Professional archers, just like any other athlete, make their craft seem easy and effortless.
When you see a professional in action, you might think that they were born with a knack for archery, and destined to be an expert in the sport.
But the reality is, their current performance came from years and years of experience and practice. Shooting with proper form and technique is like breathing for them.
Although most of us won’t reach professional status and probably don’t aim to get it, we all want to improve our shooting, especially shooting groups.
Fortunately, it isn’t hard to step up your game from single shots to shooting tight group shots. With proper practice, focus, and not to mention, consistency this is a skill that you can get pretty good at.
What Does Shooting Groups in Archery Mean?
Shooting groups is when an archer shoots multiple arrows at a target instead of one. The tightness of the grouping is a way of measuring the precision of an archer. Shooting tight groups shows how just how consistent and skillful the archer is.
How to Shoot Better Groups with a Bow
Now that you know what it means to shoot groups, let’s talk about how to actually improve your skills!
Here are 5 things you need to know and do to shoot better groups with a bow.
Get the Right Weapon
If you want to shoot accurately, it’s essential to get a bow that perfectly suits your style and particular needs. When I first started shooting, I didn’t have much money to invest in a bow, so I borrowed one from a friend.
After a while of practicing, I decided to splurge on my first bow. It was a game-changer. My friend’s bow was great, but after using the bow recommended to me by my local archery shop, the difference in performance was night and day.
I was shooting more accurately, the bow felt more comfortable in my hand, and my overall experience was better. For beginners, I highly recommend that you visit your local archery store, try out as many bows as possible in your price range, and even ask for recommendations.
If you already own a bow, make sure that you have all of the adjusted parts of your bow checked out. Check to see if there are any modifications you can make to improve the bow for your particular needs. If your grip isn’t the right fit, or uncomfortable, get it changed – immediately.
When you’re comfortable shooting, it’s easy to slack on the basics. You might slouch a little here, drop an elbow there, and your shot will be completely off. But you should always be aware that your body movement and stance are critical to a perfect shot.
For a proper stance, your feet should align perpendicularly to the target and be a bit less than shoulder-width apart. You can ensure a consistent stance by applying painter’s tape on the ground where you practice.
All of this might take extra effort at first, but the key to a fluent bowshot is forming a habit. Keep practicing at least 3 times a week until your body no longer needs to stay conscious about keeping a proper stance.
Check your Elbows
Just like your stance, the position of your elbows is the most important, yet the most overlooked part of archery. Keeping a straight elbow is one of the first things that is taught in archery.
The correct way to position your elbow is to keep your bow arm’s elbow rotated straight up and down while drawing and releasing the arrow. If not done right, it can have painful consequences like bruising and scrapes.
A correctly positioned elbow that perfectly aligns with your upper body will result in a stronger and better arrow grouping on the target.
Test Your Anchor Point
The point at which the elbow is pulled back before firing is known as your anchor point. If you’re a beginner that uses a recurve bow and a sight, it is recommended that your anchor point should be the corner of your mouth.
However, more advanced Olympic archers prefer to keep it below their chin as it gives more points of reference. But keeping all of that aside, it’s always a good idea to experiment with the most comfortable anchor point that gives consistent and accurate results.
In addition to that, you can get a general idea by observing established archers and trying out their techniques.
I cannot stress this enough. As they say, practice makes perfect. Start off by investing in a realistic 3-D target and a ladder stand to shoot from a distance. If you really want to see results, then you should set aside 30 minutes for a practice session 3 to 4 times a week.
You can motivate yourself by starting easy and gradually increasing the number of arrows you shoot. At last, just like it is essential to have regular practice sessions, it’s also necessary to take time off to yourself.
While archery can be a competitive sport, remember that it’s also something you actually enjoy.
To master the art of archery, you first need to learn technique and then practice. In this article, we have outlined some ways to shoot better groups with a bow. There are three essential takeaways from our article.
The first is that you should make sure that your bow is suitable for your needs and your body. The second is that you get back to the basics and make sure your technique is rock solid. The third is simple, practice!
It’s definitely not rocket science, but it’s also easier said than done. No one got to the Olympics without practice and determination. Yes, it’s always daunting at first. You may even need to mind every single movement, every single shot. But over time, with proper practice and dedication, you too can excel perfect group shots effortlessly just like your ideal archers.