How to Shoot With Proper Archery Form

Anthony Cote
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Foreword

Archery is a sport practiced throughout the world and throughout human history. Its origins can be traced back to the stone age when our ancestors used sharpened sticks or arrows tipped with flint to make a kill of their food. The sport has advanced greatly since then. Modern compound bows can be adjusted for maximum power and accuracy and yet are still reliable enough to be used for hunting big game. Despite the rapid advancement in the sport’s technology, many modern competitive archers still practice the sport using longbows, which have not really changed much since the time of its origin.

Unfortunately, with all its advancements, the archery community is not immune to bad practices. There are still a number of common mistakes committed by archers of all skill levels. The most common is improper form.

Improper form is the single biggest interference with an archer’s ability to hit the target. If you are unable to maintain your form, there is a high likelihood that you will not be able to make a kill consistently, even if you have the equipment with the highest accuracy guarantees.

This article will discuss the all-too-often neglected subject of archery form. Proper Archery form is the foundation of any archer’s skill, by proper form, I do mean proper for your body.

Handedness

And Archery
One tends to be more dominant than the other. Many archers, especially right-handed, end up shooting instinctively from the dominant side. The danger of this is that the limbs that aren’t being used on the strong side are at risk of weakening. This causes them to grow accustomed to firing with strength only from one side. This can lead to sickness in a variety of ways. One of the many things that can happen is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

If you shoot instinctively or you are a parent teaching your child, make sure that you are using the dominant hand a little bit as well. Otherwise, it might require a lot of physical therapy to fix a problem that could be easily prevented with a little bit of attention and routine.

Stance

The proper way to hold a longbow is to stand up straight with the feet shoulder width apart. The chin should be slightly tucked into bring the string along the jaw line.The upper body should be bent over at the waist keeping the back straight. The holding side arm should be kept by your side with the elbow bent at a 90 degree angle. The hand holding the bow should be drawn or shouldered to the cheek with the nock of the arrow resting on the shooting hand’s jaw line. Proper aim is to keep the string and the arrow as one. The shooting side arm should be bent to just below 90 degrees with the elbow tucked in. The inside elbow should be touching the inside thigh while the forearm should be kept below the elbow of the holding arm crossing the chest. With the left hand, the bow should be held an inch or so from the ear with the elbow pointed at the target. The drawing arm should be pulled back until the right or holding arm is horizontal. The draw should occur both arms moving at the same time starting with straightening the drawing arm then the holding arm.

Stance Basics

The base of the stance is whether you shoot from the ground, a shooting stool, or from a stand. Most archers will shoot from a standing position.

Invest in a sturdy shooting stool that allows you to rest your bow while keeping your dominant foot forward in a staggered stance. Staggered means your back foot has a back step and your front foot has a forward step. Or, you may choose to shoot from a tree stand or a high-bench that is level with your waist or eye level.

To properly maintain your stance on the pedestal, you not only need to set your stance, as in width, depth, and angle, you also need to posture your body to align with your bow. Your strong side arm should hug your side. Your bow arm should be fully extended and supported by the forestock or framed bow rest.

Square Stance

The ideal archery stance is a neutral posture. It should be balanced, centered, and ready to react.

The ideal square archery stance, or perfect posture, is a neutral stance. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and facing the target.

To begin with, your weight should be evenly distributed on each foot. You don't want to have one foot forward or to the side, bending or extending the knee on either foot.

When you have your feet planted shoulder width apart facing the target, turn your hips to face the target as well.

To square off your stance, keep your shoulder aligned with your feet. If you can draw a line from your shoulder, down your arm, and out to each finger without your shoulder moving, you have a square stance.

Open Stance

(Or Semi-Open Stance):

This is one of the most common stances in archery, especially instinctive shooting. It is a natural position, especially for right-handed people, owing to the fact that they will naturally rotate their upper body to the left, with their hips pointing towards the target. Fingers are pulled back towards the ear, while the bow arm is cocked at a position below one's cheek, and the resting hand is placed on the upper forearm, between the elbow and the bow arm. The eye looks at the arrow above the nocking point of the bow.

