clicker for beginner - yay or nay?

ipob

New member
I've been doing archery for almost 3 months so obviously I know everything there is to know............

I am trying to make my splashy groups tighter and noticed something interesting when our coach put up a wand target today for the beginners course but a few of us piled over to have a go. Using my usual draw but without the final pull across the shoulders I could hit the wand consistently but with quite a height variation. Before you worry, we were shooting it at about 18m rather than the normal distance.

I was wondering if a clicker, even on a temporary basis would help me be more consistent with my draw as I seemed to be able to improve my lateral group spread but at the cost of the vertical.
 


Nigel Hewitt

New member
I tried on, I'm a 1 year beginner, but there is already too much going on during the release sequence to add something else.
It's back in the tool box for a bit.
 


nbuuifx

Member
I'm about 5 or 6 months in now. I use a clicker. People have said that it is another thing to worry about, but I find it is something less to worry about.

I know that when it clicks I've pulled the same distance, sometimes I'm not ready and I either have to come down and start again, or try and hold it steady.

I find that as I tire during a session I have to move my clicker back a little and compensate my sight by a slight amount.

So personally I'd say speak with your coach and providing they don't say no due to another reason (like not using your scapula) then give it a try - the worst that will happen is that you will take some fletchings off by releasing too early.
 


Rik

Supporter
Supporter
my take: introduced properly, a clicker is the right way to go for someone shooting target style.
Or you're learning to shoot without a clicker, then re-learning to shoot with one.

There's a few caveats though.

You would need arrows of approximately the right length. You would need someone to help you set it up, so that it goes when you do things the right way. And support is useful, so that when it's not working, you can find out why.

There's no "temporary basis" with a clicker. That would kind of be like "let's watch this baby temporarily learn to walk". :)
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
If you are able to draw the string to your face and pull a little bit further; you are ready to use a clicker.
Fit it and set it so you can reach your face with the string, without the clicker going off. To start with, a further draw of several mm is good, as you will know you are drawing that extra bit.
 


Corax67

Active member
Got a clicker fitted within the first six months of starting and found it to be of immense help once it was correctly adjusted - why not try one and see for yourself, you can always take it off if you feel it's too soon or too much to think about.



Karl
 


fbirder

Supporter
Supporter
I started using a clicker after about 8 months - and it made a big difference to my vertical grouping. It's a great way to achieve a consistent (to the mm) draw length. But it would be pointless to start using one before you can draw to (almost) the same position each time.

Before the clicker I was told that I had a tendency to move my face towards by hand when tired. This was substantially shortening my draw length. With the clicker that couldn't happen - I just found that I couldn't draw through the clicker. So I had to practice more and build up my strength and improve my technique (and, for a while, drop to lighter limbs). Once I could shoot properly with a clicker, for a full round with weak limbs, I could start upping the poundage bit by bit.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
One reason why newer archers have a variable draw length is that they have no way of knowing how far they are drawing on each shot. So they continue to vary without knowing where they are. A clicker, if you can draw to your face and still draw further, starts to educate the archer so they can learn what they have to do to reach the same draw length each time. It also has the benefit of making the archer draw further once they reach the face with their string; helping prevent the dead loose or creeping.
 


mkhari

New member
I went through the clicker process, got arrows the right length, got coaching etc but I didn't settle with it. So I still have the clicker on my bow but don't use it.

Score wise I am low 500's, which is average for my club. The one thing I did keep was the coach, he tells me I will need to go back to the clicker but not until I am consistently getting between 530 and 540.

Most guys at my club use a clicker and are comfortable with it so I guess there is no single answer fits all here.
 


Steve Ruis

New member
It is normal for your left-right (aka windage) consistency to become good before your up-down (aka elevation) consistency. To become consistent L-R you need to have the bowstring properly placed near your aiming eye (typically a factor of having a tight anchor) and have fairly good basic form. Elevation is harder to achieve. Many people seem to think it is a draw length inconsistency but it is more likely a bow positioning inconsistency. You do not mention whether you are using a bow sight or aiming off of the point. If you are just looking at the target instead, either of those approaches will result in more elevation consistency. There is a test I use to determine if someone is ready for a clicker. It is basically a draw length consistency test (yes I want your DL to be quite consistent before a clicker is installed, otherwise the clicker is harder to learn and attracts too much attention. The test goes like this: have someone with a marking pen of contrasting color to your arrow shafts mark your arrow at full draw opposite the arrow rest (just pick some point--at the button, at the tip of the arm, opposite the arrow rest hole, etc and be consistent). So, draw to full draw position, settle and then have them mark the shaft at that position. Letdown, take a couple of deep breaths, relax and repeat. I usually do this five times. When done before I recommend a clicker be installed, I expect to see all five marks within a half inch (1.2 cm) range of one another. If the marks are spread out a great deal more than that, a clicker will only be a source of frustration. If the marks are that close together, then your elevation inconsistency is not due to variations in draw length but most probably in bow position and a clicker will not solve your problem.
 


ipob

New member
Thanks to all, lots of great advice. From the videos I've self-diagnosed a couple of fixable problems. I think I am overdrawing - if that is possible and I think a clicker will help, I'm going to watch all of the videos.

