FC Archery Training
Everything Is Aiming
Great archery masters often teach that “everything is aiming.” Where you place your feet, how you hold the bow, the way you breathe during the release of the arrow—it all determines the end result.
Master archer are mindful of the process that led to an accurate shot that he was able to replicate the exact series of internal movements even without seeing the external target. This complete awareness of the body and mind in relation to the goal.
Find a state of relaxed alertness or “the mind with no remainder.” In other words, the mind completely focused on action and fixated on the task at hand. Being constantly aware of your body, mind, and surroundings without stressing yourself. It is an effortless vigilance.
In practice, though choosing to live your life intentionally and acting with purpose rather than mindlessly falling victim to whatever comes your way.experience and increase your consistency and accuracy – that being the whole point of archery.
Leave the other archer’s arrows in the target unless asked to remove them.
Archery is a sport of and accuracy and the anchor position is your key to shooting consistent tight arrow groups time after time.
Let’s get started…
The only effective way to shoot well every single time is with a solid and consistent anchor position. If your anchor is different for each shot, your arrow will impact the target at different locations even if you had the same point of aim with each shot.
Some archers are afraid of the bowstring being to close to the face and consequently they cannot achieve a consistent anchor position. I call this a floating-anchor which is actually an oxymoron. An anchor simply cannot float and be effective at the same time…so for our purposes the term floating-anchor is very applicable.
Make a mental note of where you position your index finger near the side of your mouth until you find a comfortable place that you will use every time you anchor.
New archers have a tendency to “grip the bow”. It may have something to do with the name of the part (grip) that we hold.
When you wrap your fingers around the grip there is a tendency to “clench down” or grasp the grip in our hand when the bowstring is released.
It is a normal, instinctive reaction to “grab the bow” so it does not fall from our hands. In the process of clenching the grip, the riser will twist (torque) or rotate.
The problem is, we tend to clench the grip before the arrow shaft has completely left the arrow rest and cleared the riser.
The action of clenching the grip will twist or torque the riser in the bow hand and steer the arrow “off course” from our point of aim.
Focus on relaxing the fingers and thumb and avoid clenching the grip when the arrow is released.
Focus on the position of the bow-hand in relationship to the grip as well as the location of the thumb and fingers.
Pay close attention to what you do with the bow hand during the remaining steps of the shot cycle.
If you find yourself repositioning your grip during the drawing, anchor, transfer or aiming step then slowly and carefully “let the bowstring down”, re-set the position of your bow hand on the grip and begin the process again.
The goal is to start with the hand in the same location on the grip and end in that location without adjusting it during any of the next steps.
The Basic Archery Stance
This is a critical step that will enable you to properly set yourself up for stability and posture that will enable you to achieve proper upper body rotation and alignment.
• The basic archery stance is performed by placing one foot on each side of the shooting line.
• If you are shooting a right hand bow, your left foot will be forward of the shooting line (on the “down range” side or the target side of the shooting line) and left handed archers will place the right foot forward of the shooting line.
• Space your feet so they are approximately shoulder width apart.
• Rotate your feet into what we call the “square stance”. The square stance means your feet are parallel to the shooting line.
• Stand up straight and rotate your chin over the shoulder (or as close as possible) of your bow arm/hand (the arm that holds the bow).
• Rotate your hips so they are tucked or rolled under your upper body so as to flatten your lower back.
• Lower your chest and ribs downward toward your stomach.
• Push your shoulders downward.
Draw & Load a Bow
Draw the bowstring back toward the side of your face.
The bowstring hand started slightly above the level of your nose at
the end of the set-up step.
As you draw the bowstring back toward your face in a straight line
it should end in a position at the side of your face.
The tip of your nose should be touching the bowstring and the
hand tucked under your chin.
As you draw your bowstring arm back toward your face, move your
shoulder (drawing-arm) back and down as far as possible.
This is the action of positioning the shoulder and scapular so that
the back muscles can “take over” the draw weight of the bow in a
later step called transfer and hold.
Think of rotating the shoulder blade around from the front of your
body toward the back.
As you rotate the shoulder back, it should also move down as low
Move your drawing arm elbow until it is directly behind and
parallel to the arrow shaft.
Follow Through & Relax
The old adage “keep your eye on the ball” can be adapted to apply to target shooting too. After firing it may be tempting to drop the bow and look elsewhere to relieve the tension of shooting. But you should stay in your stance. Keep the bow up and keep your focus on the target until the shot has landed. While it may seem pointless, this is a habit that will improve your aim and keep it steady over time. If you get in the habit of dropping the bow and breaking your stance immediately after shooting, you may start unconsciously dropping the bow a little too early. You can check yourself on this by having a friend or instructor watch you shoot, or bring a video camera and tape yourself. A camera can always impartially reveal flaws that a human eye might miss (or that a friend might not feel comfortable telling you about.)
Relax & Enjoy
While it can be competitive, always remember that archery is a hobby that you engage in for fun, enjoyment and release of stress. Relaxing and not stressing out will not only enhance your enjoyment of the sport but it will actually improve your accuracy and power. If you teach your body to be relaxed and natural when shooting, you won’t experience any of the subtle problems that come from tension. If you’re just starting out with the sport, don’t overtrain. If you’re not planning on shooting competitively, there’s no good reason to have a grueling training schedule like you’re preparing for the summer Olympic games. So keep it relaxed and enjoy and you’ll find yourself a better shooter in the end!
Nocking an Arrow
What does nocking the arrow mean?
Nocking the arrow is the process of holding the arrow so you can snap the nock onto the bowstring. Let’s get started…
Nocking the arrow can be cumbersome at first until you have learned to manipulate the arrow.
This single step is sometimes the most frustrating step for new archers.
Be patient with yourself and keep the arrow pointed down range at all times so that a misfire does not result in a stray arrow, property damage or injury. The moment you pick up a bow you are personally liable for everything that happens after that very moment.
Here are a few Basic Archery Step for Nocking the Arrow
Hold the arrow shaft close to the nock behind the fletching or vanes.
Place the arrow shaft on the arrow rest.
Rotate the shaft so the index vane is pointing in the right direction.
Recurve Bow – the index vane should be pointing away from the riser. In other
words, rotate the shaft until the index vane is between your body and the riser.
When the index vane is properly aligned or orientated, SNAP the
nock of the arrow onto the bowstring under the nock (Recurve Bow)