A basic reason for this stance, given by most archers, is that it keeps the chest open, at a good angle to the target, and helps thereby maintain a steady aim. While it is true that it makes sense to present the broadest effective target, this position is not liked by many coaches and teachers, as they feel that the archer's chest is very open, and it allows the top hand greater freedom of movement, which could be used for cheating. To make matters worse, the archer has a very small window of opportunity to register the point of aim, as the hand and bow arm get in the way. As a result, the hand needs to be held out of the way before shooting, which increases the risk of people pinching and rubbing the hand against the arm.

Natural Stance

Your natural stance, is the stance you're most comfortable in. Depending on the muscle composition of your body, this stance you should find out which way is the most comfortable for you. Forward, sideways, or backwards, whichever way works best for you.

With your feet shoulder width apart, your dominant side should be forward. This stance is your natural stance.

You can either have your feet straight or slightly turned out. You can also have your feet pointing forward or towards the target. The difference is negligible as it's simply up to the archer.

One thing to keep in mind is that your feet not be too spread out as it may throw off your balance, although a wide stance is more stable than a narrow stance. Keep your knees beneath your waist and relaxed at all times. Even though you're just standing in your natural stance, relax fully. It's hard to fully relax with all the tension in your body, but if you can, then the right muscles and nerves are getting relaxed for the correct stance.

Closed Stance

Go to a shooting line and set up a target about 20 yards out. Put the bullseye of the target on your belly button. With your feet together, take your bow and lean it on your bow hand shoulder, so it's leaning forward. Keep your bow arm straight, but firm. To tune out a bow hand shake, you can place something in your hand and squeeze it while you do your form.

Now, you want to open your stance by moving your feet about 6-12 inches apart. Put your elbow to your knee and push it to the target. Try to rotate your bow arm in a circle. The idea is to move your bow arm out, away from your body, on a straight line. When you do this, you'll be smoothing out both your anchor point, as well as your draw hand and fingers.

The last part of this is your bow arm. You want your elbow to stay tucked into your side. This is called closed elbow. It allows better balance and it keeps the string away from your hand. It stops you from seeing the string and it helps you from jerking.

Which Stance?

Before getting started with your archery practice, give yourself enough room. You want to make sure that you have enough room to allow the arrow to reach to its full range of motion.

Don’t worry about getting too close because before you know it, you’re going to be shooting well beyond this distance.

When standing, you want to make sure that you stand knee-to-knee with the target. This will ensure that you take the best stance possible while shooting.

When drawing your bow, you want your left elbow to be even to the target.

Your left arm should also be in a 90-degree angle with your drawing hand.

Your right hand should be directly under your chin.

When aiming, you want your elbow to be out. Lots of people like to get close to the bow. This practice provides better accuracy when shooting, and it’ll be a lot easier to shoot consistently and avoid the entire issue of your draw hand shaking with more

Once you are comfortable, relax your face and shoulders so that your entire body is relaxed. You will also want to make sure that your head is around your anchor point (the point of release).

Now place your finger on the trigger. In this position, you want your draw hand to be directly in front of your chin.

Situational Stances

The stance is the physical position you take when ready to shoot. It is extremely important in archery that you take an athletic stance. Standing flat-footed tends to force the release to be slightly off the mark. Being off-balance can also lead to something unintentional happening to disrupt your shot. A good stance makes you more nimble and helps you refocus on the target. Here are some common stances used by archers:

Javelin Stance

This stance requires more forearm engagement than that of the baseball or basketball stance. You need to stabilize yourself with your draw arm tight against your thigh. Your opposite hand holds the cocked bow with the arrow pointed down towards your target. This stance is used by competitive archers because it allows them to release the string quicker without straining the wrist.

Jaguar Stance

The name comes from the fact that it looks like the archer is about to pounce on their prey. Simply put, archers in the Jaguar stance have their feet together with one foot in front of the other. The lead foot points towards the target while the trail foot points towards the ground.

Tiger Stance

Also referred to as a Duck Stance, this stance is similar to the Jaguar stance. What distinguishes it is that the trail foot is rotated at an angle with the toes facing the target.

Tips

If you know you are right-eye dominant, then your goal is to close both eyes and shoot immediately with your left eye. If you are left-eye dominant, close both eyes and shoot immediately with your right eye.

The key to this tip is to isolate the eye you want to use and force your non-dominant eye to focus on something far away (like the backstop). This will let you draw back with your dominant eye and your off eye will follow, looking through the peep sight. If you are having trouble with this, make sure your non-dominant eye is looking at a distant object, then close your dominant eye and try to focus on the foresight. This will help you shoot with the tip of the arrow in your eye.

