Let’s be honest, when it comes to a mental game not many of us are great at keeping our thoughts grounded. Archery has made an amazing difference in my life, my mental game is something that has transferred into my daily life. Change is inevitable, and being able to cope with it is something that I have had to learn. Weather plays a big part in keeping my mental game strong. Wind and temperature changes all play into my thought process, if I'm not comfortable shooting then I'm not going to be performing at my best. My Volt Heated Vest keeps me warm and comfortable, especially when I have bigger things to think about. It eliminates the extra stress of having to worry about staying warm.
One of the biggest aspects of my mental game is focus, for a person with ADHD that one's a little difficult. It’s like flipping a switch for me, sometimes it turns on and other times I have to work for it. One of the things that has really helped maintain my focus is breathing, whether I’m frustrated about life or archery taking the time to stop and just focus on taking deep breaths really helps. Being wrapped in a warm vest helps me regulate my breathing too, especially when all I can think about is how cold I am. Another thing is finding a saying or verse to repeat or memorize, so when my head is going 100 miles an hour I can calm down and repeat my verse to shift my mentality in the moment.
Being positive comes naturally to some, and others well, we have to work on it. One of the most important things that helps me stay grounded is using positive affirmations, either verbally or mentally telling myself “I am talented, I am worth it, and I know who God has called me to be.” Instead of complaining or worrying I say things that I’m thankful for, like the blue sky and green grass. Prayer is another tool in my belt, it’s my favorite way to recenter and keep my eyes on the prize. Staying optimistic can impact my whole tournament, one bad arrow doesn’t matter, I keep shooting to the best of my ability and usually end up coming out even better than when I started. This thinking has transferred into my life, one bad moment doesn’t ruin a whole day.
When I started using strategies to combat my negative thoughts I saw a substantial difference in my shooting and life. It’s a tough battle, and one that I fight everyday but the more work I put in, the stronger I become. Warmth helps keep me strong, wearing my Volt vest gives me confidence in my abilities to perform well in any situation. Strength is a huge factor in life, letting little things get in your head becomes frustrating very quickly. Stopping and telling yourself “it’s OK to be upset, but let’s find a way to deal with it” takes a lot of control, but learning to flip the switch and change my perspective is a game changer. My circumstances are no longer in control, I am.
Mental management is one of the biggest adjustments I’ve made in my life the past couple years. I am still working on it everyday, but with all the change and chaos around the world I am so thankful that mental management was introduced to me through archery. With not many things in my control right now, it’s good to know that I have awesome Volt gear and a good mental program. I can just be me, comfortably shooting my bow and living my life with a sense of calm that I wouldn’t have had without mental management.