Learning archery can be difficult. It wouldn’t be an Olympic sport if it wasn’t. If you want to learn, and you’re trying to figure out where to begin, this is the right place for you. This guide will show you proper archery form alongside common mistakes made by beginners. After reading this, you will be able to pick up a bow with confidence.
First, let’s start with a look at proper form:
This is what proper form looks like, done by a professional. This guy has his body parallel to the wall in front of him, a high back elbow, a lowered and relaxed back shoulder, a stable anchor point, and a front arm that isn’t hyperextended. If this doesn’t all make sense, that’s alright. I’ll explain it as we move forward.
Common Mistake #1: Dropped Elbow
It’s easy to see in this photo that this guy’s back elbow is much lower than in the first picture. That back elbow needs to be high in order to hit the target, and it is much better for your shoulder if your arm is placed correctly. (His name is Austin, by the way.)
Common Mistake #2: Inconsistent Anchor Point
The anchor point refers to the point at which your string-pulling hand comes to when you pull the string back all the way. In the first photo, Austin has his anchor point set where the knuckle of his pointer finger touches the corner of his mouth. This is a commonly recommended anchor point because it is consistent, and easy to repeat – which is the key to archery. Here, however, his anchor point is somewhere in the air in front of his face. This point will be difficult, maybe impossible, to repeat, making those bullseyes just too hard to hit.
Common Mistake #3: Leaning Away from the Shot
Here, we can see that Austin is leaning backwards from the bow and moving with the string. Good form dictates that the body remains as straight and upright as possible, as in the first photo.
These are just a few of the most common mistakes made by beginners to archery. There are, of course, many other possible mistakes to be made, but, if you get these three down pat, you’ll have a much easier time fixing any other mistakes you might make.