Resetting your mind

PLEASE HELP TO FUND ARCHERY INTERCHANGE

Kernowlad

Supporter
Supporter
My stupid brain, responsible for most of my archery woes, is winding me up again.
I have a lifelong shoulder issue but it’s very manageable and mostly okay but a slightly over zealous mission to strengthen it for archery did more harm than good so I’ve been off it for months.
I’ve always had a slight touch of nervousness around my bow after some release experimentation some years ago; a number of accidental release plus the arrow hopping off the rest left me feeling rather anxious wielding my very good but potentially very dangerous bow. A wrist release almost got it back on track and taught me to stop faffing about with kit. But the rest wobble still bothered me even though I haven’t had it for ages; so I got a prong rest for stability then my shoulder decided to really go bad.
Anyway I found some really good warmup exercises which I should have always been doing but they seem to almost remove that shoulder soreness.
So I plucked up the courage (yes this sounds ridiculous but that’s what it feels like), warmed up and shot a few arrows; only 18 yards but they all hit almost on top of each other; so I can still aim.
The possible issue now is that while completely steady, my draw is slow. I mean really slow. No wobbles , no sky draw, just slow. Is it too hard? I don’t think so. I have to consistently pull hard but at no stage does it feel uncomfortable.
So do I carry on shooting when I feel brave enough, try a lighter bow of a different sort (a semi plan I had; no idea what poundage would suit but I’m thinking AFB or similar) or something else?
I want to get rid of this niggling nervousness which I get none of shooting my air rifle or any other activities I do but it’s a tricky one; my mind is playing tricks on me.
 

dvd8n

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Supporter
AIUK Saviour
Well, as I have said before, I'm a big fan of having a light bow.

You can use it when injured and coming back from injury, use it to come back after a layoff, use it to work on confidence issues, use it to work on form, and if it's something simple like an AFB, one piece recurve or horsebow, go out and have some fun without any pressure.
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
Shooting bare bow is good for your mental health in my opinion too. You swap the disappointment of missing the gold for the joy of hitting it.
 
this might be really hard to explain in a forum

Also, to be clear this is not from an archery context. But I have had similar issues with different stuff, rock climbing (mostly staying calm enough to problem solve in life threatening situations) and running big workshops for my work (mostly harnessing the adrenaline to keep ahead of things, not be overwhelmed by them). In both cases the predominant barrier was me, or at least my attention, beliefs and behaviours impacting my effectiveness

My approach to both was around controlled breathing and mindfulness - which helps with the physiological aspects. And rehearsal / visualisation which helps maintain the mindful aspect in the moment.

For me archery is a mindful activity and when you do something mindfully the isnt room for anything else (like worries). I definitely seem to shoot better on the days I meditate.

Pain can be a significant distraction to things, but it has been proven that mindfulness practice does diminsh pain perception and other aspects of physioloigcal response - a classic book from the 90s, Full Catastrophe Living, descibes this well
 

jerryRTD

Well-known member
My stupid brain, responsible for most of my archery woes, is winding me up again.
I have a lifelong shoulder issue but it’s very manageable and mostly okay but a slightly over zealous mission to strengthen it for archery did more harm than good so I’ve been off it for months.
I’ve always had a slight touch of nervousness around my bow after some release experimentation some years ago; a number of accidental release plus the arrow hopping off the rest left me feeling rather anxious wielding my very good but potentially very dangerous bow. A wrist release almost got it back on track and taught me to stop faffing about with kit. But the rest wobble still bothered me even though I haven’t had it for ages; so I got a prong rest for stability then my shoulder decided to really go bad.
Anyway I found some really good warmup exercises which I should have always been doing but they seem to almost remove that shoulder soreness.
So I plucked up the courage (yes this sounds ridiculous but that’s what it feels like), warmed up and shot a few arrows; only 18 yards but they all hit almost on top of each other; so I can still aim.
The possible issue now is that while completely steady, my draw is slow. I mean really slow. No wobbles , no sky draw, just slow. Is it too hard? I don’t think so. I have to consistently pull hard but at no stage does it feel uncomfortable.
So do I carry on shooting when I feel brave enough, try a lighter bow of a different sort (a semi plan I had; no idea what poundage would suit but I’m thinking AFB or similar) or something else?
I want to get rid of this niggling nervousness which I get none of shooting my air rifle or any other activities I do but it’s a tricky one; my mind is playing tricks on me.
[/QUOTE

A slow draw is not always a bad thing it will help you avoid hitting the draw stops hard which can bounce the arrow off the res
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I think I would start by asking why is the draw really slow??
I can come up with a few different causes; and maybe none of them would apply to your situation.
My first suggestion is ..... you still worry that drawing quicker will cause the arrow to fall off the rest.

