What’s your average score as an archer? Does this change with the changing of equipment? How would you know? Jackie Wilkinson is a 5 time British Field Archery Champion. In her book, Succeed in Sports, she describes her methods of tracking practice as an archer. On May 9, 2013, Reo Wilde, a World Champion professional archer, (at Reowilde.com) describes his practice and how he prepares for indoor and outdoor tournaments. He also writes about how he uses “group tuning” to help his shooting. What they have in common is a record of their training.
In all sports, the top athletes, record, monitor and evaluate progress. Of course, training is not simply about keeping a tally of practice. Our practice has to translate to performance in competition. In Wilkinson’s book she provides an index of training methods for: golf, hammer throwing, running, tennis, and other training specific activities. How does an archer provide training advice for other sports? She points that some techniques for improvements crossover disciplines.
Training and preparing for any event can be enhanced with understanding goals and having a defined schedule for training. For triathlon, I have used a sophisticated computer program that generates my daily work specific to the degree of exertion level, distances, and rest periods. It logs my workout and matches it to my plan. In the 1970’s, as a competitive cyclist, we used paper logs and were coached through the process. In archery, relying on decades of training program experience, I have created a structured program for practice.
This program uses an Excel spreadsheet to record, equipment, poundage, release type, range, running averages, and other variables. Some of the data can be graphically displayed. These graphs provide information that becomes useful for periodization and problem solving.
While practicing at a range in NC a gentleman approached me to brag that he shot 30 arrows a day in his back yard. He added he’d been shooting for 20 years. Watching him it was clear he could shoot. But, even with my inexperience, I could see he had room for improvement based on his groups. I doubted his training was more than shooting 30 arrows a day. And with those shots I expect he made no measure of this level of proficiency or technique. Recording and storing your data is not time consuming. By creating a simple log, establishing goals, then measuring and analyzing your performance, you take the guesswork out of Putting it on the Line.