Trad Talk Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
markliep
Joined
·
687 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yet another "it's a bit more complicated then you think...when you really think about it."

I tend to shoot BB all through the winter & pull out the wheelie & oly gear when the cold weather is less likely to screw up complicated bits.

Pulled out the Barnsdale the other day & after 5 arrows (top pic) remembered that the risk of shooting this bow is it skews my reality of my real abilities with a bow so warmed up the oly set up for a couple of groups & then grouped almost as well as the wheelie - my assessment at that point: must be the sights. Later though I got to thinking about the holy grail of holding on target as the wheelie lets me hold about 18# & the oly is in the 32# range.

Today tried out BB (bottom pic) to remove the sight part of the equation - the hex5s pull 30# & the CVS about 38# - not much difference at all between the two after a few warm up groups but I noticed when warming up that if my concentration waned fliers emerged.

The lesson, learned yet again, the gear is secondary to the guy & the guy needs to be concentrating. Anybody have any other thoughts to move me forward? - M.



 

·
Barefaced tightropewalker
Joined
·
8,512 Posts
In the other thoughts department... in the same way that you have a physical shot sequence, develop and consistently use a parallel, step-by-step, mental thought sequence.

If your actions and thoughts are consistent your shot should be consistent.
 

·
markliep
Joined
·
687 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thx Greysides - makes sense - any pointers on that part?

Closest I've come is to know not to shoot after a cup of coffee but I'm not advanced enough to have evolved much further - have heard of people visualizing the shot sequence as an option but forcnow I seem to do better with taking my focus away from anything to do with shooting for a bit & then coming at it again with a "rested brain" - M
 

·
Barefaced tightropewalker
Joined
·
8,512 Posts
Mark, I'll let an expert do the talking.
Bruce Johnson is a highly regarded Aussie coach. The document is fragmented as I've lifted relevant bits from a long thread on an Australian forum.

Can't load as an attachment... sorry... here's the full text....

Bruce Johnson's Tips on Mental Input into the Shot Sequence.
When I set up someone's shot sequence I arrange it in a manner where the physical action is matched with a mental thought process. By doing this I can create consistency in the process. Each step in the process carries the same level of importance, i.e. aiming has no more important than say placing your hand on the bow. Each step is a link in the shot process and must be repeated exactly the same every shot. If you deviate from the process then you cannot reasonably expect the arrow to impact in the same place each shot. That's archery 101 and you know all that.
Taking the theory to the next level you have to understand how the interaction between the physical process and the mental process works. Consider that there are two parts of the mind that control all your actions; the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Nothing new there.

The Conscious Mind (let's call it Self One) and the Subconscious Mind (let's call it Self Two) operate in two completely different modes and its these modes you need to understand and learn how to control and train them .

Golden Rule One. Self One can only think about one thing at a time.

Golden Rule Two. Self One will always think the worst is going to happen, especially when under pressure. Self One does not trust your ability to execute a smooth relaxed shot when it counts. How often have you come up to a 40yard Turkey or you have 5 arrows in the X and want a 6X sixty, and the thought of "being more careful on this shot" or " this is a tough shot" jumps into your mind. I know as it was a regular occurrence when I was shooting pro until I started asking myself WHY?? That's when I came up with my coaching system

Golden Rule Three. Self Two will repeat an action exactly the same every time if you program it to do that... Self Two never misses. ... Self two is the part of the mind that drives your car home after a long day shooting , you're tired and you're running the day's events through your mind, when without realising it you pull in to your drive way. Or another example of Self Two is when you get out of the shower in the morning dry yourself, subconsciously you perform the task of drying exactly the same every day and never give it a thought. If you don't believe me; tomorrow morning when you get out of the shower, try and dry yourself in a different sequence. It will feel strange to the point you may even fall over when you're drying the opposite foot. Reason: Self One has recognised that something is different with the process and tries to control your actions. You lose the fluidity of the process that Self Two provides.
.......So, knowing these Golden Rules, it's not rocket science to realise that we need to keep Self One under control and allow Self Two to get on with the business of executing the shot in a smooth and relaxed manner every time.

