How to cure freezing on the target.
By George Ryals
Basically you learned to shoot your release only when the dot was just in the middle or passing through it. Your subconscious knows when your eye sees the dot in the middle it will trigger the shot. So... it moves the dot just far enough out of the spot until it is comfortable that your eye will not trigger the shot.
How do you get rid of it?
You have to reprogram yourself to use your release differently. You have to disconnect your eye from shot execution. I have been exactly where you are before and I cured it by shooting close range.
First you have to go back to the beginning and lay a good foundation. I like to use a piece of string that is tied in a loop that feels like my draw length when I hook my release to it.
I get used to the feel of the release when shot against the string. I re-train myself to use dynamic tension between me and the bow to trigger the release.
After I practice that, and get it ingrained into my routine, I get the bow and shoot it on a blank bale for a while and transfer that feeling to the bow that I mastered with the string. Next I put up a target and stand very close to it and practice aiming at the middle without shooting. This will get you used to seeing a new sight picture. Then I begin shooting at the target at close range (5 yards) I continue that feel until I can shoot perfect, well aimed shots every time. Once you master that, move back to ten yards and introduce a little unsteadiness into the picture. It will take you a while to get used to that. And then proceed back farther. Until you slowly work your way back to 20 yards.
Another thing that I feel is important is keeping score and doing everything you normally do when shooting a tournament. You are teaching yourself new habits and you are letting your eye slowly get used to just being a camera instead of the commander of the shot. This will build confidence and control over your game if you stick to it.
I have written many posts about what I call the “10 yard exercise” do a search for that and you can read more detail on the subject.
I have taught this method to many archerytalkers over the last couple of years and they have had great success using the method to clean up their game.