This tip is also great for shooters who have difficulty closing one eye and keeping it closed.

Infographic

Bow Grip

Bow Grip has a big impact on how well you shoot with form and accuracy.

One of the biggest reasons for this is related to something called recoil.

You would imagine the bow sending out the arrow would increase the friction and can effect the accuracy of the shot.

This is why it's important to know the grip and bow weight. The closer the bow gets to your fingers and thumb when pulled, the less recoil there is. The heavier the bow, the less your hands are moved right or left and the less accuracy you lose.

If you know you'll be hunting with, and more than likely considering, a heavier bow, you can choose your grip based on using only three fingers or two fingers. With a heavier bow you don't have to use your fingers, so you'll avoid the loss of accuracy.

Better accuracy is crucial in all archery, but in particular, target archery and hunting.

Having mistakes in either will not only be a waste of time, but could be a waste of the game you're eating.

Better accuracy means you're more likely to make the shot, and a bigger part of being able to do that is knowing how to grip the bow.

Bad Example

Most shotguns operate by using a spring-loaded mechanism, which fires 12-gauge shells loaded with hundreds of pellets of metal shot at a high velocity into the air. This causes the spread of the pellets and creates the effect of a shotgun blast.

The recoil from the shot is minimal and is absorbed by the stock.

A shotgun is a very versatile firearm and can be used for hunting or sport shooting, as well as personal defense. Tactical shotguns are a variant of a shotgun, and are used in a tactical role. Typically, a lower grade of quality is used in tactical shotguns, as they are designed to work in extreme conditions and are not expected to last as long as a hunting-grade shotgun. Most tactical shotguns are semi-automatic and are used in law enforcement and the military.

A semi-automatic shotgun is very similar to a pump action shotgun, in terms of operation. However, it uses a magazine to hold shells rather than being pumped after each shot. The magazine holds between 5 and 10 shells, depending on make and model. Most semi-automatic shotguns are designed to be run using either a detachable magazine, or a fixed magazine, which is built into the gun. These shotguns are capable of shooting as quickly as the shooter can pull the trigger, just like a semi-automatic handgun.

The Correct Grip

The most important factor for an archer when aiming an arrow is stability of the shooting stance. To achieve stability, an archer must be able to sustain an accurate, steady aim. To do this, the archer must have a solid grip to hold the arrow and a well-balanced stance. The archer should try to keep a steady pull and an even amount of force in the pulling and pushing muscles. The shoulders, arms, and wrist should be relaxed and steady to reduce exertion and maximize accuracy. A poor grip can affect stability, as it puts strain on the archer’s hand and wrist. The archer’s hand should be relaxed. The arrow shaft should fit into the archer’s hand, so that all fingers wrap around the arrow. The thumb should be positioned at or near the back of the arrow so that it can support the middle and ring fingers. The arrow should be gripped lightly. To prevent the arrow from slipping, focus on a small area at the rear of the arrow shaft.

Good Example

Foot Placement
A good key to shooting consistent and good scores during hunting season is having your feet move properly into position. Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart while concentrating on your stance from your ankles up to your shoulder. Try keeping the middle of your feet parallel with the target and shoulder width apart apart from each other. A good stance is always the most crucial element to shooting a good score.

Tips

If you know you are right-eye dominant, then your goal is to close both eyes and shoot immediately with your left eye. If you are left-eye dominant, close both eyes and shoot immediately with your right eye.

The key to this tip is to isolate the eye you want to use and force your non-dominant eye to focus on something far away (like the backstop). This will let you draw back with your dominant eye and your off eye will follow, looking through the peep sight. If you are having trouble with this, make sure your non-dominant eye is looking at a distant object, then close your dominant eye and try to focus on the foresight. This will help you shoot with the tip of the arrow in your eye.

This tip is also great for shooters who have difficulty closing one eye and keeping it closed.

Nocking

One of the most common mistakes I see with archers is their nocking point. The nocking point is your release point on the string. It is the place where your arrow slides in when you let go of the string.

Just like you wouldn’t want your finger to be anywhere other than where it needs to be on the trigger of a gun, you don’t want your arrow to be anywhere but where it needs to be.

A good archery rule is to keep your arrow above your hand when you shoot. If you hold your bow level you can easily line up your arrow at the point where it needs to go. Always adjust your release point so that your arrow is above your hand.