When I go out for my daily walks( I go because I like walking among the trees and looking at the views)
There are level bits and steep bits. I like the challenge of the steep bits.( not so steep as to be called climbing) Steeper than stairs... just.
I tend to speed up to get to the top as it is like getting up speed on a bike to get over a short, steep hill. I get to the top more easily with a bit of speed to help.
So, I don't go quickly in case going slower causes a problem... I just feel better going faster.
If secret fear of the arrow rest issue is a cause for the slowness... try drawing faster and see what happens.
 

4d4m

Active member
You just need to rediscover the joy of flinging pointy sticks. How much was your last release aid? I'd bet you can get a decent 30lb AFB plus a dozen pre-made woodies for less. ;)
When you've done that, put the compound away and forget about it for a while.
Then just go into the garden/field/range and (as long as it's safe) just shoot at the boss. No aiming, just shoot. If you miss they won't go anywhere near as far, and you won't be heartbroken if you lose or break a couple.
 

JonLockley

New member
I can relate to a lot of this. I've had some trouble with anxiety in the past and archery has definitely been extremely helpful. I also had a nasty shoulder injury a while back which knocked my confidence for a while. When you don't quite trust your body not to go "ping", you can't really get into the mindfulness state and enjoy your shooting. It can leave you over thinking everything (another trait of anxiety).

Some things I learned along the way, take or leave them as you see fit.

1) Forget any performance related goals for a while. Make your first goal to enjoy the process of shooting again. Take some pleasure in the good shots, ignore the bad ones. 20m bare boss good shooting can be food for the soul. Make archery a pleasure first and foremost, scores come later.

2) A lighter bow is a good idea. I shoot recurve and went from struggling to be accurate at 40y using a 32# bow all the way down to 18# after my injury 18 months ago. I'm now back up to 28# and hitting 70m, with more pundage in the locker. That year on lower poundages was one part of gaining confidence and having fun without the pressure. Better technique was another, which brings me nicely to...

3) Consider getting some coaching. Having the extra eyes and extra brain to assess my shooting means I can switch the brain off (not always successfully) and just take the shots. And when you're not feeling "on it" or not confident you have someone to talk things through with. (I tend to take too long going through the clicker, so having somebody around to remind me of that is also a plus.)

I hope some of that helps, good luck!

Jon

My stupid brain, responsible for most of my archery woes, is winding me up again.
I have a lifelong shoulder issue but it’s very manageable and mostly okay but a slightly over zealous mission to strengthen it for archery did more harm than good so I’ve been off it for months.
I’ve always had a slight touch of nervousness around my bow after some release experimentation some years ago; a number of accidental release plus the arrow hopping off the rest left me feeling rather anxious wielding my very good but potentially very dangerous bow. A wrist release almost got it back on track and taught me to stop faffing about with kit. But the rest wobble still bothered me even though I haven’t had it for ages; so I got a prong rest for stability then my shoulder decided to really go bad.
Anyway I found some really good warmup exercises which I should have always been doing but they seem to almost remove that shoulder soreness.
So I plucked up the courage (yes this sounds ridiculous but that’s what it feels like), warmed up and shot a few arrows; only 18 yards but they all hit almost on top of each other; so I can still aim.
The possible issue now is that while completely steady, my draw is slow. I mean really slow. No wobbles , no sky draw, just slow. Is it too hard? I don’t think so. I have to consistently pull hard but at no stage does it feel uncomfortable.
So do I carry on shooting when I feel brave enough, try a lighter bow of a different sort (a semi plan I had; no idea what poundage would suit but I’m thinking AFB or similar) or something else?
I want to get rid of this niggling nervousness which I get none of shooting my air rifle or any other activities I do but it’s a tricky one; my mind is playing tricks on me.
 

Kernowlad

Supporter
Supporter
Great stuff @JonLockley - thank you.
I am definitely considering a lighter, basic bow. Sadly my nearest archery shop is over two hours drive away so trying them is a bit tricky. It also means I'm not sure what my draw weight should be on one or even what my draw length is (obviously far less critical than with a compound bow though).
And getting coaching here in Cornwall really is tricky - fine for beginners but really tricky once you are a bit more advanced. I'd love to get some pointers though.
 

albatross

Supporter
Supporter
Well, as I have said before, I'm a big fan of having a light bow.

