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What is the proper procedure/protocol for blank bale training? I am contemplating on trying this. What is the proverbial 'right way'?

I obviously have some release issues (i.e., plucking).... any help is appreciated.
 

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Blank Bale

The concept on blank bale is to take aiming out of the equation of the shot and focus your concentration on your mechanics of the shot. Here is a procedure that I used with very good success.

Step 1:
You want to get close to a fairly large back stop. Close your eyes and shoot the arrow. You just want to be pointing at the backstop. Focus your thoughts on how the shot feels. Are you tense in your arms? are you pulling your hand away from you face? are you relaxed in your bow arm?

In focussing on the mechanics, without you consious mind focussed on aiming, you can begin to anaylyse and improve each component of the shot sequence. How does a perfect shot feel? Muscle memory of the shot is the improvement you get.
28 days, this will take discipline and will pay off in the end.

Step 2:
You can open your eyes and shoot with NO TARGET on the backstop. You are only shooting a few arrows and we want to avoid any overaiming/overtrying. Shoot three arrow groups at a distance you are comfortable at.
As long as needed

Step 3:
Live fire. Shoot at the target you intend to shoot at in competition or a 3-D of the critter you are hunting. Focuss ONLY on aiming! The mechanics are programmed through blank bale, when we apply this to live fire only aim! Your consious mind can only focus on one thing at a time. When it comes down to hitting stuff, you are only thinking about that spot you want to hit, not how you do it. You have to do the training (blank bale, group shooting) on how to do it, before you get in the situation of performance.

If you have problems you can return to the previous steps to retrain. There are very good professional archers who have had at one point or another shooting a bow, go back to shooting with there eyes closed and blank bale, sometimes for more than 2 months to get the "shot" back.

With hope for positive change,

Jeff
 

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mt -

We discussed this earlier, but I think it's worth repeat on the forum:


I generally don't recommend blank bale shooting for "new" people, unless done under the supervision of a coach or instructor. For new shooters, what "feels" right, my not "be" right. (A prime example is over extending the draw and turning the head away from the target.)

A better exercise is called "watch the arrow". It's identical to blank bale work, but you focus on the tip of the arrow and watch it as it leaves the bow (you do NOT follow it down range, but remain focused on the face of the riser). The difference is that the latter gives immediate feedback as to what's really happening, whereas blank baling doesn't.

The exercise needs to be done during every shooting session for a few ends at the beginning and/or at the end, or any time thing don't "feel right".

Viper1 out.
 

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Blank bale sounds like an exercise in how to shoot instinctively.

Vipers method sound like an exercise to tattoo gapping permanently into the brain.

I wouldn't recommend either.
 

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I feel both these (blank bale and watch the arrow) are good, sound training methods that help a lot of shooters. Blank, or blind bale, helped me greatly in the past with target panic and flinching. Don't mean to hi-jack the thread but, GREAT BOOK Viper! Keep up all the great advice that you give us. Eric :set1_draught2:
 

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Blank bale sounds like an exercise in how to shoot instinctively.

Vipers method sound like an exercise to tattoo gapping permanently into the brain.

I wouldn't recommend either.
wrong on both. its done from just few feet 5 or or so. no aiming involved nor do you care where it hits. Its all about learning FORM
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks

Gentlemen,

Thanks for the feedback...
 

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Former U.S. National Champion, World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Darrell Pace was said to have spent 85% of his practice time on blank bales. It must have some value.
 

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How's that proverb go? "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Today's "blank bale" method of training is simply a revival of yesterday's common method used to train new shooters, or for skilled shooters to maintain a flight check on their form.

When I became a serious shooter, I did so under a certified coach. He had us new shooters snapping in, eyes closed, on blank backstops for a several sessions before we were allowed to shoot at an actual target face.

I can still hear him walking up and down behind the line telling us to visualize and feel our form..."See it...see it, feel it.. feel it.."

RIP, WJ.
 

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Viper is very correct about what feels right isn't always correct form and think applies to experienced Archers as well.

What I do is video myself at the Bale to check the feeling of shooting also matches the Video footage that form is correct, also when things dont feel right it's much easier to identify the problem if you dont have a coach\mentor to help you out.