Before you choose an arrow rest, make sure you understand where it should be positioned above your nocking point.

If you have a drop away arrow rest, you should be able to line up your arrow so that the distance between your arrow, nocking point, and the face of the bow is 1/2 inch. This will allow your arrow to drop straight down in to the arrow rest. You should not have to adjust the nocking point as a result of the arrow rest.

If your arrow rest provides a ledge, bend the wire on the arrow rest so that the arrow will follow a straight line from the nocking point to the arrow rest.

Bowstring Finger Position

If you’re struggling to draw your bow properly and don’t feel like your grip is the problem, then you should focus on your finger position.

Forget about your normal hand position and place your index and middle finger along the string. You’re fingers should provide the necessary tension to pull the bow.

Use a bow-specific glove. These gloves have a higher retention level than the average glove and will help you grasp the bow firmly, while still keeping your hand comfortable and safe.

Be sure to use a glove with the proper index finger sizing. Your finger should be able to fit flat on the string and just barely contacting the correct hunting tab.

Use a thumb draw and begin to practice it. The reason it’s worth while to practice the thumb draw is that it allows you to get a complete and consistent grip before release.

If you are still having problems draw the bow, then you could have some problems with flexibility or technique. As we’ve discussed, you should look for a bow that is in your draw length.

You should also be making sure to keep your shoulder drawn in. This will keep your shoulders in line with the bow and they’ll be lined up perfectly with the target.

3 Under

There are multiple factors that can affect your correct archery form. Now, when talking about correct form, there are different stances that can affect the way that you shoot.

For example, there is shooting from the knee and shooting from standing position. The way you should hold the heavy-end of the bow makes a big difference. Depending on the type of bow that you are using, the way you hold it can be drastically different.

Some bows are long and a lighter bow, which allows you to stand straight up when you are shooting. However, there are also some bows that are short, and therefore, you have to shoot at a lower angle.

If you use a heavy bow, you do need to bend down when you are holding it. However, you can find more accurate stance if you have a more stable one.

Your muscles and your mind work together to control the bow. When you hold the bow, you should be able to mentally feel where the string is. This way, you have more control on when the bow is drawn and how it should be released.

When it comes to the form of the release, you want to have a proper follow-through. There is no need to apply much pressure on the string. You can concentrate on a smooth release, and your shooting form will improve.

1 Over 2 Under

Take a deep breath and let it out. Relax your shoulders as you bring the bow back to your cheek and nose. Pass in front of the bow’s grip and slide the outside of your face in the direction of your target. (Your head should be parallel to the back of the bow—not tilted down and not tilted up.)Place your feet shoulder-width apart and put your heels together. Relax your hips and knees. Hold the bow with the grip facing forward and your hand on the belly of the bow. Let your arrow float free and fall into the nock on your string. Pinch the arrow with the bow’s anchor point, which is your thumb, index and middle fingers.

Whichever way you look at it, the 2-7-10 formation is one way to shoot better. Not only will it improve your accuracy, it will improve your form.

It sounds too easy to be true but stick with us. The 2-7-10 formation is the result of a study at the University of New Mexico that indicates that the landmarks beginners should focus on when taking their shots are the 2-7-10 formation.

Deep vs Fingertip Grip

You have probably heard of archers using different grips. Which one you use depends on the type of archery you are involved in.

In general archery, you will be taught to hold the bow at the very top of the handle or grip it somewhere in the middle. This grip is fine for shooting a few arrows at a leisurely pace, but doing so can cause you to tire out quickly. The problem with this grip is that you must constantly keep your arms and fingers straight, which is a lot of effort and causes fatigue.

Hold the bow close to the riser, rather than the end or grasp/grip. If you like to shoot instinctive archery, you can move your grip back, which is going to be better for you.

If you are shooting high-speed, compound bows, you will want to use a reverse, fingering grip. When relaxing your arms, your elbow should be at a 90 degree angle. This grip is used for speed, which is why it is better for compound shooters.

Aids

Whenever you draw a bowstring, you will feel a force pulling your shoulder forward. This is not the only resistance that you'll experience, but it's the one you can easily do something about.

When your bow arm begins to move forward, right before you reach full draw, release the string.

If you bound properly, the force of the string should continue traveling past your face and go potentially continue in a straight line after your arrow. If your line of sight remains straight and does not vary, then you are shooting with proper form.

