I like having a schedule. I know when to train, what my plan is, and where I’d going to do it. It is important to make a plan and stick with it. There are times, however, when small changes can help improve athletic development.
Using a regular interval I measure my progress. The measurements I take include scores, targets, distance judging, and equipment. I don’t do this during every practice or everyday – still I do this every often. Some sessions I just go out and shoot for fun.
By monitoring my training sessions I can see when the data begins to plateau. When that occurs, I change up my shooting plan. Typically, that means a minor change, but it means some change. I’ll go to a different range, move targets around, or change my shooting positions. When results become flat, it is time for a change.
At other times, I become bored with shooting the same target, at the same time, day in and day out. It is important to keep times fresh and I’ll switch the paper targets I’m aiming at to different styles. That keeps me motivated and the new target becomes a new challenge.
It is easy to get hooked shooting. The mental aspects, for me, are often clarifying and nearly meditative. There is a physical element to this sport and even though the brain may want to continue, the arms and shoulders need time to recover. I shoot a lot of arrows and I try to be careful to keep practice time according to my plan in order to allow for recovery. I’ve blown that more than once and the outcome wasn’t good.
From the other sports where I’ve competed, I take lessons learned and apply them to archery. When I see results level out, begin to feel bored, or get that burn in my arms that is different that usual I pause and evaluate, then often I will adjust my routine.