The Benefits Of Archery Clickers


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Clickers cause the most trouble for recurve archers due to incorrect information about their use. We won’t be exploring how to set up or use a clicker, but rather why the correct use of a clicker can be beneficial.

Clickers solve two of the most challenging problems in shot development – how to hold the release without anticipating the result and how to maintain the whole action as one.

Archery | When Should You Start Using A Clicker?

Archery | When Should You Start Using A Clicker?


To understand this problem, it is best to examine how the shot develops as beginners become intermediate archers and how the body responds to its environment and performs motoric functions.

The Beginner’s Shot

Bow shooting involves many different movements, often requiring muscles that are rarely used in everyday life. Coaches teach beginners to break down the shot into parts and to focus on one or two of them.

“Focus on the process, not the result.”

As in any sport, precision is important. The shot not only depends on muscles but also on eye and hand coordination. A fencer who is looking down at his opponent’s sword is more ready to strike than someone who has turned his back to it.

Novice archers who are afraid of messing up their aim by making a mistake are often quite careless about things like foot placement and posture.

The Intermediate Shot

As beginners become more confident in their ability to shoot, they gradually add more elements into their shot cycle – and with these added elements comes a breakdown of form.

In the same way that we teach people to drive a car or write, we teach other complex motor skills. As an archer develops, the individual components of the shot should become automatic.

If you compare how a novice driver is maneuvering a car and compare it to someone that has been driving for a couple of years. Experienced drivers have learned how to control their car well enough that they can push it closer to its limit than a novice driver could possibly do.

This same principle goes for archery as well. The more time you spend shooting, the better your form will be and the lesser you have to think consciously about it.

Make your Shot a Single Movement

Ideally, the shot should be made into a single motion. The best way to start is to focus on the target for a while. During full draw, archers should undergo an intense state of the internal focus centered on the muscles between their shoulder blades to reinforce the motor part of their nervous system’s feel for control and accuracy.

Just like a golfer, the archer must feel the tension in their shoulder blades. The person hits or releases when they feel that tension in their back. If they do not feel this way, they will not anchor properly, which will result in an unstable release. After full draw, the archer should track their sight picture before releasing it without moving their head or body.

Imagine trying to shoot an arrow with your eyes closed. You will miss it. It is the same for an archer that tries to shoot without relaxed focus.

The shot is divided into two parts, before and after the loose. During the most critical part of the shot, any transition between one to the other can easily lead to problems. A clicker can bridge this gap at the heart of the shot, resulting in a fluid, effortless performance.

Using a clicker can alleviate the effects of nervousness or excitement. Rather than forcing yourself to concentrate, you can focus on the target and not worry about following through or releasing.

By focusing on the target and the goal, you free yourself from unnecessary thoughts that prevent you from being in the “zone.” A clicker will provide an audible reminder for when to start your body’s proper mechanics (both physically and mentally) when used correctly.

Difference between Reflexes and Planned Movement

A movement plan is loaded into the correct nervous system parts before a body moves to pick up an object. This is because the brain cannot load a movement plan into the right combination of nerves and then make the body move to perform a specific task.

The body relies on reflexes for this. Reflexes have been defined as “something that does not involve will or conscious awareness.” An example of this is when one sees a snake and involuntarily jerks their hand back before they even have time to think.

The plan takes more time to load if it is more complex or made with a higher skill level. It may take up to two seconds for the full program to load. As the archer prepares for a shot, they will typically spend some time in the “still-eye” state, not moving and concentrating on the center of the target. When the shot is taken, the next series of movements will instantly take place.

The body must wait for the next step of the plan to be made ready. This is a way for the brain to “step out” of using too much energy when it thinks it might have forgotten something.

As novices practice, this plan advances only to the full draw. As a result, many archers choose to end their shot at full draw before completing their follow-through. There are several reasons why the shot suffers from this.

At full draw, keeping the bow under tension becomes tiring and reduces shooting capability. To prevent the shot from becoming inaccurate, archers often use a quick release mechanism or jerk when firing, which also helps relieve tension while easing the draw.

While the archer is trying to keep muscle tone during the second movement, the shot can be disrupted by unpredictable movements during full draw.

How Does The Clicker Help?

A clicker helps the archer reach full draw while focusing and relaxing. By the time the bow reaches full draw, sensitivity to the clicker will become a focus of the shot. The clicker allows the archer to bring the bow to full draw while ignoring unnecessary thoughts.

In this state, they can keep their intention on the target, waiting for the perfect moment to release. The clicker then becomes a trigger for release.

The arrow is usually fired within 100 milliseconds of the click stimulus. Upon hearing the clicker, the loose is performed involuntarily. At this point, the archer will feel an empty sensation while looking at the target. This is not only due to the involuntary action of releasing the bowstring but also because of the physical relaxation that follows.

The release of tension before the shot allows for a more precise shot while retaining muscle tone. With no clicker, the archer can maintain focus and relaxation while also eliminating the threat of unwanted movements between clicks.

Summary

Recurve archers use the clicker shooting technique as an essential technique. It unifies the shot into a single movement with proper use, preserving the relaxed focus of the full draw throughout the shot and preventing any unwanted anticipation or movements.

Maneuvering the bow while shooting a target requires the archer to maintain muscle tone throughout the shot. When tension is lost during full draw, it can disrupt an arrow’s accuracy and cause missed shots.

I am the founder and chief editor here at BowAddicted. I love my kids, archery, and the outdoors! It's been an amazing journey so far with some ups and downs, but it's worth it to spend time outside with friends and family.

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