Archery tips for beginners are like the Holy Grail for those that are just starting out. It’s not something that you necessarily need, but it’s something that really helps. Instead of spending hours and hours learning about what you shouldn’t shouldn’t do the hard way, take a few minutes to read this article. You’ll thank yourself later.
Learning something new can be daunting, but archery is not something that should be feared. It’s something that is easy to learn, if you allow yourself to practice and get better.
As with any sport, the most important part is to learn the basics and master them. It’s the good habits that you form in the beginning that allow you to grow and develop as a skilled archer. Therefore, it’s important to practice good form in the beginning so that you don’t have to unlearn bad habits in the future.
Here are 10 tips to ensure that you become a master in no time:
1. Be conscious of how you’re anchoring your arrow.
2. Master the mental side and loosen up.
3. Your body is key.
4. Start at a lower draw weight.
5. Wear something that fits you correctly.
6. Ask around.
7. Watch those around you.
8. Keep aiming until the arrow hits the target.
9. Trying renting equipment before you buy.
10. Know when to call it a day.
Now with these tips in mind, let’s get started.
1. Be conscious of how you’re anchoring your arrow
The first step is to be conscious of how you’re anchoring your arrow. The anchor point is the place where you pull the string back. It’s something that you want to be consistent with, so pick a spot and stick to it. Make sure that whatever you do pick is comfortable and repeatable. A consistent anchor point is crucial, because slight variations and where you pull the string will cause huge variations and how the arrow strikes the target.
Errors due to inconsistency with anchor points can be frustrating and make you feel like you’re not improving. Therefore, if you’re missing shots, make sure that it’s not due to your anchor point.
If you have this issue, repeat your shots by holding the string in the same spot. You’ll get the hang of it quicker and your accuracy will improve. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a specific spot on the string. Where you hold it is up to you.
2. Master the mental side and loosen up
A good portion of archery is the mental aspect of it. Therefore, you have to master your mind if you want to improve in archery.
Think about it. When do people usually perform their best? When they’re calm, relaxed, and focused or when they’re stressed, tense, and nervous? The answer is pretty self-explanatory. I don’t know anyone that functions better when they’re stressed. The same logic applies to archery. It’s super important to relax when firing your bow.
When you’re shooting, make sure that your hand is comfortable. A tight, white-knuckle grip will get you nowhere. As a result, your entire arm will tense up and your accuracy will drastically suffer.
If you’re a little nervous, make sure to check in every once in awhile to make sure that your grip is loose. The more you do this, the more it will become a habit. At one point, it will become instinctive and almost second nature. If you just can’t seem to get the hang of it, just remember: what’s the big deal? The world will go on if you don’t make that shot and you have plenty of time to improve your skills.
If you’re having trouble with this, first, I’d encourage you to keep trying for just a bit longer. If not, I recommend an open bow hand with a wrist sling. Personally, I like the 550 Paracord Sling by Ace Two Tactical because it’s pretty lightweight and doesn’t hurt my wrist.
The sling ties the bow to your hand so that it can’t fall out or slip as easily. Click here to check its price on Amazon.
3. Your body is key
The most important thing about archery is to be hyper aware of how your body is placed and how you’re moving around. This is where many self-taught archers to go wrong. Getting the right form in archery is crucial because it prevents injury and promotes accuracy.
Here are some simple tips to follow:
- face the target at about 45-degrees
- keep your feet parallel with toes pointing at the target
- spread about shoulder-width apart, if not a little more
There are also some things that you might want to be aware of. When firing, make sure that the string doesn’t brush your clothing. Even the slightest contact will cause the arrow to veer to one side. To reduce the chance of this happening, try to stay away from baggy clothing, if possible. This might be harder to avoid and colder weather if you need to wear a heavy jacket.
Another thing that you want to avoid is slouching or bending over while shooting. What this does is make you lose your straight line of release.
You should also avoid keeping your elbow in a position that promotes injury. Do not put your elbow more in front of you then behind you when shooting. Doing so will cause the string to graze your arm which is usually quite painful and can cause bruising.
Furthermore, as you learn you’ll be able to shoot from different positions. However, for those that are just starting it is better to get the basics done right before moving on. Don’t rush to get to more advanced positions before you are ready.
