Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The one about archery


Over the course of the last year I've been keeping this blog from a professional perspective, but now it's time to write a post about something a bit more fun.  I've been a regular archer for the past six years or so, and teaching it to beginners for three of those, so it's high time that I take a moment to reflect on my experience of learning processes from a physical skill, as opposed to my normal workplace and academic pursuits.
Nowhere have I felt the reality of the term 'analysis paralysis' more than when I came to teach the sport to others.  After an enthusiastic few weekends on the Archery GB leader course (or GNAS as it was then known as), I was keen to get started with teaching beginners.  But one thing started to diminish my enjoyment of the sport.
I suddenly found myself shooting terribly.
Trying to hold a whole new set of information in my head whilst shooting brought my performance down because I was over-analysing my own shooting.  Having a new sense of awareness of what could go wrong just seemed to make those very things happen, and identifying your own faults is always problematic.  I eventually managed to get past this, and I'm still enjoying both participation and teaching, in fact I've developed the beginners course for our club so that it can be delivered consistently by any of our leaders.  I even called on some of my new knowledge about learning to better inform the design, which is deliberately minimalist, since I don't want our beginners suffering from analysis paralysis!