I have a camera that shoots 1000fps video which also helps spot form flaws, you can use Kinovea free software to watch playback frame by frame and put track points on key places like elbow etc.

http://www.kinovea.org/en/?page_id=3
 

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Jack -

What's constantly being over looked is that people like Pace and most serious shooters A. Had a coach and B. actually knew how to shoot.

Such is not the case in the traditional world. Blank bale shooting for a new shooter may do nothing more than re-enforce mistakes, simply because they are guessing at what "feels" right.

With a coach / instructor there is, or should be, appropriate feedback as to what happening. He is seeing what the shooter can't and is correcting as necessary. Without that supervision the value of blank bale shooting become hit or miss. Most trad guys don't have a coach.

The simple act of seeing HOW the arrow leaves the bow provides that feedback.

It shows the shooter< in no uncertain terms:

Is the bowarm steady?
How does the bowarm react on release?
Was the bow torqued.
Did the arrow creep before release?
Did the arrow leave the bow cleanly?
etc, etc?

Sure a seasoned archer can "feel" these things, but for a new shooter, most happen so fast that they'll never know it (or "feel" it) without "looking" for it.

Since watching the arrow has the same benefits as pure blank bale shooting, I don't bother teaching the latter to new shooters any more.

Viper1 out.
 

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Steve -

Guess we posted at the same time!

The video taping is a great and incredibly eye-opening tool for a lot of people. Sometimes video taping blank baling and real shooting can be even more of an eye opener. Again, the shooter has to know what it supposed to look like.

BTW - Congrats again on the new little archer in the family :D

Viper1 out.
 

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Steve -

Guess we posted at the same time!

The video taping is a great and incredibly eye-opening tool for a lot of people. Sometimes video taping blank baling and real shooting can be even more of an eye opener. Again, the shooter has to know what it supposed to look like.

BTW - Congrats again on the new little archer in the family :D

Viper1 out.
It's not always easy to match the two as in IFAA Field you're not supposed to use a camera on the course, I would love to take some footage of me shooting in a world champs to see how my form is holding up under real pressure situation. :pukey:

Thanks for the congrats, new arrival came home today and big (15 month) brother freaked out when baby started crying in middle of night, hence me being awake at 3:30am and typing this lol
 

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The problem some people overlook is that not everyone has an opportunity or the funds to have a good coach teach them. Many of us had to learn on our own through trial and error, other buddies, someone at the local range, videos, books or the internet.

The most important aspect of shooting is CONSISTANTCY that affects accuracy positively.

As long as an archer has CONSISTANT form...even though it may not be FITA perfect by some peoples standards...CONSISTANTCY is the key...and the BLANK BALE is a great place to perfect your form to the point it becomes instinctive and CONSISTANT.

IMO...BLANK BALE practice is far better than an archer just flinging arrows at a target, which is how the average trad shooter basically learns to shoot a bow.

Best case scenario...is to get a qualified coach or mentor that truly knows what they are doing to help you work on aspects of your form that will promote CONSISTANTCY that influences accuracy positively.

Develop a strong foundation with your form no matter what it exactly looks like and accuracy will soon follow. Become a machine...and also understand that there are techniques that help attain and maintain CONSISTANTCY easier than others.

Find what works best for you and your specific goals.

Ray :shade:
 

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Steve -

Well at least you know some of the drill from the 15 month old ... :darkbeer: Someday you'll look back on this and ... well ... shutter ... :D

Even just video taping blank bale shooting and aiming at a target (sans competition) might be telling. When I know (feel) I'm doing something wrong on the practice line, the instant I move to the bales for the watch the arrow exercise, form becomes textbook. Yes, it's a mental thing - and a big one for a lot of us to overcome.

Viper1 out.
 

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Viper, I agree completely. I was really responding to the earlier poster who said he didn't recommend blank bale work.
 

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Jack -

Gotcha buddy! Gave me a chance to go into a little more detail ... :D

Viper1 out
 

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For my money, on this issue I would go with Rick McKinney and Darrell Pace. Their credentials are substantial, well-proven and documented, and they are certified.
 
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