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Discussion Starter #1
My son has been shooting olympics style recurve for just under six months now.

Of course we have been working mainly on form and he actually does very well on a blank bale and with therabands.

However, when he moves back to shoot at targets, his form gets a little haywire. Aspects of the shot sequence get forgotten, and string plucks are frequent (and sometimes painful). I know this is common, but I would like to hear how others have worked out of it.

My question is where to go from here, how have others worked through this problem? Right now I would say we are 1/2 blank bale (including formaster), 1/2 target shooting. He probably shoots about 300 arrows/week. He just turned cadet this year and his personal best at 18m is 229.

Suggestion?

If you don't want to open forum post, please feel free to PM me.

FWIW, I am also a level II instructor (recent).
 

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Bob -

Real question might be exactly how "serious" is he?

That's actually not that uncommon. Has he written down his shot sequence? He really has to be able to do it by the numbers. Believe it or not, some people don't work well "by feel" and happily, with an Oly bow, you can to some extent do it pretty mechanically until the "feel" develops.

Finally and more importantly, what does he coach think?

Viper1 out.
 

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Viper has some good advice there. Writing down the shot sequence is a great learning experience and the more specific you can get him to be in the details, the more he'll ultimately get out of it. You'll want to revisit it from time to time as his form and understanding evolves to make changes, corrections, and additions.

Something else you can do is put him up close to the bail with both his bow and the theraband. Have him 'shoot' a couple of shots with the band, then one with the bow. Use the 'shots' with the theraband to keep the shot sequence always fresh in his mind. Gradually migrate the shots from the theraband to the bow so that as time progresses, he's shooting more with the bow and less with the band. Use it as a transition from warming up with the band into shooting with the bow. I think he may be having a hard time associating what he's doing with the band into what he needs to do with the bow. This exercise may help alleviate that.
 

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Sounds like early stages of target panic - a fear of missing.

I'd keep him at close distances on a huge target face (like 122 cm at 10 yards) so he feels he can't miss the gold, then gradually move him further back. If he shows signs of reverting, keep him close until he feels comfortable.

And continual positive reinforcement is necessary. Never criticise or point out a bad shot or a bad part of a shot - he knows what he's done wrong, and if he doesn't, he'll ask.
 

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also it can be a factor of the bow he is shooting, and the type of apeture. If he can do it at blankbale, i would suguest blankbaleing at distance, this can help alot.

Chris
 

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Definately blank baling with the bow and then when he tries moving to the target start really close. I'd start him at 10 to 15 feet on a big target. Let him get comfortable making good shots on a target, then move back gradually.
 

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When moving from blank bale to a target or moving from 30m to 70m I go from not aiming to aiming and relatively simple aiming to more difficult aiming. These differences change the timing of the shot and can and do cause my form to break down. I have noticed this repeatedly in my shooting. To counter I try to shoot the longest distance I feel comfortable with on a particular day when outside. When shooting inside I only have 14 yards so I shoot at the head of bright colored golf tees. That forces me to slow down and get comfortable with my sight picture.
How high above the gold I raise the bow on pre- draw also makes a timing difference which leads to fatigue as does the amount I draw the bow string back on pre-draw.
I have learned to conserve as much energy as possible during pre draw to keep bow shoulder down and sight as close to gold as possible.

My experience may or may not address your current situation but I hope it helps.
I get a lot of good information out of “The Simple Art of Winning” and reading it may also be of help.
 

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and the type of apeture
Bingo...

I'm going to take a guess here and say your son is aiming with a pin, or at the very least a very small aperture.

Is that correct?
 

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Bingo...

I'm going to take a guess here and say your son is aiming with a pin, or at the very least a very small aperture.

Is that correct?
big problem-I see it all the time. I get alot of the big apertures from Barry or the BIG beiters. The small ones with no inserts are OK too
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies.

A few asked the question of the coach's perspective;

Besides being my son's coach, our coach is also in the process of coaching myself. I plan to get my Community Coach status in September.

When addressing situation like this I do not get a direct answer until good communication takes place between us. I do a lot of research and reflect an awful lot :). He helps in guiding me to the answer for myself.

From what I can gather my son is a slave to two types of focus. One in which he focuses on form on a blank bale and does very well (this includes theraband training), and one where his focus is on the target instead of his form.

His problem is that he is not willing to take a "leap of faith" and trust and focus in his form and training when shooting at targets.

As his coach puts it, he should only have one master.

To add to the matter, he has been shooting traditional bare bows for the past seven years, where advise such as "focus on the target until you can see though it" was given. Not judging, but this is not the way when you are shooting target archery.

Many have given the advice to move the target up. And this is also the conclusion that the coach and I have agreed upon. His coach insists on "perfect practice", and this is just not happening when shooting at any kind of distance. We plan on using a large target and getting it so close that 10's can be achieved without any real focus on the target. We'll then start moving it back.

Some have asked about the aperture. He has been using one of Barry's 3/8" apertures for the past five months and still currently does (he has been shooting Olympic Recurve for 6 months). He does set it at full extension on the site though. Ideas?

