Archery…

more than men in tights…

OK…so doing reps isn’t enough

So..Saturday saw me and a chum heading down to Quicks for the afternoon. My objective was to resist temptation and to shoot, his was to give in to temptation and to shoot. To those ends we were both successful.

To a degree.

I hung about for a bit as he started piling stuff on the counter he wanted bolted to his bow, then went to shoot some. The first few arrows were kinda all over the place, apparently spending so long together in a tube had made them want a bit of time apart. Over a few ends they started coming together again and my last end consisted of one arrow that was so averse to the gold it missed the boss entirely and buried itself in the wood frame.

Despite being able to pull off six dozen reps the other evening, the most I could do without horrible shakes was three, I guess holding at full draw takes it out of me more than I expected, either than that or I’m using the wrong muscles to hold there. Or both of course.

When I’d given up, not wanting to destroy the few arrows I have, I borrowed a bow scale from the shop – I’d left mine at home, along with all my other tinkering stuff, to weight my holding weight….39 and a bit pounds…no wonder it hurt….

On the subject of restraint, I bought myself some nocking points (for the new strings) and a spare arrow rest…..see…I was a good boy!

A little over an hour of shooting available to me

I was hoping to get more time, but as so often happens I had to leave when the other archers did.

The session started with overcast conditions and a high wind blowing the length of the field. The clouds passed quickly and rearrived. The wind stayed high but changed direction a few times. When at its highest, the wind was damned cold.

I was shooting at 40yds, the last sight mark I needed for tomorrow. When things went right they were very right, when things went wrong…oh dear..

clickerI am still getting used to a new method of clicker use. I found myself several time working the old method, a few times working the methods together. Those times that I didn’t catch myself the shots went horribly wrong. Fortunately not badly enough that they missed the boss, but decidedly not within a group – unless you count a single arrow as a group.

I am starting to get a feel of the new style, but am needing to concentrate more than previously. When I do, and the wind doesn’t drag the bow/longrod prior to release I get good results.

I shot 7 dozen (ish) over the hour, mostly showing an improvement over past shoots. Particularly when I was concentrating.

Other things I have found are that because I do not lock my bow arm, rather have it slightly crooked and then straighten/push to pass the pile through my clicker, I do not feel discomfort in my shoulder. Another thing is if I push though too far my arrows go high.

6 Gold EndI shot a further 1 1/2 dozen while my fellow archers were packing their gear. I had the time to shoot more, but decided to finish on a high. I had my first 6 gold end in 4 years (as far as I can recall). 3 in the 10 ring, 3 outside.

OK. A six gold end at 40yds is nothing to really shout about, but it is a sign of definite improvement, a confidence booster and evidence that I can do it. Who knows, maybe my second will be tomorrow.

Until then, the warm content feeling will remain with me.

Oh…and still no money spent on archery. The last month has cost me nothing but petrol.

Shooty shooty and a change

My first arrow of the evening went into the gold at 60yds. It was immediately commented that I should pack up and go home, I put my second into the blue at 3 o’clock.

I let the others collect their arrows and I did the same. I shot a few more ends before someone took a smoke break and watched me shoot a couple more ends and then made a comment followed by a suggestion.

The comment was that I lock my bow arm and then draw to anchor. Iclickers extend/draw through my clicker, pulling the string round my cheek. This was apparent by the string ruffling my beard. Essentially as I drew through my clicker my anchor point was moving.

The suggestion changed the way I shoot. Firstly it was suggested I move my clicker forward about 1/4″ and then raise my bow with my arm slightly flexed, draw to anchor, aim and when ready push my front arm out to allow the arrow to pass through the clicker.

Initially this felt utterly alien to me. I found it difficult to keep my aiming point steady during this process. The sight ring wobbled about horribly and I let down more times than I actually shot over the few dozen or two. Eventually it came easier and my aim steadied, I started getting a few to drop in the gold.

ImageThis all tired me more quickly and I was glad when everyone started packing up around me. I pulled my sight block off and started putting it back in my case. It was then I realised that I hadn’t taken a sightmark for the new style & clicker position. The bosses hadn’t been taken down yet so I put it back on using my last recorded sightmark and shot an arrow, just off dead centre, the second dropped into the red about an inch right of the gold/red border. I moved my sightblock to the 50yd mark and moved over to the next target, I shot two both fell on the red/gold border, about 2 inches apart, one on either side.

It’s still difficult to achieve. I found myself reverting to the old method. It felt different, used different muscles, or probably used the same muscles differently. My back aches.

I feel I achieved something, it may have screwed up my chances of a better score next week, but I am a long term project, I am not expecting quick improvement.

Image

Next shooty will be Friday. I will have much to do, much to re-inforce. Maybe I will have the chance to shoot on Saturday. Then on Sunday, Yateley. Who knows? It might be alright on the night.