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The Psychology of an Elite Archer – A Developmental Perspective Katherine Bond 8 th November 2011 With thanks to: Rebecca Symes Jo Batey Dr Ruth Lowry.

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Presentation on theme: "The Psychology of an Elite Archer – A Developmental Perspective Katherine Bond 8 th November 2011 With thanks to: Rebecca Symes Jo Batey Dr Ruth Lowry."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Psychology of an Elite Archer – A Developmental Perspective Katherine Bond 8 th November 2011 With thanks to: Rebecca Symes Jo Batey Dr Ruth Lowry

2 Introduction A tiny % of athletes make it to the very highest level, and enjoy sustained success through their career. Few truly fulfil their potential.  Often success at junior level does not translate to success at senior level  Archery is a sport where sustained success is possible (but still quite rare)

3 Session summary The session will:  Explore the psychological correlates of success in archery  Highlight some key discriminates of success at the very elite level  Take a developmental perspective in discussing these  Discuss some implications for coaches and programme managers Audience participation welcome!


5 What does it take (personality, attributes, attitude) to be a successful archer at the highest level? What does it take to sustain success over a career? 2011 World Archery Coaching Seminar

6 Development of a profile of the psychological qualities and skills associated with success at World Class level. We drew from: Research on successful Olympians and Paralympians Previous profiling data Archer feedback Coach and other ‘expert’ opinion 2011 World Archery Coaching Seminar

7 The 5 Foundations of Success... 1)Talent is not enough – work hard and work smart 2)Desire to improve 3)Attitude 4)Competition Toughness and Resilience 5)Professional and Balanced

8 1) Talent is not enough Detailed and systematic planner Engages in purposeful, quality training Prepares thoroughly for competition Reviews progress and performance

9 2) Desire to improve Determination, drive and commitment to achieve Hunger to improve 100% of the time

10 3) Attitude  Take responsibility  Embrace change  Continual evolvement  Honest appraisal of own strengths and weaknesses  Use all resources available to them

11 4) Competition Toughness & Resilience Excellent emotional control and composure in competition Retains a task focus Performs under competition pressure Deals effectively with the challenge of being a major competition

12 5) Professional and Balanced  Embraces challenge and discomfort  Professional team member  Retains perspective and life balance  Has interests and focus outside archery

13 Balance, perspective, identity Keeping a balance, being a rounded person A critical factor for long term success??? Self-identity – what is it?

14 WAKE AND SHAKE 2!  Describe yourself in no more than 3 sentences  What are the really important things you identify with?

15 The Self I am an archer I am an artist I am a student I am a sister

16 Self-Esteem Self- Identities Expectations Meaning Self- Esteem The value or worth we give to our identity

17 Circular Relationship Identity/ esteem Behaviour

18 Athletic Identity Self- Identity I am an Archer I am a student I am a sister I am an artist Strong “Athletic Identity” Or Over- identification with one aspect of self

19 Advantages & risks of a strong AI Advantages  Commitment in training and focus on sport goals (Horton & Mack, 2000)  Motivation and discipline necessary for intense training and success in high level sport (Callero, 1985; Danish,1983)  When things going well – high self-esteem and higher performance peaks (e.g. Marsh, Perry, Horsely & Roche, 1995) Risks  Over commitment to the athlete role leading to over- training, reluctance to rest/recover, willingness to do anything to succeed  Restricted development of a multidimensional identity – ‘identity foreclosure’  High levels of competitive anxiety  Unstable self-esteem and performance – rapid decrements in both  Difficulty adapting to injury and retirement

20 Low Self- Esteem Negative Expectations Low Effort; High Anxiety FailureSelf-blame Exclusive AI - at risk from vicious cycle of low self- esteem when things not going well in sport

21 Research Case Study 1 10 elite junior archers, ave age 17. Research explored: The nature of their social networks – breadth of relationships Function of their relationships Developmental activities Lowry, R. & Bond, K. (2010) Mapping the social world of high performing youth athletes: Ego network analysis of junior British archers. Association for Applied Sport Psychology. 27 th -30 th October, Providence, Rhode Island.

22 Jim, University Student – Alters = 12; Alter Ties = 38; Density = 3.17 Family Archery Neighbourhood M 18 Dad F 22 F Coach F Coach M Coach M Coach Mum M Coach M Coach F 18 M 18 M 17 M 19 M Coach M Coach F 18

23 F 16 Mum F 18 F 21 F 24 F Coach F Coach M 36 F 16 Dad F 16 Claire, School Student – Alters = 12; Alter Ties = 22; Density = 1.83 Family School Archery

24 M 19 Dad M 13 Mum Uncle M Coach M Coach M Coach M Coach M 17 GMh M 17 F Coach F Coach John, University Student – Alters = 11; Alter Ties = 16; Density = 1.45 Family Universit y Archery Neighbourhood

25 Key findings 1) Social networks of archers appear to be smaller than those of non-athletes. 2)Social networks of archers were characterised by relationships with adults more than those of non- athletes i)Parents were prominent in the archers’ social network – more so than that which would be expected with non- athletes - and were generally the most important source of practical and emotional support ii)National coaches also emerged as dominant figures in the archers’ networks.

26 Key findings 3) Social networks were characterised by a relative lack of relationships with same-aged peers. Specifically: i) Other archers and siblings were not a prominent feature of – or were absent from – social networks. ii) Archers had fewer same-aged, same-sexed friends from their school, college or neighbourhood than non-athletes. iii) Relationships with friends assumed less social importance than family (notably parents) and coaches.

27 WAKE AND SHAKE 3!! So...what’s the problem???

28 Two critical developmental experiences 1)Movement from relying on adult support to peer support in teenage years 2)Identity development through ‘role experimentation’ May not happen with elite junior archers -leading to:  Development of Strong Athletic Identity  Esteem linked to performance  May not learn to have equitable relationships  Difficulty on transition from sport

29 WAKE AND SHAKE 4!! You’re a coach/programme manager/support staff member... What 3 things would you do to your programme to prevent this from happening?

30 The role of the coach/manager/practitioner Given the theory and research, we need to enable athletes to: Understand the different identities they hold Develop a broad self-concept Develop a strong global self-esteem Devise career plans

31 Our responsibility Education AwarenessSupport

32 ME I was selected for GB junior squad I have won an award for my cooking skills “Comment from someone really important to me” PB’s I have a large group of varied friends Example 1 - Create a confidence mind-map across all identities

33 Example 2 – identity support networks My Support Network Mum Dad Brother Coach Best friend from school Sporting friends Outside of sport friends Uncle Tutor

34 Other ideas Include career planning in programme - vital that athletes understand the need to have career plans in place both in a sporting and non-sporting context Include other activities in junior programmes Restrict training time – and make on-going education and involvement in external activities a requirement! May be battling against view that narrow focus on sport is necessary for competitive success

35 Summary Multi-faceted, balanced identity may be critical to long term sustained success We need to take a developmental perspective to ensuring our athlete attain this – i)Give particular attention to teenage years – critical period of identity formation ii)Be careful of the messages that you give out and reinforce iii)Design programmes that are developmental and educational iv)Balance the quantity of training with other activities v)De-emphasise a ‘winning at all costs’ mentality through the lifespan

36 Thank you… Ready to answer your questions!

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