I have a problem that I tilt my head over to the right when I draw which leads to me finding it hard to anchor and get a decent string picture (I am a beginner of about 6 months experience).
This morning I read somewhere (can't find it now) that when you set-up you should turn your head to the 10 o'clock position - I have been twisting my head much further than this - trying to get towards 9 o'clock - and I'm quite flexible so I can pretty much get there - but I notice now that when I do this... my head tilts!
So, can anyone confirm how far you are meant to turn your head before drawing?
I'm fighting a similar problem. I find that I can stop tilting my head if I concentrate on standing erect (as if I were having my height measured) as I prepare to raise the bow.
Stand square, shrug shoulders and drop them to make sure not raised. Turn head owl-like to a comfortable angle and stay there during draw.
Be aware that you don't have to turn your head so that your face is square on the the target before you get a good view of what you're aiming at as your eyes will turn too to do the rest!
Straining to see the target is just setting up more tension in the neck which translates down to the shoulders and arms and then goes on to screw up the shot completely.
Stay relaxed and if you can see the target then you've done enough.
Keep the head straight and level, Don't be tempted to twist at the waist to turn the shoulders, and let your eyes do what they're good at without killing yourself to get the shot!
You may have to Review your reference point, but once done, your results will be better without all that extra tension.
"there is no escaping inevitability"
My post didn't make sense and has been withdrawn. Sorry.
Last edited by micholly; 02-03-13 at 01:23 AM. Reason: was stupid
This is a favorite topic of mine. Any archer that looks at the target out of the corner of the eye is most likely short-sheeting his bed. ? OK, try this. Keep facing these words on the screen (and notice you are facing the words with no head tilt, ergo, that with intent comes a subconscious directness in head positioning), but move only your eyes to your target side as far as you can without moving your head. Do you feel "twinges" in the side of your neck away from the target? Maybe a funny feeling in the back of the ear? How can this motion of the eyeball (which is completely isolated in the orbit) cause such sensations in a completely different place? It's neurological!
The short of it is, if you tilt your head, if you fail to rotate your head enough to keep your eyes away from the corners of your sockets(orbits) then you are shooting with less strength than you otherwise would have. It may not be significant to your game but likely it is affecting your ability to control your bow to some adverse amount. A slight degree of tilt is not as clinically significant as a failure to rotate the head to the target, by the way, but rarely in *any* physical endeavor will you purposely take your optical sensory hardware off of "level" since it is attuned to your inner ears' input to the brain. Ever seen a springboard or platform diver purposely tilt the head prior to initiating a dive?
I coach the athlete to increase their range of motion TO the target - it is fundamental to the Kisik Lee NTS method because it is biomechanically the smart thing to do. I blather on at greater length on this topic on the TSAA Coaching Corner blog. Have a go at it and please let me know if it leaves you with questions?
An atypical archery coach
Thanks all - I think my problem is i am over-rotating, I have just been turning as far as I can, setting up all kinds of tension.
I will experiment this morning!
How can this motion of the eyeball (which is completely isolated in the orbit) cause such sensations in a completely different place? It's neurological!
Correct me if I'm wrong but isnt the eye connected to the skull by 4 muscles.
If I am correct, then the eyeball is not isolated,if it was how would it move.
If I am wrong I bow to your greater anatomical knowledge :-))
I think tilting the head is almost natural. By that I mean it seems to happen to most beginners. I think it stems from wanting to look along the arrow as with a rifle barrel. As we learn to draw the bow, the arrow rarely approached from dead ahead of the aiming eye. It tends to drift across to our right and the head tilt is an attempt to get the eye over to the arrow.Plus, the arrow is lower than we would want, so tilting also lowers the eye down towards arrow level. By the time an archer has learnt to ignore the arrow during the draw stages, he/she may already have learnt to tilt the head, without knowing. Finding out about the tilt is often done by listening to someone else pointing it out.
How far to turn the head? Well, I guess it needs to be far enough to see past the bridge of the nose. I would suggest it needs to be far enough beyond that to see without eye straining.That probably leaves a bit more travel for most of us.
