Archery is a great activity that can be fun for all ages. But as it is with any new skill, it can take a lot of time and practice for you to be consistently making decent shots.
The secret to a great shot can all be in how you’re holding your bow. You want to be able to keep your bow steady but that can actually be a lot harder than it might initially sound.
There are loads of different factors that can affect how well you shoot, but there are some basic rules that will massively improve your skills and make archery much easier for you. We will go through these together in this article.
Did you know that your draw length will have a massive impact on your accuracy? Yep. That’s right, the proper draw length is actually really important. It’s not often thought of as so, but trust me on this one. It is.
Not only will you be less accurate if you’re not at the correct draw length, but you’re also going to really struggle to hold your bow steady. If your draw length is too short, you’ll find that at full draw your bow is really, really shaky.
You can’t really use guesswork with draw length. You just need to spend a lot of time behind the bow and take the time to find the bow’s perfect draw length that fits you – trust me there is one, you just have to be patient enough to find it.
Check Your Grip
If you want a steady bow, you need to be gripping it correctly as that’s half your battle. What you don’t want to be doing is using your fingers to massively influence your grip. If you do this you’re going to be torquing the bow and you’ll face massive issues with steadiness.
Instead, you’re going to want to be certain that your bow grip sits along the ‘life-line’ in your hand. This will make sure that you’ve got a proper grip. If you’re gripping the bow correctly you’ll notice that only a small portion of your hand is actually touching the bow grip.
Use A Stabilizer
If you’re really struggling to keep your bow steady you can always use a stabilizer as a helping hand to make everything a little tighter.
Stabilizers are a really great way to keep a steady grip. You can get both front and rear stabilizers which can make a massive impact on your ability to hold steady and still in front of a target.
If you feel like you’ve tried everything else and have had no luck so far, I’d seriously recommend giving these a go, you may find you have a whole new outlook on shooting.
Archery is more about technique than it is strength and I think this can surprise some new starters. If you want to be consistent when shooting, you need good posture. Good posture makes you stable.
Most of your balance comes from the positioning of your legs so you want to focus on this. A common stance for beginners is called the square stance. You place your feet pointed forward with the target on your side.
Regardless of which stance you do choose you should always make sure your feet are grounded and a shoulders width apart. Try not to be too rigid though, we want a strong but relaxed base.
You should also keep the posture of your shoulders in mind when shooting. We do not want shrugged or overextended muscles that are going to cause stress and damage your shoulders.
First of all, this is dangerous. Second of all, the stress is going to cause you to shake and thus be unsteady.
You want to keep your shoulders in their natural position and make sure that they are relaxed.
If you want to double-check the positioning of your shoulders all you need to do is try and pull your shoulder blades together. This will push them into the correct position and the pulling feeling will indicate you need to change your posture.
How your breathing will change your aim. It’s one of those things that you never really think about, but you should. If you’ve ever anchored your bow while breathing normally, you’ll already know that it makes it much harder to actually hold the bow steadily.
When you’re raising the bow, right up until you’re fully drawn, you should breathe as usual from your diaphragm.
Once you are fully drawn, you want to breathe out about half of the air. Hold your breath until the follow-through. You can then let out the rest as you’re following through.
Muscles are very complex things that you can actually train to make your life a lot easier. The more you handle your bow and practice shooting, the more your muscles will get used to the tension that is created when you do so.
The more your muscles get used to this, the steadier you’ll be able to hold your bow.
If you can, try extending your training sessions and give your muscles a chance to get used to the new skill. Once you create muscle memory, you’ll become much more consistent.
A great way to create muscle memory is to just keep trying to shoot the exact same shot over and over. Exercises like these paired with normal practice will have you shooting sharp in no time.
I know it sounds silly, or at least fairly obvious, but practice really is one of the best ways to get better. You know what they say practice makes perfect. There’s a reason phrases like that stick around – because they’re true.
The only real way to improve at any skill is to just keep practicing and practicing until you really start to pick it up. Be patient with it, there’s no rush, and it’s not a race. If you keep going with time you will see improvement.
While practicing, always try to focus on practicing holding your pins on target. This can really help your aim.
There are lots of little tips and tricks that can improve your stability for archery. But if you’re a fairly impatient person, I’ve got some bad news for you as there aren’t really any quick fixes. It’s all about practicing and spending the time to improve your skills.
Obviously, it is imperative that you do practice though if you are finding yourself fairly unsteady as stability is essential for your ability to aim well. You won’t be able to shoot well with a shaky bow.
This being said, of course, the main thing that affects your aim is well…your aim. You can have the steadiest bow in the world but if you are still not aiming correctly then you’re still not going to be shooting perfectly.
You need to keep practicing all processes of archery and over time you will find that you have finally mastered a new skill! So what are you waiting for, get practicing now!