This is my second year to participate in SYWAT (Shoot Your Way Across Texas). What a ride. Mentally that is. In archery, there are many critical steps to release the energy in a drawn bow to the arrow and get it to strike where you intend. Overthinking or not thinking enough, can make the difference between a score of 5 or 0. Archery is as much as a mental sport as it is a physical sport. My weakness this year was my release, which is letting go of the string correctly. I see that I have improved, but there is room for more improvement.
Though there is stress in any tournament, I enjoy the competition. Competition for me really helps me gauge my skill level and where I am mentally. And I've realized this year the effect you can have on other persons mental state. There is a gentleman that is an excellent shooter that has given me both solicited and unsolicited advice/criticism. If I shoot next to him, I tend to have a lower score. I feel like he is critiquing me. In all actuality, he isn't. He has his own arrows to deal with. So never tell an archer what they are doing wrong during a tournament, it could totally screw up their game. There is a correct way to help them and an incorrect. If you don't know which is which, it's better left unsaid.
I would always recommend going and shooting an archery tourney, even if you are a novice. It's a great chance to meet other archers and to see many different styles of shooting. I've made some great contacts with people I would have never met otherwise. Even though archery tends towards an individual sport, there is still the group mentality that it is "Us" learning the bow together.