In this study, the goodness-of-fit index and root mean square error of approximation were 0.94 and 0.08, respectively. In addition, the comparative fit index and non-normed fit index (the Tucker-Lewis Index) were 0.94 and 0.91, respectively. Unlike the optimum value, all goodness-of-fit indices were satisfied.
Three, 4, and 4 items in fitness, skill, and mental factors, respectively, were greater than 0.50 of the path coefficient. Construct validity is calculated to verify convergent validity and discriminant validity. Analyses of convergent validity (considering interfactor correlation levels) and discriminant validity (considering between-factor correlations, i.e., fitness, skill, and mental) were conducted to examine construct validity. Construct reliability and AVE were calculated to examine convergent and discriminant validity. Table 5 shows the results of the construct validity analyses.
In the fitness factor, 3 items were greater than 0.50 of the standardized coefficient. All items in the skill and mental factors had greater than 0.50 of the standardized coefficients, 0.831 and 0.891 of CR, and 0.552 and 0.63 of AVE, respectively. Thus, these items satisfied convergent validity. Table 6 shows the results of discriminant validity testing between the categories. The examination of discriminant validity revealed that the AVEs of fitness and skill, fitness and mental, and skill and mental were higher than the associated coefficients of determination. Thus, discriminant validity of fitness, skill, and mental factors was satisfied.
Analysis Hierarchy Process
The APH was conducted with 36 archery experts to examine the relative performance of the 3 factors, including the 11 items that satisfied construct validity (3, 4, and 4 items of the fitness, skill, and mental factors, respectively). Of the collected questionnaires, 28 were analyzed (8 questionnaires with values greater than 0.10 on the inconsistency index were excluded).
Importance of Performance, Fitness, Skill, and Mental Factors
The inconsistency index was less than 0.10, which demonstrates consistency in the hierarchy process for all the following groups. As shown in Table 7, the analysis of importance revealed that mental (0.479), skill (0.344), and fitness (0.177) factors were important, in that order, to performance in archers. Three fitness items, 4 skill items, and 4 mental items are presented in the order of their importance in Table 7.
Integration of Importance of the Performance Factors
The importance of the factor items is shown in order in Table 8. The inconsistency index was also less than 0.10 in the integration.
The aim of this study was to identify the factors that affect archery performance and examine the relative importance of these factors. Using the Delphi technique, 3 factors (fitness, skill, and mental) were identified. The components of performance and their order of importance depend on the event or sport. It has been reported that soccer performance is affected by fitness, skill, mental elements, and strategy (27), whereas squash performance is affected by fitness, mental stability, skill, and strategy (13,31). These results are similar to ours, except for the presence of strategy. Strategy is not an important element of archery; the assignment of first, second, and third positions in a team match is the only strategy commonly used, and many experts believe that strategies cannot be applied to archery. Thus, fitness, skill, and mental factors are the determinants of archery performance.
In terms of relative importance, it was found that mental, skill, and fitness factors were important for archery performance, in that order. This indicates that archery experts believe that the mindset of a player is the most important factor in a match. As archery athletes with more than 5 years of experience already possess the fitness and skill to compete in matches, the mental factor of performance is emphasized (16). An unstable psychological condition can make the body stiff and hamper performance skills that were mastered with effort through training. Other studies also have emphasized psychological factors (5,10,11,29,36). It has been reported in several studies that an unstable psychological condition can induce the tension in the body of an archery player (18,26,33).
For the fitness factor, drawing a bow without an arrow, lower-body weight training (low body-oriented circuit training), and upper-body weight training (shoulder, arm, and back-oriented circuit training) were important, in that order. According to our experts, “drawing a bow without an arrow” was the item most relevant to archery-related strength. This action consists of “set drawing” and “constant drawing,” which reveals the weakest element of extension. For example, when extension time is prolonged and exceeds the archer's average extension time, the left shoulder begins to tilt, and over time, the bowstring drops below the nose. In windy conditions, a longer extension time results in more errors, and “drawing a bow without an arrow” can help alleviate this situation. Thus, a player can reinforce fitness and improve a weak skill by practicing this action. Regarding weight training, the reason lower-body weight training is more important than upper-body is its effect on body stability. An unstable lower body can affect the entire body, which is a serious problem because it is difficult to concentrate on the target when unstable. In addition, players and coaches believe that upper-body strength training occurs during “drawing a bow without an arrow” and skill training (25).
The analysis of the importance of skill factors revealed that the “extending skill by maintaining left and right shoulder balance during aiming” and “shooting skill over a regular clicker time” were rated as twice as important as “maintaining pace and direction at release” and “drawing skill by maintaining left and right shoulder balance.”
