Gellenthien looks inward in preparation for 9th world championship campaign

1 February 2019
The 32-year-old has competed at eight world outdoor championships since 2003.

Braden Gellenthien is one of the most decorated international archers in history. 

Since coming third at the World Archery Championships in New York City in 2003, he’s picked up a further 11 world medals – including three individual – and podiumed 61 times on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit.

Although he’s been Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion twice and spent time ranked as the number one compound man in the world, Braden’s not yet worn the outdoor world championship crown.

The pursuit of that crown, though, he’s never shied away from.

It’s continues to be why, even after over 15 years and eight world championships as an elite athlete, Braden’s still doing everything he can to find another gear to his archery.

“This past summer I realised how much I was relying on talent and practice alone,” said Braden. “The World Cup Final was disappointing, to say the least and my self-reflection was brutal.”

Gellenthien lost a shoot-off to Abhishek Verma in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Samsun.

“While nobody was outworking me at the range, I saw that people were surpassing me in fitness and athleticism,” he said.  “It’s not fun to say that you aren’t happy with yourself… but sometimes it’s necessary for self growth.”

Over the past six months, Braden has dropped over 12 kilograms of body weight and added muscle in the gym.

“Each week I write a gameplan in a planner, from arrows shot per day to gym routines, all the way down to emails, scheduled meetings and laundry,” he explained.

“It’s really helped me avoid idle time and remain focused on being the best version of me.”

Cardio training has led to increased and longer stability on aim, weight training helps Braden feel stronger in the shot, and using exercises on specific sides of his body has ironed out the imbalances it had developed from shooting a bow for so long.

“These things make me feel more in control and give me the confidence that I’m doing everything I can to prepare myself for high-pressure moments,” said Braden.

It’s a lot of physical activity that all stemmed from a renewed sense of self-evaluation.

“I started this process at the NFAA Nationals with the help of Paul Tedford,” he recalled. “We sat down and discussed where we were at and how we could get where we wanted to go.”

Such honest self-reflection, said Braden, might not be as common among elite archers as you might think.

“It’s really easy to get caught up in the cycle of only training and competing – and having blind faith that things will magically work for you,” he explained.

“I’ve been guilty of it as well.”

What work Braden has put in is already appears to be paying off.

This current Indoor World Series has yielded two wins, in Rome and Nimes, at the three events the 32-year-old has attended. He holds a comfortable lead in the elite indoor rankings heading into the last and grandest event of the season in Las Vegas.

With the next World Archery Championships only four months away in June, Braden has a headstart on preparations for what should turn out to be his ninth attempt at the world title.

“I’m just excited to see how these early season successes parlay into the rest of 2019,” he said.

There’s still The Vegas Shoot to come yet.

The Vegas Shoot is the fifth stage and hosts the final of the 2019 Indoor Archery World Series.