Mental changes edging Mexico’s Becerra closer to maiden win

Andrea Becerra shoots at the 2024 Hyundai Archery World Cup season opener in Shanghai.


Archers know well that this sport is a balance between the mental and the physical.

Prioritising competition mentality has led to success for plenty of athletes of the year – and the same applies to Mexican world number six Andrea Becerra.

Becerra has won her fair share of medals of late, most recently podiuming individually at this year’s season opener in Shanghai.

“All the resources I have now help a little bit but mostly I think my mental game. Not trying to stress too much, have a little bit more fun,” said Becerra.

“I’m trying to be way more confident thinking about my shots, not trying to be too hard on myself. I’m trying to make it a little more chill, less stressful and try to enjoy archery.”

Becerra’s not alone. Her Mexican compound women’s team has been prolific since the pandemic, making eight major finals and never finishing outside the top six on the international stage.

Several of those campaigns have resulted in victories.

Beccera is yet to achieve the same individually, having maxed out at silver medals on the world stage.

“It doesn’t bother me because I feel so grateful to even be able to win silver. Every time you’re on the podium it should feel amazing,” she said, claiming to remain unfazed by the near-misses. “I just try to enjoy it and I know I’m getting closer every time. It’s a matter of time, I just need to wait.”

The compound women’s final at this year’s season opener in Shanghai might have been her closest chance yet. Maya, as she’s known on the field, had qualified top, cleaned a path through the brackets, and then built a two-point lead over Jyothi Surekha Vennam with one arrow to shoot.

But the pressure got to the Mexican archer. She shot an eight – and then a worse nine in the tiebreak.

It’s the second major event in less than 12 months that Becerra has lost to an Indian archer after last summer’s Hyundai World Archery Championships in Berlin, which went to Aditi Swami.

Perhaps a more surreptitious start will be the spark?

“It was a struggle today,” Becerra said after qualifying 14th yesterday in Yecheon. “We just came [on Sunday] so I was still trying to find my shot but I’m confident in the next few days I’ll feel better.”

This week’s event is the second of only three stages in this shortened season.

With the points she collected in Shanghai, Becerra is in a strong position to qualify for her second Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Tlaxcala, which already hosted the season-ending invitational two years ago – when the Mexican archer finished fourth.

“Shooting in Mexico is amazing for me,” she said. “My family is not with me all the time [but] it’s an amazing opportunity for them to go there, support me and see me shoot. What better place to shoot than my home country.”

Of course, she’d rather be there as a stage winner.

Becerra will be hoping the Yecheon Jinho International Archery Field is the location of her long-awaited maiden international victory.