"TACTICS AND TACTICAL PREPARATION IN ARCHERY "         

 
 


Alexandr Kalinichenko
(Ph.D, Lviv, Ukraine)

 
 
  In going in for sports, which have preparation for participation in the sports competition as the nearest goal on the level of sports exercises technique, teaching sports tactics takes place. Archery is not an exception.
  A word of tactics came into sport from the military terminology (from the Greek word of taktika - art of constructing troops), component of military art, including theory and practice of preparation and conducting the fight.
  There are several popular definitions of the notion - SPORTS TACTICS.
Sports tactics is an art of competing with an «opponent». Its main task is the most expedient use of forces and possibilities for victory. The basic tool of tactics is the sports technique, applied in the permanent and changing conditions of external environment, according to the plan and tasks, which arise.
  Sports tactics is purposeful methods of the use of technical principles in tactical actions in order to solve the tasks of the competition taking into account the rules, positive and negative descriptions of the preparation, as well as environmental conditions.
Tactics in sport is an expedient and conscious change of conduct, actions of a sportsman or of a team depending on conditions and situation that is developing (or which can be foreseen) in order to achieve success in the sports competition.
  Now technical, physical and psychological preparation of archers is on high enough, approximately identical level. Therefore other conditions being equal the level of tactical art of archers very often determines the victory at the biggest international competitions.
  Level of tactical readiness depends on mastering tools of sports tactics by an archer (i.e. technical and tactical actions), as well as mastering its forms (individual, team).
Structure of tactical readiness follows from the character of strategic tasks, which form the basic directions of sports contest. These tasks can be linked with the participation of an archer in the series of competitions and with the goal of his/her preparation for the main competition of season and, thus, be of a perspective nature. They can be local as well, i.e. related to participation in a separate competition, to shooting on a separate distance, or in a separate one sparring meeting.
The basis of tactical readiness of separate sportsmen and teams is the mastering of modern tools, forms and kinds of tactics by them; accordance of the tactics to the level of development of archery; accordance of the tactical plan to the peculiarities of the competition (condition of the place of the competition, peculiarities of regulation of the competition, weather conditions, readiness of participants for the competition; way of judging; fans’ behavior, etc.); binding of the other sides of readiness, such as technical, psychical, and physical, with the level of perfection as well as with the quality and level of financial side. While developing tactical plan tactical actions experience of the best sportsmen, main competitors, their technique and physical abilities, psychical readiness; technique, tactical and functional abilities of partners, variations of tactics in different conditions, depending on the character of technique and tactical actions of competitors and partners, run of the competition should be taken into account.
Peculiarity of the archery is a deciding factor, which determines the structure of tactical readiness of an archer. For example, one of the basic components of tactical readiness in archery is the choice of a reasonable tactical plan and its use in the competition. Peculiarity of tactical preparation in archery is also the fact that an archer uses complex technical equipment such as bows, arrows, plungers, sights, stabilizers, etc in his sports activity. Knowledge of principles of action of equipment, which is used, its advantages and disadvantages considerably enrich an arsenal of tactical abilities of an archer.
Tactical actions of an archer at competitions are directed on the achievement of optimum success. They should be built according to the quality of equipment, which he/she uses, to the tactical knowledge, to the level of his/her technical, physical and psychical readiness, to the level of development of physical abilities, volitional qualities, speed of reactions and other components.
Concrete tasks, which are set by a sportsman for himself/herself in the competition, also refer to the questions of tactics. And it is a very important part of tactical preparation as it affects eventual result substantially. Range of possible tasks is very large. Choice of the tasks, which are set by a sportsman independently or which are recommended by the coach, should be made very attentively and with great responsibility. Tasks can be applied both to the participation in the competition on the whole and to its definite stages. Let us try to examine some of the possible variants of this kind of tasks:
· To show the highest possible result
· To show the set result
