Penny Healey explains how she writes a shot routine and some tips to help you create your own.
There is a lot that you have to do for your shot routine, most of the time archers don't realise they are doing it as it just becomes part of the natural shot. A good shot routine can mean a consistent shot, which will lead to a consistent score.
Before the shot
There are many things to think about or write down for your shot routine. Firstly, think of what you do as soon as you get to the shooting line. Think about your stance, when you load your arrow and place your fingers onto the string. Do you have a mental routine? If so when do you use it? I visualise my shot and breathe before I shoot.
I think that this part of the routine is the most important part as it sets your mindset before the shot, or maybe even the rest of the end.
This is the most technical part and where lots of points may be written down. Think about from the moment you look at the target until the arrow hits it. Try to think of it in small parts. If you are finding it hard to remember it all, grab a clini-band or your bow and do the motion, then write it down.
After the shot
Assess the shot. What went well? Try to think positively. What was the weather like? Could you have controlled it or is it out of your control? Be realistic. What do you do when you do a 'different' shot?
If you are struggling to remember, try thinking of:
- Loading the arrow for your next shot.
- Your stance and posture, this gives you a solid base to help your shot be consistent.
- Setting your grip in the correct position is crucial and making sure it is the same each time.
- Setting up the shot with your shoulder in alignment and your elbow rotated.
- How you draw the bow, is it a fast draw up to anchor or slow and controlled.
- How your hand or tab feels on your face when at full draw and in your anchor.
- Expanding through the final phases of your shot allowing your clicker to go off.
- The feeling of your release, do you let go of the string or simply relax your fingers as you expand?
- Following through with both the front arm pushing towards the target and your back arm following the line of the shot as it recoils.
- Do you set the bow on the ground and review your last shot? Or load up straight into the next.
- Mental routine (if you have one).