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  1. #1

    Default Does it ever get easier?

    At what point does someone go from a good shooter to a great shooter?
    Or is it just a gradual slow process that you continually keep working at until you can no longer shoot anymore?
    I have good days and i have bad days, i would love to learn how to eliminate the bad. In the past year, i've made huge progress and improved in all aspects, but im at the point now, where i expect to hit what im aiming at at all yardages....when i dont, it bothers me. alot. What am i doing wrong? what seperates me or you from the consistency of a pro?

  2. #2
    Guest Gator eye's Avatar
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    I feel once you get to a certain level it becomes more a mind game than a learned skill.

    I ve shot my share of 450's on the practise range by myself with the radio playing and nothing on my mind but shooting the next arrow. Now, put me on the line with other people and a little pressure and I turn into a 446 to 448 shooter. The only difference is pressure.

    Spend some time on U tube watching archery TV. Once the pro's step to the line it looks like icewater running through there veins. The crowd disapears and they are fixed on the target.

    I believe that is the key between a good shooter and a great shot.

  3. #3

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    I heard Lanny Bassham is good to listen to, i bought his winning with the mind.
    Alot of peoples theories on pros is that the difference between us and them is they KNOW the arrow is going to center the X, and instead we're hoping it does. Im hoping his dvds on the mental game helps.

  4. #4
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    Deliberate practice and a lot of it. Competent coaching.

    There is no "archery gene". All of the great archers have spent a lot of time practicing the little things over and over and most have gotten help from a good coach.

    One study, not related to archery, estimated that it averages 10 years of deliberate practice to reach the level of "expert". And that it can only be reached with competent coaching.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Holy Smokes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gator eye View Post
    I feel once you get to a certain level it becomes more a mind game than a learned skill.

    I ve shot my share of 450's on the practise range by myself with the radio playing and nothing on my mind but shooting the next arrow. Now, put me on the line with other people and a little pressure and I turn into a 446 to 448 shooter. The only difference is pressure.

    Spend some time on U tube watching archery TV. Once the pro's step to the line it looks like icewater running through there veins. The crowd disapears and they are fixed on the target.

    I believe that is the key between a good shooter and a great shot.
    I wonder when they will start doing drug screening to deterimine if some could be on beta blockers



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  6. #6
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    beta blockers . funny you should say that i had my best year ever shooting . was put on beta blockers two years ago . i thought i got better because of a new bow and a lot of practice .and i mean practice most people dont know the difference between practice and just shooting a bow alot .

  7. #7
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    Lol, I have been on Beta Blockers for about 6 months.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member shark3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VNVGUNNER View Post
    Lol, I have been on Beta Blockers for about 6 months.
    Atenolol 2 years hmm so thats whats wrong with my shooting i knew there was a reason my wife keeps beating me

  9. #9

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    at 70 and after 55 years of shooting NFAA, IBO and local 3D it sure does not get easy if you strive to be in the top 5%.

    I now just want to still have good days so I shoot just about every days a few arrows.

    Now there was a time I had to have a new bow every year. While being on fixed incomes was the end of that.

    I also think that each archer goes from a physical cycle to one that the mind put you over the edge to be a top shooter.

    A old coach of archer said see the gold, in the center of the target and or see not only the gold but your arrow hitting the center of the center of the gold.

    the mind ability to focus sure make a good archer a great archer...
    Last edited by sweet old bill; 11-30-2010 at 03:25 PM. Reason: spelling

  10. #10

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    One way or another, i will get there. There are no coaches around here, just mentors more than anything, i drive about an hour once or twice a week to a shop where Ken lantz shoots, but only run into him sometimes, alot of semi pro and a few pros shoot that indoor 3-d league, i think im going to join and see how i compare. I can shoot, and i know i need the mental part of it, and fine tuning, hopefully i can find that soon. Im in no hurry to get to PRO status, and i understand it takes time, im willing to do WHATEVER it takes to become that good.

  11. #11

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    A good start would be to join a good archery club. I joined in the 70's the Cub Run archers of Manassas VA. You then get to shoot with a lot of the top guys and gals. I also would take practice as being not just shooting a lot of arrows, but working on form. I found that also shooting at a lot of 60 yards shots sure makes you shoot better when you head to the deer round.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Holy Smokes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upnorth View Post
    beta blockers . funny you should say that i had my best year ever shooting . was put on beta blockers two years ago . i thought i got better because of a new bow and a lot of practice .and i mean practice most people dont know the difference between practice and just shooting a bow alot .
    Been shootin torunements since 84
    own a few local championships
    I know what real focused and depatmentized practice is
    and yes beta blockers are a plus for a fellar under stress



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  13. #13
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    Something that I've heard from several very good archers that I think was paraphrased from a Bruce Lee quote:

    When you are a beginner, a shot is just a shot, there is no additional importance attached to it.
    When you are an intermediate shooter, a shot is a very complicated thing that is impossible to know completely.
    When a shot is just a shot again, you are a master.