· To win, indifferently with what result
· To show a result or take a place, which will give a right to continue the competition (in 1/32, 1/16 finale, etc)
· To show a record result on a definite distance or in an exercise
· To improve one’s effectiveness gradually as the competition proceeds
· To take a definite place, for example, to take the first place or to be one of the best three, six, thirty two and etc participants
· To overcome a definite competitor
· To test new equipment (bow, arrows, stabilizers, etc)
· At participation in the competition to try to pay above all attention to the quality of one’s technical actions, and not to the hit of the target or to the result
· During participation in the competition not to make some (concrete) technical mistake
· At shooting at the definite distances a task is set for the archer for the predominant hit of arrows in the definite circle of the target or in other words, to "agree" to optimum and real hits at the moment. For example, while shooting for 90 meters a task is set not to go out of the size "7", at 70 and 50 meters not to go out outside the size "8", and at 30 meters to "agree" to the hit in the size "9"
· To focus main attention on participation in the “Team Olympic round”, but not on the individual shooting
· To check the quality of adjustment of his/her own bow and arrows
· To try to adhere to the optimum rhythm of shooting, or shoot quicker than usual etc.
Tactics of an archer in the great deal depends on the tasks, which follow the regulation and the rules of the competition. For example, the introduction of new rules of conducting the competitions in archery changed the requirements to the tactical preparation of an archer a lot. That is why not all are called to this; favorites of archery were able to adjust to new tactical tasks and were even forced to halt active training in archery.
  While solving tactical tasks great amount of possible conditions, on which their implementation depends, should be taken into account. As an example we can consider the case of necessity of participation of an archer in the competition on condition of deterioration of his/her special endurance (conditionally, because of illness or protracted business trip, he/she had an unforeseen large recess in the regular trainings on the eve of the competition). When constructing tactical charts and actions such archer should better give up participation in the competition because of the threat of causing harm to his/her motive habits. But if because of definite circumstances there is no such possibility, this archer can be recommended to use an easier bow, to facilitate force of limbs of the bow or aim him/her at shooting at a more rapid rate with the purpose of economy of forces and energy used for treatment of separate shots, etc.
  Tactical skills of an archer are interlinked with his/her psychological preparation. There are cases, when it is very difficultly to conduct a border between the tactical actions of an archer and his/her actions, relating to his/her psychological preparation, to be more concrete to his/her own psycho adjusting. In the psychological aspect tactical actions are the product of difficult psycho motoring processes, which flow consistently and conjointly. Psycho motoring processes of a tactical action take place in three main phases:
· Assistance and analysis of competition situation;
· Mental decision of the special tactical task;
· The impellent decision of a tactical task.
  These three phases create a successive decision rank of tactical tasks and are in the close interaction. Moreover, archer’s memory plays here a deciding role.
  Tactical actions in the cybernetic plan are a searching system, directed at the target, which among the possible targets not only elects the most favorable one, but its decision will be also improved in the course of action.
  In the course of growth of effectiveness in sport as well as in archery, number of questions, which relate to the tactical preparation of archers, is constantly multiplied. To the modern questions of tactics it is possible to refer not only actions of an archer executed by him/her directly at competitions, but also those executed after their limits. So, for example, rituals of assembling and preparation to the future competition, feed on the eve of the competition, equipment of an archer, sequence of choice of options for the training, etc has a direct attitude towards tactical preparation of archers.
  Activity of tactical actions is an important index of sports skills. A sportsman of high qualification should be able to impose his/her will to the competitor, to make permanent psychical pressure at him/her by the variety and efficiency of his/her actions, self-control, will for victory, faith in success.
  Efficiency of tactical activity in archery is determined by the capability of an archer to anticipate spatially and temporally that is to guess ways of the development of the situation at the competition. The exact choice of an archer of the aiming point in difficult weather conditions depends in a great deal on this ability.

