Struggling Part 2

geoffretired

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It would seem that my off -spec bow and mismatched arrows are not really a cause for my poor groups.
Recently I have been able to shoot several days outside and get a feel for longer distances again.So far I have spotted a couple of things about my shooting.
1) I cant the bow. That has been something I have been guilty of since I started with recurve way back in 1982. It shows up after I have reached my anchor points and am settling on the gold ready to finish the sequence. My extension sight in front of my left eye exaggerates the effect of canting. I did manage to shoot a couple of distances without canting and the left /right closed in which was good. I had to continually look to see that the extension thread was level. I found that a bit distracting as I wanted to look through the aperture to the gold. I wish I could find out why the canting happens then I could correct it; as in, set and forget.
2) I found my bow shoulder was struggling against the mass weight of my bow. My bow is low mass weight with a long rod and no weight; finished off with a side rod with half a weight on the end. Perhaps I need a Genesis!!
3) My release hand sometimes drags to the side, away from my chin on release.
 


LionOfNarnia

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Rookie thoughts, obviously, but could 1) & 3) both be linked to a sub-optimal wrist position of the draw hand?

- If your bow hand is doing the not-grabbing-but-merely-a-pivot thing, then the draw hand is about the only thing that could cause the canting.

Is the cant always in the same direction?
 


geoffretired

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Hi, Thanks for that. It is good to talk with you, Rookie or not. Exploring ideas helps whether to eliminate or to investigate. I can easily rotate my draw hand and see how things go. I use a release aid which acts in a d-loop. That naturally twists the string the opposite way, but the draw hand could be involved in some other way, I suspect.
I am not sure about the two being connected. Canting happened with my recurve and the compound; always to the 1 o'clock position. In the past, with compound, observers noticed it was happening just before release. They said , we know when your release is going because you cant the bow. I don't know whether I am introducing a movement or stopping something that was keeping the bow upright.
I notice when I hold out my bow arm, as if holding a bow, the index finger knuckle is much higher than the thumb knuckle. The top of the bow grip; the underside of the throat, is usually level viewed from the archer's point of view at full draw, making me think the bow might be resting on that left hand side of the throat and tipping the bow to the right. I am currently working on reshaping the under side of the throat so both thumb and index finger knuckles can press up " equally " I hope.
 


Del the Cat

Active member
Geoff! You know what my advice will be!
Remove sights... remove any rods... shoot field!
Ideally remove the bow and get a primitive ;)
But seriously, hope you can resolve your prob's .
Del
 


geoffretired

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Supporter
Thanks Del,
I have been shooting at close range without sights and without rods. Sometimes taking that amount of weight off the bow makes it easier for me. I am struggling with holding the bow steady at arm's length.
Some progress has been made; not a lot! However, the most soul destroying situation is having no way forward ; so a little progress seems so much better than just floundering around.
 


LionOfNarnia

Supporter
Supporter
Hey Geoff,

When I posted earlier I mistakenly thought it was recurve that was being discussed, sorry.

I've never even picked up a c*mp**nd never mind shot one. (& have zero desire to do either tbt.)

But I did 'have a play' while doing my SPTs earlier & found it's just as easy to cant the bow with either hand, especially 'clockwise'.

From what your 'observers' have said, perhaps you're subconsciously anticipating the release/follow-through with a tiny rotation of the left wrist? Even over-squeezing with the thumb could be throwing you off.

For the 'bow weight' issue, how about filling a pop bottle with increasing amounts of water & doing reps of just holding it outstretched for increasing amounts of time?

- You don't need to be shooting for that, you can do it at a desk or even while watching the telling vision ;)

It'll take time to get back to where you were, be sure to give yourself that time. Don't be too hard on y'sel dude! When I returned to my club in April, after nearly 2 years out, coach told me to expect months rather than weeks to regain form. Nearly 3 months later, I'm just about there :D
 


geoffretired

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From what your 'observers' have said, perhaps you're subconsciously anticipating the release/follow-through with a tiny rotation of the left wrist? Even over-squeezing with the thumb could be throwing you off.
Thanks for your post and the encouragement. Yes, I am impatient; but more impatient to find the flaws than to correct them; I know it will take time for that to happen. Having nothing to focus on is miserable; and then I start inventing things that might be the cause.
Since my earlier post I have modified the grip and that has done a lot to keep the bow upright. It even stays upright in the follow through.
With reference to the quote above, I suffered TP on every shot when the observations were made. A TP that meant I released when the sight was getting into the red. I could not wait to get onto the gold!!! I think trying to move into the gold was bring on the canting. Needless to say, the TP filled my thoughts in those years( at least 10) canting may have been connected; but curing TP was far more important. Perhaps the current canting is just the remnants of those bad times.
You may be right about over squeezing with the thumb. My release aid has a very heavy trigger setting. As I get back to some sort of form, I may be able to weaken the trigger pressure; at present it is there to prevent early triggering while my routine( hopefully)gets back to " normal".
I have a regular routine that includes several exercises to try to prevent a recurring back problem. I like doing those as I have to do planks and other similar things that strengthen muscles using body weight. It would be good if there was one that could replicate the bottle in the bow arm.
 


chuffalump

Member
Funnily, I tend to cant the bow too. I find it surprising hard to un-cant it. Even with minimal face contact. Almost a physical effort but sometimes it will be perfectly level right from the start. Maybe the hook of the release on the string loop....

