Making Changes: How Do I Know I am Good to Go?

QandA logoDear Coach Ruis,

I’ve mastered a new anchor point where I am now “in line.” However, I still have a slight tilt to my head (and you said tilting my head was a “no-no”). Is it necessary to eliminate this one problem? I’ve seen people with horrendous form at tournaments, but they still end up winning. Additionally, I turned the center of the target to pulp today, as well as outscoring the three compound shooters I was shooting with.


It all depends on what you mean by a slight tilt. You do not have to do it “right,” meaning exactly as prescribed in the textbooks, but you do have to watch out for is something that you adopt that you can pull off based on you being a good athlete, because that will vary a lot day by day. We want to structure a good shot though body positions that support good shots and that require little athleticism for that reason. This makes our shots more repeatable.

So, is your particular adaption of head position “in” or “out?” To test it you need to shoot for several sessions (or many) to see if you are being consistent compared to how consistent you were before (hopefully you are more consistent). Do your group sizes/scores/whatever change dramatically between “good days” and “bad days?” If so, that is not acceptable. Are the variations day-to-day small and acceptable? If so, you are good to go.

“Are the variations day-to-day small and acceptable? If so, you are good to go.”

And you are right to conclude that “good form” does not equate to “success.” Many archers with poor form win and others with good form lose. Having good form has one major benefit: it takes less effort to learn. Anything you do suboptimally requires you to practice more to make it consistent. Most archers have quirks of form that are suboptimal, but they are generally small and only required a small amount of training to make them regular. At the same time, you will notice, as would an observer ignorant of archery, that all archers look alike. They stand, they nock, they draw, they loose, they follow through, etc. All archers are more or less close to the same form as what is taught/learned is believed to be optimal.


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