 
 
METHODS OF TACTICAL PREPARATION
 
 
Tactical preparation is a process, directed on study of essence and basic theoretical-methodological principles of sports tactics; mastering of the basic elements, methods, variants of tactical actions; improvement of tactical way of thinking; study of the information, necessary for the practical realization of tactical readiness; practical realization of tactical readiness.
Improvement of tactical archers’ skills is as a rule carried out in the process of tactical training. Definition: Tactical Training is a type of training, which has the knowledge and the selective application, by the sportsman or team, of the most proper technical proceedings in order to solve certain partial or final tasks of the contest for an object.
But in reality, the tactical skills of an archer is improved practically constantly, both during other types of training, and at the time spare from the basic types of training. This peculiarity is explained by the fact that in the tactical preparation of an archer both accomplished domain by the tactical methods and develop an archer’s habit of tactically correct thinking are important in the equal measure. Definition: Tactical thinking in sports is a sportsman’s ability to estimate quickly and correctly the conditions of a sports struggle, which change constantly, and according to this to realize his/her own tactical plans or make changes in them effectively in connection with the circumstances.
Among the basic directions of tactical preparation in archery we should mark out the following: study of essence and basic theoretical methodical principles of sports tactics; collection and analysis of the information, necessary for the practical realization of tactical readiness; master the basic elements, principles, variants of tactical actions; improvement of tactical way of thinking; practical realization of tactical readiness.
We will examine directions of tactical preparation named above more in detail:
The study of essence and basic theoretical methodical principles of sports tactics consists in the theoretical mastering of general principles of sports tactics, tactics of archery, rules of judging and principles that concern the concrete competitions, peculiarities of tactics in family types of sport, tactical experience of the best sportsmen, methods of development of the tactical conception, etc.
A study of essence of tactics is a necessary pre-condition for mastering tactical actions, development of tactical abilities and skills, forming of tactical way of thinking.
The knowledge of theoretical methodical principles of sports tactics helps to estimate a competition situation precisely, to pick up means and methods of competition activity adequately taking into account the individual features, qualification, level of readiness of a competitor and partners.
An archer acquires the tactical knowledge during his/her whole sports life (career), multiplying it volume according to the growth of his/her skills and accumulation of experience. The objectivity and expedience of his/her tactical conceptions, plans and projects in great deal depends on the plenitude of this knowledge.
The whole complex of verbal and visual methods helps an archer to gain the knowledge of the theory of tactics. Special literature, lectures, conversations, explanations, viewing competitions, films and videotape recordings, their analysis, etc are the sources of this kind of knowledge.
However, it should be remembered that this knowledge alone not supported by the personal motive experience of an archer can not affect sports results positively. For the practical mastering of the concrete principles of tactical skills of an archer we can recommend to conduct special lessons (trainings). The main aim of this kind of lessons should be gaining of concrete tactical knowledge, principles or skills. These can be special lessons dealing with improvement of team rounds shooting, lessons imitating shooting in the conditions of time «trouble» - (shooting of definite quantity of arrows in the limited period of time, for example, high-quality release of three arrows for 30 seconds), special lessons for verification and improvement of «sense of time», etc. As an example it is suggested to conduct lessons putting an accent on acquisition of knowledge and abilities in the sphere of tactical preparation: As it is generally known, there is a wide difference in the «cost of amendments of breech-sight» on different distances which depends on the individual features of archers, on the large variety of technical descriptions of materiel, which they use. For the armament of archers with the practical knowledge about the «cost of amendments of their own bows» it is possible from time to time to suggest executing similarity of laboratory works at the training. For example, at 30 meters distance it is suggested to the archers to execute a few series with the combination of center of grouped of arrows with the center of target. After this it is recommended to make alterations in breech-sight on the concrete size (for example: to displace foresight for 5 mm to the right and also for 5 mm downwards). Then the archers are recommended to execute a series of shots and to define the center of new grouped exactly. Simple arithmetic division of distances on horizon and on the vertical line from the center of the target to a new center of grouped for the quantity of the amendments (in this case 5) borne in breech-sight will be a cost of amendment in 1 mm at 30 meters distance. On all remaining distances «costs of amendments» are determined similarly. It is possible to pay attention to the small distinction in the cost of «amendments» in sight of the horizontal and vertical planes. This distinction can be explained by the fact that there is a small distinction in their characters. When we make amendments in the vertical plane, length of the aiming line forms distance from eye to foresight, and when we make amendments in the horizontal plane we take the distance from bowstring to foresight into account. But because of comparatively small difference in these distances, it is possible to ignore such sizes.
