Whether you are struggling to hit the mark, or simply are looking to change up your routine, try this one simple offseason archery shooting drill.
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Try one arrow practice sessions next time you head to shoot to really find your shot.Image via Pixabay.
Archery can be a frustrating sport. Can a get an amen? If you are like me, you've had days when the wheels just seem to fall off. The problem is, when you get one of these runaway trains going, the momentum is hard to stop. It can just keep getting worse and worse till you're flabbergasted about what's going on. More and more arrows continue to fly off the string and problems continue to enlarge. Ever been there? I have.
One challenging aspect about archery, whether target shooting or hunting, is the mental aspect of the game. It requires a clear a focused mind for accurate shooting. You must wipe all other thoughts from your mind and be completely present in the moment. Archery has even taken on as almost a form of meditation in certain countries
. Saxon Pope references the clarity of mind need in his famous quote he said
, "At the moment of greatest strain he (the archer) must draw every sinew to the utmost; his hand must be steady; his nerves under absolute control; his eye keen and clear."
At some point nearly every archer deals with frustration, target panic, or building and finding a shot. One great offseason archery shooting drill to address each of these is to shoot one arrow practice sessions. In other words, next time you go to the range, backyard, or out stump shooting, take only one arrow
with you when you go.
I've heard several notable accomplished archers prescribe this style of practice including Randy Ulmer and Fred Eichler. I have used it myself and have found it is a great way to find my shot.
Shooting only one arrow accomplishes several desirable things at once. For starters is really slows down the pace of practice. Archery is meant to be one-shot sport. When hunting it is only one arrow that matters. When shooting a tournament the only shot that counts is the one you are shooting. Practicing with only one arrow really makes you focus on the individual shot.
Secondly, shooting one arrow practice sessions will give you time to analyze each shot. Stance, grip, draw, anchor, breathing, release
. Each facet of your shot can be scrutinized while retrieving your arrow after the shot. Going through this process repeatedly will help you build a shot, something super important for performing under pressure situations.
Lastly, shooting only one arrow will help keep your mind and focus in the present. This might sound a little "new age" to some, but staying focused on the current shot is all that counts. One arrow practice sessions will help build this mentality. They also really help to avoid the runaway train sessions we've probably all had before.
The one arrow practice session is great for both new and experienced archers. It can help get new archers building a shot, and help experienced archers find the state of mind needed for pressure hunting situations or tournament situations. Incorporate this offseason archery shooting drill into your routine and you'll surely see the benefits the first day.
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NEXT: BASICS OF ARROW TUNING; PAPER TUNING INTRO