Shot preparation

oceanjaws

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I'd love to hear how people prepare for their shots. I don't mean form, as such.
I'd like to create a sequence for myself, which includes how I take the arrow from the quiver, place it on the string, find my stance, pull in focus etc.
Have any of you guys given this much thought?
 

modernlongbow

Active member
Sergei Bolutenko, a former Olympian and presently a Victoria Bowman, has a check list that he goes through. He shoots Olympic recurve, and scores from 70m.
 

Stretch

Active member
Yes, very much so but I have to admit mine came from years of shooting rather than thinking one through then trying to do it. The uncanny thing is if you can replicate it with no equipment (quiver, arrows, bow, tab etc) and look credibly the same. Right down to the fiddle with my chest guard And the unnecessary tug on the tab elastic. (I used to shoot an Angel chest guard that was a tiny bit small so needed reseated each shot to be safe. Now I have an XL Shibuya, never moves but I still do the fidget).

There is a mental cycle that runs alongside the physical.

Ideal world and they both run on auto pilot. When your working on stuff you need to tweak the programming to focus on your area of interest.

if you’re have a nightmare day focus on posture and breathing.

Stretch
 

geoffretired

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I think some archers find it easier to load arrows onto a bow string using "their own way" rather than copy a one used by someone else. That could be down to using their own method for a long time but only trying the other method once or twice. I think it is important that the method is easy to get right because it can bring on stress if you start to fumble when you are shooting in a competition. For example, some finger slings or bow slings are a fiddle to put on. Not good if you find yourself short of time.
One part of the routine that can become "lost " during the shot process, is how the shot will finish. Usually, the archer having that trouble, drifts off from the plan and hesitates just before the follow through. Finishing strongly; as planned; can be quite difficult IF the routine doesn't give enough importance to that aspect.
 

Stretch

Active member
Just to be clear, my response was about shot preparation - the actual shot execution is a bit different. As I never got to where I would define “elite” performance my execution thought process would vary depending on what needed focus (or... when it was not going so well what I thought needed focus that wasn’t always the same as what needed focus). I was a tweaker though and shot a lot of arrows to make up for not having a decent coach.

Stretch
 

English Bowman

Well-known member
I step up to the peg, work out the distance if it's unmarked, then work out my aiming mark, then I shoot an imaginary arrow that always hits the gold, I visualise every step of the shot from the nocking through the draw to the anchor and loose, then I watch that imaginary arrow all the way to the gold / kill zone. Then I do it for real, the only problem is that the real arrows don't always hit the middle, but I'm working on that. For target archery it's the same, but I don't need to work out the distance or aiming point as it's the same each time.
 

KidCurry

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By the time I've walked to the line I've already started my shot process. At tournaments this generally involves arriving late, chucking stuff on the chair, working out a satnav route around existing tents to the shooting line and chucking out sighters all within a few minutes.
After that it's generally as Stretch and Geoff says, what suits you. Some will always sit between ends, I like to stand. Be on the line as soon as the whistle blows. A few good gulps of air while looking at the target and adjusting my feet position, I don't use markers.
Once the grip is sorted, a bit of a phaf with barabow as there is no stabiliser to rest the bow on, it's grab any arrow that's convenient, not twirling or twiddling, check nock is okay, then look at target gold for the second and last time until the shot is done. By now I'm completely focused. Normal basic shot process follows.
 

oceanjaws

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It's been an interesting read. I tend to be over-zealous when I get into stuff, but it keeps me occupied ;)
It's clearly not something that's going to have much of an effect, but I like the idea of extending some sort of routine forward, to before I raise my arms, as well as backward, after the arrow has left the string. It's not necessary, but I kinda think 'why not?'.
If anyone else has a routine, or info on the way other people do it, I'd be really interested to read more.
Cheers folks!
 

geoffretired

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I like that thinking.
To put things in context, at least in my way of thinking, the really vital part of shooting arrows with enjoyment... and with accuracy... is the part that takes place at high speed. The part the archer does, rather than the arrow.
It's the part that is over in a split second and cannot be put right if it wasn't started properly.
When we get this right, shots feel good and feel exhilarating; they make me want to shoot some more.( And I am not giving up until I do get this part right!)
I find it is easier to get that part done well, when I do not have to worry where the arrow lands.( so long as it stays inside the field I am shooting on) It's like throwing stones out into a pond, just for the fun of it... as opposed to throwing stones out into a pond to make it skip 20 times.
Getting that feeling of "freedom" in the movement, to me, is all about the continuation of the build up beyond the release of the stone or string.
I am interested in the throwing, not the releasing. Hands know how to release things without thinking about opening the hand or moving the fingers.
With throwing stones it's all about the throw and the follow through, Both are really just one action, it starts strongly and finishes without any real effort.
If I am still pulling the string when my fingers fall off it, I am 90 % there.
If my bow arm is still working, as it was just before that separation, I get the other 11%
 

Kernowlad

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Supporter
Pick up arrow, place on rest, nock it, draw, hoping it’s not a random stiff one, get to full draw (relieved), relax, aim, fling arrow, pause, drop bow.
 

jerryRTD

Well-known member
Most of us have a 'shot' routine we stick to more or less. The point of that routine is to arrive at the anchor with everything lined up read to put the back tension and make the shot. remember it is the back tension that causes the follow through.
 

