The Power and Value of Written Records

Okay, quickly now:
1.  How long is your bowstring?
2.  What string material is it made from?
3.  How many strands does it have?
4. What thread is used for the end servings (and the size)?
5. How long are the end servings?
6.  How big are the end loops?
7.  What thread was used for the center serving (and the size)?
8.  How long is the center serving?
9.  Where is the center serving placed?
10.  Where are your nock locators placed?
11.  How many twists are in your string?

These questions need to be answered to create another bowstring for your bow. In addition there are color choices involved.

Now, were you to have a catastrophic failure of your bowstring (accidentally severing it on a sharp edge you didn’t see, for example), these are the questions you would need to answer to create a replacement. Of course, you would be well prepared and have a second shot-in bowstring with you as a back up. You do, don’t you? This is one of those lessons you don’t want to learn the hard way, but many archers do. They have to withdraw from a tournament because of an equipment failure they were not prepared to correct.

My point here is that having a written record of the details of your archery equipment in a journal you have with you is a wonderful way to store away these details for when you need them. I recommend a larger notebook in your bow case, a smaller one in your quiver.

You could keep all of those measurements and specifications in your memory, but is there any advantage in doing that? I suggest that not only is there no advantage, it can actually be a disadvantage. (Imagine that you shoot multiple bows, multiple styles, etc. Are you going to keep those details in mind and not get them mixed up?)

So, coaches, teaching the keeping of an archery notebook is an archery skill worth teaching to your serious competitive archers. It involves, of course, keeping up the notebook so that all of the information in it is accessible and current.


Filed under For All Coaches

6 responses to “The Power and Value of Written Records

  1. Hi Steve Every one I teach starts off with a phone taking pictures. The problem with that is .. Take your site as an example here, you take a picture ..then tweak it .. Again .. 18m done. Our doors a week later …30 m .. Tweak .. 40 m .. Tweak .. Then you get home and find your phone hasn’t saved them all. great a week later and you shoot 70m adjusting your site a few times then to 50 m and take a few pictures of your site. A week later it’s raining so you shoot indoors at 18m ..Now here was that site Mark .. You only have maybe 30 pictures to search through cos you forgot to label each picture.
    This has happened so more of the people I teach get a n equipment sheet that has all their bow details on. On the back of that is a site Mark box, all in a neat folder with their goal setting and form diagnostics.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Re “This has happened so more of the people I teach get a n equipment sheet that has all their bow details on.” As do I except the sight marks bit. I think I will add that to my sheet.

      On Tue, Jun 8, 2021 at 1:36 PM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:



  2. Steve – I totally agree. However I rarely encounter archers who know what material they are shooting let alone the stand count or length of their serving. As a string builder I have all those stats and keep a database of every string I have ever made so I can get those details for the archer who does not remember what I made them last.

    So I have a question back to you. Is that energy better spent keeping a journal of shooting performance and shot details rather than string stats???


    • Both. How hard is it to copy a few things off of the packet the string came in (string material, number of strands, etc.) then to measure the length of the loops, center serving and how far from the top loop the top of the center serving is? I have a form I provide that has places to list everything about bows and arrows on it and it only takes minutes to fill out and then nothing needs to be remembered.
      I have had students who wanted to order new arrows, happy with the ones they had and didn’t know the point weights, cut lengths, brand of vanes, etc. Some of this can be measured off of an old arrow, but silk screened labels do wear off. (Consider batch numbers for carbon and carbon-aluminum arrows).

      The lesson is worth teaching even if the student doesn’t do it or do it well. When a problem is encountered that involves data he doesn’t have, he will remember the lesson and do better in the future. And, I was addressing serious competitive archers and important lessons have to be repeated a number of times before they sink in.


      • Damon Ayer

        Steve it should be noted that a good string maker, like Julie Bergen above, will record and keep all that data on previous strings to assist the archer in their continuity


      • As do I. I have the specs on every string I have ever made. But what if the archer moves out of state? Or can’t recall who made this string (of all of the strings he possesses)? Or …

        On Sat, Jun 12, 2021 at 4:51 PM A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:



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