister... Jeff and Jess are both Pro shooters and BFF's..
    Nope I am not doing it.....................they don't like me Fiddle. I got vibes from them.


    "HONDA"

  20. #20
    Movin on up!!! bullfiddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BowhuntnHoosier View Post
    Nope I am not doing it.....................they don't like me Fiddle. I got vibes from them.
    Ok your on your own my work here is done...
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