Archery is a touchy skill - a little wrist twist here or an inconsistent anchor point there is enough to completely ruin your shot. It really doesn’t take much to miss the mark.
Bad habits in archery are common and many, and to make matters worse, they’re pretty easy to pick up. Having a good understanding of the different archery bad habits, as well as how best to prevent or remedy them, will go a long way in helping you hit the mark more often, making you an overall better archer.
There is a long list of bad habits that archers can pick up. In this article, we’ll focus on the three most common bad habits that can hamper your shot accuracy, how they affect your shots, and easy ways to fix them.
Let’s dive in!
Bad Habits That Will Ruin Your Archery Shot And How To Fix Them
Archery is a game of skill that requires long hours of practice and training to produce consistent results. But there’s really no use investing those long hours if it reinforces improper form and other detrimental habits. Identifying these issues quickly and rectifying them can help you reach your archery goals much sooner than if left unchecked.
So here are the most common archery bad habits and how you can quickly fix them.
Bad Habit #1 - Let Up
In this case, just before you release the bow string from your anchor point, you move your string hand forward in anticipation of your release. This bad habit could be caused by being fatigued, over-bowed, not having a consistent anchor point, or simply anticipating your release.
The Let Up has very similar effects to Turkey Necking. Moving your hand forward changes the draw length on your bow string. This changes the amount of force your string puts on the arrow, which of course, changes the ark on the arrow flight resulting in a vertical inconsistency of your arrow grouping. Hence, you will be shooting low and hitting the target below your intended mark.
Just like turkey necking, a short break from shooting could be the answer to fixing this problem. If a short break doesn't do the trick, then you should stop your practice session immediately. Again, you can implement aiming drills into your practice session to build endurance if you believe you are over-bowed.
Bad Habit #2 - Not Settling In
This refers to the aiming process before you release your arrow. By not settling into your shot, you are releasing the arrow from the string before your bow arm has the opportunity to stabilize on your target. This means that your bow arm is still in motion when the arrow is released. Once again, this can be caused by fatigue, being over-bowed, or anticipating your release.
By not settling into your shot, your arrow grouping will be sporadic, and you risk sending your arrows off course. Pay attention to your aiming process as you draw the bow. If you are releasing your arrow too quickly, you may not be settling in.
Aiming Drills, Aiming Drills, and Oh, lest I forget...Aiming Drills. We really can’t emphasize this enough. Aiming Drills are an excellent way to build endurance, bow arm strength, and focus. Blind shooting is another helpful drill to consider adding to your practice routine. This particularly helps you reduce the urge to release each time you draw the bow and focus more on a proper release and follow-through, allowing you properly settle in before taking your shot.
Also, learn to relax. You should be in no rush to fire your shot. Before firing those arrows, you should spend enough time settling in on your target.
Bad Habit #3 - Collapsing
This is another bad habit that can form due to fatigue or being over-bowed. Collapsing is the process of letting those back muscles loose and allowing your shoulders to collapse before you release the arrow.
The process of collapsing moves your anchor point forward and may also change the path of your release, resulting in a low, off-centered shot. The only way to identify this bad habit is to pay attention to your shoulders before you release the arrow.
Take longer breaks between each shot to give your muscles time to recover from the previous shot. If that doesn't help, then take longer breaks between ends (shooting rounds) as well. You should also focus on developing a proper form. Also, incorporating strength training exercises into practice sessions to boost your endurance levels.
Go Crush Those Habits!
Bad habits are associated with every sport and can be picked up by beginners and professionals alike. Like most similar sports, there are a number of common habits that can trip up most archers as they strive for consistent archery accuracy.
Fixing the bad habits discussed above will definitely go a long way in improving your shot accuracy and helping your arrow hit the target more consistently.