I ran across this interesting blog post today. After reading it, the question I put to you is “is shuffling your feet a good way to deal with competition tension/pressure?” What do you think?
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Want to hold your bow steadier? Shuffle your feet!
Posted by Bart Shortall on January 05, 2015
Do you remember practice sessions where you enjoyed small amounts of pin movement, and the thought crossed your mind, “why can’t I always hold this steady”? My significant event that led me to reevaluate my form/mechanics was a state indoor championship years ago. Practice sessions had resulted in high X count 300’s (NFAA), with a comfortable amount of movement in the X-ring. Soon as the tension built with the scoring and competition, my movement went from inside the X to barely inside the 5ring. Mentioning it to the guy next to me, he noted “shuffle your feet”!
Of course, my mind was set on nervous tension being the culprit, and watching this well intentioned gentleman miss half of his X’s while leaning back with a hard angle bow arm, I just dismissed his advice. It wasn’t until a few years later when I attempted another indoor event, where this trick came into play. My form and experience had improved in the time between events, but as soon as the nervous tension arrived, pin movement and frustration set in. Running thru the shot sequence in my head, I knew everything was in order, so the only thing left to do was “shuffle my feet”! The pin movement instantly was cut in half and the X’s became very easy and a 2nd place finish was my reward. Now was time to go to work and find out why this helped and how to incorporate it into my routine.
There are so many elements to aiming steady with a compound bow, with the draw length and correct body alignment being the top two in my opinion. What I found, was shuffling your feet improved your body alignment. Correct body alignment and draw length provides strength and ease of holding the bow at full draw. It cuts down on muscle tension, and makes aiming easy. When you’re aiming easy, duplication of shot execution makes your groups tight and consistent!
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Not only did I learn a vital element in archery that day, I learned a good lesson in life as well. We all can learn anything, at any time, from anyone. Have a great archery season!