Motivation vs Discipline

Motivation vs Discipline

Archery prep

This was such a fun weekend that I'm equal parts excited about this week and sad that the weekend is over. My husband and I shot in our first archery match yesterday! It was part of USA Archery's Adult Archery Achievement Program. We had a blast and will definitely keep shooting and keep working our way up in the program. The program was run out of my local gun club, and we did one round of 10 ends (three arrows per end) indoors at 18m (20-ish yards) and one round of 12 ends (three arrows per end) outdoors at 30m (32-ish yards). Both my husband and I shot several 10's, or bullseyes. That was a blast!

Something that my husband commented on was our different approach to training for the match. We probably trained for the same amount of time, cumulatively. But his approach was much more intensive than mine. Where I was shooting between 5 and 20 arrows nearly every day since mid-March, my husband took three days last week and trained 2 - 3 hours each day. Our two approaches both worked, as we did pretty well at the match. But my husband did say that he thought my approach probably worked better, which led me to these thoughts about discipline versus motivation.

Shooting my compound bow at 30m the the outdoor portion of the Adult Archery Achievement Program (AAAP) this weekend. 

Motivation vs. Discipline

While we were both motivated to get out and shoot, I was more disciplined than my husband in how I approached my training. My husband read an article on the topic on Reddit and shared the basic concept, which I'm re-sharing here: 

Better to cultivate discipline than to rely on motivation. force yourself to do things. force yourself to get up out of bed and practice. Force yourself to work. Motivation is fleeting and it’s easy to rely on because it requires no concentrated effort to get. Motivation comes to you, and you don’t have to chase after it.

Discipline is reliable, motivation is fleeting. The question isn’t how to keep yourself motivated. It’s how to train yourself to work without it.
— Imgur via Nerd Fitness

Discipline in the Shooting Sports

I buy it. Obviously it's good to be motivated, but discipline is a more basic and necessary skill to develop, especially in the shooting sports. As my husband pointed out in our discussion, I've been disciplined in learning to shoot my compound bow. Shooting almost every day has helped me develop muscle memory and hone my skills. Once I shot good groups at 10 yards, I moved out to 20 yards, then again out to 30 yards. I'm practicing the execution of my shot plan, getting a good sight picture, learning what a good hold feels like and building bow-drawing muscle. In a disciplined training regimen that started out "easy" I am also teaching myself what "good" looks like, that archery is fun, and that making it a daily routine is worthwhile. 

Another thought on discipline in the shooting sports: it is critical for safety. No one talks about "trigger motivation" but you bet your buns "trigger discipline" is important. We have to make the effort early and often to be disciplined in following the four rules of gun safety. Discipline is critically important for skill development and for staying safe in the shooting sports. 

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