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30 years on and no better than when I started.

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I can still remember my beginners' course. The last session was a competition between all the beginners. I was a little bit miffed that the arrows I had used all through the course were given to someone else, so I had to make do with some different ones for this important event. That turned out to be a learning opportunity! They came out of the bow far straighter than the others, and I was feeling much better, instantly. Good arrow flight seemed important then; that way of thinking is still with me, it's a childlike desire I have to see them fly nicely.Do I hear you saying, not to watch the arrows? Well, in clout it's OK, and when shooting 400yds with my compound a few years ago, it was a good idea to see which way they went as they had to be found!!
After nearly a year of pestering the experts at the club with questions, and shooting once a week, I was in the county team and knocking on MB scores. I had no idea if that was good, bad or indifferent. I imagined that was normal progress. It did seem ,later on, that MB scores couldn't be that hard to come by. What did I know at that time about the subtleties of shooting? The truth had to be;very little.
Another eight years on and with lots of pleasure gained from "just shooting", I developed a finger problem that made it very difficult to shoot so, reluctantly, looked into getting a compound and release aid. I was very lucky, that there was an outlet about 7 miles away. Roebuck Archery, was owned and run by a very knowledgeable guy who was seriously into shooting compounds and designed and had built his own models. I ended up with a Merlin TM2, a very sweet bow from the days when many others were horrid things to shoot. Very soon, I was enjoying all the relaxed shooting that compounds can bring. Clout shooting was still my favourite, and I was getting scores as good as my recurve ones fairly quickly.( NO peep or scope at that time)
Creeping up behind me, and unknown to me then, was TP. It started as the odd flinch, and grew rapidly to effect every shot I made. It lasted for 14 years before a message from Marcus set me on the right road to recovery. The day I read that message was the turning point! What a day that was! I took the ideas to the garage, shot some arrows, as badly as ever, but after a dozen or so, there was the first shot finished where the sight had been on the gold, not down in the red or blue.I cheered aloud in the garage. It had been many years since I had been able to sight on the gold and then release.Four or five weeks later I was back at the club and shooting club competitions. That was about three years ago, and I am still reaping the benefits. I learnt how to get rid of TP, AND how to concentrate on my shot, not wondering about outside influences. I was simply too busy to get distracted ;steering clear of TP was hard work after all. Since then, I have floundered around with all sorts of difficulties, mainly with executing the last stages of the shots.
Recently, I have had advice that is so clearly right that I have had no hesitation in getting on and following it. Several people on here had, some time earlier, offered advice that was the same, but I seemed at the time, unable to make proper use of it.
Looking back, I could have had twenty good years shooting my compound if things had turned out better. A bit of help here or a bit of coaching there, and much of the TP problem could have been avoided; probably all of it could.What a waste!!
Not really... I am only joking. It is strange perhaps, but I am convinced that I have learnt far more by getting things wrong than I ever would have done, had everything gone right. Learning is, to me, almost more important than shooting well.Almost!
The best bit is, after all those years, I am now shooting better. Had I shot properly twenty years ago, I believe that by now I would most certainly be on the downward slope. That does not excite me that much to be honest.

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  1. FlightyRachel's Avatar
    What a lovely positive person you are Geoff! I hope you go on enjoying and learning from your archery for another 30 years!
  2. geoffretired's Avatar
    Thanks FR, I only appear like that in text; underneath, I'm just a grumpy old man... I'm cancelling Christmas again this year! It's not that I don't like all the festivities or anything like that; just seem to have enough socks already.
  3. fanio's Avatar
    would be interested to know what the "clearly right advice" was?
  4. Bowselecta's Avatar
    Hi Geoff,
    Just wanted to know that feeling you had after Marcus's advice etc........that's how I felt after the advice you gave me.
  5. geoffretired's Avatar
    Fanio,You will have read other posts of mine as I know you have replied with your contributions( thanks for those by the way).
    I have struggled with shot execution, and posted many times in order to get a better idea of what to do.Sometimes I have been advised to execute one way; sometimes to execute a different way. The conflict between the two/or more methods has posed a few problems as the logic behind each has been clear to me.Which to choose is not an easy decision. What has happened recently, is explanations ( it has taken more than one in order to get me to fully understand) have been sent which have left me feeling that I really understood what was being said; so I could go ahead and try the ideas, in the knowledge that I knew what I had to do, and how.The advice included what NOT to do so that it would help me to recognise problems, if they should arise, and be able to do something about it.
    To be more precise, the advice was about release aid management; and the main contenders were command and surprise.Both were patiently explained to me over several PM's. The similarities, and differences, were explained in detail that I understood, and felt immediately, that I could try one, or the other, or both, and give a fair test to each.I was clear enough in my head to be on the right track, once I started on the work.

    Hi Paul, That is praise indeed. Thank you.


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