Preventing Tension on the String

You'll feel a tremendous amount of force on the string when your bow arm moves forward. Proper tension control is important in order to mask this force.

Spread out the length of the string that contacts your hand. To do this, you can simply turn your hand upside down. However, most people do not like to turn their hands upside down, so they keep the string flat against the side of their hand.

You can implement the same technique by tilting your wrist upward. Allowing the string to follow the flat of your hand gives you the same effect as spreading out the string on the top of your hand.

Tips

If you know you are right-eye dominant, then your goal is to close both eyes and shoot immediately with your left eye. If you are left-eye dominant, close both eyes and shoot immediately with your right eye.

The key to this tip is to isolate the eye you want to use and force your non-dominant eye to focus on something far away (like the backstop). This will let you draw back with your dominant eye and your off eye will follow, looking through the peep sight. If you are having trouble with this, make sure your non-dominant eye is looking at a distant object, then close your dominant eye and try to focus on the foresight. This will help you shoot with the tip of the arrow in your eye.

This tip is also great for shooters who have difficulty closing one eye and keeping it closed.

Drawing

Over the years, the sport of archery has seen an incredible number of technological advances and equipment upgrades. The quality of bows and arrows has improved by leaps and bounds, and even the materials used for recurves and longbows have evolved to include new materials and more effective designs.

However, one key aspect of archery has remained nearly unchanged over the years: the way that archers draw the bow string. This is because the way that an archer draws his or her bow has a direct impact on the accuracy and strength of a successful shot.

If you’re a newcomer to the sport, or just a casual archer, you may not know that the proper method of drawing your bow string depends heavily on an important concept: form.

Many bowhunters rely on both proper form and the best archery arrows to deal consistent and deadly blows to their quarries. While there are many styles of bowhunting, from hunting deer to hunting other large game such as elk, the basic method of drawing the string to full draw is the same.

Firing a bow requires that the string be drawn back to the earlobe or eye brow line. The compound bow is the only exception to this rule, but even these bows do not require that the string be drawn all of the way to the end of the bow.

Mock Shots / Dry Firing

While it may sound a little crazy, the reality is that before you begin actually shooting a bow for real, it's important that you have some experience with 'dry firing' your bow. Not only does this mock shooting practice allow you to become familiar with your arrow type, and physical draw length, it serves as a great practice to perfect a smooth and consistent release. The idea is that by becoming familiar to the feel of this release, you'll be able to deliver better accuracy and performance during actual shooting.

The most common and effective approach to mock shooting, is to prop your bow up, and use an anchor point (usually a shoe) to serve as a point of reference. Position this anchor point, directly in front of you. It may also be helpful to prop up a mirror to allow you to see your stabilization form once you begin. Take note of your natural anchor point. Whatever point on your anatomy you look at while drawing, should be your reference point through the entire draw length. Regulating your breathing, as you draw, is also vital.

To practice mock shooting, draw back your bow, and hold the position for several seconds. Attempt to deliver a smooth rhythm of breathing, and then hold your final position for several more seconds. Release your hold on the bow string, and once again, try to draw back smoothly, without any jerking or trembling. The cycle is then repeated several more times.

Bow Arm

Hold the bow with your shooting arm. Your grip should allow for the weight of the bow to rest evenly without feeling strain on your arms. Your thumb should be positioned in the arrow rest and not on it.

Grip the bow handle an inch or two below the arrow rest position. Make sure to look straight ahead.

Elbow Rotation

One of the biggest mistakes I see amateur archers make time and time again is the elbow rotation. It is not uncommon to see a lot of rotating taking place, some of which is even contributed by the bow. The wrist rotation is where this rotation tends to take place and the reason why is the wrist is the only part of the body that's actively moving during the shot. As you draw the bow back, the wrist is the only part of the body that is rotating. The way to fix this is to stop rotating the wrist. The only movement that should take place the draw back is when the elbow rotates back.

It is also important to keep in mind that you should be pulling with your back not with your arms. Your back muscles are much stronger than your arms, so if you focus more on your back, you will be able to pull back more string then using only your arms. Also, pull the string straight back and keep it that way.

Use the entire arm and shoulder to draw the bow. If you concentrate on the back muscles, you'll be less likely to lean back with your shoulders, causing you to lose your balance.

