Americas hosts mental training seminar for coaches

World Archery Americas hosted its first continental seminar on mental training in archery on 14-17 September in Medellin, Colombia. The workshop attracted 49 coaches and sport psychologists from Bolivia, Canada, Cuba, Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Colombia.

“We identified a weakness in our archers’ mental preparation and understood that pushing coaches for results without giving them the tools to succeed won’t yield better results,” said World Archery Americas President Maria Emma Gaviria.

In late 2016, national federations in the Americas completed a questionnaire designed to shape the continental development approach following Rio.

“This first training seminar on the subject educated national coaches and sport psychologists on the importance of balancing mental and physical preparation in athletes,” added Maria Emma.

Led by JFK University’s Chair of Sports Psychology Department Dr Alison Pope-Rhodius and Professor Fernando Lopez, a specialist in the field, and supported by students Drew Morgan and Mitzi Kincaid, the seminar covered four main topics:

  • Foundations of Sport Psychology in archery
  • Being present focused
  • Performance mentality
  • After performance

“We used sport psychology techniques to help coaches be better at what they do and learn how to transmit that to their archers,” said Alison.

“We have always believed that mental training is just a piece of the puzzle – but it is important to help athletes feel comfortable, motivated and trust in their own skills.”

Mexican coach Angel Ramirez Caballero said the tools learned during the seminar would help him to understand his athletes and own shooting better. Zoila Betanco, the national archery team psychologist in Cuba, added that “archery is more mental than technical” and that there should be increased provision for psychological side of the sport.

Each of the 49 participants received a certificate from World Archery Americas.

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