Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
at the Range Don’t Be Afraid to Fail at the Range

Do you worry about missing the bull’s-eye at the indoor range? Before turning red and feeling embarrassed, remember that most people go to the range to become better archers. Everyone was once new to the sport, so don’t be disappointed when your arrows don’t strike dead-center.

Think of the range as a judgment-free zone. It’s a place to practice, improve your technique and sharpen your accuracy. As you practice, you’ll gain more confidence in your shooting skills.

Everyone needs to work on their form, even the pros. Photo Credit: ATA

Nobody is perfect when working on their form. Form work means adjusting your stance, grip, posture, bow arm, anchor point, release and follow-through. When working on form while learning archery, you’ll make a few mistakes as you figure out what works for you. Use that range time for evaluation. Keep track of your score and check your progress with each shot.

Even pro archers get nervous and miss during competition. At the 2017 Lancaster Archery Classic, Chance Beaubouef missed a shot, but followed up with perfect shots the rest of the round. On a larger scale, one of the best basketball players of all time was once cut from his high school basketball team. He also lost 300 NBA games and missed 26 game-winning shots. Still, Michael Jordan also led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships and earned the MVP title five times.

Failure is integral to success because you’re pushing yourself to become better. Some of archery’s most valuable lessons are learned from missing shots. It’s the comeback that proves character.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia published a study in 2017 about self-compassion among students. They found students with higher levels of self-compassion felt more optimistic, energetic and alive during college’s first trimester. That same self-compassion also helped students recognize that failure is an inherent part of learning in sports and life.

We need failure to help drive us toward our successes. Photo credit: ATA

Researchers in a 2016 study by Stanford University found that children who are encouraged to learn and grow from failure believe they can also change their mindset about their intelligence. But children raised to see failure as debilitating end up dwelling on those failures and maintain a “fixed mindset” about their intelligence.

To maintain the proper “never-say-quit” attitude on the range, remember these quotes by famous people who learned from failure:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“What to do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” – Dean Smith

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failing is another stepping stone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey

“I know that fear is an obstacle for some people, but for me it is just an illusion. … Failure always makes me try harder on the next opportunity.” – Michael Jordan.

And then keep shooting. Practicing, spending time at the range, and learning from your mistakes will help you become an excellent shooter. Check out Archery 360’s Store Locator to find an indoor range near you.

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