Importance of archery form

Good grouping of arrows
Good grouping may not necessarily means a good archer

What matters most in archery is consistency. If your arrows are landing on target and you are getting a good grouping, does it mean you can skip any issues of archery form?

We all have heard that FORM is the foundation. However, if you don’t have luxury to get a trainer and you are mostly self-taught, there can be some form problems that you may develop that may stick with you for a long time, or maybe permanently.

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Coach Kisik Lee (US National team head coach) says that his way is one of A way of doing archery properly, it doesn’t mean it is the only way. There are other ways to do it as well, and they are equally correct.

That doesn’t mean that every person needs to be different and “create” a style for themselves in order to become a good archer. A problem that is seen in some of the self-taught archers is that they start making up some ritual, habit or pick a nuance that enables them to overcome a temporary problem in their archery. However, it ruins their form, and is not the right way to go about the archery.

The archers who are practicing an improvised form may either not know of it or may have created this problem themselves, but it is hard to unlearn. It becomes ingrained and causes you trouble. Unless you are going to shoot only at your backyard, or only at a particular archery range, you may be able to live with it.


Consistency is intentional

It’s not accidental. Everything is intentional. You are not accidentally hitting bullseyes. You are not accidentally missing the target. You are not accidentally hurting yourself. That point is particularly important. If you put stress on the wrong muscles while practicing archery you can injure yourself.

Most frustrating part of not having a good form is that you can’t replicate your shot. There are so many things in your form checklist that getting them all right is the biggest challenges in the archery. And it is really frustrating because every shot is slightly different. And you are trying your hardest to minimize the variation.

That’s why you train with a good form. If you have the consistent shot process then you don’t vary that much. If you are getting a good grouping, but an improper technique, you’ll find you are not able to replicate the same groupings in a different situation.

For example, If you are shooting at a different elevation, a different target face, or a different distance, you are likely to find that you are not shooting anywhere near as consistent. Because the tweaks you might have made and muscle memory you have built has programmed you to shoot consistently one type of shot at one distance.

But that’s not archery is about. That is not a good example of good form, good accuracy, or even good shooting. It doesn’t means it applies to other situations.


Archer with good form

Likewise, good form is the consistent form. You can repeat a shot regardless of terrain, environment, distance, and any other factor.  

Good form allows you to shoot in variety of scenarios. If you can hit at 5 meters, you can hit at 50 meters. That’s the principle behind establishing good form. You shoot the same way at close distance, as you shoot at the long distance.

Read: The BEST Method Biomechanically Efficient Shooting Technique


TIP: If you are starting out, then going out and getting some lessons from the professionals may be able to help you build a solid foundation which will enrich your archery experience by a lot and will eradicate most of the issues mentioned in this article.

Read: How to Correct Your Archery Form Problems

i. What challenge you face while correcting your form

One of the biggest drawbacks of archery is that you can’t see yourself when you are practicing. Even if you cover yourself from all the angles with cameras, you may not be able to identify a problem in your own form.

Yes, it will help, and you may be able to correct many problems in your form, but sometimes you may not know if you are doing anything wrong because of lack of knowledge or expertise. As they say, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Likewise, in this day and age when Google and Youtube has become primary source of information for most of us, we have become increasingly reliant on it for almost everything. However, there are certain drawbacks and limitations to it as well.

You see, if you are thinking of self-learning all the nuances of archery by watching Youtube videos, you’ll be able to do so BUT with some birth defects. The reason is simply because you won’t know what you are doing wrong just because you don’t have the experience or expertise in it.

ii. What approach you can take to remedy that

Other people are able to point out problem which you may have not identified

In this regard, you may need people, professional people, who can help you diagnose and identify the problem and correct your mistakes. Having someone correct your problems online or offline is the way to go about it.

Having said that, having internet as secondary source of information is always a great idea because you will be able to find out about certain aspects of the archery from multitude of angles, and may even stumble upon something that your coach missed out, or may not be aware of himself. After all there are billions of us out here and archery is rather a moderately popular activity.

Tapping into wisdom of many other professionals is always a good idea, but only after you have some modicum of understanding about a proper form. Build your form, and you build a solid foundation to do the archery right way. If you skip learning the proper

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Form is the most vital aspect of your archery. It is the determining factor difference between a good and bad archer.

But it is very easy to mess up your form when you lack guidance and are operating on patch-up way of learning archery. As in, whenever an issue crops up or you face a problem, you “tweak” your form to compensate for it.

This ends up ruining your form, and sometimes limits your archery. You can also injure yourself if you are doing things wrong.

Learning proper form is thus very vital, as is removing any problems in your form you might have picked up.

Build your form, and you build a solid foundation to do the archery right way. If you skip learning the proper form, it’ll be a frustrating and disappointing experience.

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