If you want to be among the top scorers in big tournaments, you must consider all factors which could affect your shooting. Some of these factors may be very complex, and mean or describe many different things. Some examples are:
The more archery is developed the more different factors have been found to affect results. Mental factors, to name but one category, are much more emphasized now than a few years ago.
If you analyze known factors carefully, you will find that certain factors can compensate for deficiencies in others, other factors are largely independent. Some examples of the former are:
Mental training can compensate for contest nervousness. A lot of basic shooting practice can compensate for lack of technical training. Reading a lot about archery and talking to fellow archers can save a lot of experimenting and testing.
Some examples of the latter are:
Top physical fitness will hardly help you if your shooting technique is lousy. Good (expensive) equipment is not of much use if it is incorrectly tuned. Perfect distance judging will not improve your results if you are heavily overbowed.
Unfortunately many archers vainly try to compensate for their weak spots by further improving their best factors. Don't forget that a chain is never stronger than its weakest link.
In the following self test the ambition has been to join factors that can compensate for each other in the same group, while there is limited inter- group interaction. The different groups are as follows:
The main idea with the self evaluation is to identify your weak spots and to be a checklist for your training. Of course, the first requirement if you want to improve your shooting, is to find the problems, otherwise it is not easy to know what you need to change and/or improve.
Under each heading there are seven statements. Try to determine how well each statement describes you or your situation. Maybe a fellow archer who knows you very well can help you to acheive more accurate results. If you choose that method, fill in one form each, independently, with you as the subject, and afterwards discuss and compare the scores. Try to determine who has done the most correct judgment. If both of you want to go through the test, do all the paperwork first before discussing anything. Try to be as honest and sincere as possible, otherwise the test will not be of much help and the only person you will fool is yourself.
If the statement is absolutely correct for you, give yourself 5 points, if it is reasonably correct, 4 points, if it's not really correct, but not wrong either, 3 points. If it is sort of untrue, 2 points, and if it's all wrong, 1 point. Don't be afraid to use the full span of the scale. Compromising and scoring 3 for every statement won't do much good.
Calculate the sums for each group. Your weakest spots will probably be in the groups with the lowest scores.
It's not very meaningful to compare scores between different individuals (except maybe for the guy who helped you with the test), because words don't mean exactly the same for other people.
This self test was prepared by L-G Swenson. Swenson is one of Sweden's top field archers, currently president of the Archery club in Lund, Sweden. The test has been in use for years in this club. Some years ago it was printed in a German archery magazine (in German). The English-language version has been prepared by Claes Colmeus, Department of Pharmacology, Lund, Sweden.
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