Psych Skills Glossary


Phrases used to induce a positive frame of mind. May be written (cue cards) or spoken (see self-talk).  
Beer (purpose of)
Just in case anybody gets this wrong, alcohol is banned under IOC rules as a relaxant. In any case, nobody is really sure whether it improves your score, despite a lot of people spending much of their lifetime trying to get the dose right. But if you have to get the relaxation skills toolkit out instead of stopping off for a drink - alcoholic or otherwise - after a hard day's shooting, IMHO you're taking this psych stuff a bit too far.  
Referring to thought processes. Cognitive anxiety relates to mental symptons of anxiety, such as worry, apprehension and fear of failure.  
Coping strategy  
A planned response to external events (usually unwanted or unplanned). Coping is daling with events. Coping strategy is the particular approach used. The basic approach to developing coping strategies is: 1. Think about what might go wrong. 2. Work out what to do if it happens. (Note; you should also work out how to stop it happening!).
Event: Might lose tab. Coping strategy: Carry spare.
Event: Might get nervous. Coping strategy: Learn & apply arousal control method.
Cue word  
Word or phrase associated with a response. Usually used to trigger a desired response, such as relaxation, concentration or a particular mood or attitude. Sometimes also associated with a movement cue, like snapping fingers, clenching/unclenching a fist etc.  
Outcome goals
Goals or targets for end results. Examples: Number of 'golds' shot; Winning or placing at events; Medals won. Outcome goals tend to be rewarding, and make good motivators; the reasons you do sports. Thay also tend to be uncertain and less in the archer's control, so they make poor targets from an anxiety control perspective.  
A method of mental rehearsal in which the athlete visualises performance before executing a move. Previsualisation can either be literally a picture, played like a movie in your head, or it can be an 'internal' view of the activity, such as 'feeling through' the shot beforehand. A complete visualisation might include everything from the feel of the bow handle and tab as the shot starts, through the muscle feel, alignment, feel of face contact, visual image of the aim, feel of the draw through the clicker, feel of the explosion and follow-through and simultaneous picture of the shot arcing into the gold. Very useful part of pre-performance preparation in 'closed' sports like archery where action is initiated by the archer, not by a competitor or external event.  

Process Goals

Goals or targets for INPUTS to a process, such as a training process. Examples: Number of arrows shot; Number of days per week in training. They can nearly always be set entirely within your control, so make good goals for anxiety management - but they tend to be dull, so make poor motivators.  
Self talk  
Literally, talking to yourself; a general term covering the things athletes say to themselves. Negative self-talk is common in untrained athletes ("you idiot! how could you shoot a black at 50m??!!"). Not generally helpful.. Positive self-talk can be applied as a useful mood adjustment method, in which an archer reads, recalls or even speaks phrases designed to evoke a particular mood or change a thought pattern. The phrases are worked out beforehand (and should be truthful!). Examples might be "I have prepared well for this competition", "I usually achieve the targets I set" etc.  
Broadly, related to the body. The technical term somatic anxiety refers to awareness of physiological arousal in the body.  
Tactile feedback  
Tactile relates to Touch. Tactile feedback is feedback you get from touch, or contact. Examples: The feel of the pressure point on your bow hand, or the feel of the string against your face.