Archery is an activity that requires concentration, strength and a lot of practice. One of the most important aspects of archery, essential to becoming an expert, is being able to hold your bow hand steady while shooting arrows.
Things You'll Need
- Target (tree or fabricated)
Isolate yourself. It's essential to be able to focus solely on the task at hand. To do this, find a field or practice area where you can be alone. Any ambient noises or activities can be distracting and won't allow for maximum concentration. The key to archery is focus and concentration.
Get into a shooting position. The most accurate stance is an oblique stance, which means the foot opposite your bow arm is at a 45-degree angle away from the target. Next, nock your arrow. Then set your bow hold and use your string hand to keep the arrow level. Finally, raise your bow and pull the string taut, making sure to keep the arrow parallel to the ground and pointed at the target. Your string hand should be right by your chin, and your bow hand should be directly out in front of your face.
Breathe slowly and deeply. It's normal for both hands to be a little shaky if you aren't an experienced archer. Pulling back on the string with all your strength while trying to hold your bow arm perfectly still against the pressure is difficult and requires a lot of physical strength. By breathing slowly and deeply you will allow as much oxygen as possible to reach your biceps and triceps and other muscles you're using to steady the bow.
Tighten your back muscles and relax the string hand to release the arrow. it's important to not let go of the arrow but to let it slip from your fingers as you relax your grip. It's also very important to tighten your back muscles just before you release to make your body as rigid and still as possible as the arrow flies off the bow. The bow hand should be firm but not clenched during this process. Over clenching will cause the muscles to tremor, in which case it won't be possible to keep still.
Practice, practice, practice. The only way to be able to keep your bow arm and hand completely still during release will be through hours of time spent repeating the process. Breathing techniques and concentration are important, but without practice you won't be able to keep your bow arm steady while shooting arrows. The repetition will build up muscle memory, and eventually the bow arm will be stronger and more able to withstand the urge to shake or move in reaction to the pressure created between the bow and string.
Tips & Warnings
- Try different grips with your bow hand. Certain finger positions can tug on tendons and ligaments in your wrist and make it extra difficult to stay still while shooting. Practice different grips to see which one is the most comfortable for you.
- Archery always has a dangerous element to it; the very activity constitutes the use of a deadly weapon. Be sure there is no one behind or near enough your target who could be struck by a wayward arrow. If you have never used a bow and arrow before, make sure to get proper instructions from an experienced archer before trying it alone.
- Photo Credit archery image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com