Whether you are an experienced bow-hunter, or a fresh addition to the hobby of archery, here are some important tips for archery target practice that will improve your aim and power. Archery is a sport that you can master with the right information, practice and focus. Even if you have been shooting targets for years, going back to basic tips can help take you to the next level of your game.
Professionals and beginners alike can forget one of the most important rules of accurate archery which is to keep your anchor point consistent. An anchor point is where you pull the bow back to before you fire. It is not simply enough to aim for your cheek area. You must be exact. This directly affects you being able to repeat and adjust your aim. It is recommended that you anchor your hand right under your cheek bone. Another popular anchor point is to pull the bow string to the tip of your nose. Try out a couple different anchor points, and when you pick one that feels natural, do it over and over again when you practice to really benefit from this tip. Once you learn the balance and strength of your anchor point, your groupings will be small and on target.
What works for the string works for the bow as well. While anchor point consistency will do a world of good with your pulling arm, your bow hand needs to be in a consistent location as well. Always grab the bow in the same place. Mark your bow if you own your own equipment. Now keep in mind that it’s not just placement, but how you grip the bow that is important. If you grip the bow too hard, you’ll force it to turn slightly. This will not be helpful. Have a firm grip, but try to keep it relaxed and comfortable.
Stance is not simply a way to help you achieve anchor point consistency. How you stand is key to how you shoot. If you are a golfer, then you know how important it is to point your feet in the right stance to avoid slicing the ball. If you are a skier, then you know how important pointing your feet is to balance and direction. Similarly, foot arrangement in archery can make all the difference in your aim and success. Your feet need to be perpendicular to your target. Keep your feet just a little less than shoulder-width apart. Staying balanced like this will help you harness all of your potential power.
Now that you have perfected your anchor point consistency, planted yourself in your stance, and are holding the bow correctly, you are almost ready to let that arrow loose. But do not rush it. A key aspect to aiming is focus and concentration. Give your brain the time it requires to guesstimate what your body needs to do. Stare, intently and focused, on your target for ten seconds before releasing the arrow. This may not sound like much, but intense focus on one point for a full ten seconds is a challenge for some. But, as mentally exhausting as this can become, it is very important for accuracy.
Anyone who has heard the phrase, “keep your eye on the ball,” knows how much focusing your attention on your target improves the outcome. Similarly, when you shoot your arrow, do not fall out of your stance and look around. It is important to stay grounded, bow up, and keep your eyes focused on your target until your arrow has landed. No, you are not using psychic powers to help your shot, but this helps your body complete the shooting action with increased accuracy. Many people drop their bow or their stance without realizing it. If you are not sure what your body is instinctively doing after you release the arrow, ask a friend to come along, or an instructor to watch you when you shoot. If you have the equipment, video tape yourself throughout the shooting of the arrow. No one is more honest with you than a camera.
Archery is a hobby because it is fun and rewarding. Sure, there are challenges to it, but that is what makes the reward so sweet. The most important thing to do is relax, not only because that will improve your enjoyment of the sport, but because being too tense can cause sudden changes in your power and accuracy. Keep it loose and comfortable and you will not only have a better time, you will be a better archer.