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"Follow the string" is a fundamental principle in archery that refers to the way an archer should keep their bow arm steady and follow the direction of the bowstring during the shot. This technique helps to ensure that the bow arm remains in alignment with the target and reduces the chances of the arrow deviating from the intended path.
Following the string is essential in archery for several reasons.
One of the most important reasons to follow the string in archery is that it leads to improved accuracy. By keeping the bow arm steady and in alignment with the target, the archer can reduce the chances of the arrow deviating from its intended path. This is especially important when shooting at longer distances, where even small movements can have a significant impact on accuracy.
Following the string also helps archers develop consistent shots. By maintaining the same technique and following the string every time they shoot, archers can improve their muscle memory and increase their chances of hitting the target. This is important in both competition and hunting scenarios, where consistency is key to success.
Following the string also helps to ensure that the energy of the bow is directed toward the target, rather than being absorbed by the archer's body. When the bowstring is released, it generates a significant amount of energy that is transferred to the arrow. If the archer's arm moves during the shot, some of this energy can be absorbed by their body instead of being transferred to the arrow. By following the string, the archer can ensure that the energy is directed toward the target, resulting in a more powerful and accurate shot.
Finally, following the string can help prevent injuries to the archer. When shooting with a high-poundage bow, the force of the bowstring can cause the archer's arm to move if they don't follow the string. This can result in pain or injury to the arm or shoulder. By following the string, the archer can help to ensure that their arm remains steady and in a safe position during the shot, reducing the risk of injury.
To follow the string correctly, it's essential to maintain proper bow arm position. This involves keeping the bow arm straight and vertical, with the elbow locked and the shoulder relaxed. The grip on the bow handle should be firm and stable, without being too tight.
As the bowstring is pulled back, the archer should focus on keeping their bow arm steady and following the direction of the string. The string should be pulled back to the anchor point, which is the point on the archer's face where the string touches the cheek or chin.
Once the bowstring is at the anchor point, the archer should continue to maintain their bow arm position and follow the direction of the string as they aim and prepare to release the shot. It's important to avoid any movements or adjustments that could cause the bow arm to move, as this can impact accuracy.
As the archer releases the bowstring, they should continue to follow the direction of the string until the shot is complete. This means that the bow arm should remain in the same position throughout the shot and follow the movement of the string as it moves toward the target. The archer should avoid flinching or moving their arm in anticipation of the shot, as this can cause the arrow to deviate from its intended trajectory.