Image credit: John Yeong/SportSG
The drills in this article have been generally acknowledged by the archery community as being effective. While it may seem that most of them are targeted at correcting stance, it is important to remember that stance and aim are intrinsically linked - good stance and posture will lead to an improved aim!
Mirror mirror on the wall
Just like how dancers rehearse in studios with full length mirrors, practising archery in front of one is pretty useful. The mirror lets you have a clearer view of your stance and arm positioning, allowing for more efficient correction of any mistakes or bad habits that you might have. Stand sideways in front of a mirror with your bow - there’s no need for an arrow for this - and, after checking and correcting, relax. Repeat your stance again, but without looking. Check your reflection only after you’re done positioning, to see if you’ve gotten it right this time!
Dubbed ‘blank baling’, this drill involves aiming at a blank target - with your eyes closed! Do not emphasise on the accuracy of your arrow’s landing, but on improving your stance and shot. The key here is to feel and concentrate on the shot, placing all focus on observing how you make the shot.
This exercise targets your drawing technique and back strength. Pull your bow string
to full draw and hold for half a minute. Relax and repeat, increasing your draw timings (how long you hold the draw) with each round. While this may seem repetitive, it is a drill that allows you to simply concentrate on drawing, without the distractions of aim and release techniques.
Slow and steady
The sub-heading for this section says it all - start slow and progress steadily. Begin by practising your shot from a short distance, taking note of your mistakes and correcting them along the way. When you’re confident that you’ve gotten better at this particular distance, move further and repeat the earlier steps.
Other general tips
● Stand straight at all times, pulling yourself tall.
● Maintain good balance.
● Ensure that your ribs and shoulders are always down.
● Aim using your dominant eye - but keep both eyes open if it works for you!
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