The Most Important Arrow

“Focus on your goals, one arrow at a time.” – Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson with her quote at H&H Gun Range, Thursday , July 7, 2011. Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman

Joe and I have had the privilege in the last few years of receiving our USA Archery certification training both from Jane Johnson, the grande dame of archery in Oklahoma, and Tom and Kathleen Stevenson, world class coaches and competitors. One of Miss Jane’s most famous statements is the one above, often quoted by the Stevensons (and us) when teaching. It’s key to the concept that the most important arrow of all is the one currently on your string.

It’s one of the most simple in concept but difficult in practice things we try to teach our beginning archers. They’re so excited when they see their arrows start to hit the target! And they concentrate on “what’s my score?” instead of their shooting form. Shooting for achievement pins is a good way to motivate them, and give them a benchmark on how they’re improving. But somehow we have to keep them from worrying about what their last few arrows scored or what their next few arrows have to hit to earn that pin. No matter whether they’re in practice, a fun shoot, or competition at any level, their focus has to be on this shot, no other. It’s something I have to constantly remind myself, as well.

Set your goals. Learn from each shot, but don’t dwell on it. Prepare for your next shot, but don’t anticipate it. Keep your focus on the arrow you have right now, and you’ll reach your goal, one arrow at a time!







3 Comments Add yours

  1. Terry Glad says:

    Well said. And I have to strongly agree. The last few times I shot for my achievement pins, I asked my scoring partner to not let me see my running score, so that I could focus on just doing as best I can. I have been successful with this concept so far.

  2. Sam says:

    Well said, and I am also guilty but I am generally the one keeping the running totals. Maybe keeping the achievement matrix put up until after we have shoot will help us focus on each shoot vs the score. I admire Steven for doing that with his daughter.

  3. Jim Hughes says:

    Scores are just a representation of Good training and practice., both physical and mental. Once your form is good it’s all mental. If you can concentrate on your form and not the score most of the pressure of scoring will go away.

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