Shot preparation

geoffretired

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I find the idea of "timing" a very tricky element to put into words, There is always a conflict in my head whenever I want to join in on a thread about it.
On one hand; I am sure that if nothing upsets the plan we have made for our shot sequence, then the timing should stay very close to the same on every shot. If I write my signature it should take the same time, every time, unless my dip pen runs out of ink part way through or the pencil breaks. I don't time myself deliberately; and I never set out to get the times the same. I set out to finish the action(s) in the usual way as my signature should repeat in its appearance pretty closely. I do make mistakes at times though and the pen/pencil doesn't press on the page well enough in some places to leave its mark.
The other side of this "time keeping" is to do with learning to write or learning to shoot. At the beginning I was more concerned with getting the letters the right shape( recognisable) and paid no attention to how long I was taking,,, perhaps my teacher did, though!
With my archery I am concerned with keeping to the right plan; and in my early days, the time was less important than fitting the right bits in the right places. Little adjustments added different lengths of time; as did small mistakes that I tried to correct rather than aborting.
I think timing gets better as the sequence is used with greater control; greater consistency.
I like to bear in mind that timing should become consistent; I try not to expect that to the detriment of the completed shots. I think there is sometimes a sort of chicken and egg situation in archery The clicker user sometimes finds the shot hasn't gone off according to the "time" they were expecting. The thought of being late is like a serious telling off and the shot sequence gets forgotten.
I almost feel like saying, "Let the sequence take its time; just get on with it and see how it goes".
 

Stretch

Active member
There are different schools of thought. Absolutely timing is a result of you stringing together all the blocks that make up your shot. You don’t pick 3.7s or 6s and then try to hit it.

If you want examples of the different schools of thought look at Brady Ellison, his shot sequence is the same but his timing is very variable ... although frequently his averages go down when he slows a lot and gets out of his typical timing. Soo Nyung Kim on the other hand was always fast and consistent. Typically 2.7s as I recall from anchor to release. So while the Koreans and I think the Americans did studies in the 80s and 90s that showed speed of shot improved consistency in shot and FPS out of the bow - they believed that led to higher scores. However, if you have the upper body fitness, mental game and form to shoot slower you can have a greater focus on aiming and that approach tends to a slower shot execution and more variable timing. You can also argue that in the 1990s averaging 9.3 at 70m could get you a medal. That ten count is not high enough now.

If your shot takes 7 to 10s then that’s OK if you are strong enough, if it takes 4 to 6 seconds OK too. If it takes 2.7s even better. If you shot is 3 second one arrow and 13 the next then that (in my opinion) is a problem. What I would not be happy with is having a 7 second ish timing and then having to squish it into an unnatural time restriction that is way less than anything you get in competition. (So 7s is just sic “@fulldraw” so the total arrow time is a lot more).

Stretch
 

Stretch

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The only way I could shoot blank boss and not aim is to close my eyes. Just because there is no target doesn’t mean I’m not looking at a specific point on the bale.

If you blank boss without aiming your skipping the part of the shot sequence that most people get hung up on.

Stretch
 

geoffretired

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I think you can have a shot process without aiming. BUT I am not sure if that is what KidCurry is asking. A proper target shooting process might need an aiming aspect.
 

KidCurry

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I think you can have a shot process without aiming. BUT I am not sure if that is what KidCurry is asking. A proper target shooting process might need an aiming aspect.
I think you can practice elements of your form without aiming. ie I can practice getting my shoulder positions correct for drawing, or practice release and follow through using back tension. But I do these in isolation as elements of form. My shot process must involve aiming. As Stretch said, introducing the aim element is where most people's shot process goes to hell in a hand basket :)
 

geoffretired

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I totally agree about aiming causing issues. I think that's because so many think aiming the sight/arrow is the most important part of hitting the X.
If they can't shoot without aiming, they are tied into a situation where they never experience the pleasure of just shooting. Many of their shots will reinforce their dependency on their view of their sight/arrow point.
 

KidCurry

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I totally agree about aiming causing issues. I think that's because so many think aiming the sight/arrow is the most important part of hitting the X.
If they can't shoot without aiming, they are tied into a situation where they never experience the pleasure of just shooting. Many of their shots will reinforce their dependency on their view of their sight/arrow point.
The Ellison/Kahllund earlier show what happens if you aim longer than you usually do. At 5.50 both archers go from 3-4 sec hold to 6-7 sec hold. Both just scrape a 9.
Going from compound to barebow has been an interesting transition. My aim time has reduced from 10 sec or more to about 2 sec. even 20 seconds plus was never an issue. When shooting compound the requirement is to hit that 10. These days 9s will put you out the running. And that tiny indoors 10 on the FITA requires really good control of the aim and it takes some time for the float to come under control. Lots of weight and practice helps.
For Barebow I cannot focus on the arrow and the target. The arrow being blurred means any attempt to aim accurately is pointless. As long as my process is correct to this point the release will happen about 1-2 seconds of acquiring the gold.
For recurve I have little experience. But from what I see, most of the aim timing isn't aiming but waiting for the clicker to go :)
 
