Do you want to improve your archery technique and is looking for a full guide on the topic? Then this article is exactly what you need. I have been shooting for years and have a good experience, but not enough to tell you everything you need to know.
So I have collected most of the information from the top archers in the world and made one article out of it.
This guide provided to you from archerypower.com is going to you to explain all the steps you need to do to increase your accuracy and your shooting technique.
In the olympics the standard shooting distance is 70meters, that’s far. So every motion and small tweaks you do to your form and technique has a huge impact on the shot.
Stance – The Most Essential Technique
If you have the greatest recurve bow in the world and have a terrible stance your shot will be way off. Mastering the stance is one of the most essential things to do in archery. There are many parts involved in the term stance and all aspects have to be practiced in order to get a great shot.
The part of the stance that was most mentioned when I asked the top archers in the business was the body angle. The body angle is very important because without you won’t have the correct distance to the clicker and you won’t be able to keep the balance throughout the shot.
There are many archers that have not mastered this skill yet, the most common reason is that they have to much draw weight. Having more draw weight than you can handle can lead to bad form and will be harder to unlearn than have learned it properly the first time
The other is that they never have had any guidance on the topic. So I will tear apart all the aspects of the form so you can see if there is anything you have forgotten or need to improve on.
Correct Stance in 6-Steps
- Is to place one foot in front of you and one backward. If you are right handed you left foot goes in front and if your left handed your right foot goes in front.
- The distance between your feet should be the same width as your shoulders approximately.
- You can either have your feet parallel to the shooting line, or you can have them vertical. In the beginning, I recommend you to learn shooting “square stance” which is having your feet parallel to the shooting line.
- Try to rotate your chin as much as possible to your shooting arm. While having an upright posture.
- Try to push your chest and ribs downward toward your stomach.
- And lastly, relax your shoulders and try to get them down as much as possible.
The sqaure stance vs open face technique
The reason we suggest you use a square stance instead of the open face technique is that the square stance is simpler to learn and perfect in the beginning. It’s still a very good technique which aligns your feet in line with your shooting line.
Learning the open face is more difficult to learn and to perfect. By doing the open face wrong you will experience a much bigger spread than if you are using a decent square stance technique.
Because doing the open face wrong will usually lead to a misbalance between the shoulder and hips making. This will not give you the weight distribution you are looking for and will only get you out of balance in the beginning.
By teaching the square stance first, you will experience lower variations and your learning curve will be more pleasant. Learning the square space also takes faster so you will see the improvement with your shots in a short amount of time.
How You Can Practise To Improve Your Stance
There are several parts of the stance as I mentioned earlier, as you know all parts are important. So make sure to spend enough time on each step that I will mention below.
I suggest you spend at least 2-3 sessions on each part of the stance in order to get the full effect of this practice.
By practicing something over and over again, your muscle memory will remember the movement and it will be easier for you later on.
Be aware of your balance and stance while practicing. If you can’t focus takes a break or do something else because there is no point in training technique if you can`t focus on the task.
Points To Improve On While Practising
The feet is not only the two things that keep you above from the ground, but also keeps your whole body in balance. In order to be as stabilized as possible while shooting you need to use the techniques we mentioned in the the stance section.
Use the square stance, keep your feet parallel to the shooting line if it dosent feel comfirtable you can move you can angle your feets a few degrees “down range”, against your archery target, but not backwards in the opposite direction.
This is so you prevent strain from your knees and by not having your feet in line with the shooting it can put your hip alignment out of balance.
The rules of a deadlift apply to archery as well. So if you have been lifting a lot of deadlifts you just need to apply the same rules and apply to archery in order to give you the posture you want.
The principals in the posture is to have your back upright and dont sway your back. This will make you lean more forward and making you more unstable.
You want to make yourself a line in order to have the best balance as possible. Imagine if you put a stick and tilt it forwards, it won’t stay up for long. So, in short, do everything in order to be as straight as possible so you have the best balance.
A thing to do to make this easier is to tighten your glute muscles. This will automatically help you with your posture.
The Distance Between The Feets
If you stand with your feet thightly together and someone pushed you, you would more easily fall over. In opposite to if you had your feet in shoulder distance it would give you more balance and there had to be more power needed to make you fall.
Thats the reason why the distance is so important in archery because you want to have your body in line and balance.