Rather than have to check the sight rod which involves moving eyes and getting distracted, could you fit a compound scope, without the lens. You could then use the built in bubble.
 


geoffretired

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Supporter
Hi Chuffalump and LionOfNarnia,
Thanks for the ideas.
The canting is very difficult to stop, as you say. In my earlier days the problem went undetected by me as I was far too busy finishing the shot. TP is a real concentration killer, my focus was always on the fear. It was like the shock of stepping off a pavement when you misjudge it. It is easy enough to believe there is some residual canting happening, that used to go undetected. The long threaded rod exaggerates the canting, but it also helps with setting up, as horizontal is something we can judge quite well. I think the string loop on my bow would generate a cant in the opposite direction as the twisting is anticlockwise.
My latest modification to the grip seems to be working; I tried it out yesterday and shot decent groups compared to earlier sessions.
I do have a scope, will look it out and see if it also has a bubble... I never used it so can't say.......a friend donated it to me.
 


chuffalump

Member
Knowing your love of 'modification', you could buy a pack of the bubble units and mount one on your current sight pin. If you thought it might be helpful.
 


geoffretired

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Heehee. I could mount a whole series of bubbles along the length and go for the average; in case one or two were slightly off.
I could start a trend.
Only joking! Thanks for the thought.
In my early days with compound, I was able to use a peep sight and use my right eye. It worked, as you can imagine. But, being self taught things went pear shaped and I started to find looking through the peep gave me a very strange view of the boss and surroundings, when on aim. It felt like I was peeping through a small hole in a garden fence and they are never at the right height so we stoop and lean over etc etc. When I removed the peep I seemed happier about my posture; more upright. The peep was a distraction for me, without fully understanding what, if anything, needed to be done.
Before my "Lay off" I was shooting fairly well, but never with any ease. I had issues with managing my release aid. The old TP way had to be rubbed out and a new one put in its place. The new way never really became smooth.
At present, I feel I need to get the little details sorted, so I can eventually focus on managing the release again. A simple foundation seems like a good idea. Get rid of canting well before reaching full draw, so I move into the follow through with no distractions.
Pulling the string away from my face at release has shown up as needing sorting. I think I can do that. Hopefully, the release itself will improve when I get back a bit of confidence in the lead up section of the shot sequence.
 


Kernowlad

Member
Geoff; I?m sure you remember my major dip in form then enthusiasm? It was like a snowball effect; one issue led to another then another and suddenly I was nervous just drawing my bow. My old should injury seemed to return, my arrow was falling off the rest from draw wobble and more.
I had to completely reframe archery as a hobby and it took a long time to recover.

I?m worried it?s a physical thing; an old back problem, getting older and losing muscle condition, etc.

I reckon a change in bow type or shooting style could help get you out of a downward spiral; the latter helped immensely with me. I enjoy it again, seem to be fairly good again. Same with my son.

Strangely it was a particularly good score in target archery that ended up putting me right off it. With field you shoot far less arrows with a lot more variety. It really is fun and would definitely be easier on your body.
 


geoffretired

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Supporter
Hi Matt, yes I remember your problems, and the changes to field etc. I thank you for your post; the more I discuss this with others, the sooner I will find a solution.Even posts where it seems I am being offered advice that doesn't prove to be correct, helps me eliminate things that I might have forgotten to check.
In this case, I am not really on a downward spiral. My groups are worse which is to be expected; my way back to form is just a little fuzzy. Trying to solve this on my own would be very slow and perhaps too slow to show up. Sharing this has made a lot of difference. I wondered about the bow changes and the arrows being too stiff. Having listened to others I am happy it is neither of those so it must be me. I was pretty sure it was me but did wonder if the bow and arrows were making things worse than they need be.
I am now working on keeping my bow upright and that is helping. I will need to work on the finishing of the shot, as that tends to be a bit variable. Once I have something to work on, I can get to work. Not knowing what is wrong is the worst thing, I find.
 


Corax67

Active member
Hi Geoff - you know the bad patch I went through which culminated in a bicep injury, exacerbated by fighting a bow to cure problems I couldn’t figure out. The only reason I am still in this wonderful sport is because of an enforced change to a different bow style - flatbow - and from there to longbow.