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Whitehart

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I think most archers over aim in recurve - too many have the sight pin in perfect focus or their bright flo pin obliterating the point of aim (this might work for some we are all different but it results in trying to hard to keep things still).
IMO Recurve archery is organic and a blurred floating sight pin hovering over the gold will reduce muscle tension and result in a relaxed shot.
It also reduces the "waiting for the clicker to go off" you don't wait it is your timing and constant movement in the right directions that sorts this out.
I see too many archers draw to the face then think oh I need to aim and then concentrate on that, forgetting the 40lb of pressure on their body and slowly start to collapse rather than keep back tension and the drawing arm going backwards which destroys timing and results in trouble coming through the clicker and a poor weak shot.

All my best ends are when the timing of each shot is similar (the gap between each arrow may be different due to fitness and allowing for gusty winds), also I shoot with an open ring which at 70m I can see the whole of the boss plus a bit of the stand - all I do is stare at the gold and rely on my subconscious to keep the gold centred (I don't line up any rings as this leads to over aiming like using a pin) and also rely on me executing the shot as practiced (part of the aiming) especially keeping the bow arm strong and the release hand close to the face during the follow through. When it goes right shots are effortless and a joy.

All the sight pin does is set the elevation and L/R it is the practiced shooting form and timing that send the arrow in the right place. I am amazed how the subconscious corrects aiming errors being convinced that at the time of releasing the arrow the sight ring is not in the right place.
 

KidCurry

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... I shoot with an open ring which at 70m I can see the whole of the boss plus a bit of the stand
For 20 years I shot with an open ring for compound. At 90m the ring was outside the boss. Indoors, around the blue. I got frustrated that my scores had plateaued. About 10 years ago changed to a small dot. Aim time went up and so did my scores. I have noticed over the last year, with barebow, if I take a little more care with the aim my scores go up.
I think each discipline has a different weighting on the aim for accuracy and therefore shot timing. Approximately - Compound: Form 65% Aim 35%, Recurve: (guessing :) ) Form 80% Aim 20%, Barebow: Form 90% Aim 10%. If I had shot compound with the same approach to aiming as I use with barebow I would never have got past mediocre I think :)
 
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geoffretired

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For most archers an open sight ring would give them better groups.... if they are already destroying their form, by over aiming a small dot. They try to get that dot in the middle of the gold and in so doing manage to get groups that reach out into the blue.
 

Stretch

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For most archers an open sight ring would give them better groups...
I‘m not sure how true this is. There are too many factors, not least of which is how much focus was put on aiming when they were learning... and also whether they are used to precision aiming from other sports. I shot my best ever Portsmouth of 590 with an open ring. However, at 70m an open ring gives me a scatter of arrows around the edge of the yellow. My eye is drawn to the edge and much as I try, aiming at the edge at 12, 6, 9, or 3 o’clock just makes it worse. My practice PB at 70m is 331 with a dot; open ring it is under 310 (can’t remember exactly, maybe 304).

I am actually way more comfortable with a floating dot/fibre or a post with a bright end (E.g. the Sjef Axcel pin). I don’t even notice the pin when using that kind of aperture. (And shot most of my best scores with the Spigarelli Quadrata). I prefer the dot to be quite big (And it is not in focus). I shoot both eyes open (as I do with rifles, scoped rifles and pistols) the dot is just something I am vaguely aware of.

Don‘t get me wrong, if teaching/coaching I would always recommend that folks start out with a generously sized open ring. If your eye does the “just magically lines up” then brilliant but it is not always the right long term aperture for everyone. No idea if it would be “most”. Similarly if I use a cross hair my vertical holds but I drift horizontally along the cross hair (I do that with a scoped rifle as well so I have to pick scopes carefully by the reticle). I guess I just have twitchy eyes.

But yes, I do agree people spend too much time trying to be precise and too much money on sight pins (mea maxima culpa).

Stretch
 

KidCurry

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For most archers an open sight ring would give them better groups....
I agree. I'm just not sure how far it will get you. I wonder how many elite archers use open rings? It would be an interesting exercise to find out :) I'm pretty sure most compound elite archers don't, if any.
 

Whitehart

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KC interesting what you say about compound and you did not use a dot for a while, with the benefit of a back sight I found that precise aiming was critical to good scores. More like shooting a rifle, not to say good form is not also critical for really high scores (guessing :)) but if the peep and dot did not line up on the 10 or X indoors the arrow had no chance of hitting where it was supposed to.

I think the majority of international recurve archers use a ring & pin (7mm Shibuya seems popular unless they have their own signature deal or Axcel sponsorship) and Compounds a dot.

