Archery

Florian Unruh

Meet Florian Unruh

He is 29 years old and a member of the German Olympic archery team. Florian is also World and European Champion and was the winner at the World Games. “My sport is all about focus,” Unruh explains. Would you like to learn more about Florian and archery?

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What is fascinating about archery for you?

IS ARCHERY NOT A COMPETITION?

Of course it is. However, in archery everyone mainly competes against themselves and they compare performances afterwards. It’s very objective, there’s no room for interpretation.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THAT?

You don’t have any influence over your opponent, we don’t have any contact when we’re at the shooting range. We shoot our programme and see what happens. Even if I shoot almost perfectly, I could still lose if the other person has that one shot better than me. It only makes sense to focus on myself. We’re happy if we shoot a personal best, and if someone else shoots better, so be it. But you strive to do your very best. And that’s where mental strength is key: it’s about executing the shot the way you want it. However, this is where the fear of the wrong shot quickly comes in, which you have to completely block out. So you’re also fighting against your own thoughts, as it were.

It only makes sense to focus on myself. We’re happy if we shoot a personal best, and if someone else shoots better, so be it.

IS ARCHERY A LONELY SPORT?

I wouldn’t say that. Even though, as I said, we don’t see the others at the shooting range and it’s everyone for themselves, at the same time we go to the target after three or six arrows and discuss everything together. There we have a lot of time to talk at length. When I’m shooting, I’m in a bubble, but we talk a lot before and after. By the way, archers do that at all levels – even at the Olympics.

ARE THERE OTHER ASPECTS THAT FASCINATE YOU?

Yes, certainly. There’s the technical side. The interaction with the bow. You’re constantly optimising things, trying out this or that until everything sits just right for you. Then you develop further and of course you have to adapt the equipment again. That never stops. I like that

There’s the technical side. The interaction with the bow. You’re constantly optimising things, trying out this or that until everything sits just right for you.

DO YOU HAVE A CERTAIN RITUAL TO FIND YOUR FOCUS?

Only for the individual shot. From the moment I insert the arrow, everything is always the same. That makes for better results. But there’s nothing like superstition or anything like that. Imagine if you weren’t able to do that on a given occasion. That brings us back to mental strength. I don’t need such a ritual.

That moment before the shoot. Talks us through what's on your mind.

HOW DO YOU IMPROVE BY TRAINING?

The main aspects happen in your mind: what can I improve in the mental process around taking the shot? Then the shooting process itself: what movements do I make? Depending on the movement in question, they’re easier or harder to reproduce. We look for the most error-tolerant and reproducible movement sequence. You improve by repeating an optimally repeatable set of movements. There’s also a difference between training and competition. If something works in training but not in competition, there’s room for improvement.

IF YOU COULD MAKE A WISH FOR ARCHERY IN GENERAL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

More people should just try it out. It’s really interesting when we do training for beginners – there we see their fascination and enjoyment right from the first shot. If more people tried it, then more would discover archery as a sport for themselves. I’m sure of that.

What is your ultimate drive?

Different DNA. Same Attitude.

These words sum up what this campaign is all about. Different brands with different backgrounds and different origins share the same attitude – towards customers, challenges and quality. Who would be better suited to embody the idea of a shared attitude than athletes from different sports? They all do different things and yet they are driven by the same will to improve in what they do. This analogy is at the heart of this campaign. Do you want to find out more about that? Click below and check out the campaign!

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