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Here we are going through the basics of shooting an arrow off the bow consistently, my theory is to remove as many variables from your shooting technique as possible:


Most important is the stance, it needs to be defined and consistent in its use. An archer needs to stand perpendicular to the target with you feet straddling the shooting line at about a shoulder width apart. Body weight should be over the balls of the feet. Stand upright and keep your back straight. Stay relaxed as your body will need to absorb the shock of the loose. The back foot needs to be parallel to the shooting line and the front foot should be from parallel to slightly pointing towards the target. Be comfortable with you foot position and remember that you will need to replicate this stance consistently. Some would call this a T stance. The H stance is where the feet are parallel to each other, the T stance is where the front foot is pointing to the target. The ideal stance is that which is comfortable to you between the H and the T stance.


Nocking the arrow is the process of placing the arrow on the arrow rest and arrow nock onto the bowstring. The Cock feather or the index feather points away from the bow. The arrow nock should snap onto the bowstring and should rest on the appropriate side of the nocking point on the bowstring. Nocking points can be place so that the arrow nock sits either above or below the nocking point. This is down to the preference of the archer, but always be consistent with you choice.


There are a few ways of doing the pre-draw and they are dependent upon the style and the specific activity. Ensure that the tab and fingers are placed correctly and consistently on the bowstring. If a released aid is being used ensure that the trigger is set and it is attached to the bow, again ensure you are consistent with this. The draw hand or the release aid is held as the pre-draw takes place. For target shooting, raise the bow towards the target and lock your bow arm into position and turn your elbow out. Field shooting it may be better to lift you bow towards the sky and bring it down to point at the target. For heavy poundage bows and distance shooting the bow may be pointing down at the beginning of the draw and lifted towards the target or at 47 degrees into the air at the same time as the draw.


Again there are differences that are dependent upon style and activity. For target shooting, push with the shoulder of your bow arm and pull with the should of the drawing arm and draw the bow until the string touches your nose and lips. For traditional styles the bow is drawn to the ear and therefore has to pass the side of the face. For distance shooting where the bow is at 47 degrees, the drawing arm will tend to be lower than the drawing arms shoulder. This will be a technique that will need practise.


The anchor is the final stage of the draw and should be a smooth flowing, seamless motion continuing on from the draw itself. Achoring is where your drawing hand comes to rest against your face before aiming and release. For target archery the anchor point is usually the chin or the cheek. For traditional archers the anchor point will be typically at the back of the jaw bone.


Aiming requires concentration on the bow sight and target. If there is no bow sight aiming is usually based on lining up features from your bow or arrow against the target. Traditional archers will tend to shoot instinctively and do not aim at all. This is something that takes time to develop and to become comfortable with, however accuracy is not guaranteed at all with instinctive shooting.


The release or loose is controlled by the drawing hand. There are release aides which are designed to provide consistent release of the bowstring and thus provide a consistent release from the bow and therefore a consistent flight of the arrow. If only glove or tab is used then the archer will tighten their back muscles before the moment of release. The drawing hand relaxes and and the string escapes from the hand. With release aides the appropriate finger will press onto the release button to loose the arrow. Release aides are either hand of wrist grips and by their very nature will ensure a smooth release.

Follow Through:

For target archery the follow through is the motion of the drawing hand passing the base of the neck and also allowing the bow to move forward in the bow hand. Traditional archery will demand that the drawing hand move backward past the shoulder and the grip on the bow is held firm. I would always maintain the same grip on my bow from the first to the last arrow shot in a set. Distance shooter appear to push the bow forward at the point of release to try to obtain maximum efficiency from the cast of the arrow.

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