Collection and analysis of the information which is necessary for the practical realization of tactical readiness. Foremost, this concerns information about the economic feasibilities and features of materiel part that is used, possible competitors and partners in the team, environment and terms of conducting of future competitions. The most essential information about competitors is the information about their physical readiness, their technical tactical manner to conduct competition fight, peculiarities of their conduct in different (favorable and unfavorable) conditions of competitions, characteristics of personality, volitional and psychical qualities.
Collection of information about environment and terms of future competitions are necessary for the design of such training terms, which would be adequate terms of future competitions, so that sportsmen would gradually adopt themselves to the specific conditions of competitions and prepare their equipment, clothes and shoes to the concrete terms of the competitions. Here it is necessary to take into account terms, place and time of conducting of competitions, climatic conditions (temperature, humidity of air), quantitative and qualitative entry list of the competitors, members and qualification of judges, state of the sports buildings (quality of shields for catching of arrows must be of the special interest), etc.
Improvement of tactical way of thinking. In the process of preparation to competitions it is impossible to foresee all possible situations of future competition fight. Therefore one of the basic tasks of tactical preparation of a sportsman is to improve his/her tactical way of thinking. Thus it is necessary to develop the following abilities:
- to perceive quickly, to realize and analyze competition situations adequately;
- to estimate a situation quickly and precisely and to make decisions according to the circumstances and level of one’s own readiness;
- to foresee actions of a competitor (team partner);
- reflection to display one’s actions according to the goal of competitions and tasks of a concrete competition situation.
It is important for an archer to develop his/her spatial and temporary foreseeing of situations before they are going to happen. Together with the growth of sports qualification an archer acquire capacity of the exact temporal and spatial extrapolation of technical-tactical actions. Speaking about tactics we should also put an accent on the ability of a sportsman to operate mental material, which consists of knowledge, verbal instructions (of the coach), picture of motions, competition situations.
The tactical thought is developed by exercises, which consist of observation and search for the tactical essence when weather conditions change during the competitions, at the change of one’s own state (appearance of fatigue, discovering of one’s own technical errors), breakages and damages of equipment, gestures, motions, actions, intentions, and states of competitors. Concentration of attention and consciousness of an archer on the search of effective methods of fight for victory helps to improve tactical thought. Tasks related with the improvement of tactical thought should induce to the analysis of possible aspects of competition situations in the fight for victory. A sportsman must remember about the results of actions in similar situations (his/her own and other sportsmen’s), to make decision in the limited spans of time.
Method of training with competitor and method of training with the supposed competitor are the basic specific methods of improvement of tactical thought. Exercises done on the special devices, training devices, individual lessons with the coach and tests are also used with this purpose. Among the methods of improvement of tactical skills participation in great number of the sports competitions, different in terms, entry list and scale is especially valuable. Exactly in competitions valuable experience is gained, which helps to find a reasonable form of acting in the process of sports fight. Analysis of tactical activity in the conditions of training and competitions is also very important. Archers should tell the coach about things they succeeded to find out in competitions, what their actions were caused by, and what intentions they had, what prevented to fulfill the plan of conduct of the competitions. They must be able to consider and analyze their tactical actions on training and competitions in details. At this time coach together with them analyses their senses, determines how quickly and correctly archers perceived the conditions of competitions and reacted on them, whether they were attentive and observant, what prevented them from executing the tasks, how physical and moral-volitional qualities were showed up in competitions, how technical skills were realized.
