There are so many elements to building a solid shot sequence, sometimes we just get distracted. Just yesterday I was at the archery practice range and I was doing my best imitation of a modified choke when it came to my groups past 35 yards. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
Then a new member named Ed at Washtenaw Sportsman’s Club came up and started shooting. I watched him for a while as is my habit (the Coach in me just won’t quit!). We got talking about our form, shooting Field & Hunter (my favorite round) with pins and set up. I shared that a key to success, once you have:
– Proper equipment
– Good Form
– Shot sequence
was to then employ what I call a “Quiet Mind”.
Now I am not talking any Zen or Kung Fu principles here, but I am talking about putting to bed any distractions. You cannot be focused on your goal of the X ring if you are worried if you can get the grass cut before it rains. Or, did I leave the coffee pot on when I left the house? You get the picture.
Here are some simple ways to Quiet your mind:
– Take a slow deep breath
– As you are breathing, relax
– Commit your focus to the center of the target
– Take a deep breath as you draw
– Come to anchor, let half your breath out
– Finish your shot sequence
If ANY thought other than your shot sequence enters your mind – let down and start over. If ANY part of the draw, hand position, anchor, release position does not feel correct – let down and start over.
This is all about relaxing and executing a perfect shot. If you practice perfect shot execution, all of your archery goals and dreams will fall into place.
After talking with Ed about the “Quiet Mind” principle, I promptly went to the 65 yard bale, employed the Quiet Mind principles and put 4 out of 4 in the 5 ring, with 3 of 4 being “X’s”. It works! Thanks Ed for helping me remember such a valuable component to mastering archery.
Until next time my friends – keep a Quiet Mind and remember: Aim Small, Miss Small.