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Five Quick Archery Tips

Hey Toronto, want to try archery?

Well if you want to get a degree of accuracy the best thing you can do is read up on every archery source you can get your hands on before scheduling an archery lesson. The book I recommend the most is "Precision Archery" by Steve Ruis and Claudia Stevenson.

But barring that, here is 5 quick tips for getting better accuracy.

#1. When in doubt, aim low.

Why? Beginners often overshoot the target because they don't have a clue of where to aim. Chances are likely that if you are a beginner you are aiming at a target within 10 or 20 yards away and the arrow will arc up on its way to the target - and not have any chance to arc back down.

#2. Pull back to an anchor spot on your face.

An anchor spot is a fixed spot on your face (under your dominant eye) which you pull back to each time you shoot. Always pulling to the same spot on your face ensures the angle of the arrow will be the same when shooting at the target repeatedly. Assuming good form and a tight anchor spot, you should experience tight clusters of arrows like in the photo further above. Observe below:

North Anchor / High Anchor Spot

South Anchor / Low Anchor

#3. Stand facing 90 degrees away from the target.

And always use the same stance when shooting. Stand up straight, avoid leaning to the side or backwards away from the bow. If you lean away from the bow, your arrow will go higher than expected because the angle will be higher up.

#4. Breathe into your belly while you aim.

Breathing into your chest will raise your shoulders upwards and mess with your ability to aim. You can hold yourself more still if you breathe into your belly. For best results, try doing yogic breathing exercises. This is a more advanced skill, but if you can learn how to hold yourself perfectly still while aiming then you can achieve a greater degree of accuracy.

#5. Learn from your mistakes.

A person who doesn't learn from their mistakes is doomed to repeat them. Archery, as a sport of perfectionism, doesn't tolerate mistakes. Thus contemplating what you did wrong, learning over time how you failed (eg. you jerked your arm during the release, you botched the release, you aimed too high, you overcompensated, you gripped the bow too tightly, etc.) will allow you to correct your mistakes by making active efforts to correct your common shooting faults.


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