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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the first time in a VERY long time I had a practice session without target panic. I finished the morning with a sense of satisfaction that I haven't felt in years.

The trend I've had this year has been to miss high/right. I switched to LH, 3under, fixed crawl. Haven't been able to figure out my point-on because my arrows went higher & higher as the range increases until I'd miss the target entirely. This has been from 5-25yd. Somewhere around 25-30yd I'd start missing low into the dirt.

One of the things that Turner's book helped me realize is that in an attempt to use a fixed crawl, I have been practicing a shot that hits high at short range. As I've tried to find my point-on distance I've been aiming at the center at short range, 5yd. As the arrow impacts high, my subconscious has learned that missing high is ok. I have been practicing and making permanent one of the things Turner speaks about: An imperfect shot.

Today, my very first shot started out high and to the right. I made the conscious decision to gap 6" low, bottom red ring, and was rewarded with the first controlled group I've had this year. The rest of the session was stress free and enjoyable.
I've still got a lot of work to do, but I feel that I've made a breakthrough in correcting the mess that my shooting had become.
Plant Grass Wood Rectangle Art


Thank you, Joel Turner!
 

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Happy for you.
I sufferd (I can say it now in past tense) uncontrolled short/ snap problems for ridiculously many years.
Had to put down the real bows after every failed yearly attempts.
I tried everything and quess I was prepared, ripe and ready when I found Joels ideas
and subsribed to his online course.The way he describes my performance anxiety and builds a program for the shot
finally got me to build enough determination and taught me to talk myself through the stages.
Fully enjoying the fight now cause of These teachings
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mika,
Thanks for your reply. I'm now sure that I've been dealing with target panic for much longer than I realized. I didn't think I had it because I can shoot firearms accurately under pressure; I thought my eyesight was at fault. I'm very nearsighted, have astigmatism, and am also cross dominant (right hand/left eye).

My "aha" moment happened right after I hit the 9 ring at 20yd for my first shot of the day. I'd meant to aim, but hadn't; I have no idea how it happened. However, as I began to draw back and try to aim my second arrow it suddenly felt as if I had a sudden case of stage fright. Then, without any warning whatsoever my arrow disappeared from my sight picture. It wasn't blurry; it was completely gone!

As a test I drew and anchored off target into a field to my right, not aiming at anything particular. Sight picture was good. Tried, and I emphasize "tried", to get back on target and it happened again. I'd never believed the instinctive guys that said they don't see the arrow, yet there I was unable to see an arrow with my dominant eye. (BTW, I think I now know how this happened.)

I moved on to some 3D targets at the range thinking it might help clear my mind. I missed everything except the ground! That's when I packed everything up, went home, and ordered Turner's book. I was already aware of him, and I now knew that I didn't know how to fix this problem.

Looking forward to the journey ahead.
 

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Good to read Joel's method worked out. He's a dedicated guy and has put a lot of mental muscle into this issue, tried and tested.

I had TP cruelly bad as a teenager (overbowed), then years later as an adult. It raises its head from time to time, but I developed my own method some years back to get atop of it and regain shot control. Now rare, not the plague it used to be. I think it is likely harder on us instinctive shooters, as you have no assistance/system to fall back on. I see many instinctive shooters that collapse before the shot, pre-aim to short draw, mentally struggle to hold at anchor while on target, snap shoot etc, yet I'd wager few will ever admit they have TP. And so they formalise their submission to it, and try to make that work. This reliably caps their potential, holding them back from ever progressing - esp at 30m+ distances.

IMO the first step to gaining total shot control (if your form is dialed in but not the mind) is admitting you have some form of TP, and understanding that success in archery is all about shot control. This sort of 'naturalises' TP as part of the journey to becoming consistent and accurate. Makes it less of a big deal, rather all quite normal.

I sometimes wonder if the term itself didn't make a mess of it.
 

