5 tactics for taking on the archery arena

The Archery World Cup Final gathers together the best 32 archers of the year-long season. It’s a showcase of the best that the best have to offer – and in front of the largest crowds around.

In the centre of Mexico City, the 2015 Archery World Cup Final featured an arena with a full 4,500-seat capacity – the largest archery stadium since the London 2012 Olympic Games – and in the central Zócalo square.

Shooting in such a pressure-filled environment is a daunting task, even for the pros. They revealed how they prepared for it…

1. There’s just you

The host nation representative in the recurve women’s competition, Alejandra Valencia advised trying to stay disconnected from everything happening around. She said she’d focus shoot on just her own shooting.

“You need to breathe and concentrate on what you are doing,” the Mexican archer said. “Imagine there’s just you, your bow, your arrow and the target. Nothing else matters.”

2. Visualise every Aspect

At his first Archery World Cup Final appearance, USA archer Collin Klimitchek admitted he might not have as much experience as many others do. But for him, it’s all about preparing mentally.

“Visualise everything from walking into the venue, setting your bow down like through the entire match. Be prepared for the pressure that you might feel outside and how you will react to that,” he said.

Wise for such a young man – the joint-youngest in Mexico City 2015 along with Choi Misun, also 19.

Four years older but already double World Archery Champion – he won the senior worlds at Turin 2011 and repeated in the summer of 2015 in Copenhagen – Korea’s Kim Woojin agreed, saying he’d worked on his mental training.

“Imagine the venue, how it would be to shoot out there. Imagine how you would celebrate if you win. Mind control is important when you want to achieve your goals,” he explained.

3. Keep your routine simple

“Make a routine and keep it simple in your mind,” top seed Misun said.

The Korean, who was world number one and highest ranked athlete over 2015 Archery World Cup season, her first as an international, said she’d think about the competition as part of her training.

“Focus on your shooting, focus on why you want to shoot that bow.”

Crystal Gauvin, 31 but only in her second year on the World Cup circuit, said similar: “Keep doing what you’ve being doing, whatever you’ve done that has got you to that point. Don’t change anything!” 

4. Remember, remember

Demir Elmaagacli won the compound men’s title in Mexico City. (It was his first major podium.) He revealed that he’d been reliving every match he had shot, all the archers that he had shot with. It helped him to stay calm.

“Go to the shooting line, have a look around and then try not to worry about anything. It’s just you out there, nothing else matters,” he added.

5. Be the best!

“All athletes should be careful, I’m the best in competition. That’s the only secret, you know,” Korea’s Kim Woojin teased, laughing.

No doubt, he the Korean two-time World Archery Champion arrived in Mexico City a heavy favourite.