    I'm in the intermediate group, because sometimes I have to step back and take a deep breath. Has anyone here made it to the third group? If so, can you confirm or explain it?

    Thanks,
    Allen

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    that wasnt meant to be because of your post . didnt know about the beta blocker thing . and the practice thing is because in my range , il ask a person how they shot and they say just practicing . il say on what and they have no idea there really just shooting arrows at a circle not working on getting better form etc.

  15. #15
    In God we trust wilkersonhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gator eye View Post
    I feel once you get to a certain level it becomes more a mind game than a learned skill.

    I ve shot my share of 450's on the practise range by myself with the radio playing and nothing on my mind but shooting the next arrow. Now, put me on the line with other people and a little pressure and I turn into a 446 to 448 shooter. The only difference is pressure.

    Spend some time on U tube watching archery TV. Once the pro's step to the line it looks like icewater running through there veins. The crowd disapears and they are fixed on the target.

    I believe that is the key between a good shooter and a great shot.

    will agree 100%
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  16. #16
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    Ok,
    Ya really want to know the answer??
    Ill give you a little background. I began shooting competitively in 91. I took
    3rd at indoor nationals, placed in the top 6 several other times and shot pro for several years on the IBO and Cabelas tour. I have shot with Almer, Allen Connor, Dee and Reo Wilde, Jerry and Forest Carter and to many others to name them all.
    I am in no way beating a drum. I am only trying to set up the reality of the situation.
    8 hours a day minimum 5 days a week. Saterdays 6hrs probably shooting in a tourney and Sunday definately shooting in the tourney.
    Reo is the odds on favorite to win every time he steps to the line. He shoots for a living. Nothing else. Shoots, thinks, dreams, shoots more, thinks more, and concentrates on only on aiming at the center of the hole he drilled with the last arrow that hit the middle of that X.
    No compromise. Focus, aim, focus, aim, focus, aim.
    Tune your bow, then shoot and dont worry about anything else.

    Its not pretty. Its not easy. Nothing worth while ever is. I dont shoot pro anymore. I gave it up of a more diverse lifestyle. Last Sat. I shot an elk at 10:30 am. By 12:30 it was on my back pack. 0 degrees F. By dark {5PM}it was half way back to the truck. By 11:30pm I was home. Sunday I was back on the mountain finishing it alone. More diverse, but just as dedicated.

    I hate wolves. I love life!

  17. #17
    Guest Gator eye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbowhunter View Post
    Ok,
    Ya really want to know the answer??
    Ill give you a little background. I began shooting competitively in 91. I took
    3rd at indoor nationals, placed in the top 6 several other times and shot pro for several years on the IBO and Cabelas tour. I have shot with Almer, Allen Connor, Dee and Reo Wilde, Jerry and Forest Carter and to many others to name them all.
    I am in no way beating a drum. I am only trying to set up the reality of the situation.
    8 hours a day minimum 5 days a week. Saterdays 6hrs probably shooting in a tourney and Sunday definately shooting in the tourney.
    Reo is the odds on favorite to win every time he steps to the line. He shoots for a living. Nothing else. Shoots, thinks, dreams, shoots more, thinks more, and concentrates on only on aiming at the center of the hole he drilled with the last arrow that hit the middle of that X.
    No compromise. Focus, aim, focus, aim, focus, aim.
    Tune your bow, then shoot and dont worry about anything else.

    Its not pretty. Its not easy. Nothing worth while ever is. I dont shoot pro anymore. I gave it up of a more diverse lifestyle. Last Sat. I shot an elk at 10:30 am. By 12:30 it was on my back pack. 0 degrees F. By dark {5PM}it was half way back to the truck. By 11:30pm I was home. Sunday I was back on the mountain finishing it alone. More diverse, but just as dedicated.

    I hate wolves. I love life!


    8 hours a day...........more than I'm willing to do.

    so

    I'll be a backyard hero forever

  18. #18
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    The two best professional archers that I've personally met, told me that they spend a lot less time than that practicing. These are guys at the top of the game. They are at the point of maintaining their skills, not building them, so it is probably different for them. Both said that they should practice more, but travel, sponsors and family don't allow for more.

    8 hours a day seems excessive, unless that includes time spent on everything involving archery and the archer works in a shop or something similar.

