Self-confidence is an intangible but vital component every bowhunter must possess. Much like the athlete who approaches game day with the unswerving belief he will win, successful bowhunters understand the importance of taking self-confidence into every aspect of the hunt.
A multitude of studies have been done on the psychological relation between self-confidence and performance. Research supports the belief of athletes and coaches who recognize self-confidence as an essential element necessary to win at any sport. These findings suggest self-confidence can motivate us to a degree where we can accomplish the inconceivable.
It’s easy to think of confidence as a magic potion—this idea couldn’t t be farther from the truth. While confidence is a secret ingredient needed for achievement, there are necessary contributions we must make if wanting to possess a higher level of self-confidence.
5 Keys: How Bowhunters Can Build Self-Confidence
No one would accept the idea that due to a high level of self-confidence an NFL team would refrain from spending time at their summer training camp. On the contrary, it’s training camp that builds self-confidence. So it is with bowhunting.
As a bowhunter, building self-confidence begins long before you’re in the stand or in the backcountry. Self-confidence grows by intentional planning and careful preparation.
1. Peak Performance
The viscera of the bowhunter’s self-confidence is his or her equipment. No matter what other elements are in place, if your equipment is not performing at its peak potential, self-confidence will be diminished. Knowing your equipment is dependable and can deliver downrange is an essential building block to increased self-confidence.
Wondering whether ones bow is properly tuned should not be something that comes to mind when crunch time arrives. Self-confidence requires your bow to be operating at its peak potential on opening day and all through the archery season. This is critical to maintaining a high level of conviction that when presented with the opportunity, you will achieve the desired results.
2. Proper Practice
While some might stress the importance of shooting ones bow every day, proper form and muscle function are the ultimate goal. When building self-confidence, less of the mediocre and more of perfection can equal more effective results.
Pre-season practice should focus on making sure practice time is quality time. Few things can destroy muscle memory like sloppy shooting form, which in turn develops bad habits. And bad habits are only exaggerated when the adrenaline is flowing and the margin of error is miniscule.
We don’t practice to impress, we practice to improve.
Set some practice goals, break the bad habits and you’ll go into this years bowhunting season with increased self-confidence.
3. Positive Thinking
The bowhunter can never underestimate the power of the mind. The mind has the ability to pull us through high-pressure situations and vice versa. A positive mental attitude (PMA) is a must for the bowhunter.
Avoid negativity at all cost.
While it may be intriguing to spend time on social media viewing others successes, don’t cross the line of comparing your personal achievements with the next guy. Comparison is the archenemy of self-confidence. While to be challenged by another is healthy, always keep your focus and don’t allow another’s achievements to make you lose hope in accomplishing yours.
Self-confidence is a choice. If you choose to possess it, you’ll need to protect it through positive thinking.
4. Physical Exercise
Excuses have never accomplished a single thing. Ditch the excuses and make exercise a part of your everyday life. Exercise is a critical component of self-confidence. From hormone balance, mental focus, and endurance, physical exercise is a great contributor to increased self-confidence.
Exercise and healthy eating habits are directly tied to the mind. Possessing a strong body will help you to possess a healthy dose of self-confidence.
If beginning the journey to a healthier lifestyle, remember to focus on progress, not perfection. Few people possess the genetic gifts needed to make the cover of a magazine. This is YOUR journey; so enjoy every step towards being a better you.
5. Prior Planning
Waiting until the last minute to prepare for bow season is hardly conducive to building self-confidence. On the other hand, putting together a solid pre-season strategy will provide the bowhunter with an anchor, which in turn will help to hold ones emotions together when the results are not immediate or less than desired.
Goals and strategies are more than ‘pie in the sky’ talk. Pre-season planning will increase your chances of success. Take the time to study every aspect of where you will be hunting and develop a strategy accordingly. This includes reviewing satellite images, familiarizing yourself with the prevailing winds, understanding travel patterns, locating available food sources and seeing how surrounding properties might affect overall game movement. Every good player prepares for ‘game day’—so should the bowhunter.
While self-confidence may seem rather abstract to some, it’s an undeniable part of all of us. From the rookie to the professional, there can be no denying that self-confidence plays an important part in our overall performance at most anything we do.
If proven to carry this much weight psychologically, than as bowhunters we should enjoy the journey of building self-confidence through these disciplines. Because season isn’t that far away!