Shooting traditional bows is a fairly easy task… Being super accurate is the challenge! There’s no sights for defined reference when shooting instinctive…. It’s just you, the bow, the arrow, and somewhere down range, your target.
Being very accurate with traditional longbows and recurves takes time and a lot of practice…. Good practice techniques are a must in creating your mental focus that will allow pin-point shooting.
Muscle memory and a strong shooting platform can only take you so far when shooting…. At some point, a shooter has to take the next step in achieving higher accuracy and tighter arrow groups. And the next step is Mental Focus!
Mental Focus is where, when talking about instinctive shooting, an archer zones out everything around them, and sees the target more crisply and sharper than anything else around them. Yea, it’s one thing to look at the target, but it’s another to target the exact spot you want to place your arrow… We’ve all heard it…. “Pick a Spot!” Exactly! It’s the mental training that sometime seems more difficult than the simple fundamentals of archery…. And most of the time, the hardest to acquire.
I have a few tricks that helps me get my mental focus when I feel like I’ve lost my mental targeting…. The main one is a very simple technique. Move very close to the target, and start shooting. Focus seems very easy the closer to the target you get… I’m talking about ten yards or closer. I’ll shoot at the close distances till I get my groove on! Arrow after arrow! When it’s time to step back to typical practice yardages, I’ll slow down and only shoot one arrow…. Then walk and get it from the target. Focusing on only the “one” shot helps me keep the mental focus on that one shot…. It’s simple! Focus Grasshopper!
So the next time you loose your mental focus when shooting instinctive, move closer to the target to get focused, and then when you back up, shoot one arrow at a time making that shot the most important arrow in the world…. That will help train your brain to really “Focus” on the bullseye and hit the mark!
Shoot straight and be safe!