It is important to understand how your body should feel during a shot. Just because you have an arrow nocked and are pulling the string back, doesn't mean that you are ready to shoot.

With your elbow locked, rotate your elbow back 4-6.

The Draw

The draw is the act of pulling your bowstring back toward you while holding onto the bow. If you are an accomplished bow hunter, marksman, or archer then you understand the importance of getting your draw down. Drawing your bow pulls back the string, string loop, arrow, and arrow nock. All of these things must be drawn in the same direction to achieve proper archery form and shooting.

When you begin to draw you need to hold your bow loosely. Do not hold your bow as though it is a 100 pound death grip. Never pull your bow too quickly. Alternately, do not pull your bow so slowly that it feels as though you are not going to pull it back at all. Remember there are only two ways to not shoot with proper drawing form and ineffective drawing speed.

In order to avoid drawing your bow with improper drawing speed or not drawing your bow with good archery form, practice before hand. Once you get a grasp on what it feels like to pull back a bow you will be able to draw whether you are target shooting or hunting for game.

As you draw back the string you must maintain proper form. There are four steps that you need to follow in order to draw your bow properly.

Aids

Whenever you draw a bowstring, you will feel a force pulling your shoulder forward. This is not the only resistance that you'll experience, but it's the one you can easily do something about.

When your bow arm begins to move forward, right before you reach full draw, release the string.

If you bound properly, the force of the string should continue traveling past your face and go potentially continue in a straight line after your arrow. If your line of sight remains straight and does not vary, then you are shooting with proper form.

Preventing Tension on the String

You'll feel a tremendous amount of force on the string when your bow arm moves forward. Proper tension control is important in order to mask this force.

Spread out the length of the string that contacts your hand. To do this, you can simply turn your hand upside down. However, most people do not like to turn their hands upside down, so they keep the string flat against the side of their hand.

You can implement the same technique by tilting your wrist upward. Allowing the string to follow the flat of your hand gives you the same effect as spreading out the string on the top of your hand.

Tips

If you know you are right-eye dominant, then your goal is to close both eyes and shoot immediately with your left eye. If you are left-eye dominant, close both eyes and shoot immediately with your right eye.

The key to this tip is to isolate the eye you want to use and force your non-dominant eye to focus on something far away (like the backstop). This will let you draw back with your dominant eye and your off eye will follow, looking through the peep sight. If you are having trouble with this, make sure your non-dominant eye is looking at a distant object, then close your dominant eye and try to focus on the foresight. This will help you shoot with the tip of the arrow in your eye.

This tip is also great for shooters who have difficulty closing one eye and keeping it closed.

Anchor Points

Your anchor point will be either your tummy or your drawers. Your anchor point does not have to be your body part. You will have to experiment a bit to become more familiar with the anchor point.

You have to start by holding your bow properly. Your grip should contain a slight pinch at the back and the arrows should be lined up with your bellybone. Your stance should be that your feet are aligned with your shoulders directly.

Side Anchor

Set your feet on a 45-degree angle. With two of your fingers, place pressure on the arrow rest on the bow. Your hand should be positioned above the arrow rest with your thumb sitting along the side of the bow, just below the arrow shelf. While the hook method is the most common, some people use a side anchor, which is easy to learn and entails placing two fingers on either side of the rest.

Low Anchor

If you use a low anchor, you will shoot more accurately, with better consistency and lower error.

When you release, your hand moves down, pulling the draw-hand elbow down which stretches the string and creates more consistent string bed and anchor point positions.

If you use a high anchor, the full draw will pull your hand straight up, which is why you get steep angle shots.

You also won’t move around as much, because your hand can’t move behind your back as far.

Compound Anchor

(Middle)

This exercise is used to strengthen one's anchor. This is the most important place for a consistent back tuck, where the string comes into the center of the nose. To achieve this, drop an arrow in the bucket so that about 2 inches of the arrow sticks out. Place your bow under your anchor point and use your draw hand to pull the arrow out. You will feel a full stretch and pull up on the string as your anchor point shoots the arrow out of the bucket. Should you put too much pull on the string, you should immediately let go of it.

After doing several of these, you should feel a good stretch across your back anchoring muscles. There should be a band or a channel of tension present as you draw if this is done in the right manner.

Tips

If you know you are right-eye dominant, then your goal is to close both eyes and shoot immediately with your left eye. If you are left-eye dominant, close both eyes and shoot immediately with your right eye.

