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Now that we've had a great thread on physical form improvements everyone has incorporated into there shot this year, I though we, (or I), could pick up some more valuable pointers on the mental side of the struggle.
From my own perspective, once I get into a tournament or even a competitive club shooting situation, my nerves start to feel like felted wet wool. I can warmup for a match, and be blowing the knocks off my arrows, and at the start of the actual rounds, get dizzy and nearly fall off the line. needless to say my shot never even has a chance to work. After two years of struggling with this frustratingly silly but oh so real problem, I am finally beginning to see something like the light at the end of the tunnel.
My mental attitude had to be re-worked like any bad form issue. For me learning to deal with my ultra nervous jitters, had to be lived with. I am learning to push through with them literally. Being nervous and still presenting a strong, high energy, aggressive approach seams to be slowly winning out and putting me back in control. I can feel my ability to bring up my energy level and surge beyond the weakness brought on by panic. I don't think I have target panic, more like competition panic. The results are pretty much the same though. Forcing my psyche up and pushing forward at the target, refusing to collapse or feel weak is helping me out of my darkness.
Has anyone else struggled with their mental game, and hows the progress coming along?? Thanks in advance for any pointer you may be willing to share....Gary
 

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I always say "practice like a tourney and shoot a tourney like practice"

In other words I make my practice feel as much like a tourney pressure-focus situation so that when I do get to a tourney it just feels like another practice session, really thats all it is, if you've practiced to a high enough confidence level it's really just confirming all the things you did during practice.

I try not to think about getting certain score or beating Joe Blogs or even trying to win, once I've shot my last arrow thats when I start looking at my performance.

Always be positive, I remember being in tourneys and other in my group complaining how hard that shot is going to be, I'm thinking how cool it would be to nail that target, the others missed before they even nocked thier arrow.
 

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Just throw away the score sheet before you start shooting the course! LOL
I really dont agree with this, you just kid yourself into thinking you shooting is ok and hide from the problem of dealing with pressure.

Pressure is part of the game, if you understand that everybody is going through the same pressures and embrace it rather than hide from it, you find it's easier to cope with.

Perfomers suffer from stage fright but they deal with it head on and once on stage performing they enjoy themselves, itä's the same with Tourney shooting.
 

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I really dont agree with this, you just kid yourself into thinking you shooting is ok and hide from the problem of dealing with pressure.

Pressure is part of the game, if you understand that everybody is going through the same pressures and embrace it rather than hide from it, you find it's easier to cope with.

Performers suffer from stage fright but they deal with it head on and once on stage performing they enjoy themselves, it's the same with Tourney shooting.
That's the ticket! Yeah!

It helps to be an extrovert. A lot of folks have a hard time drawing attention to themselves. Many have been conditioned culturally that it's not a desirable trait. I'm hopeless. I love to be the center of attention. I feed on having folks watch me shoot, as well as shooting better than them.

Hmmmm, that's an entourage, isn't it! (grin)
 

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My post was meant to be humorous, sorry if I struck a nerve. I know about pressure! I would think there are several types of Archers. Some do it for the competition and winning, and some do it for their own satisfaction and Bowhunting. Pressure is only equated with the amount of pressure perceived by the participant in any competition. Training and repititions in a skill that is perishable is the key, along with simulated conditions. I think the best way to deal with competition shooting is to be prepared first by being in top form beyond what is required to win. As far as dealing with the "Nerves", simply doing it, along with a understanding that the task is the same as what you have trained for and knowing that you can accomplish it aside from the distractions that may be present. Most of this is only a perception problem by the individual. The fact is that you are the same person in a different setting and your ability has not changed. Say for instance as an example, A Perp shoots at me to kill me and I need to shoot him to negate the threat. OK, the reality is that all I need to do is, front sight and press, just like I have trained, bang and the threat is over, or I could let the fact that someone just tried to kill me rattle me to the point of fear and not react by simply following the basics of my training. No, you must train to keep things in their reality and perspective. It all boils down to sticking with your sequence and form along with not letting the distractions interfere with your focus on what you should do to keep with the subject. Bottom is just train hard and then go do it. The more experience you gain, the better you will adapt to coping and blending in with your surroundings without it penetrating your perception of things beyond the task you need to accomplish. Fear is shadow without substance. Hope I cleared up my previous post, which was just what I would do because Archery is not a competition thing with for me. I do it for me only, no one else. Winning is equated with killing the animal cleanly along with being in the woods.:)
 
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