I can imagine that some archers know this already and it’s a no-brainer, but for me it was definitely my biggest improvement, and I definitely suggest everyone to try it.
Before, my procedure for a shot looked something like this: Assume position -> assume stance -> load arrow -> raise bow -> draw -> anchor -> aim -> release -> follow through. Then I decided to try aiming already before the draw. So what this consisted of was the following:
- After raising the bow, fingers on the bowstring but not drawing yet, already “lock on” to the target. The bow arm is already in the same position as it will stay during the whole process.
- Aim with any preferred method. Gap shooting without aiming sights still works too, just be sure to take a smaller gap, taking into account perspective on undrawn arrow.
- Perform a *very steady* draw and anchor. Do not(!) move your bow arm, your head, you spine… don’t move anything except for your back muscles and draw arm. And keep aiming. Do not break the eye contact with your target.
- Ideally you have succeeded with the steady draw and anchor. If your aim has moved a little bit, now is the time to perform final tweaks. Not the main aiming happens here! Just little adjustments! Keep all the tension in your body. Only move your bow arm for the adjustments!
- Settle into this position. The bow and the archer must both be motionless before the release moment is ready.
- Release! Make sure the release was clean otherwise all the effort was for nothing.
This shooting style is quite distant from traditional archers and closer to recurves. It is definitely worth to try for anyone, because for me it was a significant improvement in both accuracy and consistency.
The additional benefits:
- Improves shooting form, as it eliminates all kinds of wobbles during the draw.
- Encourages focus, and encourages us to take our time for a good shot.
- All of a sudden we have an opportunity to aim, and then another one to adjust. That arrow is gonna be pretty well locked on to the target!
- Yields more consistent shooting, as we can settle into our position before we move on to the draw.
The importance of correct and consistent shooting form, as well as careful aiming, increases with distance and smaller targets. By employing the aim-before-draw we can improve all of these areas, so it is definitely very useful to try.
happy shooting to fellow archers! :3
kitty hugs to all~