The big question is "How do we do that "

Firstly, you must commit a large portion of your practice time to perfecting and consolidating your shot process. Remember the process consists of two parts.... the physical shot sequence... and the mental thought process. The mental thought process must accompany each part of the physical action. You can never deviate from this, it is imperative that you are thinking the same thought at each step in the process every time. If you do deviate then you are allowing Self One to get in on the act and you know what happens then... you fall over in the shower or you miss the 40yard turkey or the 6th X.

The Two Second Shot..
Ok, now we come to the part where you are having problems... now and then your bow dips and you execute the shot.. This is caused by a weakness in your mental process. With all archers there is a perception that the most important part of the shot is the aiming process, WRONG!!! The aiming process is no more important than putting an arrow in the bow, or finding that consistent anchor, or any number of other parts that build the perfect shot.
What is most important is that one second before and second after the shot you maintain the body alignment, muscle balance and mental control right up until the arrow hits the target. I call this the two second shot. More shots are missed by poor set up and muscle imbalance than poor aiming, by far.

Body alignment and muscle balance is easy to practice, you can do it in the lounge with a bungee cord, or on a blank bale, and in fact every time you shoot an arrow you should be practicing the perfect shot set up.

Mental Control is a little harder to practice as it takes an understanding of the Golden Rules to be able to set up a strong mental process. As we know, the objective in a strong mental process is to allow Self two to execute the shot process without interference from Self One, and as we know from Golden Rule One, Self One can only think about one thing at a time. So in order to keep Self One quiet we need to give it something to think about during the two second shot. We call this 'anchoring the conscious mind"'. Once you have a good grasp of the technique it becomes easier and you will find the game becomes very easy. (This is often referred to as being in the zone).

Currently you have the process and outcome backwards, the outcome of the shot is so important to you that it's impossible for you to allow Self Two to get on with the business of the perfect process... The only place outcome ever comes before process is in the dictionary. When you can accept that a perfectly executed shot will provide the desired outcome, you will be on your way.. To successfully anchor the conscious mind you need to give it something to think about during the two second shot that it considers to be very important. Something far more important than aiming... This thought can be anything, myself; I think about 'finding peace when I aim.. Relax and let it float... Relax and let it float.. 'at some time during this thought process the release will fire. At the same time as I'm thinking about relax let it float, I'm subconsciously searching for the perfect shot set up with my alignment and muscle balance. The aiming part is only a minor part of that process.. The way I aim is to set up my scope about 6 inches above the spot and centre everything... scope housing, bubble, peep. Once these three points are centred, I set up the muscle balance and alignment towards and away from the target... That is I have positive pressure with my bowhand towards the target and the rear elbow has positive pressure directly away from the target... the balance of these two pressures is held together by the perfect amount of back tension, set up by the perfect draw length. Once you have this balance of pressure the sight will sit almost dead still. All that is needed then for the aiming process is to set your stance so that you are aiming in the middle without having to move your bowarm left or right. Up and down is simply a matter of tilting your body angle…. at no stage can you adjust your arms independently of shoulder alignment as you will lose that balance and you'll shoot out to the right. Once I have the right sensation of pressure and alignment I allow my eye to drop to the spot, and the sight will follow me... I continue to look at the centre of the X and start my... let it float ... let it float... Then WAMMMM... Shot gone... After the shot has gone I do a quick critique on the quality of the shot…. what can I improve on the next shot... and I will pay special attention to that part of the sequence on the next shot... this system means I am always looking at improving from shot to shot.. If I'd done the hard yards I found I slipped into the zone quite often. If I can rate the shot a 9 or 10 out of 10 I will give it a click.

So, looking back at your shot sequence there are a couple things that need to be adjusted..

Level the bubble should come before relax the shoulders. Having it after relax the shoulders creates a distraction away from the alignment and muscle balance which is the critical part of the two second shot.

Once you have the bubble peep and scope aligned with the right pressure and back tension, let your dot float down to your aiming point... keep the sensation of correct body alignment and muscle balance in the back of your subconscious mind while you are giving the conscious mind something to think about. NOTE you need to come up with a thought for you to anchor Self One…... preferably something that keeps you relaxed and the shot moving.

This brings me to the final part of why you have these dips and you should probably have the answer by now.

