To be able to learn archery, you need to develop the right skills in order shoot your arrows precisely. Below is the different archery techniques that you need to learn in order to become an archer.
One of the first techniques that you need to learn is your stance. To be able to shoot arrows accurately, you need to properly set yourself for stability and posture is very important to achieve the right body alignment.
How to Perform the Archer’s Stance
Performing an archer’s stance is very important as it allows you to shoot accurately on the target. The stance is the basic step that you need to learn to become a good archer. Below are the steps on how to perform the archer’s stance.
- Start by placing one foot on each side of the shooting line. If you are shooting with your right hand, your left foot should be placed forward on the shooting line. Archers who use their left hand should place their right foot forward instead.
- Make sure that you space your feet approximately a shoulder width apart.
- Slowly rotate your feet to form a square stance. This means that your feet should be parallel to the shooting line.
- Stand straight and rotate your chin as close to your shoulder as possible where your bow arm is.
- Rotate your hips such that they are tucked or rolled under the upper body. This posture will flatten your lower back.
- Lower your ribs and chest towards your stomach to create tension.
- Push your shoulders downward.
Make sure that your square stance is properly executed because it facilitates better biomechanical alignment by placing your shoulders and hips to the direction of your target or aim.
Tips on How to Practice the Archer’s Stance
Practicing for at least two or three times each day is very important to improve your stance. Aside from increasing your practice sessions, below are tips on how to improve your archer’s stance.
Your feet are the most important part of your body if you want to develop a good archer’s stance. If your foot is rotated too far from the target, you will be required to put excessive amounts of load on the knee just to have proper hip alignment. Now if your feet is too close together, it will make you unstable thus your upper body tends to sway more thus making it difficult for you to hold a good aim. Make sure that your body weight is properly distributed on your feet.
Do not arch your lower back because you will place the center of your gravity on your knees thus making you unstable. Tighten your gluteus muscles to help you roll your hips under the body and to also make your lower back stable.
Posture is a very important aspect when it comes to archery. If you perform the right posture, you will be able to transmit your power better to be able to shoot your arrows well. Never stand tall with your chest thrust outward because this will make your posture unstable.
Alignment of the body is very important to maintain a stable foundation. Be sure to focus on your foot and pick your chest high up to be able to maintain a good foundation.
Nocking the Arrow
The next most important skill that you need to learn in archery is how to nock the arrow. Nocking the arrow is the technique of holding the arrow so that you can snap the nock firmly on the bowstring. This section will discuss what you need to know about nocking an arrow.
How to Nock and Arrow
Nocking the arrow takes a lot of time to practice. You also need to train your upper body to have more strength to nock the arrow to the bowstring. Below are the steps on how to nock the arrow properly.
- Hold the arrow shaft as close to the nock behind the vane.
- Place the shaft on the arrow rest.
- Rotate the shaft such that the index vane points to the right direction.
- Once the index vane is aligned, snap the arrow’s nock under the nock set.
Different archers develop their own way of nocking their arrow so if you are still a beginner, make sure that you practice all the time. It is also important that you know how the nock feels as well as sounds once it is successfully snapped on the bowstring.
Proper Archer’s Grip
The grip is an integral part of drawing and setting an arrow on the bowstring. When holding the bow, focus on your bow hand while setting the arrow. If there is a need for you to reposition your grip while drawing, let the bowstring down and reposition your bow. To learn how to perform the archer’s grip, below are the steps that you need to follow:
- Set your bow hand on the grip of the bow so that the bow is placed on the meaty part of your hand.
- Place the thumb such that it is pointing at the target when the bow is raised.
- Relax the other fingers and gently fold them over the grip of the bow. Make sure that the index finger is wrapped to the front of the bow.
- When you raise your bow, the knuckles on the arrow side of your bow should make a 45 degree angle.
- The bow hand should stay in place in the entire process and remain relaxed after the bowstring is released.
