Archery looks rather simple – aim at the target and shoot.
However, it’s far more complicated than that. Hitting the bull’s eye is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. It requires patience, practice and proper technique.
Beginners usually get frustrated when they are unable to hit the target on their first, second, third or even fiftieth try. The good news is, with a few simple trips you would be able to improve your aim. Here are the 5 best archery tips for beginners that will help you in hitting that bull’s eye:
The best archery stance for beginners is a square stance. It is the most simple to consistently get right in a short period of time. All you need to do is keep you feet parallel to one another, and at shoulder width apart. Make sure your feet are perpendicular to the target before you shoot.
Right Way to Hold the Bow
The trick to holding your bow the right way is to first determine your dominant eye. If your dominant eye is the right one, then hold the bow in your left hand and vice versa. Once you have figured out the hand you want to hold your bow in, ensure that your elbow is at the proper angle. This angle is crucial when it comes to archery and decreases the chances of injury. Improper elbow angle causes the bowstring to hit your forearm when the string is released.
In order to ensure that your elbow is in its proper position, note the wrinkle/line of your inner elbow and visualize it extending outwards beyond your arm. If the line is pointing straight up and down, the elbow is in the right position. If that line/wrinkle is at an angle, try rotating your shoulder and arm till that line you are visualizing is pointing straight up and down.
Things to Consider When Drawing the Bowstring
There are three major things you must keep in mind when you draw back the bowstring just before you shoot:
- Your bow arm should be pointing towards the target and kept straight.
- The muscles you are using to pull the string should be your back muscles instead of your shoulder and arm. Pinch together your shoulder blades as if you want them to touch. This is a unique movement, so it might require some training to get it down. Puff out your chest to make it easier. Remember your shoulder and arm will still be doing some work but the back muscle will be taking most of the load. This also helps in reducing any potential muscle fatigue and shoulder injuries, while enabling you to make an accurate shot.
- You should anchor your drawing hand in the same body position before you make each shot. Each archer has a different technique but this is the basic concept. Since you are a beginner, it is best to start this way. Draw back the bowstring, touch the corner of your mouth with the index figure and release the string. This helps in the consistency of your shot. Once you have mastered this basic technique, you can experiment with the anchoring points and determine what works best for you.
Releasing the Bowstring
When done right, releasing the bowstring would be the most Zen moment you would experience in archery. Grip the string properly with just the first knuckle of your fingers. Now, you only have to let the string out of your grip. In order to assist in the good release, many archers not just focus their attention on letting the bowstring slip but also try to keep the bowstring hand touch their anchor point/face.
This is a simple process for most beginners. The trick is to ensure you pause, keep your body in position once you release the bowstring. Focus on maintaining your bow arm in position, touching your face with your string hand, let go of the string and watch it fly towards the target.
The most important thing you need to remember here is that many archers are unable to hit their targets just because they are not relaxed enough. Keep your mind and body relaxed at all times. Make sure you don’t release the arrow till you are calm and in the zone, because this will affect the accuracy of the shot. Take a deep breath and slowly let it out before you release the bowstring. Many expert archers claim that taking a deep breath calms down the nerves and helps in aiming at the target.
Lastly, keep on practicing. The most important thing in archery is the technique. You will be able to master them with practice, and once you have the basics mastered, you will be in a position to experiment with more techniques and up your game.
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