Bad habits to avoid for a new shooter

D.Rose

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Mar 21, 2020
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I picked up a recurve for the first time this week. Just wanted to know if there are any issues I need to be looking for that could possibly arise as I learn the bow. I am a very accomplished compound shooter so I do have a decent knowledge base and understand good form with different disciplines. As of right now I am just trying to shoot some arrows at about 5 yds to get a feel and develop my natural form and then start critiquing myself after I have a foundation to work off of. It's easier to not develop a bad habit than it is to fix one so if there's anything I need to watch out for I'd appreciate the heads up!
 

Wilderlife

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Feb 8, 2017
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A few things I noticed I was doing wrong...

Pulling my arm/shoulder in a straight line backwards at release. I thought it was good 'back tension' because my arm was going away from the arrow when I released, but I was actually slamming some of the stuff in my shoulder each time and injured myself. As much as possible, at release, you want to be thinking about tension going behind you, as in, around your back.

Think about alignment, and film yourself shooting a bit. You pretty well want to have a straight line from your elbow to the tip of your arrow. A common mistake when starting out is having your elbow 'outside the string', which means you likely aren't using good back tension, and it often leads to you throwing your hand away from your face at release.
 
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D.Rose

D.Rose

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What are the most prevalent target panic issues when it comes to recurve shooting?
 

Ahutch

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Dec 12, 2020
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Don't overthink it! Sucks all the fun out of it...literally.
Seriously, have fun. Shoot lotsa arras, watch em fly, it's a beautiful thing.



Hutch
 

Wilderlife

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What are the most prevalent target panic issues when it comes to recurve shooting?
It could be almost anything, mate. Thinking about it this much is likely something that is going to confuse you.

Definitely get 'Solid Archery Mechanics' and go through the course. It's fantastic.
 

bbassi

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Sep 3, 2019
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You don't mention the bow's weight, but it it's over about 45lbs you are probably over bowed at least from a learning/mechanics point of view. Shooting trad is fun, and as such we tend to shoot a lot more arrows that we did when we shot modern equipment. At least for my friends and I this has been the case. The problem with trad is you can get fatigued quickly, and that's where the bad habits start. First it's plucking. Then not getting to your true full draw before release. If you keep going you'll catch yourself dropping your bow arm at release and any number of other bad habits. If I could give new shooters one piece of advice it would be to set limit on how many arrows you are going to shoot per session and stick to it. I personally try to limit myself to no more than 12 shots and then walk away for a little bit and do something else. It's harder than you think.
 

Beendare

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form flaws come in all shapes and sizes.

There are many excellent free resources on shooting form...and ive seen excellent advice on forums. For example the trad section on Archery Talk and Trad talk has some of the best trad shooters in the world commenting.

there is a sticky on AT Trad section “how to shoot “ that is excellent.

Jake Kamisky (Olympic archer) on youtube breaks down form in fine detail. Many more.
 

CamoPirate

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Switching recently with a similar start point, I started with building a shot process.

1. Setting my fingers in tab
2. Raising bow arm
3. Drawing into anchor
4. Feeling back tension and setting my back
5. Aiming
6. Tension
7. Trying to grab my ear

It seems overkill, but after awhile it gets easier. As you shoot, I think you find things to refine. Lately I've been working on finding a more consistent comfortable anchor point on my face.

Ultimately, you have to find a way to be consistent [in terms of body positioning] at parts of the shot cycle that are "set" on your compound (pins, draw length, anchor).
 

Beendare

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A solid anchor and the same drawl length every time is crucial. Some guys use a clicker for that
 

GLB

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I would say you have a good start. Don’t overdo it, seek a coach/instructions on proper form and work on those fundamentals.

once you get comfortable at 15-20 yards get away from the targets and do some stump shooting. When you go back to the targets work close on perfect form and work some at your distance.

When you are tired stop for the day. Wright stuff down and have fun!
 

Cheechako

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Feb 15, 2021
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The biggest thing for me to overcome target panic has been not focusing too much on aiming. This is especially true if you’re shooting instinctive.
Establish your aim and get to full draw then switch your mind entirely over to pulling through your shot and back tension. And if things don’t feel right during your shot then stop, let down, and evaluate what went wrong before trying it again.

Also be wary of watching archers with poor form. There are some guys out there who are deadly snap shooting, but if you want to have a controlled shot with back tension then watching and emulating guys who shoot how you want to shoot is key.