Thanks again,
Bob
 

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Bob -

We're all reading between the lines a little here, so you have to bare with us.

The "leap of faith" thing is most likely the heart of the issue. Since he has been shooting "trad" for sometime, he might have to rethink what he's doing and how he's doing it. IMHO, Olympic shooting has to be more "technical" than "trad" and one of his coach's responsibilities is (was) to make that transition.

While both disciplines require a "feel" of the shot, with Oly stuff, he's going to have to be able to "do it by the numbers" before he can rely on "feel". Except for windage corrections, aiming isn't an issue with a sight. While we (none of us) should try to second guess his in-person coach, it really seems that he needs to get his shot sequence down and be able to repeat it while in front of a target just as he does at the bale.

Viper1 out.
 

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My son has been shooting olympics style recurve for just under six months now.

Of course we have been working mainly on form and he actually does very well on a blank bale and with therabands.

However, when he moves back to shoot at targets, his form gets a little haywire. Aspects of the shot sequence get forgotten, and string plucks are frequent (and sometimes painful). I know this is common, but I would like to hear how others have worked out of it.

My question is where to go from here, how have others worked through this problem? Right now I would say we are 1/2 blank bale (including formaster), 1/2 target shooting. He probably shoots about 300 arrows/week. He just turned cadet this year and his personal best at 18m is 229.

Suggestion?

If you don't want to open forum post, please feel free to PM me.

FWIW, I am also a level II instructor (recent).
When you do the blank bale work are you close up or doing it at 18M?

If the only blank bale work is close up, I'd suggest taking the target off and trying some blank bale at 18M.

You can stand at 18M and go through the draw sequence with eyes closed, opening them at full draw. It is interesting to see where the sight is when the eyes open (I like to have it just above the gold in the red/blue when I open)

Closing the eyes will allow him to focus on the feel of his body as he goes through the draw sequence.

Just a few random things I have used to get through the overaiming thing you have described with some people.

-Andrew
 

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Genesis 21:20
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Some have asked about the aperture. He has been using one of Barry's 3/8" apertures for the past five months and still currently does (he has been shooting Olympic Recurve for 6 months). He does set it at full extension on the site though. Ideas?
To me, this sounds like a pretty cut-and-dried overaiming issue. If an archer can shoot fine form on blank bale but not on a target, there is only one thing to blame - their aiming.

To solve this problem in the past, I built several very large apertures for students. One we dubbed the "Life Saver" because it was literally the size of a life saver candy, and it did exactly what it said. It saved at least one student from this problem of overaiming.

I still recall the night I put it on the first student's bow. I removed a 3/8" aperture with a pin in it, and installed the 3/4" "Life Saver". He (and his parents) swore up and down that he would never be able to hit the broad side of a barn with it. He was still a Cub at the time, and shooting the 60 cm. face indoors. It took about two sessions to get him to just shoot his normal 7-8 second shot sequence and STOP AIMING. The "life saver" was merely there as a reference to keep the arrows on the target.

Well guess what? within a few days, he was pounding gold with the oversized aperture. I wasn't surprised at all, but he and his parents sure were. From there, we worked on form and timing and he forgot about aiming. The lesson he learned about form OVER aiming was invaluable, and although we gradually (over the course of about 3 years) reduced the size of the aperture, he maintained his shot sequence and good balance between execution and aiming.

This is the simplest way I know to do this.

So IMO, the 3/8" aperture that Barry makes is TOO SMALL for your son at this point in his development. I specifically worked with Barry to develop a 1/2" aperture for this very reason. I would recommend you contact him and get one, and then get your son to commit to using it until his aiming issues have been resolved.

This is the best advice I can give you without actually being there. If an archer cannot commit 100% to the idea that execution takes priority over aiming, they will never reach their potential IMO. I've had plenty of students argue with me on this one, but in every case where they kept their small apertures and/or pins, their shot sequence was significantly impacted by that decision and their results during competition were predictably poor, declining precipitously toward the end of the event because they had been overaiming all along.

John.
 

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That lifesaver aperture sounds awesome John. I'll have to try it out on some of the club members. When they first see a sight, they make comments on the size and then overfocus on the aperature instead of form.

Some folks seem to do well with blankbale, but give them a target and there's a little bit of a regression....it's a trend some of the beginners here in SD experience the first few times. I agree with the idea of an extra large target, it helps boost confidence and when you walk people out to 70 meters they usually go "Oh, I shot that target as a beginner, I can hit that."
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks.

Thanks for the advice guys.We are most definetely going to try some the of the ideas given here.

John, I actually have one of Barry's 1/2" apertures that I will put on his bow (I was actually using it). I'll also get the extension in a bit. I also plan on talking to him about the committing to form at all distances and practice, I think that is a great way to put it along with some others.

Per Vipers advice: I also made up a shot sequence chart (well I borrowed it from the KSL site) and removed all of the text, but left the arrows. We are referring to it often. It's nice that some thought has to be put into it now. He already knows the sequence, but referring to the blank chart seems to be working well.

Besides that, we are planning to get him in close again and back out gradually.

Thanks again.
Bob
 
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