    For most, it would be unwise to shoot for 8 hours a day. I know I couldn't do it, my shoulder muscles wouldn't stand up to half of that. A much younger person could spend a more time than me, but I doubt any could maintain the 8 hour a day shooting schedule for long.

    Also I doubt that anything more than a couple of hours a day could be of any benefit. The law of diminishing returns comes into play. If someone needs 8 hours of shooting a day to develop their archery skills, they probably are not practicing effectively. There are much more efficient ways to practice that will let any archer develop their potential.

    I respect your lifestyle choices. Maybe a little envy too. I wouldn't want anyone to give up on their archery dreams because they can't spend 50 to 60 hours a week shooting a bow.

    Just my opinion,
    Allen

  19. #19
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    Lightbulb

    The practice I was referring to is practice to win national tournaments at the pro level indoor. Of course if you just want to shoot and win 3D the practice would be much different. IE: 4 hours shooting spots at every conceivable angle and every yardage out to about 65. Most 3Ds are 50 but the extra aiming concentration needed to hit every time at 65 lends to never missing at 50. Angles.. You must practice shooting at steep angles up and down out to 65 as well. Its easy to stand at the line and shoot flat, but severe angles, shot after shot will challenge the Best. Look at the guys who win Redding. This mixes with their practice routine.
    Then an hour of practice at yardage judging should be about all that is needed. How is the best way to practice yardage judging?? By copying the tournament. Which means you will need several 3D targets of your own. {Then find a local land owner who will let you leave targets on his property}.
    Practicing every conceivable shot and angle at your 3d target. It does little good to practice judging yardage only, then shooting at spots. You have to learn little secrets like {at what yardage can I see an average deerís eyes shine}? there is little secrets to look for that you can learn by this type of practice. Of course this type of practice is not for everyone, but everyone does not want to win every time.
    Now back to the original thoughts on indoor target practice. This practice is to be used after you have already perfected shooting back tension. {to what ever degree you can ever perfect it}
    First: You must develop muscle memory. This is done only through shooting past your comfort zone every day.
    second: Practice pure aiming and learning exacting and replicated shot cycles.
    The only way to hit the middle every time is to practice the shot exactly the same way EVERY time. You must replicate the time used to execute an exacting shot. {Watch any TOP pro at the line:his shots take the same amount of time Every time} Not PRO"S. The TOP winning, best pro's.
    Third: Break your practice down into games IE: a game is 100 in 5 spot
    shooting 9 games. and finding at what point your concentration changes and work on changing that point in the next days practice. If there is a high in a game, learn to focus on making the rest of the game match the high and so on.
    This is just touching what it takes to win at the national indoor at the pro level. Its all a big circle when you really are into it, and something to remember is that its good to change things up once in a while by having a good coach watch you and talk about things like aiming focus while you are shooting.
    I cannot explain everything in one post except that, if you want to win every pro level indoor tourney, or any type of tourney for that matter the only way to do it is to practice {WELL} more than the shooter who one the last shoot.
    Yes: you were right. Most proís donít practice this much. Most proís arenít odds on favorites to win every time they step up to the line at a national event either.
    Good Luck!
    mtbowhunter

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbowhunter View Post
    ... I cannot explain everything in one post except that, if you want to win every pro level indoor tourney, or any type of tourney for that matter the only way to do it is to practice {WELL} more than the shooter who one the last shoot.
    I agree with you on the the things that have to be covered and learned. And you are right, that it would take something closer to a book than a forum post to describe it completely. However, IMHO, the way to beat the other guy is to practice smarter, not more. Muscle rest and recovery is as much a part of a top level athlete's training as practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbowhunter View Post
    Yes: you were right. Most proís donít practice this much. Most proís arenít odds on favorites to win every time they step up to the line at a national event either.
    Good Luck!
    mtbowhunter
    Actually the two pro archers that I was referring to are Jessie Broadwater and Dave Cousins. Either is definitely a favorite at any type of competition at any level. When Jessie missed three perfect rounds by a single arrow at the National Field Championship, it surprised me when he told me how little he had practiced in the preceding two weeks. I had actually practiced more every day of those two weeks than he had in total. That is probably an exception from an extremely talented archer, but I don't think that an 8 hour a day practice regimen is any less unusual.

    My disagreement is not with your explanation of what needs to be practiced nor with the need to practice a lot. I agree with everything you posted about that. My only disagreement is with the need to shoot for 50 + hours a week in order to achieve success.

    At the top level, the difference between archers is very small and the win most often goes to the one with the mental edge. 8 hours a day of practice will dull that edge.

    Allen

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