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Top 10 Secrets of Shooting Better in Archery by Colin Wee

Number Ten: Good archers know when to coach, know when to train, and know when to shoot.
We had an Olympic coach come give us a conference on archery coaching, and one of the things brought up was 'when you shoot, you shouldn't coach'. It's easy to coach and instruct, many of us do it unconsciously. However, when you're trying to do something well, especially at a high sporting level, you should really just focus on the doing. All you should be focusing on is on your form and your archery. Someone not doing something right? You shouldn't care about that. In other sports like martial arts, if you start having stray ideas, you run the risk of injury and pain. Just because this doesn't happen in archery doesn't mean you should be nonchalent about it. I think 'know when to ~' is a great piece of advice, especially in our relaxed culture. Ever seen how the Koreans march to their practice grounds? Ever seen how they don't talk when they practice? That's because they know when some things are appropriate. When you engage in archery, all you should do is shoot your arrows into the goal.

Number Nine: Archery can be fun!!!
Getting uptight? Want to do better? Sighing a lot? Did you just shoot a lousy shot? If you can't get over mistakes, the next arrow is going to be another one. If you can't adopt the right attitude when you're doing archery, how do you think you can be shooting at top form? Everyone else around you is totally positive. You think you can do it being negative? This is major advice to all Singaporeans doing archery: ease up and have a good time! Relaxing and 'getting over it' will help you prepare yourself for the next shot. Everyone does mistakes, professionals however, learn from them and try not to do it again. They do this by: regrouping, relaxing, NOT TRYING TOO HARD, and returning to their form.

Number Eight: Achieve balance for proper follow through.
My dad would always say to push using your bow arm. Push it directly towards the target. Push that shoulder down! What he means is that people usually forget that the bow arm needs to counter the pulling arm. Everyone is focusing on pulling the string back and forgetting that you need to have a similar tension on the other arm or the forces on your skeletal structure will not equate. Without the proper balance, when you release that shot, you jerk and you flinch. What you need to do is achieve balance by working both your pulling and pushing arms. Understand the forces at work on the fulcrum (your shoulders). Understand that without balance, additional forces will show themselves when you release that string. If you're doing it right, the bow falls toward the target and the drawing fingers slide across your neck EFFORTLESSLY. Don't hurry or hasten this process. Don't linger to achieve it either. It comes when everything falls in place and follows a natural rythm.

Number Seven: Work on strong mental visualization.
Bill Wee is big on this. And so you should too. All high level national athletes engage in mental visualization. No one who doesn't do it will be able to achieve that similar standard. I've written a one pager regarding visualization in respect to self defence, and the link is available off our links page. The summary of that is that visualization starts with the decision to do whatever it takes to reach your outcome. You then use tools to recreate a mental space for top performance. This helps to ground your performance to the form you have set out for yourself.

Number Six: Know when to call it a day.
Your bow is a high performance machine. You are not. It's better to know how to call it a day when you've had enough. When your muscles flag, when you're distractable, when you're grumpy or hungry. Stop shooting! Practice is only good if you're practicing with good form, and able to replicate the exact form again and again. Japanese Kyuodo practitioners sometimes only shoot a maximum of 2 arrows in a day. Why? I'll let you think about that.

Number Five: Shoot and die. Don't shoot ... also die. :)
This is a martial arts philosophy, and is similar to the idea of 'burning your bridges'. When you're shooting, you should perform as though you were in a life and death situation. Not so much to increase your anxiety level but to engage yourself by fully committing the shot to the target. If you're really serious about archery, why shouldn't that seriousness translate to full dedication to each shot? 'Shoot and die' means to focus yourself at that moment at the exclusion of everything else. 'Don't shoot ... also die' means that if you don't do to your full ability, you might as well just give up now.

Number Four: Focus on your own archery.
Archery is about preparation. It is about helping you acheive what you need for best performance. Getting distracted will not help you. Caring for others will not help anyone. Is your equipment in order? Have you checked the straightness of all your arrows? Do you know exactly what is in your case? Any spares? Rain gear? Hat? Sunblock? You basically owe it to yourself to manage everything pertinent to YOUR archery. Not to do so is to be irresponsible.

Number Three: Bring your archery training to your competition and your competition into your training.
Your training should be set up so that you can perform well at competitions. Prepare for all competitive environments. Use visualization to help prepare you for the competitive arena. Use all your archery gear (even your spares). When you get to your competition, you should compete with the mindset you have trained for. I believe this 'normalizes' a person emotionally so that you can replicate technique under adverse situations. This is what a martial artist attempts to do: to use technique and knowledge to counter any adrenaline dump or pre-fight jitters. Archers should be aware of such anxiety and compartmentalize themselves to help ensure proper form and mindset are achieved.

Number Two: Decide to win.
That should be the only thing driving you. I read somewhere about how the shot is influenced by the stakes. Shoot for nothing, and you shoot properly. Introduce money into the game, and you're shooting for small change. Put a million dollars and then you're clamping your mind around that dollar figure. No. When you shoot, you should just shoot to win. You should decide that you can win! It doesn't matter if you have just been placed last and have lost. Your attitude must be a winning attitude. Like I mentioned before, all the other archers are dying to win. They want to be number one. If you don't have that hunger, what chance do you have? Don't aim for second place. Go for the top spot. Believe in yourself!