Mastering tactical actions. Tactical essence of actions is as a rule mastered practically together with the mastering technical principles (archer’s technique). Exactly in the process of practical mastering of technical principles archers are conscious, that their technical actions must be connected with realization of possible tactical variants. The task of tactical essence and its possible efficiency means that an archer will be able to do the optimum choice of action and successfully solve a tactical task in the definite situations operatively.
Mastering of essence of different tactical situations foresees the study of typical situations and peculiarities of behavior in any of them, as well as preparation to the conduct of competition fight with different competitors, in different conditions.
In teaching tactics of archery it is possible to use all aggregate of verbal, visual and practical tools and methods of preparation. However, the most complete practical tools and methods are used here.
The principle of modeling of a sportsman’s activity in competitions is the basis of practical methods of tactical preparation. With this aim artificial conditions or situations that model specific activity of a sportsman are introduced into the training of an archer. For example, during implementation of a control or shooting “on the account” a coach can artificially model such situation when a bowstring is torn or a stabilizer breaks off, etc at the competition. Practically, this can be realized in the request of the coach to change the bow-strings on spare and continue shooting if possible without the decline of its quality (imitation of breaking-off of the bow-string), or to remove stabilizers (imitation of breaking-off of stabilizers) and also continue the successful conduct of shooting, or continue shooting using the spare bows. Except for acquisition of tactical skills this kind of exercises is also of purely psychological use. The point is that this kind of exercises diminishes a degree (level) of anxiety in real circumstances of competitions and archers at the subconscious level stop to be fearful of possible unexpected cases and are not already lost in the cases if similar unforeseen situations happen during competitions in reality.
Method of training with a competitor is used for the detailed working out of variants of tactical actions, tactical improvement taking into account the individual features of archers; improvement of volitional qualities; bringing up of the ability to use one’s possibilities in different tactical situations which are created in the course of competitions.
The exercises with the conditioned situations, where a sportsman that acts as a competitor, operates within bounds of the tasks expressed definitely by the coach and models the fragments of separate competition situations are also used.
On different stages of long-term preparation and in different periods of training macro cycle of tactical skills improvement is paid different attention to. The greatest attention is paid to the tactical preparation on the stage of maximal realization of individual possibilities, when a sportsman gets ready to the highest achievements. On the stage of the specialized basic preparation main key components of tactical skills will be improved. On the first and the second stages of long-term preparation the tactical improvement deals, mainly, with the theoretical and practical preparation.
The biggest volume of tactical preparation in macro cycle is at the end of preparatory period and during the period of competitions. On the first stage of preparatory period separate components of tactics will improved. The work considerably increases on the stage of direct preparation to the basic competition. The level of technical skills, physical and psychical readiness, which was formed before this stage, gives a possibility to proceed to the improvement of tactics in its closest approaching to the terms of future competition activity.
The choice of this or another tactical variant, its improvement and its realization in the competition activity depends on the level of tactical skills of a sportsman, development of his/her motive qualities and possibilities of the major functional systems, moral-volitional and psychical readiness. In fact it is possible to consider process of tactical preparation as an original uniting factor in relation to other component parts of sporting skills.
Practical realization of tactical readiness. This is a synthesizing direction of tactical preparation, its purpose is to solve tactical tasks, such as creation of integral notion of the course of competitions; formation of individual style of conduct of competition fight; decisive and opportune embodiment of the accepted decisions through the rational principles and actions taking into account the peculiarities of weather conditions, of competitor’s actions, of the environment, of judging, of the competition situation, etc.
The integral notion of tactics of competition activity is formed and varies during the sports activity. The most noticeable overvalues and changes in the sportsmen’s notion take place after their participation in the main competitions, which more than any others test their sports skills, make them notice all “pros and cons” states of their readiness, compare new information with the notions that were acquired earlier.