Unfortunately you are shooting compound and as we know they punish even the slightest inaccuracies in form or setup. I wonder if, partly because of previous experiences, you are now in a cycle of self doubt and by attempting to analyse everything to the n’th degree which will inevitably lead to further confusion and frustration.

Whilst it is easy to say to you ‘change bow style’ it can be just a panacea, you may well start to shoot better but it ultimately won’t identify the issues that are giving you so many problems with compound.

As someone who has provided so much coaching support to others I wonder how much support you yourself are receiving from your fellow club members? If nothing else I think you need an experienced spotter/target partner to watch you shoot and every arrow and compare each shot with the impact of the arrow - don’t do this at short range or blank boss but rather at the sort of distance you want to shoot at regularly. Spend a few sessions shooting not for scores but for simple data collection - see if you cant every shot, if your grip is consistent, if your anchor point is consistent, if your head is always in the same position, etc.

Canting the bow isn’t the end of the world is you cant it the same amount every shot because then you can dial in the sight accordingly to compensate. I also do not feel that the arrow being ‘too stiff’ is an issue either because they are all the same spine and as such whatever one arrow does then they should all do.

If your groups are higgledy piggledy then you know as well as as anyone else on here giving you advice that it is something going on during the shot cycle, something you are well versed in.

Wish I were closer to provide a bit of practical support in return for all the support you’ve provided me over the years - stick in there mate




Karl
 


geoffretired

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Hi Karl, Thanks for all that helpful advice.
" Self doubt and analysing"........ I think this is partly true. I am certainly trying to work out what is happening. Strangely though, self doubt isn't how I feel in myself. I have always believed that I can shoot better. That is not arrogance; just that I know I am making errors, so when they go things will improve. It is why I shoot; apart from the enjoyment of making the odd good shot.heehee
One of my problems has been( for many years) having no one to watch me or assist. Over the last 6 years I have only been able to shoot very rarely, and more often than not I was with a few beginners.
In a week when I am able to get some shooting done, I will spend short bursts of time in the garage shooting for some sort of posture work and release management. Out doors, a couple of dozen arrows will be done at 60y mostly and scores never feature. I only look at the group size and where the group is( if it is obvious.heehee)
Canting isn't consistent I'm afraid. It happens during the last second or so of the shot and the longer I aim, the more it leans over. I am too busy at that time to notice but I have been told over the years, now and then, that it is still there. I have worked on that and a reshaped grip is helping. The bow is upright after the release and into the follow through so I am getting somewhere with that.( slowly)
Being able to chat on here has given me the chance to clear my mind and say things that trigger responses. The posts are all helping; I feel better just being able to write about it and getting replies. My current plan is to focus on the release. It is a variable that I can sense but not quite discover the what differences are. Things happen very quickly and at a time when it is easy to fall foul of distractions.
If I changed bow styles, I would still want to shoot compound and as you say, my problems would still be there waiting for me. I shall continue to struggle.
STRUGGLE is really a bad word. I should not be struggling, but enjoying. The struggles are getting less intense and there is a glimmer of enjoyment coming in, now and again.
Before all this kicked off a few years ago I was working on the management of the release aid. I think I am getting back to that again, now!!! Perhaps this time I will get through it; or at least further than last time.
Thanks again.
 


LionOfNarnia

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Supporter
Geoff, I've been watching some 'technical' videos tonight & came across a possible 'answer' to your canting issue...

Seems that a 'one o'clock cant' CAN be caused by the bow shoulder rising during the final stages of the shot cycle (and yes, they were talking about c*mp**nds at the time ;) )

Might be worth asking someone to check this for you.
 


geoffretired

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Thanks for that, sounds more than likely.
Bow shoulder rising? That could very well be a cause for me. I know I have been working on keeping the shoulder down, but not for the canting, more to do with bow arm stability. I can let it rise at full draw and see if the canting happens. It would be good to get on top of that issue.
Cheers once again.
 


geoffretired

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Hi LionOfNarnia,
I have been out to the garage to shoot and test the bow shoulder rising. I drew as normal with my shoulder low and raised it deliberately at full draw. No movements! Good news in a way, at least that doesn't need to be remedied.
However, I did mime a draw without the bow and raising the shoulder from a full draw posture does cause the whole arm to rotate clockwise. I am assuming that there is a lower CofG on the bow helping to keep the bow vertical.
So, my next trial was to try and find some other cause. When pulling hard against the stops I detected a tendency for me to lean over towards the string and to the side. An old beginner fault where they/we/me lean the head towards the string instead of pulling the string further back towards the head.
That sounds to me like something to work on and get sorted. So, I would say your post has paid off. Cheers.
 


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