(music playing) Here’s something you can probably all relate to. You turn up at the range, and do your first shots. The arrows are touching. Your release feels good, all is going well. Then you get that one arrow, that doesn’t want to group. You shrug it off, you shoot another round. Then it’s two arrows. Then three arrows. And then your grouping spreads to the entire face. Then you miss. And you miss again. And then your grouping goes back to what it was. Yeah, it’s alright, can’t get any worse. Then you break an arrow. And that’s it, there’s no coming back from that. The session’s over. You pick up your gear and go. Because, the more you shoot, the more arrows you break, the more arrows you lose. And the closer you get to the point of no return. You might be thinking – hang on, that’s a bit dramatic. No, this is actually a thing. There is a point where people essencially rage quit from the sport and never come back. Everyone is affected by this. Pros, beginners, they all have slumps, where nothing seems to feel right. And it can be extremely difficult to overcome these periods. And it is very easy for someone to go down the path of destruction. It’s tough. It’s tough for you as an archer. It’s tough for your coach, because effectively you’ve stopped listening and you’ve lost your focus. Every shot feels bad. Your release feels wrong, you held on too long. You hit yourself. You swear after every shot. Your focus is just totally in the wrong places. The cracks are there and it doesn’t take much for the snap to happen. I’ve seen older women chuck their bows aside and walk off. I’ve seen archers embed their arrows in the target frames. And instead of pulling it out, just snap the carbon shaft in anger. Carbon shafts! It’s terrifying to see people go through this meltdown. The worst thing is that these people don’t come back. They’re just gone, their feeling is gone. Archery is no longer fun, it’s not enjoyable. It’s stressful. They can’t do it. And they may have spent hundreds or thousands even on equipment and membership fees and range fees and all that. And they just leave it, it’s gone. These people just disappear. Once you take few days off, then it’s really hard to come back. They are people, who with some time and effort, and dedication could become accomplished archers and they could find this to be an enjoyable sport. But they walk out. So what do you do? I mean it’s really hard to tell someone: “Hey! Go meditate!” Unfortunately I don’t have an easy way to defuse that growing anger. It really comes down to mental discipline. Not just in shooting well and consistently, but also recognising when you aren’t shooting well. And stopping it before it gets worse. After one bad shot, you’ve got to put it behind you and send the next one into the gold. But if you’re too fragile to focus, or you are getting too twitchy, or you’re oversensitive to pass through your shot process. Stop shooting! Go closer to the target and so some blind bale shooting. Just close your eyes and get a feel for the shot. Just do that. Forget your distractions. Just do that. Focus on the correct motion. And get the feeling back. Once you’ve done it a few times, open your eyes, and do it. Remind yourself the same feeling. Nothing different. You’re at a range where you can’t miss a target, you’re right up close. Just do it until you get the motion correct. Once that’s settled, go back to your practice range. If you still can’t get it right, you still can’t settle, go back up close and do it again. It’s essential that you begin and end the training session with some blind bale shooting so that you start and end with the right feeling. Starting out cold and finishing poorly is how you go down the slope to chronic form problems, and ultimately rage. So the question for today is – What are your stories on archer rage? And how have you dealt with that impending sense of frustration? This is NU Sensei bringing you another archery annoyance.