Developing Relaxation Skills
Back up to relaxation page
The ability to relax is one of the foundation stones in an archer's mental skills strategy. Some people can relax easily; some can't. But nearly everybody can improve their ability to relax, and learn to put it to use. This page shows how. There are two parts;
         First, develop the basic ability to relax;
         Second, learn to apply it in competition.
Step 1: Develop basic relaxation skills
Top of page
The exercises below are useful ways of developing a 'feel' for relaxation and learning to relax deliberately. Note: These exercises should relax you more than necessary for competition, but you need to learn the process before you apply it.
Relaxation exercise script
Progressive muscular relaxation

Probably the most effective way to learn to feel and relax individual muscles, this technique tenses and relaxes muscles in sequence to get effective relaxation.
There's a PDF version too, if you prefer printed output. Open PDF document

Relaxation exercise script
 Breathing control The most basic and natural method; how many times have you taken a deep breath to get yourself under control? This is a deliberate version of the same thing.
Relaxation exercise script Imagery  Pictures - and imagined feelings - are worth a thousand words, right? Find out how pictures can help you relax.
Step 2: Relaxation in action
Top of page
Before competition

Relaxation is often important for managing your mood and arousal state. When you need to relax for best performance, integrate a short relaxation exercise into your mental warm-up.

During competition OK, you're on the line. Three shots to go for that FITA star, and they've all got to be good. Tense? You bet!
This is the time to apply a five-second shot of relaxation. Look here for some short variants.
After competition.

Get a life! What's beer for?