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Can you ever be a good shot if you can't hold steady?

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I have a kinda dumb question but here goes......I have put 100's of hours over the past couple of years into archery technique, from pre-shot ,to aiming, then release. I have spent more money than I care to even think about on equipment. My question is...If you can't hold steady does any of that stuff really even matter. I guess I'm at a stage of aggravation w/ archery. I spend all this time year round practicing everything like I'm suppose to then bubba, that shoots for a month out of the year, breaks out his bow that has never had so much as wax put on the string, with his mis-matched Wal-mart arrows, and shoots just as good as I do. Now I'm not a terrible shot by any means and I'm confident at most hunting distances, but really no better than anybody else. When targets get past 30 yards my pin floats, which from what I have read is normal, but then (if Im shooting 40 yrds) the 30 and 50yrd pins float in and out of the target window and more times than not my release goes off somewhere on between the 3, which equals inconsistency. Can I be helped or am I doomed?? So if anyone has any opinions, or words of inspiration I'd really love to hear them.
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maybe try a true back tension release with LOTS of blank bale shooting. feels like your doing nothing, yet it is everything.
 

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I have a kinda dumb question but here goes......I have put 100's of hours over the past couple of years into archery technique, from pre-shot ,to aiming, then release. I have spent more money than I care to even think about on equipment. My question is...If you can't hold steady does any of that stuff really even matter. I guess I'm at a stage of aggravation w/ archery. I spend all this time year round practicing everything like I'm suppose to then bubba, that shoots for a month out of the year, breaks out his bow that has never had so much as wax put on the string, with his mis-matched Wal-mart arrows, and shoots just as good as I do. Now I'm not a terrible shot by any means and I'm confident at most hunting distances, but really no better than anybody else. When targets get past 30 yards my pin floats, which from what I have read is normal, but then (if Im shooting 40 yrds) the 30 and 50yrd pins float in and out of the target window and more times than not my release goes off somewhere on between the 3, which equals inconsistency. Can I be helped or am I doomed?? So if anyone has any opinions, or words of inspiration I'd really love to hear them.
its normal for the pin to move and it is normal the farther away the target is the more motion you will see. Now like at 50 yards get like big pizza cardboard plate hang it out there. If you cannot hold your sight on the pizza plate at 50 then your bow is not the right fit. when you get the draw length correct and get everything right magically it will steady up. then as you get it right eat smaller pizzas to shrink target. :)
 

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Don't try to fight the pin float.

Let the pin move naturally and if the shot doesn't feel right, let down and start over. You should consider a hinge or thumb release and use back tension. It would help you.

With this method you can concentrate on nothing but aiming and work on the size of the pin float.

You also mentioned that you have worked on technique. Post up some pics of your form. You might be doing something thats just out of the ordinary enough that can be fixed.

Also, try adding weight to you bow. The more weight the harder it is to move it around, front stab, side bars for a target (or hunting if they're small) and see what it feels like.

You may also want to look at getting a single pin adjustable sight. Then you can focus more on the one pin and where it is rather than a stack of pins. It sounds almost like you've psyched yourself out with the pin movement and are punching the trigger.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I understand about the releases....I have a back tension release and have put in many hours with it. My problem is plain and simple... even if I draw a 40lb bow not aiming at anything...my bow arm still moves:pukey:. Maybe I just need to buy a steady ready:). Not sure that would be legal at a 3-D shoot however.
 

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some movement is normal but floating out into la la land means something else. It could amount to your draw length being too long or just the way you are trying to execute your shot. Sometimes (well, maybe all the time) we over complicate things by trying to apply everything we read and hear.

Without seeing you with your bow I'd suggest playing with the DL. Try shorter. Usually too long of a DL will allow you to float alot. Too short usually makes you get shakey sight movement. Also play around with weights on the bow. Stabilizers and even side weight. Just don't over do it. Keep it simple, try to relax, and above all try to have fun.
 

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I understand about the releases....I have a back tension release and have put in many hours with it. My problem is plain and simple... even if I draw a 40lb bow not aiming at anything...my bow arm still moves:pukey:. Maybe I just need to buy a steady ready:). Not sure that would be legal at a 3-D shoot however.
Random thought here...... How neutral is your bow arm? Are you applying pressure to the target? If so, how much?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not real sure about how neutral my arm is. Can you expand on that a little?
As far as draw length I'm 100% certain its tright at 27.5. And again, I shoot good. Even at 30-40 yards I'm good...just not what I think I should be with this much time invested.
 

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Not real sure about how neutral my arm is. Can you expand on that a little?
As far as draw length I'm 100% certain its tright at 27.5. And again, I shoot good. Even at 30-40 yards I'm good...just not what I think I should be with this much time invested.
Practice doesn't make you perfect, perfect practice does:wink: I would look into finding a good coach to evaluate your shooting and give you pointers to get you going in the right directions.

Don't give up. You sound like you have the dedication to succeed, you just need a few pointers to get you over the hump :thumb:
 

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I am by no means a pro of any sort but had the same problem you are having. I thought my 28" was perfect but tried 27" and it was like night and day. Maybe just dropping the 1/2" might do it you can always go back.
 

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I am by no means a pro of any sort but had the same problem you are having. I thought my 28" was perfect but tried 27" and it was like night and day. Maybe just dropping the 1/2" might do it you can always go back.
This is sound advice. As little as 1/2" too long will make a very big difference.
 

