TRAINING NOTEBOOK: HOW THE KOREANS DO IT
Most elite archers keep some kind of training notes, and the Korean national recurve team are no exception. Current world number one and world record holder Kang Chae Young is noted for carefully documenting every arrow shot in competition, and at international level, the coaches keep even more extensive notes on their charges.
The documentary about the national team Game Of Numbers, released in 2016, included an over-the-shoulder shot of Ki Bo Bae's training notebook, written in Hangul. The page she was looking at summarised mental coaching. Translated, it reads this:
1. Prioritise shooting bows (Always prioritise shooting bows over other thoughts)
2. Believe in posture techniques (trust my senses)
3. Positivity (Always think “I’m good at this” and “I can do this”)
4. Making a mistake contributes to my image, so a positive routine is a must (Always think about the focus point)
5. Results depend on my efforts!
6. When the wind blows, aim for no more or less than 9 points
7. As long as I follow my usual routine, everything will turn out as planned! 8. Everything will be okay if I do my routine 9. Picture the way I shoot whilst performing image training (Never lose trust!)
On a similar tack, a few years ago Korean international and Olympic team gold medallist Choi Misun was spotted with a laminated card attached to her quiver. Translated, this is exactly what it said: 1. Hold the left grip 2. Aim accurately 3. Maintain the bow arm until the end when shooting 4. Have trust and shoot confidently This is most notable for its simplicity. It is possible that it has lost a nuance or two in translation, or that each of the lines is summarising something more complicated involving many hundreds of hours of elite coaching work, but it performs the job it needs to, making sure that Choi Misun trusts in her process and execution rather than worrying about the result.