Shot Process

Author: Alec Potts   Date Posted:9 June 2017 

Throughout my experience in archery, everyone always talks about the importance of the mental game. Yet very few seem to fully grasp it. Throughout my coaching experience thus far, I am yet to find an archer that can provide a clear and concise shot process, when requested. Mostly individuals talk about things such as stance and release and expansion etc. but have no clear thought process as to the words to trigger these actions, or sometimes even the order they occur in! 

This is the first thing that I work on with new students, and it usually only takes 1-2 sessions before the process is ingrained. It is also one of the few ways i have found, to get instant improvement in archery. The conscious mind can only focus on one thing at a time, and it only does so for 3 seconds (Evans, 2004, P.27). So if you take your time and focus on a keyword, a song or an image before you begin the draw, then by the time you reach your anchor your mind has already drifted off!

Have you ever walked into a room in your house with a task in mind, only to forget moments after arriving why you're there? This is your conscious mind in action! The same goes for when coaches tell an archer, to focus on a single area of technique, such as release, bow-arm or any other area. This may work for a short period of time, but in the long-term, other areas of technique will begin to deteriorate and it will become a kind of juggling act, to keep everything together.  

How do we apply this to archery? Well firstly, we need to adopt a hollistic approach to technique and not simply isolate areas. We also need to occupy our mind every 3 seconds, in order to avoid letting external stimuli into our conscious mind. Shot process is key to mastering control over this process! The basis of this will be covered in the next blog. 

- Alec Potts



V.Evans, 2004, The Structure of Time: Language, meaning and temporal cognition

Comments (3)


10 June 2017
Looking forward to understanding your process as you've proved how it can work, watching champions you can often see their visual routine but understanding their mental process/routine is gold


10 June 2017
Excellent stuff Alex's My mental game is the weakest part of my "shot sequence " Working on one aspect of the physical shot each time I see my coach and some comp prep ( my coach is Dale nicholson ) I try to blank my mind completely let my subconscious drive my physical shot but this does wander Looking forward to part II Stu


10 June 2017
Hi Alec, Excellent post! Cannot wait for future posts. So if our mind 'updates' every 3 seconds, what do you suggest our mind should 'think" about in the 10-30 seconds from draw to realease? Thats approx 10 things our minds will process. Would love your insight. Kind regards, John Ring

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