Nocking The Arrow
This is a very basic skill, but yet a very important one. Nocking is the process when you pick you arrow or choice of broadheads and attach it to the bowstring. You can use any method you want in order to nock your arrow. There isn’t one correct way to do it so just do what works for you.
The most important step in this process is to ensure it is nocked properly in place. You will learn to remember the sound when a arrow is propely put in place. It should be a snapping sound, but that depends on the size of the nocking.
There are different sizes and I recommend you to have the same size for all your nocks. Because that what all your shots will be similar which is very important. Do not use to tight arrow nocks either, so if you are struggling to snap it on the string, let it be and change the size.
Keep safe when you are nocking the arrow, point it torwards downward the shooting range during the process.
Set and hook
This is the third step to have a great shot. In this step we are going to explain for you how to hold the riser and the string.
Holding the riser tightly is a very common issue we see when we are arranging archery start courses. You would think that holding the riser tightly is necessary to prevent the bow from falling from your hand, but don’t worry. By doing so you are only making the process a lot harder for yourself. Because you will twist the riser setting the arrow of-course.
What you need to do is to place the bow in the meaty part of your hand between the thumb and your index finger. Keep all the fingers beside the thumb relaxed. You can put the index finger in front of the riser if that is something you prefer, but it should still be relaxed.
If you see at archery competitions you can see that many archers swing their bows after their shot. Thats because they hold their fingers relaxed and just let the bow fall in to a sling. In order to make sure that they are relaxing their fingers enough.
The next step is the hook (to grip the string). As a beginner, you should put the three pulling fingers below the nocking point. Make sure to have your index finger of the drawing hand to touch the nocking point.
It’s important to have the drawing hand relaxed and straight while pulling back the string. Look at the position your hand is currently hand in and make sure that it holds its position throughout the shot.
If you find yourself changing the position of the hand in any step of the shot then just release the string forward again, adjust your grip and start over again.
Try to hold the string in the first joint connection of your fingers or have it close by. You don’t want to keep it too far out because it will cause a lot of strain and can cause pain.
Holding the string to close to your palm is not a great idea either because the release will be too long and be a reason for the arrow to go of-course. Make sure to use gloves during this process in order to keep yourself safe.
Make sure to use a bow string wax after you have done this process a lot, if not your string can break and you will be forced to buy a new one.
When you are drawing the bow you are drawing it backwards with your and close to your ear. Its important that you force your shoulder downwards still if you lift your arm up. If not it can lead to injuries and pain.
By forcing the shoulder down you activate your back muscles more making it easier to draw and prevent injuries.
When you are drawing the bow in a straight line it should end up close to your face, if you can’t do that without having to do movements to help you have to heavy draw weight. Don’t be afraid of having the string close to your skin when shooting, it won’t hurt you in any way.
In the draw, you should try to keep your wrist, forearm and the elbow behind the arrow and having them all as much parallel as possible.
While pulling the string towards you try to pull the bow and string to you rather than moving your head and towards the bowstring. This is also a very common mistake that we see so try to have it mind next time you shoot.
Correct Anchor Point For Consistant Success
Perfecting shooting in archery is a hard task and the only way you can achieve that is by shooting consistently well, in order to do so you need a good anchor point. The anchor point is where you have your drawing hand at a full draw.
When Drawing back keep your thumb inside your palm while its relaxed. Same goes with your litle finger roll it up in your palm and keep it relaxed.
After doing that draw the string up towards your face. The string should be close to your nose, then position your index finger close to the corner of your mouth. This is something you have to do for each shot while keeping the same anchor point. This is the only way you can consistently well over the long term.
What skills do you need for archery? There are no skills required to shoot archery. If you want to become a great archer consistency is the only skill you will ever need. The more arrows you will shoot will result in greater results. Skills such as aiming, strength and focus will develop after practice.
How do you train archery? The best way to train archery is by shooting a lot against a target. You can also train without a target focusing on your stance and techniques before your shot. Its important to not dry fire your bow if you are practising in this way.
what is a common bow shooting error? The most common bow shooting error is the stance. This is a hard one to master and is therefore the most common issue. There are several errors that can be made throughout a archers carrier and they can be different from archer to archer.
Andy Ryan is an archery enthusiast who has been practising hunting and target shooting as long as he can remember. He is known for his accurate groupings and humming laughter. His texts are packed with experiences and knowledge about the archery sport that few obtain.