IT IS POSSIBLE TO MAKE A LIST OF MINIMUM OF KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND SKILLS, THAT AN ARCHER MUST HAVE IN THE FIELD OF TACTICAL PREPARATION:

· To be able to estimate and to memorize size of the shift of the middle point of hitting (MPH) of the arrow on all distances of shooting on condition of moving pin of sight for 1 mm both in vertical, and in the horizontal plain.
· To be able to calculate the necessary amendments and bring them into sight.
· To know the size of shift of MPH of his/her own arrows at shooting on different distances at different speed directions of wind.
· To be able to shoot with the bearing-out of point of aiming in different areas of the target and beyond it.
· To be able to determine force and direction of wind by the external signs.
· To have optimum variants of warming up exercises and to be able to make use of them before training and competitions.
· To know an optimum psychological microclimate for himself/herself and to be able to create it successfully at competitions.
· To have a clear picture of rational nourishment (taking into account the individual features of his/her organism) and strictly adhere to him in the period of participation in the competitions.
· To be able to use the pauses of rest between shots, between series and between distances during competitions rationally.
· To be able to have under the control the state of his/her equipment constantly.
· To have comfortable sports clothes at competitions for different weather conditions that have been fitted and tested preliminary in the conditions of shooting.
· To be able to adjust shooting correctly during ranging series and to provide the constant control above position of MPH. To react to displacement of MPH in time.
· To feel well the motion of time given for implementation of series of shots, to be able to use it. To not be afraid of time troubles. To be able to shoot quickly with high quality, after the protracted expectation of an opportunity, because of the gusts of wind being in pose of readiness to the shot as well.
· To be able to shoot in different temporal modes. At necessity to be able to shoot with high quality without the use of clicker, if that is required by circumstances that have turned up.
· To have affected variants of conduct and actions in cases of breakage or problems with clothes or equipment of an archer.
· To have the list of all the necessary things that must be in the case for a bow and arrows on inner side of it. To work out a habit to check up on this list presence of all necessary things before going for training and competitions.

 
 


At request it is possible to continue this list further, as in the tactical preparation of an archer there is practically no borders. There are cases when an archer makes a tactical decision successfully and in future no one ever repeats this.
Important components of forming of integral notion about the tactical preparation are:
- awareness of the sportsman of his/her own technique-tactical arming, features of individual manner, advantages and lacks of preparation;
- understanding of intercommunication between the preparatory actions and basic ways of conduct of competition fight;
- understanding of character of initiative and value of such tactical elements as suddenness, timeliness and etc.;
- understanding of necessity of self-control and conscious risk, knowledge of variants of conduct in different moments of competitions, ability to conduct warming up exercises and regulate one’s own mental condition independently;
- mastering of power of counteract with competitors different in style of shooting and in force;
- understanding of psycho- tactical specifics of competition fight;
- clear picture of purpose of preparation, participation in the separate competitions and separate meetings, about the paths of attaining a set purpose and solving separate tasks.
An ultimate goal of tactical preparation is the formation of a definite style of conduct of competition fight.
Style (manner) of conduct of tactical fight must include general principles of tactic of archery and take into account individual features of a sportsman, including his/her lacks.
The practice of sport for a long time has marked out the odd cases of loss of strong sportsmen and strong teams to the weak enough competitors. This is the result not to so big extent of a bad mood, but to a bigger extent of inadequate reflection of a model of the competitor. Most frequently this happens, if an experienced sportsman underestimates possibilities of his/her opponent or over-estimates his/her own.

Control of tactical readiness

The control of tactical readiness is related to estimation of the following component parts of tactical skills of sportsmen:
- general volume of tactics, which is determined by the quantity of tactical variants that a sportsman or a team uses in the training and competition circumstances;
- versatility of tactics, which is characterized by the variety of actions and principles;
- rationality of tactics, which is characterized by the quantity of technique-tactical actions and principles that gave positive results (improved or saved a high level of effectiveness, gave a chance to win the separate meeting, etc);
- efficiency of tactics, which is determined by conformity of technique -tactical actions that are used by a sportsman (or a team) to his/her individual features.
The stage control of tactical readiness gives an opportunity to observe the basic features of becoming of skills of separate sportsmen and teams on the whole. During the current control tactics of sportsmen and teams in competitions, separate meeting, starts, etc with different competitors, in the conditions of many-days competitions, tournaments is being estimated. The operative control is turned upon estimation of tactical skills of separate sportsmen and teams during the trainings and competitions.

 

 
       
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