Archery's Terrifying Secret

Experts can't even say the name of biggest fear: target panic
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2008 7:09 AM CDT
Target panic, which is thought to affect most of archers at least once in their careers, may be both a physical and neurological condition.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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(Newser) – The greatest fear of elite archers is something called "target panic"—an affliction that keeps some from releasing their bow, and causes others to shoot wildly as soon as the bull's-eye comes into sight. Many archers won't even say the words, although the condition has at some time affected up to 90% of their ranks, the New York Times reports.

“For someone who has a good case of target panic, I could offer them a thousand dollars if they would just pull the bow back," said one coach. "I guarantee you, I would not lose the thousand dollars." Similar to the yips in golf, target panic can be treated by changing grip or re-training the way the mind looks at targets.