Your bow shooting skills are pretty good, but you always feel that there is much space for improvement. Does it feel familiar? Do you feel sometimes that you would like to improve your bow shooting and don’t know how? I gathered some great tips, and I’m willing to share it.
There is no doubt that archery is a very exciting sport that is also considered an art form. For me, it was always about the mystical side of the bow and arrow as a weapon. Also, the simplicity of this particular instrument when compared to modern weapons.
Learning how to effectively use a bow to shoot an arrow is not easy. It requires good technique and knowledge of the instrument that you are using. I’m glad that I have the opportunity to write this article. This is exactly for those who are interested in learning at a deeper level and more accurate level.
I will be sharing very useful tips that are going to help you take your accuracy to new grounds, and you will learn how to train and practice in ways that truly help you develop your skills with the bow. Please remember that everyone has their own learning pace, so don’t be discouraged if you hear other people improve faster than you. The tips I will be sharing below are definitely going to help you gain ground with your archery skills.
Repetition and consistency
This might sound like the last thing to mention in this article, but it’s the first and most important lesson I could ever teach anyone who wants to learn archery. Once you learn proper posture, grip, and string placement, the key element that follows is constant repetition. This is not something you find only in archery, but also in all kinds of sports. Mastery of any form of art or exercise is always going to take time.
The very best at any kind of activity are those people who commit to repetition in a way that is nearly obsessive. I know that in my case, the improvements came when I adopted a very determined attitude for my training and my practice time. It’s the same as playing an instrument. You need to practice the same thing over and over until you do it out of muscle memory.
You need to manage to achieve proper posture and finger placement when shooting without thinking about it. By that, your accuracy will be greatly improved. The reason why this is the first thing on the list is due to how essential it is for progress. Even when you know how to shot, you need to repeat this process until you are able to do it in your sleep. It’s very exciting to grab your bow and shot an arrow straight to the target you are aiming for. It really makes you feel like the repetition and the hard work was worth your time.
I used to have a very specific practice regime at first. I would practice for four hours a day. Two hours in the morning and two hours at night. I feel that practicing your accuracy during the day and during the night is very helpful. It gives you a well-rounded technique regardless of how much light you have at your disposal.
Make sure your bow is properly tuned
Yes, just like you would tune a musical instrument, there is also tuning for your bow. The purpose here is to create proper stability and balance in the tension. The proper function of the different parts of the bow to ensure an accurate result. An entire book could be dedicated to bow tuning. So if you are unaware of how this works, just take your bow to a pro shop and get them to tune it for you. This is going to affect your accuracy just like an out of tune guitar would affect the way a guitarist sounds.
Imagine someone who is an amazing guitar player that is able to perform incredibly difficult parts on the instrument, but their guitar is out of tune and their performance is completely ruined regardless of their level of skill. The exact same thing would happen to an archer that is very skilled if he uses a bow that hasn’t been properly tuned.
Every little bit of movement that you do when you are shooting your bow is going to affect the outcome. Learning how to control your breathing and how to control your movement is going to be essential for the best results to be possible. The way you release your grip, the way you stand, the amount of force you apply with your hands are all factors that will have a heavy impact on your accuracy.
Being relaxed is a very important part of the process of using a bow. You can’t be tense and stressed out when you shot. There is no way you will get good results in that state.
My suggestion is that you never practice when you are feeling stressed. Archery does not mix well with stress and anxiety. Even your diet is going to influence this, so try to keep away from the coffee and the energy drinks as much as you can.
Learn to breathe
Some people would say that breathing is not something you learn. Although, something you do out of instinct. Yes, certainly we know how to breathe by instinct, but we don’t know how to breathe specific activities. There are breathing exercises that will help you calm your body down. This will significantly improve your accuracy when shooting any kind of weapon.
Some people have claimed that Yoga has been great for them when implementing it to archery. I honestly never did or have done any yoga, but I learned my breathing techniques from a Navy Seal book that I purchased. The important thing is for you to learn proper breathing regardless of which method you use. You are going to be surprised to see how much your accuracy improves when you breathe properly.
Make sure your stance is appropriate
Make sure that your feet are always at shoulder width and you stand slightly toward the target. Your body should never be leaning back or forth and your torso needs to be a straight as possible. Chest up and back straight, this is going to help improve your accuracy as long as you remember to maintain that pose while you are about to take your shot.
A good way to make sure that you are keeping that stance is to always practice it even when you are not shooting your bow. I remember standing in front of the mirror even without the bow on my hands and practicing the pose just to get it right.
Stop gripping the bow handle
Some people make the mistake of gripping their bow handle instead of letting the grip to simply seat in the curve of the palm. This is the best way to hold the bow handle and improve their accuracy by significantly reducing the torque. This is something that can be difficult to get used to. One thing you can trust me on is that it will start to feel very natural after a while so doesn’t feel discouraged to try it out. I had a very hard time with it at first, but after a week of practice, it felt completely natural.
Always be sure to practice smart
You could spend all day shooting and getting nowhere if your practice sessions are not spent doing things properly. The idea is for you to practice smart and not just practice hard. If you can have long practice sessions with proper technique, you are golden. But shooting 10 arrows each day with proper form and technique is way better than shooting 300 arrows without minding your posture, technique, and breathing.
I strongly suggest that you find a good archer that can teach you the basics in person. I believe that archery can be learned by watching videos online and learning techniques from articles like this one. But it’s a good idea to have someone teaching you the basics so you can have a solid foundation.
If you can’t find an archery teacher in your area, there is no need to panic, many archers have reached amazing levels of skill and are 100% self-taught. You can browse many videos for free on social media sites. You can also read a ton of online information that is very reliable. It’s all about being able to practice properly from the beginning and this is going to help you improve a lot faster.
Archery is an incredible sport, hobby and art form that has been around for a long time. Appreciating the technical aspects and learning how to handle the bow properly are extremely important aspects of archery that will allow for optimal results.
If there is one last thing I would like to say about this is that you should be having fun. This is the most important factor to remember at all times. Have fun and practice hard. You are bound to become a skillful archer if you approach this with passion and with a fun approach.