For years I’ve shot a certain way. Each shot I tried to improve my form, reach a point where every shot is the same and have every arrow land in the X. Now, to be clear, when I write that I’ve been doing this for years, while that’s true, it hasn’t been too many years. Years practicing a sport are often measured in decades. My years are limited to four.
Archery is an experiment whereby using a population of one (me) I am working to see how long it takes to become an “elite” archer. Part of the program is to determine whether “talent-transfer” from other sports might assist with archery. The other sports in the case here are cycling and triathlon. Both are individual sports, cycling is at times a team sport. Archery’s, also an individual sport, skill sets are vastly different from more vigorous athletics. Honestly, I thought I’d be further along than I am at this point.
There are plateaus that all athletes pass over. It would be easy to think, if a specific level was high enough to satisfy the individual, that some plateau might be associated with physical limits. In some sports such bars may be related to physical limits. Those limits could be imposed on an athlete because of genetics. For example, a five foot six inch male high jumper in high school will reach a vertical limit that might impinge his success while competing against six foot five inch jumpers in college. Sure, you might suggest there’s some springy-legged short fellow out there in a super hero costume that is an anomaly, but barring any Marvel-magic, the short guy loses to the giant in high jump competition.
Archery is a sporting equalizer. Size isn’t as relevant to the success of an archer as basketball player. Still, in every sport, archery included, athletes have occasional plateaus.
To surpass a specific level and improve, sometimes, there has to be significant changes. Those changes can lead to a momentary degradation in performance. Hopefully, sticking with sound coaching advice, the changes evolve into segmental improvement.
Which is where I currently find myself and waiting for the leap forward.