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I'm on the Joel Turner bandwagon as well. I had such horrible target panic I would miss the entire target butt at less than 20 yards. Archery wasn't fun anymore and I walked away from it for probably 5 years or so before coming back and trying again. It just so happened when I came back I stumbled on some podcasts featuring Joel and after I listened to him for 10 minutes I knew he was talking about me. It took a lot of work and the bow went flying across the backyard more than once but after many, many weeks of working at it I finally gained control and could stay on target and keep the shot activation separate from aiming. I still fight with target panic under certain situations and I won't claim to have 100% shot control 100% of the time but I'm working on it. I can now recognize it and can normally buckle down to keep it at bay. On a normal 30 target 3D course I may have one uncontrolled shot but now an uncontrolled shot means the arrow ends up in the 8 ring and not in the leaves 15' to the right of the target like before. If someone is willing to admit that what they've been doing up to this point is not working and to start from scratch and build their entire shot process from the ground up there is no limit to where they can take this. I'm so thankful that he is so giving with his information and it's so easy to access with today's technology.

The subject of target panic comes up frequently on the 3D course and it's amazing to hear how many people claim they've never suffered with it but when you watch them shoot you can see they have a terrible case of it. I've shot with so many people that have good form but barely break 200 points on a 30 target course. You hear it all the time; "Geez, I never even got to anchor on that one", or "Man, I really jerked my arm on that shot", or "I second guessed myself at the last second". If they would just admit or realize what's going on they would be amazed as to how good they could really shoot. Archery is so much more fun when you can hit what you're aiming at!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
KeithinPA,
Thank you for sharing your story. It's great to hear about how far you've come! I hope to be in the same boat by the season opener later this year.

Arcus,
That's an interesting point that I had not considered. Perhaps we can come up with a better term on this site.

I intend to post more about the arrow disappearing from my vision, but it'll have to wait until I get home from work. Stay tuned...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here are my observations/conclusions as promised: I was very unnerved to see the arrow disappear so suddenly and completely when I anchored on target. In retrospect it makes perfect sense. Keep in mind, this isn't in exact chronological order.

1) As I was reading through Mr. Turner's book I quickly realized that I was making very few conscious decisions in preparation for loosing an arrow.

2) I ran across a few threads here dealing with string alignment, then watched Jake Kaminsky's video on the subject. It dawned on me that inconsistent alignment could account for horizontal stringing of my arrows when I happened to be dialed in for elevation.

3) As I began to practice aligning the string along the left side of the shaft I would occasionally overcorrect and line EVERYTHING up straight down the center. When I did this and intentionally held at anchor the string became a blurry vertical line that completely blocked my view of the arrow rendering it invisible. I think this is what happened when my subconscious archer was in the driver's seat that day on the range.

It was the conscious decision to take control, let down the string, analyze, and repeat without shooting that helped me make this observation.
 

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Here are my observations/conclusions as promised: I was very unnerved to see the arrow disappear so suddenly and completely when I anchored on target. In retrospect it makes perfect sense. Keep in mind, this isn't in exact chronological order.

1) As I was reading through Mr. Turner's book I quickly realized that I was making very few conscious decisions in preparation for loosing an arrow.

2) I ran across a few threads here dealing with string alignment, then watched Jake Kaminsky's video on the subject. It dawned on me that inconsistent alignment could account for horizontal stringing of my arrows when I happened to be dialed in for elevation.

3) As I began to practice aligning the string along the left side of the shaft I would occasionally overcorrect and line EVERYTHING up straight down the center. When I did this and intentionally held at anchor the string became a blurry vertical line that completely blocked my view of the arrow rendering it invisible. I think this is what happened when my subconscious archer was in the driver's seat that day on the range.

It was the conscious decision to take control, let down the string, analyze, and repeat without shooting that helped me make this observation.
Good observations. Learning to let down is a big one. That shows discipline and self-mastery, and helps keep TP at bay. I need to do better there myself, as a recent hunting experience pointed out - I was too tired to take the shot and shouldn't have. Thankfully no wounding.

String blur check is an essential part of my sequence, but I too have struggled to see the shaft in certain light conditions. We all see differently, but what's worked for me is playing around with different string colours, to find a complementary blur pattern/texture that leaves clear picture of the shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
DDD,
Thank you for posting. I'm glad you mentioned different types of triggers. This is definitely something I didn't consider in the past. I just ordered a clicker a few days ago; should be arriving soon. It'll be interesting to experiment with.

There's another thread where a forum member explains what he's using for a grip sear: a generic, stick-on, plastic, hanging clip. Absolutely brilliant idea! I may try this on my hunting bow.
 
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