For recurve whether the recurve ring and dot are in focus all the time or they switch between the pin and gold I would be interested to find out but it does appear that some do have the pin in focus all the time and you can see this when it is windy and they start to over aim and tense up.

Everybody's eyes are different as I have got older I now need reading glasses and the ring/pin is a blur without them so an open ring despite being a blur works a treat and I find it is easier to make a controlled relaxed shot. I think people need to experiment for themselves to find what works best for them.
 

Stretch

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I think at International level there is a huge split between men and women’s line. Much higher percentage of men using scope type pins, Beiter Tunnels, Shibuya fibre optic etc. Still some standard Shibuya pins. Women’s line I‘d agree still mainly Shibuya but often with pin. A quick look at the last WC Finals supports that but it is not a huge data sample. (Tan Ya Ting was using an Axcel Sjef). But also at that level they are all in control enough over what they are doing to pick any pin They like the look of.

No question, people need to find what works for themselves.

The issue I have with the scopes is that they are expensive for what they are and maybe I have just been unlucky but I had a Titan with an aberration mid lens, one that cracked, one that got scratched, one that has an aberration at the hole were the optic goes through. That really put me off and I was reluctant to shell out on the even more expensive Feathervision lens In hope. You could say I am rough with my kit but there is not a mark on the scope housing and I still have my Spig pin with the tiny wires that I bought in 1992 and shot for most of 10 years. For me the scopes with cheapo lenses are unusable. The Axcel Sjef pin is a compromise - nice and open, nice pin, well made, nothing to scratch or fog or get water droplets... still stupidly expensive. The Avalon knock-off of the Sjef pin is adequate but my moral compass gets upset.

Unfortunately shooting with distance glasses I find that my old faves like the Spigarelli ... I think called the Berti these days ... and the Beiter just blur too much and draw my focus off the target.

I have no doubt that some people can aim well enough with a ring to shoot a 10 every time at 70m but those people ain’t me :confused:

Sorry, drifted off-topic a bit there...

Stretch
 

geoffretired

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I think I need to clarify that I am not writing about elite archers, "most" archers , as I said in my post....are not elite.
I am really thinking of archers who are having problems with their form. A common reason for struggling with a clicker can be a sight that they spend too much focus on. Archers who don't use a clicker often suffer from not knowing when to release. it seems from their wobbling sights that steadying it is a problem... again the sight is dictating when they finish their shots. And that usually determines how well they finish.
 

KidCurry

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I think I need to clarify that I am not writing about elite archers, "most" archers ...
Yes, I have to say, anyone with aim/form issues would probably benefit hugely from an open ring. A large open ring would give students and archers with form or sight acquisition issues a more relaxed aim where small errors are not picked up and worried about. To put some perspective on when I changed, an open ring took me to GMB (compound) before I went to a dot.
 

Shirt

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What I find a little baffling is that compound archers are all told that aiming is really quite personal, and they should try everything from ring to ring+fibre to small dot to large dot to large dot+fibre to plain fibre to fibre in different colours...
Recurve: Oh, you've got to shoot an open ring! It'll stop you overaiming!

One of my better days shooting recurve in terms of score was with an open ring. However, it didn't want to sit around the middle, and I remember that the arrows went in the ten if the ring was loosely centred on the 8 at 2 o'clock.
A Spigarelli Berti (the one with the dot on the fishing line) seemed to work better and I just looked at the target and past the dot... which is kind of what you're supposed to do with an open ring but I could never get to work.
 

geoffretired

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Hi Shirt, Is that because we read about recurve archers with aiming problems and discuss them at length, but compounds are possibly not so well understood by archers who shoot only recurve; so aiming chat is left to a few compounders.
 

Stretch

Active member
What Shirt said. Except my eyes twitch to the egde of the ring to see if everything is lined up and not consistently to one edge. I loved the Berti but can’t shoot it anymore - old eyes. And I used to shoot it on a 12” extension! I wouldn’t be able to see it anymore that far out...

But I tell you what, as I am not doing anything else useful (other than work and that’s no fun at all), I’m giving an open ring another go. Started with a Beiter but even with the extension pulled in it is very small. I did shoot two arrows out of about 30 where I forgot about aiming... they were very nice. Next session will be a bigger ring. Then I’ll put up a target face - so far just aiming at a target pin which for me was always easier than a target with an open ring.

As for the compound aiming... I don’t think it is any different (and you can factor in any shooting sport except maybe clays which I know zip about). Being uncomfortable with your aiming interrupts your process and can lead to target panic type reactions. Same with a clicker, button, hinge,(insert long list of release types), or a walther/Anschut/Steyr match trigger on a rifle. Result is the same just when you panic on a clicker you miss by 2 ft, when you panic an a button by 2”, on a hinge somewhere in between, on a rifle trigger 2mm. With a compound however you can probably stay at full draw for 30 seconds while you get around to restarting your execution. Not many folks can do that with a recurve... So it has less impact, is less obvious and so we don’t talk about it.

Stretch
 
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