– The autumn holidays began with a competition in Grästorpe, where there were two world records.
The most remarkable thing in the world seems to be when 17-year-old super talent Leo Pettersson talks about his latest archery competition. And it may not be uncommon. Since August 30, he has delivered ten world cadet and junior records in the archery discipline with pure archery. That’s a world record for 17- to 20-year-olds.
The secret is a hard workout.
– When the crown pandemic occurred, many young people left the arch because they had nothing to train for. But I did the opposite and trained more than ever, says Leo.
The pandemic led to a postponement of the spring competition until the fall.
– Instead of chasing after competitions, I have focused on breaking records this season, says Leo.
How do you celebrate ten world records? Leo says they recorded the family pizza with a pizzeria with the family. Ideally, it should be a Vesuvius with everything in addition.
The day before the interview With DN-sport, Leo says he has completed the training of his life. Father Lars-Ove’s mouth is open:
“I’ve never seen Leo pull this off,” he says.
Leo tells us more about special circumstances:
– I couldn’t find a whole picture to paint, so I had to take a smaller one. You usually shoot three arrows in a series on the inside, and six on the outside. Now I’ve shot nine arrows and shot five ten and four nine in the first series.
Keeping control of your shots is a constant struggle.
Let’s go back in time a few years. Eleven-year-old Leo stands with a toy bow and shoots himself on the farm. The same summer he managed to try archery on Children’s Day. It was awesome. Now he shows up with a bow, targets and shots. Adults are watching. The boy has talent, of course. When Leo turns 13, they decide to contact an archery club in Stockholm.
– I’ve never liked football and I liked sitting on the bench the most, but it was different with archery. He felt the first arrow, says Leo, and you can feel a little nostalgia in his words.
– I like the community, he continues. Archery is not a sport that makes you angry with each other. If you break someone’s bow in a competition, everyone will help, including the one you came across.
In the first two years Leo is developing fast, but at the 2018 Swedish archery tournament, something big is happening.
He suffers from the dreaded fear of gold.
It’s a psychological problem that affects almost every shooter. The brain begins to automate the firing sequence and, among other things, it becomes more difficult to aim.
– When you are a beginner, you have to be careful with the details and the technology, because it is not there yet. After a month, it happens automatically. The more shots you shoot, the less you think it’s automated shooting, Leo says.
Eventually, you will reach a point where the unconscious controls everything and then there is a high risk of fear of gold.
– It took me 14 months to get out of the gap created by the fear of gold. I trained very hard, whenever I could. I refused to give up, Leo says.
Every athlete wants to go to the Olympics. The Olympic revolt is appealing.
He tells that many juveniles give up or change discipline because they are afraid of gold. Leo remembers that a competitor of the same age also had the same problem.
– We both threw an empty bow, but he chose to change the type of bow to the Olympic recurve, as most do. Then I decided, to some extent to him, but especially to myself, to prove that I was a better naked archer. I decided to tackle the problem instead, Leo says.
He came to the aid of some of the most important experts in Swedish archery to combat the fear of gold. It is that the core of fear can be reversed.
– It is a constant problem for all archers. If I start re-automating the firing process, there is a risk of a return to the fear of gold. Leo says it’s a constant struggle to keep control of your shots.
Leo held her back, unlike the Olympic shooting, it also means that the so-called recurve is a technology that aims to shoot without a target and without stabilization.
– Basically, there is no big difference. The arc itself is the same. Those of us who shoot a pure bow think we are at least harder. We have no help, says Leo.
The main goal is the 2022 World Archery Championships in the US, with the goal of positioning Leo as high as possible. It also attracts the upcoming Olympics. But in that case, the discipline needs to be changed in order to qualify for the Olympic recluse, as the tail is not yet an Olympic sport.
– All athletes want to go to the Olympics. It attracts the Olympic reckoning, absolutely. But it has to be something for the future, Leo says.
Today Leo is studying at the archery institute Along with five other talents for Hallsberg shooting. She enjoys everyday life and can combine her studies with what she enjoys most.
– We do two archery sessions a week with the coaches during school hours. We have free access to the clubhouse after school and we have sessions with training and competition theory, says Leo.
There will still be lively days early in the morning until school in the afternoon and training until the evening. There won’t be much time left for recreation.
– I often have dinner around eight, then I have to grab a small stopper before bedtime. Then it all starts again, Leo says.
He trains six to seven archery sessions a week and two gym sessions, where the focus is on strengthening different muscle groups.
A lifestyle that doesn’t suit all young people, but for Leo and many other elite athletes, it’s an opportunity in the middle of nowhere.