Sunday, September 9, 2007

Target Panic and Traditional Archery

Target Panic and Traditional Archery :
Hedef Korkusu ve Geleneksel Okçuluk

A friend of mine loaned me a video that included a segment on the shooting ability
of a well-known figure in traditional archery. As I was watching the video, I quickly
became impressed with this person’s consistent shooting. His accuracy was
excellent from short range and his release was lightning fast. I imagined him to be a
very good bowhunter. His shooting style, however, was quite unusual.

Before drawing his bow, he would pause in a “pre aim” position as he focused on his
target. When he was ready, he would draw very quickly and release with virtually no
pause about 2-3 inches before reaching full draw. He shot the exact same way time
after time with similar results. He had taught himself an unorthodox, yet consistent
method of shooting a bow.

Watching him shoot begs the question: How and why did he come up with such a
strange way of shooting his bow? To me it looked like he was compensating for a
bad case of target panic. Three of the several common symptoms of target panic
include an inability to hold, snap shooting, and a short draw. Clearly, he had all
three, but how was he able to shoot with accuracy? The difference between him and
most people—including myself when I struggled with target panic—is that he is able
to shoot the same way each time, which is rare in someone with target panic.

Most people with target panic have a continuing deterioration of their shooting
form. You may get a handle on it for a while, but it’s very difficult to be consistent if
you are suffering from target panic. When I had target panic, I was constantly
fighting my form. My symptoms of target panic were varied and my shooting was
inconsistent from shot to shot. When you’re inconsistent in your shooting form, the
computer in your brain can’t make the necessary adjustments between shots to
become very accurate.

So what causes target panic? Archery is a repetitive sport. You do the same thing
over and over again. It is also an immediate results sport. You know right away
whether you made a good shot or poor one. The repetitive nature of archery—
bringing your bow hand on target and releasing the arrow—teaches you on a
subconscious level to release sooner and sooner. Your expectation of the results of
each shot adds pressure. This pressure intensifies when shooting in front of others
or in hunting situations. The combination of repetition and a concern with results
causes target panic.

Repetition seems to be an unlikely cause. It’s logical to think that if you did the
same thing over and over again in a given sport you would get better. In most cases
this is probably true, but with traditional archery this is not the case. In Part III of
this series on target panic, I will go into greater detail how repetition causes target
panic and offer a hint at a possible solution. For more information about target
panic visit

Michael Linsin is a contributing writer for US & International Archer Magazine and
the author of Archery Strong: The 30-minute strength training program designed
specifically for archers. He is also the creator of the Push Release (target panic cure)
DVD for traditional archers.

-Source :

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