4. Start at a lower draw weight
If you’re just starting out, a bow that is too heavy is terrible. You can basically kiss your accuracy goodbye.
What’s so bad about a heavy bow? Well, you won’t be able to draw back smoothly which will cause the bow to dip or raise. As a result, your arrows will go everywhere. Your form will be inconsistent and harder to manage.
If you want to shoot with a heavier bow, at least wait until your muscles are stronger. Starting out too strong may cause you more pain and frustration in the long run. Therefore, find a bow that works for you unless you to hit the targets as effectively as possible.
5. Wear something that is tighter
If possible, try to avoid wearing baggy clothing at least when you’re starting. It doesn’t have to be something too terribly tight, just something that won’t catch on the string of your bow. As a beginner the number one thing that you want to learn about is accuracy. Therefore, don’t let your clothing make your shots veer to the left or right.
6. Ask around
In many archery events and clubs, there’s usually going to be a lot of people who have been doing the sport longer than you have. They have more experience and they know exactly the right things to do as a beginner. They know the rules of the game and can help you out with any tips and tricks. The great thing about this is that most of them will probably be willing to help you. Therefore, ask around and don’t be shy. Of course, don’t go around pestering them, but a few questions wouldn’t hurt. Everyone was a beginner out one point and they probably would have loved to have someone teach them the ropes when they were just starting out. Anyone who’s been doing archery for so long is probably passionate about what they do, so they probably wouldn’t mind a few questions.
Just keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to seek people out. Is the person next to you hitting the bullseye every single time? Ask them if there’s anything that you can do to improve. Don’t be afraid of sounding inexperienced, what matters is that you’re willing to learn.
7. Watch those around you
Learn from the people that you surround yourself with. No, not like a creep. I’m sure you wouldn’t want anyone giving you the death stare. Instead, don’t be afraid to glance over at your neighbor every once in awhile. Watch to see how people react to certain situations and learn from them. If they have perfect aim ask yourself: what are they doing differently? You don’t always have to go out of your introverted bubble to learn something new.
8. Keep aiming until the arrow hits the target
In archery, this is known as the follow-through. It is one of the most important, but one of the most overlooked steps of all. Following through with your shot is simple. Just keep aiming until the arrow actually hits the target. Keep your bow up and be careful not to change the sight picture or move away prematurely.
As your string hand slides backward and the bow recoils to one side, it might be tempting to move your bow down or to the side. Many of beginners actually have to make a conscious effort not to do this. However, if you can manage to make this a good habit, then your aim will thank you. Practice is incredibly important and, eventually, it will become second nature.
It is crucial to get your shot as automatic as possible, from start to finish. You want to shoot with a quick, repeatable, and unconscious move.
9. Trying renting equipment before you buy
There many types of bows and the last thing you want to do is to buy one that you don’t love. If you’re just starting out, try renting out equipment before you buy. Not only will this give you an idea of what you can handle, but it will also give you a good idea of what’s out there. From crossbows, to recurve bows, to compound bows, there are a lot to try out. There’s so many different features and benefits that come with using each one.
The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t just accept the first bow that you come across. Look for a structurally sound bow that you can easily draw. Like I said earlier, don’t switch to a ball what the heavier draw until you’ve built the muscle to handle it.
The goal of trying so many things out is it to find a bow that you really love. You want a bow that you can shoot with nice, consistent, and repeatable shots.
10. Know when to call it a day
If you’re tired, hot, uncomfortable, or otherwise just not having fun, stop. If you’re tense or hungry, your body is telling you this for a reason. If you ignore it, you’re going to get in a bad mood and this is not the mindset that you want to be in if you’re trying to learn something.
If you’re in a bad mood, you’re going to focus more on whatever upset you and less on improving your archery skills. Little things, like missing the target, will bother you more and you’ll get frustrated way more quickly.
We all have bad days and that’s understandable, but those are not the days that you want to be out trying to learn how to get better at archery. This skill takes time to master and if you have a miserable time while doing it, you’re going to be less inclined to come back and try again. Leave on a positive note and don’t give your negative thoughts time to fester.
Think about it: if you always leave archery in a bad mood, what’s going to compel you to come back?
Overworking yourself will probably do more harm than good. Therefore, give your body and mind time to relax between sessions. If you’re at your best, you’ll do your best.