What can you learn from archery instruction lessons? Quite a bit! In order to begin with Archery, you first need to decide whether you want to shoot indoors or outdoors, at a range or in the wilderness. For beginners, target archery is the ideal to start with and consists of a stationary bullseye target. It allows you to setup and practice in various different settings. Whereas traditional archery is all about shooting at targets and stumps using a traditional bow. There are a number of different kinds of bows to choose from including Recurve bow, Compound bow, Traditional bow and Crossbows and it is essential to select the most suitable one.
Make sure you have your protective gear on, which must include an armguard, finger tab or release mechanism, before you start.
Step 1: Stance
Assume a relaxed stance. Stand with your shoulders perpendicular to your target and your feet shoulder-width apart. You can start with assuming a squared stance – which involves both your feet being parallel to the shooting line and changing into open or oblique stance – which involves lead foot pointing towards the target, as you continue practicing. The open stance allows you to acquire additional stability especially when you’re shooting on an uneven ground.
Step 2: Nock the arrow
The shaft of the arrow should be fixed on the arrow rest of your bow. This involves attaching the arrow’s nock – the plastic, grooved part at one end of the arrow - to the bow string. It is important to nock your arrow consistently in the same position every time you shoot.
Step 3: Gripping the bow
The bow should be held in your non-dominant hand and the grip of the bow should rest in the pad of your thumb. In order to ensure the accuracy of your grip, check to see if your knuckles create a 45-degree angle to the bow grip. Make sure you don’t squeeze the bow too tightly, which may cause it to turn inwards and affect your accuracy. Squeeze the grip like your shaking a hand, not too tight and not to loosely.
Step 4: Gripping the bow string
Once you have figured out how to knock your arrow and hold your bow correctly, it’s time to figure out how to grip the bow string!
For beginners, it is easy to make use of the Mediterranean grip which involves using three fingers including your index, middle and ring fingers to hold and pull the bowstring. Place your fingers in such a way that you hook the string with your index finger above the nock and middle and ring finger under the nock. Wearing a finger tab comes in handy over here as it makes the gripping more comfortable between your fingers.
Step 5: Prepare your draw and drawing
The bow should be in the right place before you draw and shoot. Lift the arm holding the bow so that the bow is at the shoulder height.
To draw the bowstring, you want to use your back muscles, so that you don’t tire out quickly. This can be ensured by imagining that you are bringing your shoulder blades together.
Step 6: anchor the string
An anchor point is a reference point on your face to which you draw the string to. This ensures that every time you draw, you draw the string in the same way. Your anchor point could be a spot on your nose or your index finger touching the corner of your mouth. Make sure you draw your string to the same anchor point.
Step 6: Aim
Aim the point of your arrow towards your target. Don’t over think your aiming. The more you try to focus, the more intangible your target becomes.
Step 7: Release
Keeping your bow arm steady, simply push your fingers on the bowstring out of the way of string. The string will snap forward and your arrow will become air borne.
Do not forget to practice it through to do the whole thing effortlessly!
While you might not have tried archery yet, or thought it might be too difficult, try an archery lesson. I think you might be glad you did.