ThomVis

Member
One exercise we do with the more advanced archers is called pyramid shooting:
RoundMinutesArrows
126
227
338
439
5310
639
728
827
926
Close range, no target face, proper shot process and execution is more important than reaching the arrow count. We use this as a warmup routine and it forces the archer to evaluate the steps in their shot routine.
The time you focus on steps that don't matter is lost time for focus on steps that do matter. We see archers walk up to the line, stretch and stare for 10 seconds between nocking and raising the bow to "get into the right mindset". All the time your brain is on high alert for the coming shot tiring you out quicker. At top level you have 20 seconds for each arrow, including possible let-downs and stumbles.
And yes, the one minute difference at the 8 arrow rounds is deliberate. :devilish:
 

Stretch

Active member
I know this looks like you are using pyramid style sequences for a different purpose but this is not how I ever used them. For me they are great for developing stamina but in these sequences with variable timing for each arrow you’re messing with your timing - personally I don’t like that. I used to shoot 30s per arrow in 3/6/9/12/9/6/3 sequence. If I felt that I needed a quicker shot sequence I’d shorten the per arrow seconds allowance. If I felt the need to shoot volume I’d repeat it.

With an arrow rate of 1 shot: 15 seconds I don’t believe that there are many archers outside the elite who would maintain concentration and form. In these sequences you are actually training yourself not to have a consistent routine as timing is part of the routine. Just watch Kim Soo Nyung in 1988/1989 and you can see that the metronome is key to her results.

To your point of ”at top level you have 20s” well yes but they also have the 10-20s that their competitor is shooting their arrow to relax, refocus, load and prep. It is not a continuous clock at the 20s rate.

If the intention is to train the archer to get the arrow off in an emergency situation (we’ve all been there) then there are different games.

When I was competing I would have been able to do your pyramid no problem at all. But I would have wanted good explanation for the variable timing it doesn’t fit with my thoughts around practice and timing.

(And nowadays it would take me 90minutes to shoot that many arrows :()

YMMV

Stretch
 

Whitehart

Well-known member
Warm up routine...I would be knackered before the shoot started I agree with KC get to shoot just in time - focuses the mind and reduces all that standing around, changing gear is enough warm up :) plenty of time for chat at lunch time.
 

oceanjaws

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This is a whole different topic now, and a fascinating one. I've not heard of this idea of timing shots in secs. @Stretch even mentioned a metronome! (something I use all the time for guitar practice)
This is gonna sound super basic to you lot, but honestly this is the level I'm at right now, ha ha. I just figured out last week that I should be grabbing the arrow by the nock, and feeding the tip through the bow, right side of the string (I'm R handed) so it is in position as I clip it. That's the sort of thing I'm talking about. Creating a sequence to take out randomness which will distract me.
That's why I'm thinking of stopping using a back quiver. No-one else seems to use them (I bought mine because it was cheap) so if I'm gonna go there eventually , I should do it now.
That sort of thing.

Having said that, this thread has taught me a lot so far. :)
 

KidCurry

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I just figured out last week that I should be grabbing the arrow by the nock, and feeding the tip through the bow, right side of the string (I'm R handed) so it is in position as I clip it. That's the sort of thing I'm talking about.
As has been mentioned above there is 'shot process' and 'shot form'. To make the distinction the shot form is how you draw the bow, aim the bow and follow through the shot. Process is the bits before and after. I always check the arrow in the target with my binoculars after every shot. It sometimes frustrates other archers that I do this before leaving the line, but it is part of my shot process.
But I think you may be looking for something that really might not be there. Sure a side quiver will make things a lot easier, but where did this ''grab the arrow by the nock' come from? :) Here are two videos of elite archers. Trying to formulate the shot process is not easy. It is efficient but not formulated like the form part of the shot. The advice I would give is to do what makes you comfortable. Sure, copy others if it suits you but if it doesn't bin it. Watch loads of videos.
And of course, having a clicker will impact how you place the arrow on the bow.
There are of course things that will make your life smoother. Check your arrow nocks for damage before you walk up to the line. Make sure your bow sling is on and correct before you walk up to the line. Check you tab is fitted correctly. Once you get your feet either side of the line there is very little to do other than get the hook in the tab and ensure your grip position is consistent then shoot with good form.
Oh, and using a clicker changes your shot process to.
 
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KidCurry

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I forgot to mention, there are some things that will be part of your process that you will need to practice but will not form part of every shot.
Practice coming down and resetting. Not often needed but your senses will be monitoring the wind for gusts or something in your form wasn't quite right etc. You will need to be comfortable with this alternate process which may involve removing the arrow and starting again, or just reseating the nock and resetting your brain and, importantly, giving your muscles a few seconds rest and oxygen before drawing again.
 
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