The issue regarding bad arrow flight in the last post was not completed addressed, so the discussion continued:
“Thanks so much and I loved your blog post. Glad we could help with the question. I looked at my bow and noticed that I did have a lot of scuff marks on my bow. I do have a bow square and I checked mine and some of the students and noticed that especially mine was less than 3/8” right now. I cut my indicator off and retied it as you suggested and I noticed I was getting more direct flight and more 10’s. Now, I will have to test more over the weekend because my serving string started to unwrap and so I need to get all that fixed. So, I will retie the nock indicator again and clean off those scuff marks as suggested.
I am also searching for answers as to why at 10 meters our students can hit consistently in the 9-10 rings but when they move back to 15 meters its like they are shooting from a mile away. The arrows just scatter everywhere. I really think right now it is in their heads.”
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To which I responded:
In your case, your nocking point position is tunable. The first level of tuning is usually through the bare shaft test. You want the bare shafts to hit just below and just to the left of fletched shaft groups. (The “below” part is adjusted with your nocking point location. (This presumes you are right-handed and using a bow sight. If you are shooting bare bow, there is less of an effect.
One of the ways to ease the transition from shooting at 10- to 15-meters is to up the target size (from 40cm to 60cm or 60cm to 80cm would be proportionate). Then when comfortable at 15m you can drop the target size and see what happens. Normal this scenario comes (IMHO) from the drop in performance caused by the extra distance resulting in “trying” which is not desirable, especially since the “trying” becomes: try this, try that, try … maybe this, etc. The need is for them to preserve their form when changes occur.
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As usual, one thing leads to another . . .
“In our competitions we are not allowed to use sights and we must use fingertip release. We have tried shooting bare shafts but I might not understand the concept. We shot three fletched arrows last night and two bare shafts and the bare shafts were all over the place. They would fly straight until about 2 meters from the target and then usually fly upwards and go in the target at the top at an angle.
The idea I assume is that if you have proper form you will be able to shoot bare shafts almost as well as fletched arrows?”
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And then I said . . .
Correct, but if the arrows are hitting so high, the nocking point must be very low (or there is some collision of the arrows with the bow (called a “clearance problem”).
Adept archers shoot bare shafts out to 70m and beyond. The fletches are only needed to correct for slightly mis-launched arrows.
When you shoot off the point (you are aiming off the point, no?) the position of the arrow is fairly constant (line of sight has arrow point and point-of-aim in it and your anchor fixes the back end of the arrow in space, under your aiming eye), so any change in nocking point location merely changes the position of the bow vis-à-vis the arrow. This compensates for a great deal of other things being somewhat “off” which doesn’t happen when a sight is used. (I know that NASP doesn’t allow sights, but you referred to “your bow” and you are not so limited.)
You can tune your arrow flight, that is make changes until the arrows fly well, but it is probably the case that the spine mismatch (arrow v. draw weight/length) is probably so severe you can’t get any kind of decent arrow flight with bare shafts.
Try raising your nocking point and trying again.
This is where “ordinary” archery and NASP run acropper of one another. The fixed bow and arrow combination cannot possibly work well for all and really is somewhat of a wonderment that it works for any. There is a major transition that all archers go through early in their archery practice and that is acquiring their own equipment. When this is done properly, the archer is “fitted” with the right-sized bow and arrows and then the equipment is tested and adjusted to be “just right.” I have attached a guide (just the text, actually) about “bow and arrow fitting” for you if you are interested.
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Since the Archery Coaches Guild is now up and running … and is now FREE(!) … many of you may want to go over there (www.archerycoachesguild.com) and sign up and Join the Conversation! We need people to post questions, favorite coaching tips, etc.