Went through a bit of a learning process as of late and thought I'd share in case it helps anyone. Much of this may seem overly obvious, which is somewhat the point - often the trap is complicating uncomplicated things. Grain of salt, as always.
Was about 4 months off due to a finger injury so was quite weak with my dominant hand when I got back on the horse. This emphasized a bad release and lack of back tension to the point where I decided to ground-up reevaluate. I'm convinced two things have led to my issues in the past and became even more obvious with weakness: lazy draw and a collapsing anchor, both of which are addressed greatly by "pulling through." What really dawned on me is I've known for ages this was gospel, and thought I was achieving it.
Lazy draw, I believe, is absolute kryptonite to good form. And the thing with lazy draw is 90% of the time it goes unnoticed by the archer because it can be an extremely minute actual measurement if you're quantifying it - quarter of an inch here, half an inch there. It is also exasperated by a shallow hook, as the further forward your anchor fingertip is in, say, the corner of your mouth (if that's your anchor), the less you're expanding overall.
My "keep it simple, stupid" solution that has helped immensely: hit my anchor then "pretend" I'm overdrawing ... all whilst maintaining anchor (this is crucial), and using a deep hook. Act as if every draw is your last hurrah and you're really loading up, which many times is a conscious effort (not a psycho trigger or anything like that, just a purposeful decision to add that extra strength, before you even start your shot process), and will often lead to your draw actually feeling easier. This should not materialize as some superman, heaving draw, just a reminder to oneself to put your full potential behind the motion. This all becomes more and more important the longer your shooting session is, or conversely, if it's your first few shots.
What I found was I wasn't actually overdrawing at all, I was merely maximizing output, and it becomes natural after a while. This also canceled out the possibility of a collapsing anchor (getting to anchor then letting off), and, for the first time, has led to a mostly natural follow-through anchor on my earlobe. The earlobe isn't quite subconscious yet ... I'm still purposefully "reaching" for my ear to an extent, but it feels organic. In the past, my white whale had always been the shoulder second anchor, but it ended up being forced most of the time. The ear, I think, is a more realistic starting point.
Again, this is obvious stuff to many, but thought I'd share my thought process.
"Act as if every draw is your last hurrah and you're really loading up."
This is a good thought, and reminds me of a comment Joel Turner made in his on-line course. He has a certain place in his shot sequence where he re-affirms to himself that he will either shoot a perfect shot or he will let down -- on every single shot. It's not enough to decide in the abstract that you're going to change something about your shot, such as letting down if you feel that something isn't perfect, because when you actually are shooting, you will revert to the way you've always done things. You'll shoot a shot that you should have let down, and after the shot you'll say to yourself that you should have let it down, but you'll never actually start letting bad shots down until you start affirming that to yourself as a part of every single shot you make, as you have with your decision to add extra strength to your draw.
I don't know what you do if there are two things you want to change, because you can really only concentrate on one thing at a time. Probably pick one and concentrate on that until you think you have that one down, and then switch to the next one, I guess.
In my case, the collapsing anchor, or creeping, was being caused by my inability to separate relaxing my fingers from relaxing my back. I would have good back tension until it was time to release and then lose it when I released the arrow. It wasn't easy for me to become aware of when I was losing back tension on release of the arrow. I would feel like I was maintaining back tension, but a close-up video of the arrow and the back of the bow when I released the arrow would show creep. I still haven't totally solved this, but at least I've expanded my awareness enough that I know when I'm doing it, and if I concentrate more on maintaining my back tension through follow-through, it won't happen on the next shot. If you're having to consciously reach for your ear with your fingers, you may have a little more work to do on this too.
-------------------- TGMM Family of the Bow
I'm a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess. Posts: 4231 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Oct 2006
| IP: Logged |