More Damned Lists

More Damned Lists

I have written often enough about “The List” which is the list of things you are working on to improve upon and that that list is to he read every time you shoot arrows. But I also advocate other lists be drawn up. For example, after every competition I ask my students to create two list: one is Things I Did Well. I ask that at least three things be written to make this list, there can be more but not fewer. The other is Things I Will Do Differently Next Time. Again, a minimum of three things must make up this list. Note that there is no “Things I Did Wrong List” although the second list comes close to that. This is so the focus is on what was done well and what needs to be learned without negativity.

These lists are to be written, and completed within 24 hours of the end of the competition, the sooner, the better because memories fade quickly.

Using the Lists The lists are kept and used in practice planning and in tournament preparation. Before attending a tournament, for example, reviewing the lists from the last time you attended may be very helpful, reminding you of difficulties in that competition that you need to prepare for. More immediately, the Things I Will Do Differently list suggests drills and practice exercises to learn to do those “new” things. I put “new” in parentheses because the same item can show up on this list repeatedly, meaning you didn’t really learn to do those things.

All of this information is hard to keep in mind and if you try, you will be making more mistakes of memory than of archery. Things you promise yourself you will work on become “things worked upon” and even things done” without much effort. After all, you can’t learn that which you think you already know.

Lists are just a way to keep your archery mind uncluttered (these lists are to be written in a segment of your journal so as to be easily accessed and not have to be remembered) so that it can focus more and more over time on your shot process and all of the manifestations of archery skills, things that will actually lead to better scores.

Originally from A Blog for Archery Coaches.

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