Eric Bennett: “I shoot better when pumped”
Want to see inside the mind of an international archery athlete? We’ll be asking some of the world’s best for advice, expertise and an idea of their approach to the sport.
This time, two-time Paralympian and reigning recurve men's open world champion Eric Bennett answers our questions…
1. What makes the perfect archer?
There are lots of qualities that great archers have but the most important is discipline. It takes discipline to do the mental and physical training required for success.
2. What’s the best way to improve?
Practice is the obvious answer, but I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who have the knowledge and experience to help you. Seek out archers who have a track record of success and lean on their advice and expertise.
It’s important to have fun. Don't be discouraged when you can't shoot as well as those that have been shooting for a long time. Enjoy every chance you have to shoot and be happy with your progress as you grow.
3. Compare training and competition
Competition is the pay-off for all of your hard work in training. Putting in the time and effort while training makes the adrenaline rush of competition that much sweeter.
I am a competitive person by nature, but I love to stand on the line against fierce competitors and try to prove that I'm the best. Walking into the stadium to shoot a head-to-head match in front of the crowd is the best!
4. Who’s your favourite person to shoot with?
I've shot with so many great archers over the years that this question is very hard to answer! I'm going to cheat and give you three.
My first real archery hero was Randy Ulmer because of his dominance in 3D, but he is the nicest, most genuine person you will ever meet. I get to shoot with him often and it is always a pleasure.
The second would be Brady Ellison. I've known him since he was quite young and had him as a student in my high school physics class. Watching him grow into an amazing archer as well as a great man always makes it a pleasure to shoot with him.
Last but not least is Rick McKinney. Rick is such an archery legend and is always willing to share his experience – plus he always smiles!
5. How do you get a good night’s sleep?
Earplugs! I always travel with them.
6. How do you relax?
Deep breaths. When things start to get too intense, take a couple of deep breaths and enjoy the moment.
When I’m not shooting, I spend time with my wife and kids. Being with my family is what is most important to me and being with them recharges me.
7. How do you deal with distraction?
Lots of visualisation training. I visualise myself shooting on my home field and everything else just goes away.
8. what’s your archery secret?
Well, if I told you it wouldn't be a secret, right? My biggest secret is that I shoot better when I am pumped up. Find what works best for you and use it to your advantage.
World Archery’s International Archer Q&A series spotlights some of the sport’s best athletes. Got a question to ask? Contact us via @worldarchery on Twitter.