Today I want to show what has always been one of my favorite archery training exercises: shooting in the dark.
The shooting lane pictured above (in my family’s garden) is ideal for this exercise. It has decent distance of ~23m maximum and sufficiently insufficient light. What? xD
The point of this exercise is to be able to aim without looking too much.
The minimal light’s purpose is to show where the shooting lane is, we do not want arrows in the neighbor or his garden.
What should be used to aim is body posture, combined with the fact that you know where the target is in your mind. When this mastered, precision and posture coordination will greatly improve.
Start with a little light at the target and at the shooting line. The light should be just enough to make out the target but no details. Remove the light at the shooting line as soon as you can nock your arrows blind, something recommend all archers to learn (and the next step is to string the bow blind).
Use a target that makes a distinctive noise when hit, so you know when you did well. If you can see your arrows, it is too bright.
Learn to use your other senses for shooting too! Having good eyes certainly helps to aim well, but you can also listen to your arrows, for example, to know their trajectory! Something I definitely want to try one day is to have a target making noise in darkness, and aiming must be be based on the sound.
It may be frustrating at first but do not give up! It is very good practice and eventually you will make it ^_^
After the win of Sunday I decided to score myself on something else for a change yesterday. There is another competition coming up in little more than a week and coach says there will be some seriously good barebow shooters there. Better up my game… I decided to shoot at 3spots because 1) there was randomly a 3spot target there yesterday when I arrived and 2) Shooting at smaller things increases accuracy.
So here is my first ever attempt at scoring myself on a 3spot. 10 rounds, 3 arrows each…
I’d say this was not too bad for a first try. I missed 3 times because because ummm nevermind I have no excuse xD I need to improve still and hopefully reduce that number to 0 soon!
The first go-to way to track skill and progress in (target) archery is to write down scores for a set amount of arrows. A nice alternative to this is to make a scatter plot of *all* shots over a longer training, in order to get a clear picture of the current skill level.
Something like this:
The most primitive way to make a scatter plot (as pictured above) is to secure a lane for yourself and make sure that the target paper is only shot on by you. If that doesn’t work, there are also plenty of nice scoring apps available for phones, or it can be done on paper by hand.
In order to get the most out of these plots, it is a good idea to write down everything about the session that resulted in the plot. For example for the plot above: I was shooting for 2 hours, 18m, practicing to shoot instinctive, ~6s per arrow, 6 arrows per round. I didn’t count my arrows xD (I never do unless an app does it for me) but I know I should.
The nice thing about the scatterplot is that not only does it tell you how you are scoring on the target, but can also reveal any regular mistakes. If the cluster of arrows is shifted in a certain direction, it can say a lot about where the mistake is.
I definitely recommend this to be done regularly, especially if you are still in the stage of lots of learning and posture adjusting.