In Malaysia, we are slowly coming back to doing things as they were but with new ways and with extra precautions. The pandemic has really taken a toll on all of us and many are finding it difficult to hold their heads up and move on.
Though we are not yet out in the clear with Covid-19, there are things worth celebrating that can help us move forward in these challenging times. Some have taken a new direction in life and work, some have totally rebuilt their lives and moving on, but some are still struggling to keep things in place; hence let us all stay focused and vigilant in helping everyone especially those close to us, our family & neighbors, our community and society as a whole.
In terms of social & sporting activities, in Malaysia things are looking good. We are now allowed to do physical activities outside and this can actually help us get back in shape and refresh our minds to have new perspective, new targets, new hopes.
This also means that local archery activities are slowly getting back to being how they were pre-C19; outdoors archery, open tournaments and physical training are slowly being the norm again.
But, as we open our bow case & set up our bows, things seem a bit different; the bow feels heavier, the string feels harder to pull and our forms are not like they used to be. Some even have hung their bows and focus on other things in life.
But all is not lost! Those with passion still burning inside them are still at it! What about the rest of us? Well, here are some things you can do to reboot your archery and be ready for 2022!
Here are my 3-step suggestion to get things back in your archery!
1. Identify your gap: 2019/2020 vs current
As the point says, do a check of your last active of year 2019/2020 against this current year’s performance. Why? It’s important to know where we are today against where we thought we should be when we were hit by Covid-19. We were probably targeting to score a new Personal Best but since C19 hit, we are probably nowhere near to a new PB.
Do a check on all the things that matters to your archery, in order for you to gauge where you really are today, to enable you to set realistic new targets for 2022 and beyond.
Thing like below should be considered as we have taken a “rest” from being active for quite a long time. So, let’s see how we do after checking our current situation on the list below:
- PB of the year – have you been able to set a new PB since C19 hit?
- Bow setup – are there any changes to your current set up? Consider changing some setups such as:
- Bow poundage – in most cases this needs to be lowered
- Arrows – in some cases if you lower your bow poundage too much, you may have to change arrow spines as well
- Form & Technique – do you find it difficult to execute you “normal shot cycle”? if yes, this may result in starting back from basics or working with your coach to get things back to usual
- Body condition – things have really changed? Gained weight? For most kids, you may find yourselves out-sizing your equipment, including your arrows too!
- Achievable/Achieved targets – you may find that you might need to reset of make a new list of targets for 2022 as your previous targets may seem too far at current state
Maybe a simple table like below can help identify your gaps.
The key is to close the gaps!
|No||My Personal Archery Checklist||Pre-C19 (2019/2020)||Now (2021)|
|1||My Personal Best score (PB)||30m – 50m – 70m –||30m – 50m – 70m –|
|2||Bow Setup||Poundage – Draw length – Arrow spine –||Poundage – Draw length – Arrow spine –|
|3||Form / Technique||Shot cycle Pre draw Drawing/direction Anchor Release Balance||Shot cycle Pre draw Drawing/direction Anchor Release Balance|
|4||Body Condition||Strength / Stamina||Strength / Stamina|
|5||Set/Achieved targets||PB / Medals / Records||PB / Medals / Records|
2. Do START
The best time is NOW! To start, you need to act on the gaps once you have identified your current condition. Once you actually start doing things, then you will see results and differences.
Some may feel they have to restart everything and do things from the beginning, but nobody said you have to do it the same way. This time around, you should know what worked and what did not, hence you have the advantage of knowing what to do immediately instead of guessing and trying.
You can apply START to get you going. It’s a simple method to start doing what you need to do without the complications of thinking or doing too much things that makes you afraid to even start a single activity or pick up your bow & arrows again.
S – simple
T – tangible
A – activities
R – relatable to
T – targets
The idea is to avoid shooting like the pandemic never happened! Especially in archery, the bow poundage will feel like they weigh tons when you don’t shoot for a week, let alone 1 – 2 years of inactivity.
So, instead of going back to pulling 40lbs, maybe it’s best to pull the training bows that are 15% – 30% lower poundage than your setup. Give yourself time to get back in the groove and increase poundage slowly making sure you are progressing at the right pace.
Set simple targets for you to achieve in short terms, as they are basically your short-term milestones for you to get back to your pre-C19 conditions.
What if you don’t have multiple sets & poundage to choose? That’s where a simple training aid such as rubber band or resistance band come in handy. Never underestimate training aids such as the resistance band as even world level archer uses them on daily basis.
3. Be Patient
Yes, patience is very important if you want to get where you want to be. Remember, there are no short cuts to achieve good archery form & technique. Archery is the art of shooting good arrows in repetitions consistently.
Bear in mind everybody is going through the same thing as you, but what set you apart is the way you handle, manage and execute your action items to achieve your targets.
Always remember to take small steps, one at a time and don’t rush things as all things take time. Each activity we do has its own time to mature and reveal its results; some take little time and others take longer to produce.
As 2021 is coming to a close, lets remind each other to take care, be safe and always stay focus on new targets to achieve in future, near or far. May 2022 comes with plenty of positive things and good news for everyone!
Coach Joe @ 29 Dec 2021