“Extending by maintaining left and right shoulder balance during aiming” is the period immediately before shooting, and steady extension is associated with a steady clicker time. A longer clicker time leads to increased exhaustion and can have a negative effect on the archer's mental condition. Thus, the extension skill was rated as the most important of the archery skill factors. “Extending and maintaining left and right shoulder balance during aiming” leads to “shooting skill over a regular clicker time,” and both of these skills affect “maintaining pace and direction at release.” Our experts rated “extending and maintaining left and right shoulder balance during aiming” as the most important skill and this finding supports the findings of previous studies on the importance of extension (15,22,24,35). Kim (23) and Yi et al. (35) concluded that left-right shoulder balance should be maintained, and even the horizontal, vertical, and angular speed pattern of the shoulder joint should be stable for perfect extending based on the results of their study of excellent players.
“Confidence (believe in my skill)” was the most important item of the mental factors in this study and the belief that a task will be accomplished successfully (2), can have a significant effect on performance (3,4). If an athlete begins to doubt his or her skill, confidence decreases, resulting in a negative effect on performance. Kim (20) and Kim and Kim (21) reported that golf players lost confidence in their performance when their skills were pointed out during a match. This finding indicates that for a player to trust in his or her ability to perform well, even in any circumstance is very important. Previous studies of elite athletes support this finding (18,19,33). The next important mental factor was “concentrating on the match”; this is not surprising because many scholars regard concentration as essential to performance (8,30). There are many distracting factors in archery, such as noise from the crowd, cameras, and unfamiliar locations. Thus, players and coaches believe that the ability to maintain concentration among these potential distractors is important.
Finally, in this analysis of fitness, skill, and mental factors, “confidence (believe in my skill)” was rated overwhelmingly more important than the other factors. Confidence helps prevent the intrusion of unnecessary and distracting thoughts and anxiety, thereby providing an optimal environment for a match. In fact, in the process of conducting this study, we learned that many players and coaches believed that confidence could mask inadequate skills and fitness.
In Korea, many directors continue to focus mainly on fitness and skills in training. A minority of archers receive mental training or psychology consultations. Currently, the only groups that receive psychology consultations are the national team, several teams in which the coaches consider mental factors important, and players with individual needs. Even though directors recognize the importance of psychological skill, they do not know how to train to improve it, resulting in a lack of psychological training. Actually, players have improved their ability to maintain and control their psychological functioning rather than their ability to improve this performance factor by systematic psychological training.
The sports psychology consultant certification system was introduced to Korea only 10 years ago. Institutional resources, such as manpower and budget, have not yet been established to supply sports psychology consultants. Therefore, this system is offered only for specific events and to players that are supported by the government.
In the present study, psychological and skill factors were the top-ranked ones affecting performance, and these findings have a number of implications for training methods. The following measures are needed to improve the performance of players: (a) the establishment of system-wide resources to support actual consultation in the sports field, (b) education of coaches and directors about the importance and effectiveness of psychological training, and (c) more diverse approaches to encourage and reinforce the skills to improve the psychological factor of the players.
It is interesting to note that “drawing a bow without an arrow” in the fitness factor was ranked fifth among all of the factors. As mentioned above, Korean coaches and players spend a good deal of practice time performing this action. However, there is a lack of well-designed scientific study of this action; the results of such studies would be interesting and could add valuable information.
The highlights of this study's findings are as follows. “Confidence” was identified as the most important factor among the 11 subfactors. The fitness factors affecting performance included “drawing a bow without an arrow,” “lower-body weight training,” and “upper-body weight training.” The skill factors affecting performance were “extending by maintaining left and right shoulder balance during aiming,” “shooting skill over a regular clicker time,” “maintaining pace and direction at release,” and “drawing skill by maintaining left and right shoulder balance.” The mental factors affecting performance included “confidence,” “concentration,” “emotion control,” and “positive thinking.”
In conclusion, future studies should focus on factors other than the 11 in our study, such as conducting an analysis of the “drawing a bow without an arrow” movement, and further studies of the mental factor. Although the AHP combined the opinions of our experts, the results of this study can hardly be regarded as absolute. Additional studies including more experts are needed. Furthermore, qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews and participant observation could add meaningful results to the study of factors influencing athletic performance. The performance factors identified in this study and their relative importance in determining successful performance can be used in training toward optimal archery performance worldwide.
This study was designed to provide basic data to guide archery players and directors on the sports field. Based on the results of the study, archery players and coaches on the field might check a team's conditions and make necessary adjustments to improve performance at an individual and team level. Through our analysis of performance factors, players, coaches, and directors can refer to “expert opinions” that were collected as part of this study. They can use this information to determine the most important factor affecting an athlete's performance. They use this information to select the most appropriate training methods to address the performance factor and evaluate its effectiveness.
This work was supported by a special research grant from Seoul Women's University (2014).
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Keywords:Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
hierarchical importance; analytic hierarchy process; Delphi technique