The key to this tip is to isolate the eye you want to use and force your non-dominant eye to focus on something far away (like the backstop). This will let you draw back with your dominant eye and your off eye will follow, looking through the peep sight. If you are having trouble with this, make sure your non-dominant eye is looking at a distant object, then close your dominant eye and try to focus on the foresight. This will help you shoot with the tip of the arrow in your eye.

This tip is also great for shooters who have difficulty closing one eye and keeping it closed.

Aiming

Aiming in archery is something that can be thought about and practiced in numerous different methods. The most basic is to simply move the bow away from your body to make the shot a bit longer. This adds more power to it and helps you get the arrow further.

Another better way is to draw the bow in a way that is smooth and simple. You have the arrow on a ledge, right in front of you when you are aiming. It is also a good idea to be sure that your grip on the bow is firm and strong. When it comes time to fire, push the bow away from you. Now that you have the grip, and the arrow is on the ledge, there should be no shaking when the shot is fired.

You'll watch movies where a guy shoots and he makes it look like it was easy, and it seemed like there was no recoil. The truth is that this is someone who has practiced a lot so he can halve his arrow head when he is taking the shots. This could seem difficult to do at first, but really is not. The shape of your body can help you with this. It is in your best interest to go practice at an archery camp or shooting range if you really want to get better.

Tips

If you know you are right-eye dominant, then your goal is to close both eyes and shoot immediately with your left eye. If you are left-eye dominant, close both eyes and shoot immediately with your right eye.

The key to this tip is to isolate the eye you want to use and force your non-dominant eye to focus on something far away (like the backstop). This will let you draw back with your dominant eye and your off eye will follow, looking through the peep sight. If you are having trouble with this, make sure your non-dominant eye is looking at a distant object, then close your dominant eye and try to focus on the foresight. This will help you shoot with the tip of the arrow in your eye.

This tip is also great for shooters who have difficulty closing one eye and keeping it closed.

Release

Many people have the misunderstanding that when they pull it back and release it…the goal has been met. This is very far from the truth when it comes to proper archery form. After pulling back the bowstring, you also need to release it correctly.

When you release the string, the arrow still has momentum and is still accelerating. People often just snap their fingers or wrist to release the arrow, but this will actually cause it to move parallel to the ground. A correct release will cause the arrow to continue following its released trajectory.

To release the arrow correctly, relax your bow arm as you release the string. You should also release the bow in the same manner as which your draw it back. If your draw the bowstring back with your left hand, you should release it by relaxing your left hand…not by pulling it back. This will help prevent strain in your shoulders and back.

Once you have relaxed your bow arm and released it to the same direction as it was in during your draw, the arrow should release correctly. If you see any lateral movement, you need to relax your arm some more, and perhaps work on your draw/release form.

Archers Paradox

Shooting with proper form is important and it is essential for accuracy. If you’re having an aim-off, it could be caused by improper form. There is a process that the body goes through in the act of shooting. A lot of archers are unaware of this process, but it is vital to your accuracy. Archery delivers power through your body according to the amount of energy stored, the biomechanics of the body movement, and the equipment itself.

When at full draw, the arrow should be lined up with your arm perpendicular to the ground. You should be able to point at the target with your bow arm. This helps to maximize accuracy from the bow.

When you aim, you want the tip of the arrow to be directly on top of your sight. Rounding the end of the arrow to the tip of the sight will help you to see the arch of the arrow and will help you to see where your arrow will go if you have an aim-off.

Tips

If you know you are right-eye dominant, then your goal is to close both eyes and shoot immediately with your left eye. If you are left-eye dominant, close both eyes and shoot immediately with your right eye.

The key to this tip is to isolate the eye you want to use and force your non-dominant eye to focus on something far away (like the backstop). This will let you draw back with your dominant eye and your off eye will follow, looking through the peep sight. If you are having trouble with this, make sure your non-dominant eye is looking at a distant object, then close your dominant eye and try to focus on the foresight. This will help you shoot with the tip of the arrow in your eye.

This tip is also great for shooters who have difficulty closing one eye and keeping it closed.

Follow Through

Follow Through might seem simple when first introduced, yet it is probably one of the harder things for most archers to master. Following through on your shot means not stopping once the arrow has left the bow. When you follow through, you keep your eyes on the target the entire time and also keep your bow arm (the one holding the bow) straight and still, so you do not disrupt the shot. This might seem like common sense, but it is very easy to lose focus on the target and prematurely stop your arm from moving the second the arrow is gone.

