My 4 steps to Success – with a coach

When coaches work with archers they should consider following my “4 Steps to Success”:

  1. Planning
  2. Preparation
  3. Motivation
  4. Gaining a psychological edge

Let me explain!

1. Planningbackwards & not forwards (from the event back to training day )

2. Preparation – failing to plan is planning to fail

3. Motivation – be a good coach – nb a good coach will empower archers by giving them the… “ABC of Empowerment”:

  • Autonomy – i.e. the archer taking ownership of their own actions (“voice & choice”)
  • Belonging – giving them a sense of BELONGING (“Respected & Connected”)
  • Competence – Creating Competence & Confidence in a Task Focussed NOT a Superiority Focussed environment.  So, ensure archers connect with an empathetic coach, i.e. the coach is NOT the most important person – the ARCHER is!  If not already, now IS the time to become an empathetic coach.

4. Gain a psychological edge – using imagery, i.e. To influence the archer’s behaviour cycle:

a) Visual imagery influences

  1. Emotions that drive thoughts
  2. Thoughts drive behaviour
  3. Behaviour drives performance, so, encourage archers to use:
    • Words to inspire them
    • Words that trigger response
    • Words that mean something to them
    • Words that make them feel positive
    • Words that create happy thoughts – especially after making a less than good shot

b) Mind pictures or as i call it “armchair archery”. Encourage archers to:

Create a happy thought process of shooting an arrow into the gold:

  • from rising off their chair and picking up their bow,
  • walking to the line, being aware of sounds around them; of the wind and weather,
  • of loading, drawing and shooting the arrow into the Gold,
  • whilst focussing on the Gold and seeing their arrow hit it.

Just remember they are not shooting 144* arrows – they are shooting one perfect arrow 144* times. (*or whatever number they are preparing for)

This is known as Mental Rehearsal (aka MR)

Encourage your coachee to practice MR in any quiet moments at home, at work, in the car in traffic jams or on the bus – anywhere.  The more they practice the more their practice will promote kinaesthetic awareness, understanding & success.

Imagery is powerful, helping them to create success & helping them forget any bad shots.

Let the power of success influence their future!

By Philip van Buren, Senior Coach, © 2021/22