Within our comfort range of eye movement and head turn, we have to try to get good solid reference points with string hand, string line and face.
We also need to accommodate where the draw hand will be in relation to the draw elbow and draw force line.(When the draw length and shoulders/elbow are well placed.)
I see archers struggling to get the string on the centre of their chins. That usually involves pushing the draw hand across to their left, compared to a naturally aligned position that would place it more to the right.If, when they relax the biceps and allow the string hand to align with the draw elbow, the draw hand is not in solid contact with the face, a slight turn of the head can bring the contact that we want.
In the old days you were taught to look at the target (using dominant eye) over the bridge of the nose. - a good place to start
If you side anchor then you will tilt and turn the head further not to mention pushing the string into your face each shot.
Everyone is different so as long as it is not too far round work with your body.
Not all archers have the same range of movement in their necks and some will NEVER have the range of motion in their necks due to physical make-up (me included) , not due to any disability or injury, to do what you say you coach so how do you get round that problem?
Besides, if it works for you and you're repeating the same thing each time, where is the problem?
"there is no escaping inevitability"
I like the article you linked to, TexARC.
I'm not so sure that it is always the coach's fault if an archer can't see past their glasses. In some cases it can be the glasses frame being too thick and too far forward from the face.
I have to wear sunglasses even in some cloudy conditions. I thought thin rimmed frames would be good, but not all seat the frame close in towards the the face and when the head is turned, appear further to the right than is good for vision.Also, some thin rims are bright metal and in sunshine, can cause reflections to distract, like having a bright light close to the eye.
Some sunglasses, with lenses that seem to be part of the frame( cyclists wear them) can fit so neatly round the nose that I am unaware of anything between my eye and the target, apart from the fact that I can relax rather than having my eyes screwed up.
I found that every year I saw less target and more nose. Then after some physio to free up the vertebra and allow movement in all the spine rather than in just a few areas, I saw more target and shot less well.
My physio suggested I was reliant on a stiff back rather then core strength to aim and shoot steadily.
It did take a while to get form back but tension in neck is not good so rotation should not be forced beyond comfortable. Once the draw is under way only small changes should be made ideally but relaxing muscles not actively invloved in the shot is surely a good thing?
I've read this thread twice and I'm a little bit confused ...
First: what does "10 o'clock" mean? If you mean "more than 90° to one side" then you are a very mobile person. About 90° to one side (9 o'clock) would be quite normal. BUT: we in the "older" catagory do not have such mobility anymore (at leat physical ). So the over 40 y-olds move only to about "half past 8". How to compensate? bear with me.
Second: when a person can't rotate enough he "tilts" his head by extending (moving backwards) his cervical spine and also compensates by rotating his thoracic spine, that's quite normal. What to do about that? Have your neck treated? Well, as long as nothing hurts I wouldn't. Let sleeping dogs lie. Over 40 it's normal to get a little stiffer. In your joints, that is.
Try to "stretch" your joints? Hm. That's an interesting concept and an item very much debated with us physios... If you want to stretch collagen (the stuff that makes up your ligaments and joint capsula) you have to "stretch your joints" about 10 times every hour. Stretch once and leave it for 24 hrs and you're back to where you began... frustrating ...
The thing about your prefered rotation direction is a bit of a tricky one. The official explanation is quite complicated: the rotation direction you prefer (be it neck, thoracic spine or lumbar) is dictated by the centre of gravity in your head, thorax or pelvis. You can't change that.
Try this: how do you hold a shovel? How do you clap your hands? How do you cross your arms? There is allways one way you prefer to do this, depending on the relevent positions of the centers of gravity and not with being right or left handed. Even the dominancy of your eyes depends on the center of gravity of your skull.. Nothing to do with how you sleep. You turn your head into a certain position BECAUSE it is you prefered rotation.
Right. Lesson to be learned?
If your neck rotation to one side isn't enough, simply adjust your position, i.e. the way you stand...
just my 2 cts ... well, make that 4
(physio, manipulative physio, teacher, archer, m.sc.phys.)