The clicker I have fits to the sight arm (yes, I am using a sight) so I don't have to muck about with my arrows. The rod is easily detachable so I can shoot without it but leave the clicky bit on the sight arm( AAE extended magnetic clicker from The Archery Shop).

I'm trying to have the least number of variables and twiddly bits whilst learning! It'll be interesting to see if it helps tomorrow - god help me for joining a club that shoots outside all year round!
 


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geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
In a way, the clicker is like the marker that a bowler places in order to mark the beginning of his run up. Or the long jumper or high jumper.
Even someone who is fairly new to their chosen sport, will be better off knowing they are starting from the same place. If they start from a different place each time, how do they learn what is a good distance?
 


Rog600

Member
^^^ I would extend that analogy further, however, as a cricket coach, and say that perhaps a similarity with archery is that a bowler's run-up will perhaps lengthen or shorten as the bowler is developing his or her form, if I can borrow that archery term. Scraping a mark in the ground and telling kids to run in from it wouldn't be a great way to start teaching bowling. As a fairly recent newcomer to archery, I can see now why a coach wouldn't fit a clicker on day one.

But once form has settled in both disciplines, yes, knowing where you're starting from is a fundamental to repeatability. (Until you bowl uphill into the wind with a wet ball on a soggy pitch; you can measure your run-up all you like, you'll still wish you'd taken up archery as a kid instead of cricket 😀 )
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I would see no advantage in a clicker on day one.
The draw length is not the main concern when a beginner first draws a bow.Getting a feel for what it is like to draw as far as the face, for example,is a good start. Using the draw elbow to move the string back is another, so the full draw posture is approached; even if it is not reached. Releasing the string without too much thought; like throwing a ball, is also part of getting the feel for what is happening.
I see nothing wrong with never using a clicker at all, or never using a sight or stabilisers. They are optional extras should the beginner want to go down that route.
If the new archer is shooting with a sight, they have already opted to go down the route of optional extras, assuming they use one of their own free will.
The sight can be a great help in taking out the guesswork of where to position the bow arm at the start of the draw. At the same time, it can stifle the flow of the draw as the new archer tries too hard to aim and forgets how to finish the shot. A clicker can encourage the finishing off process,as it will require a drawing that continues past the initial string to face contact, and draws some attention to the drawing at release rather than a dead loose.
The precise position of the clicker is not so important yet, its first job is to get the drawing to continue and the release to happen while that drawing continues. As the archer's form improves they will learn how a different position can make the shot process better too.
 


KidCurry

Well-known member
I would see no advantage in a clicker on day one.
Day 1 no clicker. Day two maybe. Day 3 clicker :)

When I learned to drive I jumped straight in a manual car (that's a stick shift for our readers across the pond) no automatic halfway house. I remember the instructor saying "now change up to 4th" and thinking 'I'm doing 40 mph and I need to take a hand off the wheel... are you insane?' :) Within a week that skill was learned and filed in the subconscious. I think the same needs to be done with a clicker. In our club there seems to be some mystical mistrust of the skills associated with using a clicker. It comes from not being shown how to use it early on. But there in I think is the problem. How many L1s do I know who know how to teach the correct use of a clicker!
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Good post.
I think that in days past, archers went onto a clicker with little or no real advice. No blame to anyone, they were just working on what they already thought and got on as best they could. Some made it work; some made a mess. I think it is natural for those around to pick up on that and call them the ruination of a good archer. It is easy enough to fall in with that thinking, because frequently, it was coming from experienced archers down to inexperienced ones.
I certainly got caught up in "defending" the clicker, and trying to allay fears... but I was using too many words of explanation and that makes it sound"serious"... therefore possibly a bit dangerous.
From the beginners I help on their courses, there are some who would be ready on day 3, some who would take much longer, simply because they have issues that are more fundamental. I am talking of, in some cases, beginners who have already passed their three score years and ten. Some have a real problem with just drawing the bow to their face; a enough simple movement, once it has happened successfully for that individual. Often I find I am fighting against their expectations. They expect things to be like X and their heads are full of things that cloud their listening.If beginners' courses were done by shooting up a huge field and nothing to shoot at, just shoot into the far distance, I think progress would follow a more useful path. The essentials of drawing the string and letting it get away from the hand, would be experienced with no distraction from targets or bosses or anything to miss. Missing seems so important to them and I hear "sorry" so often after an arrow does not go where they think it should. They are not easily convinced by words about it not mattering at the moment.
I would be happy to fit a clicker to a beginner's bow before the sight. Drawing the bow well can be encouraged with a clicker. A sight may help with groups ,but it can distract the archer from finishing the shot and they end up freezing or creeping.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I have done a beginners' course up a huge field with nothing to shoot at. They quickly drew back with less hesitation in order to get the arrows to go further.( still less than half way over the huge field.) They also learnt to release without having to stop in order to aim, though they did elevate a bit more to get further than their last shots. Two of them made junior squad when they had been shooting a while so I don't think it messed them up that much.I haven't put a clicker on before a sight though.
I guess it is no worse than putting a sight on and the archer then taking up barebow. My thinking is that drawing the bow during the last stage of the shot; as opposed to imitating a statue, or creeping,is more important than trying to steady the sight when other aspects of their form are still new.
Perhaps a beginner sight should have a 1" aperture and nothing inside it.
 


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