Lin Shih-Chia using coaching as path back to Taipei’s top tier

Rio 2016 Olympic team bronze medallist Lin Shih-Chia last competed internationally at the 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships in Mexico City.

Until two years ago, we were used to seeing Shih-Chia on the shooting line at competitions. But the 26-year-old is in Madrid at the world youth championships for a different purpose. She’s standing in the coaching box behind Chinese Taipei’s recurve junior women’s team.

“It’s the first time I do it,” she said. “I’m still trying to get used to it, because when I was the athlete, all the information came from my coach, so now it’s me who needs to pay attention to all these aspects. It’s not easy.”

Shih-Chia suffered an injury that caused a dip in form. She fell out of the national team. But she now shoots in the Chinese Taipei pro league, launched at the start of 2019.

It’s indicative of the care taken of top archers that it was the coaching staff that took Lin to her international medals that suggested she should try coaching herself.

“Our head coach wants me to gain the experience of coming out and leading a team myself to see if this can help me get my condition back and be part of the top four,” she said. That would put her back on Chinese Taipei’s international squad.

Lin is familiar with travelling to competitions abroad. But the function she’s performing in Madrid is very new.

“Age-wise, I’m very close to the young archers, so I want to relay my own experience and information to the young archers and hopefully this helps them grow,” she said.

For some time, the Chinese Taipei international squad comprised Lin, current world number two Tan Ya-Ting and reigning world champion Lei Chien-Ying.

While still trying to regain her place in that formidable line-up, Shih-Chia sees the same team strength in the athletes she’s looking after in Madrid.

“Our recurve junior women are from different schools in Taipei, but for the past two years they have been teammates for the Asia Cup, so they know each other well,” she said.

The advice she’s been passing on includes banishing fear, remaining confident and focused on your own shooting, not worrying about the other archers on the line.

It’s wisdom she’s trying to use, too.

Because, hopefully, this coaching experience will give Lin what she needs to get back to the level she had a couple of years ago – and back on the Chinese Taipei team in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.