Target panic

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Target panic is a psychological—and perhaps neurological—condition experienced by many archers, both competitive and recreational. The condition has various effects on archers. Target panic was originally blamed on high levels of anxiety and a "fear of failure", but is now understood to be caused by the way in which the brain learns at a neurological level[citation needed]. Treatments based on this new paradigm have been very effective at treating target panic in archers up to the Olympic level.

Description[edit]

Target panic affects both competitive and recreational archers. It is a psychological—and perhaps neurological[1]condition. It was originally called "gold panic" because an archer would experience symptoms (panic) when the arrow was brought onto the bullseye (gold circle). The name later evolved into target panic because it was discovered that the symptoms could be experienced when aiming at any target.

There are three primary symptoms of target panic.[2] An archer suffering from target panic may experience a premature anchor, where the bow appears to become very heavy and it is difficult for the shooter to come to a full anchor position. A second symptom is referred to as a premature hold, where an archer "locks up" or "hits a wall" that they are unable to move past as they try to align their arrow with the target. The third symptom is referred to as a premature release and is characterized by an inability to come to full anchor without releasing the arrow.

Mechanism[edit]

While target panic was originally blamed on high levels of anxiety and a "fear of failure", it is now understood to be caused by the way in which the brain learns at a neurological level. Treatments based on this new paradigm have been very effective at treating target panic in archers up to the Olympic Games level.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Katie (August 1, 2008). "The Secret Curse of Expert Archers". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  2. ^ Kidwell, Jay (2004). Instinctive Archery Insights. p. 127. ISBN 0-9639718-2-4.