Patience key to successful indoor prep says Gellenthien

Braden Gellenthien’s outdoor season finished on 22 October when he got back home from the Hyundai World Archery Championships in Mexico City, where he won individual bronze in the compound men’s event – his third career podium at the outdoor worlds.

He left for the first stage of the Indoor Archery World Cup in Marrakesh, which he won, on 8 November.

“I had 16 days to prepare,” said Gellenthien. “I spent the first week of that time vacationing and recharging my batteries so that I could come back focused and rejuvenated. So I used nine days to prepare for Morocco.”

The first of those nine days was spent tuning, followed by three days of shooting 200 arrows per day to regain strength.

“I was left with just five days of actual ‘practise’ to work out kinks and fine-tune,” said Braden.

The regime paid off. 

In Marrakesh, the 31-year-old seeded third – behind the world’s only 600-point shooters in Stephan Hansen and Mike Schloesser – and then went on to take gold in eliminations, beating his very own student Jesse Clayton in the final.

“A coach is forced to become less lazy in their own form, preparation and focus because it’s quite difficult to coach someone while preaching, ‘do as I say, not as I do’,” said Gellenthien.

The reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion added that understanding the how and why behind shooting helps to master your own technique.

Over an international career that’s spanned 15 years, Braden’s mastery of both the indoor and outdoor disciplines has been evident. He’s won the World Cup Final twice, taken a huge list of stage and final podiums, climbed the World Archery Championship podium three times and was World Archery Indoor Champion in 2007.

He’s also the world record holder for the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round with 718 out of a possible 720 points.

Despite the success outdoors, Braden has often expressed his enthusiasm for the indoor format.

“I sometimes refer to indoors as a relief because it is a time to work on form and mental game without being harassed by the outdoor elements,” he said.

“I feel like it removes a lot of stress and allows an archer to focus on themselves and work to perfect their craft.”

Indoors, Gellenthien said he slows down his shot process:

“When you’re shooting outside that you need to be very active in your shot process and take advantage of conditions when they might be available. Indoors, it’s just you and the target.”

“Patience and consistency become the key.”

Interestingly, having been successful over long and short distances on the target range, Braden’s not been tempted to make much of a foray into field shooting, unlike many of his all-round compound counterparts.

“Sometimes during the season I feel overwhelmed and like I don’t have enough time to prepare for the events already on my schedule,” he explained.

“It makes it incredibly difficult to try and add learning all of the nuances of a completely new discipline.”

Not a month removed from his bronze at the Hyundai World Archery Championships, Braden is already in full swing this indoor season. 

After bagging maximum points in Marrakesh, he’s in the driving seat as the circuit progresses to Bangkok, Nimes and then onto its conclusion in Las Vegas, where he last won in 2013.

Gellenthien’s had a fast start – and within two months we’ll know if he can convert that into another big finish. 

Braden’s 4-step prep

Getting ready for the indoor season is not rocket science.

1. Acquire and prepare equipment. Order, build and test arrows, new releases and sights and select a bow.

2. Tune. Build the bow, select a draw length and begin paper and bareshaft tuning.

3. Practise.

4. Schedule tournaments. Compete!

Braden Gellenthien won the compound men’s gold medal at the first stage of the 2017/18 Indoor Archery World Cup took place in Marrakesh, Morocco on 10-12 November 2017.