Linda’s decade-long journey to take tournament gold
After a 2017 outdoor season that included two top international seedings, breaking personal and national records, and two silver mixed team medals on the Hyundai Archery World Cup tour, Mexico’s Linda Ochoa-Anderson is back for another year, her 11th on the circuit (she skipped 2007).
In the world cup era, Linda has won 18 total medals in individual, mixed team and team competitions.
On three occasions she has left the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage finals arena with individual silver, just one match win away from victory and achieving one of her major archery targets.
“I always try to give my best and win as many matches as I can, expecting to make it to the gold final, but if this doesn’t happen, at least be satisfied with how I did it,” said Linda. “The goal has always been to win a World Cup stage.”
She finished 17th in Shanghai, ninth in Salt Lake City and fourth in Berlin in 2017, results that left a bittersweet flavour because Linda knew that there could have been more.
“I analysed what was happening and I noticed that I was being very passive in competition. I was like ‘okay, whatever it needs to happen will happen’, rather than ‘I want to make it happen, I will make it happen,” she explained.
“Archery is a mental sport and sometimes I forget about it. Now I know: I have to be more mentally aggressive.”
It is not an easy change – and one that many archers struggle with. The key, said Linda, is being honest when things aren’t working as expected.
“It might sound easy but it’s not. Sometimes as archers we shoot great but we have the feeling that we don’t like something and that’s when you need to be careful. It’s important to check it and see if making a change will make things better,” she explained.
“I’m personally working with a psychologist in Mexico to make sure I can get better. We work on my training and competition goals and we try to create challenging situations where I imagine myself winning.”
In 2018, winning a stage will automatically qualify a spot at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final (still up to a maximum of two per country, with the highest-ranked taking priority).
It’s an extra incentive for Linda but, with all the work she’s already putting in, it sounds like she already has all the drive she needs.
The first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Shanghai, China on 23-29 April.