Shooting Style

I have a pretty normal shooting style, really. I stand with both feet parallel, but slightly offset from the line to the target. I use a split Mediterranean loose, with three fingers on the string, and the string in the first joint of the finger. I anchor with my string hand under my jaw, and the string line down the right hand side of my chin and nose. My small finger on my drawing hand touches my neck to help keep my other fingers curled, and to give an extra reference point. I don't have a finger separator in my tab, I find it makes the shot feel less natural. I shoot with both eyes open, and the string picture outside the sight ring (opposite to what is normally taught; one of Britain's top coaches, Barry Farndon, suggested this to me, and I find it helps prevent turning my head and putting shots out wide).

I seem to have a habitual bow-lean. I have tried all sort of trick to prevent tilting the bow, including curling the bow-hand fingers in beside the handle, so that they make a fist. The best solution seems to be to relax the bow-hand and just shoot fast.

I try to shoot with a quick, flowing rhythm. I breathe in deeply between shots, then breathe in before I draw. I then draw most of the way up in one motion, with the pre-draw slowing down as my hand reaches my face, and then finish the draw and sighting in one motion. From then on, I try to concentrate on following through the shot properly, to arrive in a consistent position at the end of the shot. My perfect shot takes about 5-6 seconds from start to finish.

The three foundations of my shot (and I am beginning to believe, all good shots) are a strong bow-arm, good line, and clean shot execution. I'm working on the bow arm and execution at the moment; in the last couple of years I improved my line considerably, but neglected the other points.

I don't believe in aiming off in a wind. There are very few days (even in Britain) when there aren't lulls long enough to shoot an arrow, so I wait for the lulls and shoot in them. If the wind is steady, I adjust my sight. (I have been caught out by the wind a few days though!)

The photos page contains pictures of me on full draw, follow-through, and my old style, when I used a side anchor and a two-finger draw.

There are also some training videos of me shooting, with views of the front, side, above, my line, my loose, my bow hand, and a shot from the back, showing the back muscles working.


[Home] [Up]
Last modified on 12th February 2004 by angus@harlequin.com