Man what a busy month March has been! Getting things ready for the second archery clinic, hosting the clinic, then a day and a half later flying to Arizona to attend the Arizona Cup. By the way, if you’ve never attended the Arizona Cup, put it on your to do list, it’s worth it. All the top shooters are there along with a few vendors.
The second archery clinic went as expected without a glitch. It was much better than the first one and using lessons learned sure made it easier. Three shooters came to my house Sunday morning to start the clinic a little early due to some scheduling conflicts with the training site being used by the Boy Scout Jamboree. So Sunday morning at 0900 hours three archers show up and training starts. One at the time I put them in front of a blank bale and have them shoot at little dots so they don’t damage any arrows. I sat right there on a bar stool watching them. Now as a coach it is important not to try and see too much at one time. So, I watched their releases and follow through, shot after shot after shot. Without saying a word to them as they shot, I instead spoke to the others as they waited for their turn. In doing so I was able to add a little pressure as they shot. After reviewing and making adjustments we moved outside and shot a few arrows before I sent them to lunch. After lunch we met at our normal training site. Now we were back training and without missing a beat these archers are in their grove. They took the information they had learned that morning and applied it. I have to admit the biggest and hardest thing for me to teach these Soldiers and Veterans was to take notes. I couldn’t tell you how many times I told them to write it down.
When your training and learning something new you can’t relax or your old form will creep back in. You are even more likely to revert back to your old form when you are under stress. Therefore, writing down the new technique allows our conscience and subconscious to see it, understand it and believe it. If you leave new methods and form changes to your mind alone to control it is a lost cause, because you have nothing to check it against. But when you go back and read what you’re supposed to do on every other shot, your subconscious mind will overwrite your old form. The more ways you can use to review the new method (like seeing it, feeling it, writing it down, and saying it aloud), the more likely you are to commit the new method to memory. Now don’t get me wrong, this does take time, months even. But it is the best way I’ve found to help you correct or change something in your form. And the other big helper is to say your steps out-loud as you shoot. We as archers are lazy, and we need to change that, we have to allow our subconscious to take over and do it correctly, but to do that we need to train correctly.
All in all, the clinic was smooth and great. We had a total of 12 shooters, a mind coach and a doctor, and oh yea, a real doctor. And you know what? These two are really cool people and they got involved and worked their asses off! Amy (Dr. Amy Guillen) our mind coach brought an EmWave system which she used to help show our shooters their heart rate variability, when they were inhaling or exhaling, and how many beats per minute the old heart was beating. Did their heart rate go up while shooting? Or down? Were they able to control breathing and heart rate when a mistake was made? As time went on each shooter was able to feel their heart elevating and breathing rate before it got out of control. They understood that by controlling both of these the body and mind are on the same page and they are more physically relaxed with less body movement. Thank you Amy.
Now for Doc Sean Hollenbeck, man what a wild and crazy guy he was. Here is this LTC in the US Army showing up at my clinic in a loaded down SUV, so loaded that the Doc’s dog didn’t have room to stretch out. So Doc backs his truck up and starts to unload. I think the only thing he didn’t bring was a surgical team, LOL. Just kidding Doc you made the clinic fun for the athletes and that low country boil was awesome! Man was that good! I ate myself sick and so did a few others. Well Doc I’m sorry to say we had no accidents this time so you didn’t get to use your doctor skills. Thanks to the 3rd Army for the CLS, what an awesome crew they were. They got right into the mix and helped out where ever needed. Almost forgot Doc had the athletes do a yoga session, you should have been there. It looked like a bunch of cartoon charters doing yoga.
Now check this out, we were using the EmWave system and the Dartfish system (video recording system) at the same time, pretty cool. I have to be honest if you’ve never been videotaped you should. These athletes learned so much from watching themselves shoot. It just goes back to the old saying a picture can speak a 1000 words, you just have to look at it.
I had an awesome time hosting both clinics and I too learned so much. Thank you to everyone who came to my home town. I hope you all learned a little something, I know I did.
Warrior games this year will be 30 April to 5 May and the Archery event will be on 2 May.
Hope to see you there, and if you can’t make, it keep us in your thoughts and prayers to wish us to the Gold Medal.
Some of you may know this already but I put my beard up for Gold Medals. The plan is as simple as this. Just after the awards ceremony I set in a chair and the team gets to shave my beard off. Yes it will be videotaped and yes I’ll do my best to post it on my web page.
Pictures from the entire clinic have been posted at the links below:
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