During the two second shot you are thinking about the release and relaxing the release hand.. THINKING ABOUT THE RELEASE IS A BIG NO-NO... this will build unnecessary tension and anticipation in your shot as you can't help but think about when it will fire and hope that you are aiming in the middle at the right time.. At some critical point Self One jumps in and takes charge (remember Self One doesn't trust Self Two) and you lose mental control. The upshot is you miss and Self One says..'See I told ya so', Self One also never accepts any blame... That's why you are dipping...
Get Self One thinking about an important part of the shot process other than the release and you will make progress. In fact I guarantee that the dipping will disappear once you anchor Self One and allow Self Two to execute the shot uninterrupted.

Try this

Change your shot sequence as suggested, and then shoot some shots at say 20 yards... just concentrate on setting up the same muscle balance with each shot and let the dot float.. at no time should you be thinking about the release once you have started the let it float stage.... If you have the right muscle sensation the release will fire...

Also if you want to read more about Self One and Self Two buy a book called' The Inner Game of Golf'... my bible from 20 years ago.
Hi Rick
I've read your shot routine and as I suspect it is very physical step oriented. By this I mean that each step only focuses on the physical set up of the shot. The problem with this is your conscious mind is free to think of anything it likes and that is more often than not a negative thought. This allows things like Target Panic or anxiety to creep into your game. Review your shot routine again and write down a thought process beside each step in your routine that anchors your conscious mind. An example of this would be

Physical Step.
'Nock the arrow'
Mental Process.
Did the click of the nock sound crisp and consistent to other arrows? If not check to see if its damaged (the click of the nock is the signal for your shot routine to begin for that arrow)

Physical Step.
Smooth pull through (confidence)
Mental Process.
This is the most important step in the shot routine as it is the point of no return and also the precise time that the conscious mind will try to override the sub conscious and also inject negative thoughts into your mind. The trick here is to find a 'thought that allows you to keep your 'conscious mind anchored' while the subconscious mind is free to execute the shot.
When I was shooting competitively I would think to myself, 'relax and let it float... relax and let it float... relax and let it float'. At some point the release would fire. Find a thought that works and repeat it over and over in your mind every shot. It may be counting ... one... two... three... or, A ...B... C.... Gradually this will become so automatic that your shot will become smooth and sub conscious. THIS STEP IS A MUST if you want to REACH THE TOP.

Barebow
The problem for barebow and instinctive shooters is that they don't have a trigger process to tell them when to let the string go. Release aid shooters can set up a release to fire when a certain amount of back tension is attained and recurve freestyle shooters have a clicker which sends an audible signal to the brain to tell the fingers to let go the string.... but barebow/instinctive shooters don't have these trigger mechanisms and therefore a lot of opportunity for inconsistency exists. The most common problem for barebow shooters is inconsistent back tension at full draw. An example of this is the BB shooter that barely gets the string back to the anchor before it is released. Longbow shooters are often inflicted with this disease.

To get more consistent with your back pressure at full draw it's a good idea to use back pressure as your trigger... to do this you need to concentrate on feeling the pressure in your back building at full draw while you maintain your gap sight picture. When you reach the right pressure, which is almost maximum, then you train yourself to execute a smooth controlled powerful shot. The best advice is to go on-line and search for Formaster type training aids that help you maintain strong back pressure before, during and after the shot. There are several types of training aid available from Lancaster Archery.

Another system for telling you when to let go the string is to use a count system i.e. one -one thousand, two-two thousand, three-three thousand….. And so on until you reach your release number... which ideally would be somewhere around five- five thousand.
You can also use breathing i.e. once you reach full draw then you hold at full draw and breath in until you have reach a feeling of full lungs which triggers the shot. There are any number of scenario's and processes that you can use to help you trigger, but the bottom line is you must have a trigger to shoot consistently with barebow shooting.
 

·
Barefaced tightropewalker
Joined
·
8,512 Posts
Sorry Jon. No pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
996 Posts
Greysides,

Fantastic advise and spot on. The conscious mind ruins the shot every time. So keep the conscious mind occupied and free up the subconscious to run the shot. I like it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,065 Posts
I suggest you buy a copy of Lanny Bassham's "With Winning I Mind" .

You don't need to follow the whole program but what he say's about how we see ourselves,Mental management,Improving concentration,The Mental program and, Visualisation along with a lot of other very good stuff are all fascinating reading and I'm sure there will be something in that book for anybody,and not just in sport.

I reread most of that book in the days before any competition and it's helped make me a better shooter.

John.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top