There is a critical component to shooting that will both help control your emotions and boost your accuracy. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of archery and bowhunting. It is simply focusing on a process. The process is a simple, systematic routine to walk you through the fundamentals of making a good archery shot. This serves two purposes. The first is that it helps engrain the core points of technique. The second is that it helps keep your conscious thoughts focused on making that perfect shot rather than blowing it.
- Look down at your feet and make sure your stance is good. Your stance is your foundation, just like a golfer stepping into the tee box. If your feet aren’t comfortable, your brain will know it. Instability in the feet equals instability in the bow hand.
- Very few archers think about their grip unless it feels uncomfortable. However, the bow hand is the first and last thing to determine the path of the arrow. Make sure your grip is torque-free and not only feels right but looks right, too.
- As you draw the bow, the front shoulder has the ability to move to a plethora of positions. What you want is for the front shoulder to be down and forward. You don’t want the shoulder compressed against the neck. Coaches refer to this as “collapsing.” To have your front shoulder in the correct place, raise the bow up to the target with the front arm straight out, then draw the string back towards the face while keeping that front shoulder forward and down. You don’t want the front shoulder pushed back against the neck.
- Anchoring your release hand is a critical step. Depending on your release aid type, your anchor position can vary. If you have a handheld release, you want your index finger under your jaw line and your middle finger above your jawline. If you have a wrist-strap or index-finger release, then your index-finger knuckle should be at the base of the earlobe.
- Looking through your peep sight is so important and something that must be done last. The reason being is that the peep sight position can vary if the front shoulder or anchor is wrong. When your shoulder is forward/down and your anchor solid, then the peep should have the front sight perfectly centered once the string is at the tip of the nose. If any of these steps are incorrect then the string might be on the side of the nose and the peep will be closer to the eye. When each of these steps is done correctly, the shooter is in a very good posture, will have good technique and the arrow will be free of obstructions on the face.
Portions of this article originally appeared on Petersen’s Bowhunting website.