“Do you think 1000 shots are enough to get the muscle memory for that good back tension release feel or is it more important on a certain number of days doing it? I’ve read one month, three months. I remember my martial arts instructor (early 80’s) telling me if you do a move 3000 times, it’s with you for life. Don’t know how that relates to archery shots.”
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The usual estimates are only estimates but it is more than 1000 shots. There are two phases, I believe, Lanny Bassham refers to the first as “Building the Base.” This is the phase requiring many thousands of shots. After that “Maintenance” requires fewer shots but you never get to “no practice necessary” because of the design of our brain software, manifested in the phrase “use it or lose it.”
Dave Pelz, the Master Golf Instructor, estimated that it takes 10,000 repetitions to learn a move and 20,000 to “own it.” With regard to your TP, what you are striving to do is get to “normal shooting” so that your practice is “normal” and not focused on TP. I know of no test one can do to see if one is “healed” from the TP malady, in fact I don’t think a “cure” is available yet. It seems to be something you live with.
You have to make the transition (from blank bale to “normal” shooting) along the lines of what you are doing and then see if you can handle normal shooting. (I recommend warm up shooting to start blank bale regardless—focus on the feel of shots to reconnect your thoughts to your actions.) If you have a relapse, then it is back to the blank bale, then the transition program, then trying “normal” shooting again.
This is why so many people fail to effect this process: the want to “rush” the whole thing to get back to normal. This is like someone taking antibiotics saying “the doctor said I need to take these pills for ten days, but I think I can do fine with just five.” Rushing such a regimen dooms you to failure. The unfortunate thing is we do not have a test to see if what you have done is “good enough.”
Interestingly, I knew a young lady who closed her eyes just before she released (This was mentioned elsewhere in this letter. SR). She shot better than I did keeping my eyes open. And I am not sure this is not a valid way to deal with a TP recurrence on the fly. If you get a touch of TP during a competition, you might want to try closing your eyes just before you shoot (as he described) and see if it “goes away.” TP is an anxiety disorder and this may be an effective way to deal with it short term. Of course, you have to be able to do it, and it seems you have established that. The key to success doing it is to be setup so that you are not fighting your body. Tom Dorigatti wrote a nice article in Archery Focus magazine on shooting with your eyes closed and adjusting your stance until, in the case of some of his students, they were shooting perfect 25 point ends on the NFAA indoor five-spot target.