A third thing would be get out and stump shoot. Only shooting at 5-10 yards in your house or backyard will just make you an expert at that particular shot.
 

roosiebull

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Aug 23, 2014
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oregon coast
I picked up a recurve for the first time this week. Just wanted to know if there are any issues I need to be looking for that could possibly arise as I learn the bow. I am a very accomplished compound shooter so I do have a decent knowledge base and understand good form with different disciplines. As of right now I am just trying to shoot some arrows at about 5 yds to get a feel and develop my natural form and then start critiquing myself after I have a foundation to work off of. It's easier to not develop a bad habit than it is to fix one so if there's anything I need to watch out for I'd appreciate the heads up!
i would suggest avoiding all of the bad habits :LOL:

i have not read the replies, but draw weight is a huge one imo.... do not over bow yourself right out of the gate or you will be picking up bad habits at a rapid rate. i shot compounds in the low 70#'s for a long time before picking up a recurve, my first recurve was 40# and i think that was about 10# heavier than ideal.... taking draw weight out of the equation completely is ideal.... no fighting the bow, being able to do things slowly and deliberately without fighting it.... i thought i was listening to the advice of "start light" but i should have taken the advice a little more.... i think it took me longer than it needed to develop good form because i was fighting the bow. being a compound shooter, we make it over the hump, then we're chillin'... with a recurve, holding weight is 100% of draw weight.... having no issues with compounds in the low to mid 70#'s of draw weight, 40# seemed light for a recurve, but it wasn't.

you are trying to find and feel those micro movements at full draw.... get to anchor, use back tension to expand into the shot.... that's tough to figure out with 40# of holding weight.... it's enough holding weight that it's distracting.

a coach would be a great asset too, but i don't even know of any close to me, so i have been self taught, which means i teach myself bad habits, then research it, figure out what i'm doing, break the bad habit, reprogram my brain, rinse and repeat....

i shoot a bunch of arrows, and have for the past 3 years, but i'm still constantly working on the little details of my shot..... i'm working on form at 10yds more than i'm "shooting" aimed shots.... it's crazy to me that i don't have a super solid shot foundation considering the amount i shoot, but i think a lot of that was practicing poor technique early on, and it's still all there if i let it happen..... it's certainly not an instant gratification activity, but i think that's why i'm so addicted to it..... keeps things interesting, and i refuse to settle on half assed consistency.
 

roosiebull

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form flaws come in all shapes and sizes.

There are many excellent free resources on shooting form...and ive seen excellent advice on forums. For example the trad section on Archery Talk and Trad talk has some of the best trad shooters in the world commenting.

there is a sticky on AT Trad section “how to shoot “ that is excellent.

Jake Kamisky (Olympic archer) on youtube breaks down form in fine detail. Many more.
i finally watched a couple of Jake's youtube videos the other day, and they were excellent..... he has a good style for turning the super technical techniques into content that's easy to understand, which seems hard to come by. i will be watching more of his videos as i have time. i think i'll get Tom Clum's online course too, would be nice to have a solid reference for when i'm trying to work through something (which is often, haha)

i'm shooting pretty good right now, but still have variable consistency day to day.... some days everything is feeling good, can't miss.... some days good form seems hard to achieve, and everything is a struggle, and i have to stay super cognitive and deliberate through every shot..... those days i scoot up and just practice form...... never thought i would be so eager to get frustrated, but i get some shots in every day, rain or shine.
 

slvrslngr

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Apr 27, 2012
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634
What are the most prevalent target panic issues when it comes to recurve shooting?
1. Short drawing, not hitting your normal anchor point.
2. Plucking the string
3. Not following through
4. Taking your eyes off the spot you want to hit, not focusing on a spot
5. Collapsing your bow arm
6. Not bending at the waist
 

Kentucky

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Dec 15, 2019
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280
Don’t have more that 2 beers per session.

Avoid trying to find the perfect bow.

Avoid trying to find perfect quiver.

Don’t buy a ton of different heads.. build every set up around a 200g point.

Don’t drink more that 2 beers per session.

Expensive is definitely NOT always better.

Your effective range is when you can shoot a 6” group with 6 back to back rounds.. not 5 and a flyer.. all six..

..............
When you start buying 2 bows a months let me know.. I make a good endless loop string for less than most..I do it to fund my archery addiction..
 

TaterTot

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Aug 31, 2020
Messages
67
I'll also recommend solid archery mechanics if you cant get a coach oh and also don't be a hero and shoot to much bow. Being overbowed is a surefire way to develop all kinds of bad habits.
 
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