Tips

If you know you are right-eye dominant, then your goal is to close both eyes and shoot immediately with your left eye. If you are left-eye dominant, close both eyes and shoot immediately with your right eye.

The key to this tip is to isolate the eye you want to use and force your non-dominant eye to focus on something far away (like the backstop). This will let you draw back with your dominant eye and your off eye will follow, looking through the peep sight. If you are having trouble with this, make sure your non-dominant eye is looking at a distant object, then close your dominant eye and try to focus on the foresight. This will help you shoot with the tip of the arrow in your eye.

This tip is also great for shooters who have difficulty closing one eye and keeping it closed.

The Result

If you practice poor form, you will eventually make the same bad form habits during the time you pull the string back.

What this means is that your arrow will be put into an incorrect position and this will cause you to miss your target.

This all depends on how variable the target is, how far away the target is, and how much power and persistence you are putting into your shot.

How to get your bow into position with good form is to have proper posture.

Stand up straight, with your chest out, and lower your shoulders and chin.

Now, take your bow in one hand and the bow string in the other.

Now, put the tip of the arrow against your cheek just out of your range of sight.

You should be able to see your target perfectly through the center.

If you can not see the center of the target, you need to aim slightly high, which is the opposite of what you may think.

Now, take a deep breath and pull back the string as far as you can go.

Now, you need to make an anchor with your arm.

With your arm and your back, you need to make an “L”.

Now, you want to extend your arm in front of you with your arm locked out straight and the string hanging loose around your nose.

Mental Game

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced archer, having a proper mental game is so important. You have to have a good understanding of what the sport is about and how it works. This will take you a long way in the sport and help you perform at your best.

Sometimes it is hard to stay positive and concentrate when you are losing. That is why it is so important to have a strong mental game. All sports do require the mental aspect of sports programming. A lot of beginners start losing and then they stop using the mental aspect of the sport. They stop setting goals and concentrating on what they need to do to do better. That is why you have to have a good mental game and always want to get better.

Back To Basics

In archery, fundamentals are described as the muscle memory and equipment that anchor your form and shooting. Before you even step foot on the field, you should have a good understanding of archery safety and your equipment. Bad form is a bad habit, and will hold you back from reaching your full potential. You'll wonder what that twisted body position is doing to your bow arm or how it can affect accuracy if you're shooting a traditional bow.

So, back to basics. I highly recommend you wear tight fitting clothing that you can easily move around in. If you're practicing indoors, make sure you set up more than one target to save time if you miss the first few shots. Visualization is a major part of your concentration. Most archers have a routine they follow before they shoot. I like to get into my stance and settle in for a few seconds to reset myself for the shot. If you have an instructor, listen to them, but take everything with a grain of salt. I don't care who is teaching you, practice and experimentation are the best way to get good and figure out what works for you.

Positive Mental Reinforcement

Archery is a sport that requires a lot of concentration, as you are aiming for a target in the distance. Due to this, you will get inaccurate results if you are not concentrating when shooting.

If you miss the target, don’t get frustrated right away. Instead, take a moment to calm down and figure out what went wrong.

Did you get your arrow aimed off? Did you pull the string?

Figure out what went wrong before getting upset. Remember, it is a sport of accuracy, which means there are no mistakes. Mistakes are very hard to fix and do not help you improve. If you are able to figure out the mistake, then you can correct it next time.

Even if you don’t get your arrow in the target, stay calm. Don’t dwell on the problem too much. After taking a shot, you move on to the next one. If you start thinking negatively, you can create a mental barrier that stops you from making progress.

Instead, when you are not in the field shooting, make sure to distract yourself from the negative thoughts. Do something fun. Distract yourself with great movies or other TV shows. Read a great novel.

Develop Your Own Style

When you begin archery, chances are you will try to imitate your favorite archer. Most accomplished archers say that is normal, and they really encouraged it at the beginning. The problem is when you spend the rest of your career trying to achieve a result that is impossible.

The best archers develop their own style. You didn't fall in love with the sport of archery so that you could shoot like everyone else. You want to feel good, focus your attention, and shoot with style, so that when you look back at your life in archery, it is a life well lived.