Aiming Drill

For many archers aiming entails placing the pin in the vicinity of the spot and releasing the shaft, this will result in the arrow landing in the general vicinity of the spot sometimes. We hope it makes it to the X when in fact we should be aiming at the X and not excepting just the general vicinity as being good enough.

Aiming drills may be of some assistance for archers experiencing Target Panic or Gold Fever, however as these are but symptom of other problems and habits built and perfected over time it is always best to look for the core problem with expert assistance if possible. Don’t just go out and buy a new release or training aid these quick fixes can create more problems than they fix.

The following drill should be used extensively until you are proficient and then incorporate it into your weekly training program. When aiming it is very important that your sight Pin is in the center of your view through the Peep, if shooting recurve Bow with no peep so much depends on how you align your string with a stationary point on your site or riser, be it through the blur of the string or the edge of the blurred string this changes due to the archers eye sight. Consistency, repeat-ability are paramount in all forms of archery especial so for the anchor point you need to find a comfortable repeatable point to anchor as this is part of your rear sight.

Load and draw your Bow (even though you are not going to shoot the arrow always use an Arrow to avoid dry firing your bow and breaking it or injuring your self or others if you accidentally release the string)  splash the pin right into the X at 20ft or less (the closer you get to the target the larger the target gets comparatively and the easier to hold on the dot it will be)  what ever distance you can comfortably hold on the center zone for 8 seconds (an IFAA indoor target face is excellent for this drill). Don’t move your Pin timidly (draw on the target so you don’t have to waste time and oxygen finding the target)  make it go right into the X hold it in the zone for as long as you can using your best form, up to 8 seconds, then don’t release the string and arrow let down in a controlled manner arrow pointing at the target or ground, repeat this three times without a break then rest till your breathing recovers do it again and again over a few days until you can comfortably hold on the X then move back by 3 to 5 yards. Repeat the drill now at the longer distance till you can hold in the dot for 8 seconds again this may take days to happen never shooting your arrow always letting down.  The purpose of this drill is to reinforce your ability to hold on the spot, as you are not going to release the shaft the mental pressure will be reduced and you will find it becomes easy to hold on the spot. Aiming should be primarily a process involving the large group of muscles of the torso and back not the fast twitch muscles of the arms and rotor cuff as these will tend to overcompensate and cause over-correction.

The process of building new neural pathways in your Brain takes time and work, remember the Archer can not see how their form looks in competition it is all memory call it Muscle memory instinctive shooting or any other name it has to be learned. You will find that this drill will build muscle as well as ability, this alone can add enough points to win a competition or achieve an elusive PB.

As with everything in archery muscle memory will become reprogrammed and aiming will become totally automated with lots of repetition so at the competition all you will have to think about is your back tension built up in your lower trapezius muscle on your draw side.