Number One: There is no big secret to archery. There is no killer app.
Don't obsess about any one thing. There is no one secret to a great archery: it is a combination of everything. Good equipment. Good training. Good coaching. Good mindset. Good conditions. Talk to good archers. You'll find they'll tell you different things. Why? Because what works for someone will not work for you. You need to figure out how best to put it together. That's part of the fun. Need any help? Talk with Bill Wee. He's got 40 years of experience dealing with every sort of archer. He's a great resource you can't afford to ignore.
 

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http://www.hikarudojo.com/channels/bwarchery/secrets4.htm

Correlation between stabilizer weight and shoulder pain with archers by Dr Hans Pfeffer

Within the last few years, I have treated more and more archers due to pain in the shoulder of the shooting arm. The pain seems to stem from the pause phase that comes directly after release. The discomfort seems not to be related to the stress on the arm resulting from high draw weight, which could arguably result in shoulder pain.

I think it can be expected that a heavy draw weight or an improper string length (or a combination thereof) would result in pain in the forearm rather than in the shoulder.

Still, it is important not only to treat the injury but rather to get to the root of the problem, which lies in the choice of equipment.

After checking with my patients, it has been determined that without exception, they all use heavy stabilizer systems. Systems such as mono-stabilizers without V-BAR with side stabilizer on compound bows, as well as complete systems with Mono-stabilizewrs, V-BAR and Extender are being used. The lengths are generally between 37 and 40 inches. The mono-stabilizers were equipped with either 2, 3, or 4 tuners.

From personal experience, I know what such systems weigh because I used these heavy systems myself. At that time, I also experienced pain in my bow shoulder. I was then shooting between 900-1000 shots per week.

Fortunately I was able to find at least a part solution: I used only one tuner on my stabilizer in order to reduce the weight and the amount of strength needed to hold the bow.

The results were not really surprising. with a reduction in stabilizer weight, the shoulder pain also decreased.

By reducing the amount of tuners however, the bow vibration also increased and this is naturally not the hoped-for result.

At this time, I had the opportunity to test several of the extremely light "The Better One" stabilizer systems from OK-Archery. This had the advantage that I could let other archers test these systems also.

I could determine that the strength needed to hold the bow was indeed reduced. In the meantime, many of my patients have switched to the "The Better One" from OK-Archery and since that time, shoulder pain has been eliminated.

To sum it all up, I am of the opinion that a light stabilizer system can reduce the pain in the bow shoulder or even completely eliminate it.

A small weight on the end of the stabilizer ensures a clean follow-through of the bow after the shot without dramatically increasing the total weight of the system.

Hans Pfeffer
Hans is a compound archer, German National Champion 2002, and specializes in chiropractic and sports medicine.
 

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Yeah, I wonder about all these 'competition' rigs that weigh a ton. Maybe you gain a bit of stability and accuracy vs. a moderate 'hunting' weight bow, but at what cost in practicality? And I suspect the doctor will be seeing more competition barebow shooters in the future.

Sam, remember back when PPC and IPSC shooting got popular and guys were shooting all kinds of heavy 'space guns'? Crap you'd never carry in a holster on the street! I think that sooner or later every shooting sport evolves (devolves?) into an equipment race.

Put it this way, who hunts with a bench-rest rifle?
 

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Maybe I should really focus on my shooting than talk but when I do step up to the stake I'm not talking and pretty much in the zone. I prefer to switch on/off this focus rather than burn myself out trying to be in the zone all through the tourney.

No2 I get more frustrated at not shooting to my potential than any medal placing so I tend to focus on this more, it tends to keep me in the moment and thinking only about my own game, more important it also means I walk away happy with my performance regardless of medal position. I think if you focus on the win it can be a big letdown if it doesn't happen.

It's a good read with some great info.
 

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Great two posts - the hardest thing is to keep it simple - my take is that the discipline needed to pursue perfection is not easy to maintain as the rewards are small improvements only vs the big ones that our brains crave - breakfast philosophy 101done - M
 

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Personally, I'm not into "gagets" be they stablizers or whathaveyou I cannot recall ever shooting a bow with whatever hanging from no, not even a "bow quiver" Now if that is your thing go for it... after all we are (I believe) still able to pick and choose our method of sport and all the paraphanailia that goes with it or not. I believe firmly in K.I.S.S.
 

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Thanks for posting that Sam.

#10 actually bought me undone just before I last quit competition shooting.
I was working at helping others more than myself and I started going backwards.

I now see how that went hand in hand with point #4.

Man sometimes I really do need to see something in print before the penny drops.

Thanks again,
John.

PS,
That other thing.
I shot a Jerry Hill longbow for a few years, so I know it's about the recoil not the draw weight,,,,LOL.
 

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With regards to the second post, what does the average Olympic setup weigh?

Is it a lot heavier than the Stolid Bull bare bow with the additional weight module added?
 

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My biggest weakness is shooting too many different types of bows and disciplines (IFAA/WA Field, 3D, Indoors) it guess it holds me back from some medal positions but I get as much pleasure shooting different styles as taking medals in tourneys, so it's no loss to me.

I've achieved everything I ever dreamed of in this sport, I'm now enjoying the variation in styles/disciplines this sport has to offer us. :cheers:
 

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When I started archery over a year ago I though there were just longbows, recurves and Olympic setups.

After being on here for over a year (I see my membership has expired) my eyes have been opened up to the numerous setups required for the numerous disciplines, even though they fall into those basic categories.
 
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