dark cloud

dark cloud

It's ok to miss - Beating Target Panic

1d ago
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I love Archery, its my passion in life. And I realise how incredibly lucky I am to be doing a job I love at Merlin Archery. But a while back I hit a small snag in my archery, a dark cloud that was sucking out all my enthusiasm and enjoyment from this noblest of pastimes… Target panic! Target panic comes in many forms, but for me I was unable to let go of the string. I’d draw up, focus on my target and nothing, I just couldn’t make my body relax my hand and let the string go. So I’d force the shot and the arrow could end up anywhere. What had changed?… It wasn’t my form, I’ve been shooting the same way for years. So whatever was happening to me was mental. I put my bow down for a while and started looking at what was going on with me. I spent time talking to all the archers I knew about the dreaded target panic, but being an instinctive archer I’m really in the minority around these parts. A lot of the advice I got from my target archer friends was very technical, a lot of working on my form, blank boss shooting and shooting with my eyes closed, that kind of thing. Don’t get me wrong, blind shooting is an amazing technique and I’ve used it for years to get my form down pat. I even tried it in this instance. It worked a treat, a perfect shot every time with no target panic. But as soon as I open them boom it was back. I needed to look deeper. Being incredibly bull headed and stubborn I find it quite hard to ask for help. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m lucky enough to count a Canadian Instinctive archer that I hold in the highest regard, Jeff Kavanagh as a friend. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years. So I bit the bullet, and asked him for his help and advice. Jeff has got this uncanny ability to tell you exactly what you need to hear… What is Target Panic? All it is really at it’s core is a fear of missing. So why was I so scared of missing? It was my job. I’m the face of an archery company, I make youtube videos giving people help and advice, reviewing products, coaching, holding workshops and doing challenges. Without really thinking about it I’d put myself in the public eye, and the pressure I’d placed on myself was huge. Whether I was shooting at my club, at the Merlin range or making a video, I thought every shot I took had to be perfect, people might be watching. But Jeff made me realise it really doesn’t. Its ok to miss every once in a while, especially when shooting instinctively. Jeff told me to get back to doing what I love, put the fun back in to archery. Archery to me has never been a numbers game, I’ve never been bothered about high scores, all I’ve ever cared about was hitting what I was looking at. But lately I’d been putting in a lot of target rounds, almost to prove to my self that i was good enough. Jeff also told me that Target panic is no big deal and not to “get my knickers in a twist” I’ve heard so many horror stories about how its ended archery careers and how people have had to change disciplines or put the bow down for good. I really don’t want to trivialise anybody else’s experience, because I know target panic can be devastating. But when you come to understand its ok to miss sometimes, that pressure just lifts right off. Please understand that this is just my own experiences with target panic and yours may be totally different, but one things for certain, its all in your head. Take the pressure off and have a little fun with it and I’m sure your target panic will ease… (But these are just the ramblings of a slightly chubby bearded archer) It has done wonders for me. Please Come check us out at... http://www.merlinarchery.co.uk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/merlinarchery Twitter: @MerlinArchery Tumblr: http://archeryadventures.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/jimgrizzlykent or drop me a line at grizzlyjim@merlinarchery.co.uk Take care and shoot straight You can also Check out Jeff's Channel here https://www.youtube.com/user/j...