You can use it when injured and coming back from injury, use it to come back after a layoff, use it to work on confidence issues, use it to work on form, and if it's something simple like an AFB, one piece recurve or horsebow, go out and have some fun without any pressure.
I agree. I have a bow arm shoulder problem, especially when I shot with a Hoyt GMX. The weight of the riser etc when shooting indoors was a real pain, literally, probably due to there being very little time between ends to let my shoulder recover.

I purchased a Fiberbow and reduced the draw weight of my limbs to #28. I still hit the 70M target using ACC's. Very windy days can be a challenge. But no more shoulder pain.
 

4d4m

Active member
How about this?
Looks nice but I don't know anything about these bows. It's on the short side for an AFB, but will probably be fine unless you have gibbon arms like me (32" draw!). I'd just check the max DL if you're on the long side.
 

Kernowlad

Supporter
Supporter
Looks nice but I don't know anything about these bows. It's on the short side for an AFB, but will probably be fine unless you have gibbon arms like me (32" draw!). I'd just check the max DL if you're on the long side.
Quite long armed but a mere 5’8” with a 28” DL on a compound. I know absolutely nothing about them though so very happy to be educated!
 

Kernowlad

Supporter
Supporter
Had a good chat with Merlin; they recommend a 68” flat bow of either 30 or 35lbs with wood effect carbon arrows. About £180 all in with a dozen arrows and a glove. I’ve emailed my club chairman and asked for a call back to see if he thinks it’s a good idea or not (and if there’s anything at the club I can try). Watch this space!
 

4d4m

Active member
Had a good chat with Merlin; they recommend a 68” flat bow of either 30 or 35lbs with wood effect carbon arrows. About £180 all in with a dozen arrows and a glove. I’ve emailed my club chairman and asked for a call back to see if he thinks it’s a good idea or not (and if there’s anything at the club I can try). Watch this space!
Sounds a good combo, I've got almost exactly the same, from the same shop! A Bucktrail Blackhawk 40lbs that I shoot either with the Timber Creek wood effect carbons or with woodies.

Just for your awareness if you were planning to shoot it in NFAS, you can only use woodies in the AFB class. With carbons you'd be in Barebow or Trad Bowhunter NFAS - Shooting styles

If it's just for fun shooting and "resetting your mind" though, why not, you'll probably be more accurate with the carbons, and you can always get a set of woodies later on should you choose to compete.
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
Had a good chat with Merlin; they recommend a 68” flat bow of either 30 or 35lbs with wood effect carbon arrows. About £180 all in with a dozen arrows and a glove. I’ve emailed my club chairman and asked for a call back to see if he thinks it’s a good idea or not (and if there’s anything at the club I can try). Watch this space!
Go low with your weight selection.
 

English Bowman

Well-known member
Had a good chat with Merlin; they recommend a 68” flat bow of either 30 or 35lbs with wood effect carbon arrows. About £180 all in with a dozen arrows and a glove. I’ve emailed my club chairman and asked for a call back to see if he thinks it’s a good idea or not (and if there’s anything at the club I can try). Watch this space!
I personally wouldn't use a glove, I think that a tab is far more consistent and gives a better loose.
As for the arrows, woodies will mean that you've got a set up that is competition ready should you go down that route, carbons will put you into the barebow category. That said carbons will be more accurate and more sturdy, they'll take a hit that would snap a wooden shaft.
 

4d4m

Active member
If I did get wooden arrows, which ones?
They recommended Mac wood effect carbons. Just under £5 all made up.
I'm sure the carbons are fine, it's up to you. More robust and accurate vs more traditional and comp ready. If you want woodies I'd just get basic pine or spruce 5/16 shafts with your choice of feathers. A set of made up arrows are probably a similar price. Personally I usually go for 3" feathers (generally shield as I just think they look cooler) and field points.

Actually looking at Merlin's site there isn't a great selection of built arrows until you get into pricier ones, they do have a lot of shafts though so I'm sure would build to your spec, but obviously you're not limited to buying from there.

Aardvark's standard built woodies seem ok. I haven't tried them but I'm thinking of getting a new set for the longbow from them as they're really close to me and I know clubmates have them.

With wood shafts it's always a bit of a lottery unless you can go and hand select, so if you're limited to mail order the carbons might be a good starting point.

I use a glove because I did the usual beginner thing of the beginner's course, then onto target recurve full kit. When I bought a trad style bow I wanted the full experience so I tried the glove too and liked it.
 
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