I can’t help myself. Whenever I run across an archery instructional video available on the internet I tend to take a peek. Often I cannot get more than a few seconds into the video before pulling the rip cord and getting out of there because I know continuing to watch will just upset me.
I ran across a video the other day that was pumped with the tag line The BEST “Trick” to Improve Your Consistency! The topic? Knowing your shot sequence! The video’s author goes on to describe his shot sequence, doesn’t go into how to use it, just claims “having it” has made his shooting much more consistent. Clearly he implies that he has spent time trying to improve the form elements on his list, but he doesn’t just up and say that.
And, a shot sequence is not a trick, nor is it a tip, nor it is a secret. It is a foundational element of consistent archery performance.
Basically, I find that any offer of “tips,” “tricks,” or “secrets” to be an attempt to sell a pig in a poke. (Same is true for golf: I have yet to have a golf video tell me a “golf secret” which was something that wasn’t already in wide circulation.) Granted I think that the “authors” of these archery instructional videos believe what they are saying, but that is just another way to say that they are at best marginally clueless, usually just mimicking other things they see. And I am not saying this to slam the producers of the videos. I basically think they are good hearted people, trying to be helpful … this is just a warning to those who partake of these mini-instructional programs: caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.
PS I recently found out where the phrase “pig in a poke” came from. Farmers wanting to sell recently born piglets at market didn’t have cages to transport them in so they would catch them and put them in a sack (a poque). The “pig” would often be sold sight unseen because of the danger of the piglet getting out when the sack was opened which led to some unscrupulous sorts selling cats or other undesirable or excess animals in bags as pigs, so buying a “pig in a poke” came to mean to expose oneself to a scam. It also explains where the term “letting the cat out of the bag” came from. Or maybe the guy telling this story made it all up … sounds good, though.
PPS The term “ass” was invented as a less offensive version of the work “arse” and vice-versa. Both have swapped places a couple of times now.