As I write this, I am cooling my heels in the airport, where my five-hour journey has stretched into twelve. Fortunately, I packed some assorted snacks, my book reader, some small work projects, and a host of electronic distractions with extra batteries. I did not want this delay, but thank goodness I prepared for it!
We should equally be prepared for unexpected delays in our archery tournaments. No matter how organized or prepared the venue, stuff can happen – weather delays, scoring problems, registration issues, line changes, judging disputes. Sooner or later, we find our intense zone of focus shattered by unexpected downtime.
The last thing we need is pure idleness, where it’s possible for us to start thinking negatively about our performance – agonize, analyze, re-analyze, and over-analyze to the point that we’re ready to trade our bow in exchange for a ride home. Instead, we should seek activities that not only occupy us, but calm and prepare us for resumption of the tournament.
Refuel! Most of us bring snacks and drinks to keep us going through the day. Just remember to bring a bit extra “just in case.” This is definitely the time to think healthy: fruits, nuts, energy or cereal bars; followed by plenty of water. Juice and sport drinks can also help. Avoid excess sugar or caffeine – we don’t want to exit our rest period with elevated heart rates and ragged nerves.
Read a book or magazine. Make it something engaging or light – a favorite novel, an entertaining magazine, a newspaper. Now is not the time for heavy study of an accounting principles textbook (unless you’re into that!)
Use an electronic distraction (NOTE: be sure the event rules allow electronic devices!) Catch up with social media friends, or play a light game or two. However, avoid the temptation to get into a chat drama or to finally defeat that ridiculous Mario World level. We want to relax, remember?
Give the equipment a quick once-over. Tighten stabilizers, check arrows for loose fletchings or points, clean that peep sight or lens. To be confident in one’s equipment is to be confident in one’s performance. Note that I said quick – if it needs a bow press to accomplish, we’ve gone too far!
Meditate. Take a moment, kick back, close your eyes, regulate your breathing. Reflect on the mysteries of the universe. Or, reflect on mysteries less grand (Goobers or Raisinettes?) We can even think about our archery, but we should keep the reflection positive! We have a tournament to finish – spirits must remain high!