Shooting with experts: Intimidating or Inspirational?

fbirder

Supporter
Supporter
This Sunday I shot my second outdoor competition (well, my two-and-a-halfth having retired hurt from my first). I was sharing my target with two very good archers (indeed, they went on to share first place). As the competition progressed I realised that I was shooting far better than I'd ever shot before. I can put some of this down to a lot of practice over the last two months, and some helpful coaching, but I was still shooting better than I had done the previous week.

Only later did I wonder if it may have been the fact that everybody else on that target was shooting extremely well and that may have been inspiring me to do my best to keep up with them. I'm going to try to keep that feeling in mind the next time I shoot competitively, but I was wondering if others had noticed something similar, or maybe found it an intimidating situation with an adverse effect on performance.
 


Simian

Supporter
Supporter
I hope so. Due to circumstances beyond my control I've ended up on the county team alongside two archers with handicaps 13 points lower than mine.

I've never come last in a tournament before...

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Colonel Abraham

New member
I shot a PB Portsmouth earlier this year at the county champs, I was sharing a target with one of our current GB team.
She was brilliant, praising some of my shooting.
 


ColinAff

New member
I remember sharing a target with a Team GB archer a few years back who was much better than me. I was a quite excited to shoot with somebody so good but when we got going this archer seemed very stand-offish, not really interested in me and frankly seemed a bit rude at times. It did put me off a little and my scoring suffered as I felt self-conscious about my technique and equipment.

With hindsight the archer was just trying to stay 'in the zone' I think and did not want to allow me to put them off their mental game. My mental game was weak too and I allowed myself to be put off. Nowadays that wouldn't faze me at all and I have a 'it's just me and the target' type of approach which works well. I do like a chat between ends though as I find it easier to switch off when behind the line and re-focus again on the line.
 


sreynolds

New member
The inspirational effect is well known throughout sports. Athletes have a definite tendency to perform up or down to the level of the competition. In my personal experience, there is an initial intimidation factor upon realizing that you are sharing a field with an elite performer -- but that is quickly supplanted by a desire for any observers to see the very best that I can manage, even if I'm being soundly thrashed by a world champion.
 


KidCurry

Well-known member
Over the years I've noticed clubs that have a couple of really good compound archers will tend to pull up the others in the club. What was interesting was that it never seemed to affect the recurve archers. I put this down to sharing knowledge and tips with like archers. Certaianly when shooting on the same target as Chris White some years back, I would definately put some of my scores down to Chris's arrows dragging mine in, as it were!
 


eljetico

Supporter
Supporter
I hope so. Due to circumstances beyond my control I've ended up on the county team alongside two archers with handicaps 13 points lower than mine.

I've never come last in a tournament before...
Ditto for me too...!
 


GoneBad

Member
The amount you can learn by just standing next to these guys on the shooting line is phenomenal.
I was fortunate enough to find myself sandwiched between Chris White and John Nott at Oxford one year, free master class! got my 1300 Fita star from being a low 1240s shooter, and the following year Adam Ravenscroft set up his chair next to mine at Andover. All were very chatty and gave me invaluable shooting tips.
Don't get nervous about them, see it as a golden opportunity.
 


bimble

Well-known member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
This is me standing on the line next to Reo Wilde... and I was also sharing a target with Steve 'The Cat' Anderson... it was just awesome!! And I equalled my pb for the fita 18...

 


wingate_52

New member
Good for you fbirder. I find that I push myself more when shooting with better archers. If I am too relaxed, I do not shoot as well. Trying conditions such as rain also drive me on. I do look at other archers technique and equipment. It does not hurt to talk to them during a break or on a long walk to or from the boss when retrieving arrows. If they are not communicative, maybe they are not miserable, but "in the zone". Enjoy!
 


fanio

Active member
Not intimidated at all.

I spent a whole day shooting round a field course with Frank Pearson at a World Field Archery Championships in the 90s (when he was still a top pro). It was awesome - he was nothing like a lot of the sponsored archers on the UK circuit now. My experience at tournaments in the UK has been that quite a few of the sponsored archers (particularly "The Mathews clicque" - you've seen them - and a few others) are a little bit stand-offish. I don't necessarily think it's because they are in the zone because they seem "present" enough to be chatty and have fun with other members of the "cool people".

I shot a H2H match against Duncan Busby last year, and in strong wind managed to take him to 112-112 after a doz. THEN nerves did get me though and I lost comprehensively to a XX9 from him in the final end. Good experience though.

It was also nice shooting alongside Aida Roman and Pascale Lebecque on the practice line at the EAF this year.
 


Stash

New member
"Intimidating or Inspirational?"

Never found it to be either, collectively. These people are just people like any other part of society. They just happen to be a bit better at something than you or I.

Some are great people you'd like to have as friends, some are just strangers you would ignore and who would want to ignore you, a rare few are jerks you avoid whenever possible.

One thing to keep in mind is that they have to deal with a lot of people who do think of them as either intimidating or inspirational, and some handle the position well, some don't. Cut them some slack if you feel you've been ignored or they seem "stand-offish" - they have a lot of new people constantly trying to get into their lives.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
One thing to keep in mind is that they have to deal with a lot of people who do think of them as either intimidating or inspirational, and some handle the position well, some don't. Cut them some slack if you feel you've been ignored or they seem "stand-offish" - they have a lot of new people constantly trying to get into their lives.
Very interesting comment, Stash. Cheers for that.
 


Marcus26

New member
I can't say I find it either, but then I get to shoot with great shooters all the time. They are just normal people.
 


fanio

Active member
Some are great people you'd like to have as friends, some are just strangers you would ignore and who would want to ignore you, a rare few are jerks you avoid whenever possible.

One thing to keep in mind is that they have to deal with a lot of people who do think of them as either intimidating or inspirational, and some handle the position well, some don't. Cut them some slack if you feel you've been ignored or they seem "stand-offish" - they have a lot of new people constantly trying to get into their lives.
fair enough.
 


Marcus26

New member
Also keep in mind that they want to chill with their buddies too, and may not be all that outgoing. Many top shooters are also quite shy as well. You know, like normal people.
 


steve Morley

New member
Not intimidated at all.

I spent a whole day shooting round a field course with Frank Pearson at a World Field Archery Championships in the 90s (when he was still a top pro). It was awesome - he was nothing like a lot of the sponsored archers on the UK circuit now.
I remember standing next to him on the practice range WFAC in England he was making a 5 arrow X patten in the X ring at 30y awesome.

I got to hang out with Dave Cousins last year at WA3D worlds, got some great tips on the mental game etc. I've been lucky enough to shoot with some great shooters over the years, I NEVER felt intimidated by them, they all came across as friendly and approachable.
 


ChakaZulu

New member
I shot with Kassai Lajos in Jordan a couple of years ago (YouTube him if you've never seen him in action). I spent a bit too much time watching open mouthed and not enough concentrating on what I should be doing!

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steve Morley

New member
I shot with Kassai Lajos in Jordan a couple of years ago (YouTube him if you've never seen him in action). I spent a bit too much time watching open mouthed and not enough concentrating on what I should be doing!

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I met him in Hungary a few years ago and chat with him on FB sometimes, HUGE respect for this guys skills with both horse and bow.
 


ChakaZulu

New member
I'm off to his place for the world championships in a couple of weeks. Always wanted to go there!

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