How to Draw and Load the Arrow
Drawing the arrow also requires a lot of skills. It is crucial to know that drawing an arrow means that you are not yet transferring the energy from your hand to the bowstring. When drawing and loading the arrow, it is important that your forearm, elbow, wrist and drawing arm needs to be located behind the arrow as well as parallel with the shaft as possible.
With this position, most archers tilt their head back or rotate their head towards the bow. While many beginners feel comfortable with this position, this can prevent the archer from achieving alignment of the muscles, bones and joints. Thus, it is important to always keep your head up while the chin is rotated towards the bow arm shoulder.
Now if you need to re-adjust your grip while drawing and loading the arrow, make sure that you re-evaluate your grip. To do this, let down your bowstring and adjust your grip hand. Start with the process. The thing is that when you are drawing and loading the arrow, you need to be able to maintain a good position as well as grip to be able to shoot the arrow.
Transfer and Hold
Once you have established a good draw and load position, you need to learn the transfer and hold technique. This technique allows you to transfer your draw weight of the bow from your arms towards your shoulder and back muscles. This will allow you to use your bone’s alignment to hold the bow weight effectively. Below are the steps on how to do transfer and hold technique properly.
- From the draw position, align the bow arm as well as your shoulder through the chest so that they are in line with the drawing arm and shoulder.
- Slightly rotate the upper torso to align the shoulders.
- Move the drawing elbow behind the arrow.
- Hold the position using your back muscles and make sure that your forearm as well as the back of your hand should be relaxed.
This step is challenging for new archers thus it is important that your bow arm shoulder should be stationary. You can also imaging pinching your back muscles to be able to achieve a good posture while doing this technique.
How to Aim and Expand
Maintaining a good posture is one thing but learning how to aim is another thing. In order to excel in this sport, you need to learn how to aim and shoot your arrows on the target. Before you learn how to aim your arrows, you need to hold a draw weight. Below are the steps on how to aim the arrows.
- From the transfer and hold position, look down on the arrow shaft and place the point on the target.
- Pause and re-focus your overall form.
- Make sure that your weight is distributed evenly on both your feet as well as hips. Your grip should not be too tight while your bow arm elbow is rotated slightly.
- Set your bow limbs in line at the center of the bowstring.
It is very common for the archers to put a lot of emphasis on the aiming the arrow during this step. While this technique is all about learning how to make an aim, your focus should be on your overall form instead of the actual aiming task. The thing is that once you achieve the proper form, aiming will come very easy on you.
How to Release the Arrow
Releasing the arrow completes the shot cycle. Before you release the arrow, make sure that your stance, grip and posture are all good. If you feel that your grip and stance do not feel right, then you should start the process again. Below are the steps on how to execute the arrow release properly.
- Your center of your chest should be expanded outward toward your shoulder. To do this, your bow arm should needs to be stationary. You also need to take a deep breath to expand your pectoral or chest muscles.
- Within the same time of expanding your chest, slowly let the bowstring leave your fingers by pushing your fingers out of the way to release the arrow.
- Continue expanding your chest to provide support on your back muscles during the arrow release.
- During the release, your scapula bone should feel like it is moving towards the spine.
The process of releasing the arrow is more than just opening your fingers. Make sure that when you release, the bowstring should leave your fingertips so that it will not deviate from the path that you wish for it to take to get your target.
The right techniques are essential to become a good archer. Aside from posture, grip and stance, there are other things that you need to know in order to become good in archery. Below are the other tips that you need to know to become a good archer.
Get a good coach
Unlike other sports that you can easily learn through self-study, archery is more complicated. It is important that you hire a good coach to teach you the necessary skills that you need in order to become better. Your coach will also set your training schedule so that you don’t miss any opportunities to improve your skills.
Learn to have fun
Some archers are so focused with their training that they become too uptight. In archery, you will experience making more missed shots so instead of sighing or feeling bad about yourself, take a step back and learn to have fun.
Make a strong mental visualization
The secret of many professional archers is that they make mental visualizations. Mental visualizations allow you to have more confidence when shooting your arrow to get the target.