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I have a kinda dumb question but here goes......I have put 100's of hours over the past couple of years into archery technique, from pre-shot ,to aiming, then release. I have spent more money than I care to even think about on equipment. My question is...If you can't hold steady does any of that stuff really even matter. I guess I'm at a stage of aggravation w/ archery. I spend all this time year round practicing everything like I'm suppose to then bubba, that shoots for a month out of the year, breaks out his bow that has never had so much as wax put on the string, with his mis-matched Wal-mart arrows, and shoots just as good as I do. Now I'm not a terrible shot by any means and I'm confident at most hunting distances, but really no better than anybody else. When targets get past 30 yards my pin floats, which from what I have read is normal, but then (if Im shooting 40 yrds) the 30 and 50yrd pins float in and out of the target window and more times than not my release goes off somewhere on between the 3, which equals inconsistency. Can I be helped or am I doomed?? So if anyone has any opinions, or words of inspiration I'd really love to hear them.
This is somthing I was told once and shortly after laid the sport down and never really put it to the test so take it for what its worth. I once was in a simlar situation as you as I could drive tacks 40 yards and in but even at that the farther out i went naturly my groups got looser. I shot a couple of hours a day with no improvement.And I also need to mention that I was young and had the need for speed but a desire to shoot with the best of them, this took place in the early 90s. I shot a couple of hours a day with no improvement. So I went to the closest thing i could find to a pro in my area and shot a day with him. At the end of the day this is what he said. You are shooting a bow that was designed for hunting and is not very forgiving and at close ranges [with in 40 yards] I had got good enough to overcome this very well but with any bow the longer the shot everything is magnafied in the same sense and way that a "speedbow" magnafies mistakes at any distance. To sum it up he claimed that I had reached the limits of what my current bow was capable of. Maybe this was right or maybe it was wrong but I didnt have the money to drop on a new "better" bow and this somewhat turned me off to the sport. There was no internet or cell phones or any of those type things around then so if you wanted a "target bow" which u didnt see everywhere either you had to pretty much pay retail for a new one at the shop which was not within my reach at that time. Im getting back in the sport now with a little more age and a little fatter wallet so im going to see if I can put this to the test but it will be quite a while before I get close to the level I was at back then.
 

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I have a kinda dumb question but here goes......I have put 100's of hours over the past couple of years into archery technique, from pre-shot ,to aiming, then release. I have spent more money than I care to even think about on equipment. My question is...If you can't hold steady does any of that stuff really even matter. I guess I'm at a stage of aggravation w/ archery. I spend all this time year round practicing everything like I'm suppose to then bubba, that shoots for a month out of the year, breaks out his bow that has never had so much as wax put on the string, with his mis-matched Wal-mart arrows, and shoots just as good as I do. Now I'm not a terrible shot by any means and I'm confident at most hunting distances, but really no better than anybody else. When targets get past 30 yards my pin floats, which from what I have read is normal, but then (if Im shooting 40 yrds) the 30 and 50yrd pins float in and out of the target window and more times than not my release goes off somewhere on between the 3, which equals inconsistency. Can I be helped or am I doomed?? So if anyone has any opinions, or words of inspiration I'd really love to hear them.
Sounds like there are a couple things going on.

First, you are watching your pin, instead of the target. What kind of target are you shooting at? Is it a 3D target? A paper target? Can you clearly see what you are aiming at?

Second, you need to work on some exercises to target your bow shoulder strength, and range of motion. Some of the motion you experience could be from fear of the shot breaking down. If you build up so that you can hold steady for 20 seconds, you will be golden.

Third, you are focused on the wrong things. You are worried about missing. So, if that is what your mind focuses on, guess what happens? Focus on holding, not on shooting, and definitely not on executing the release. If you draw and hold on your target, and the release never goes off, that is fine. You are reinforcing the positive mental image of holding.

Fourth, followthrough on your shot. Imagine you are pushing your pin into the target like a thumbtack.
 

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Second, you need to work on some exercises to target your bow shoulder strength, and range of motion. Some of the motion you experience could be from fear of the shot breaking down. If you build up so that you can hold steady for 20 seconds, you will be golden.
I was thinking the same thing about keeping the bow shoulder down. If my bow shoulder rises I notice more movement. It may not be you whole problem but it would be something to look at.
 

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Practice doesn't make you perfect, perfect practice does:wink: I would look into finding a good coach to evaluate your shooting and give you pointers to get you going in the right directions.

Don't give up. You sound like you have the dedication to succeed, you just need a few pointers to get you over the hump :thumb:
That would be my thought too - 15 perfectly practiced arrows will literally be more beneficial than 150 bad ones. Bad practice just reinforces bad habits. 15 shots you learned something from are better than 150 you didn't.

It's not just good enough to ask "how's my form" and get all that physical stuff down but you also have to learn how to focus correctly and practice correctly. A coach should address mental focus both while at full draw and having your practiced be focused towards making you a good shot.
 

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One method to evaluate your draw length is to observe how the pin is moving. If the pin is moving is small jerky motions your draw is too short. If the pin is moving in large slow movements the draw length is too long. The best you can hope for is small slow movements. Holding still is not normal.
 

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When you drive down the road....usually your are driving sub-consciously and thinking about 50 other things. Your mind takes of the task of "aiming" your car down the center of the road. You constantly make minor corrections to keep the car in the middle of the road.

Let me ask you a question. If you find yourself drifting off the side of the road.....can you get back to the center by holding the steering wheel still?

No.......your sub-conscious makes corrections by constantly moving the steering wheel.

MOVEMENT IS CORRECTION.

A small amount of pin movement means your sub-conscious is making corrections to put the pin in the center. Focus on the pin, put it in the center, then transfer your conscious mind to making a good release and let the sub-conscious do the aiming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the replies. And I guess the one question I have is ....If the pin "floating" is normal and your shooting at a deer target 50 yrds away isn't your pin going to be floating from the top to the bottom of target? I mean if you can't hold completely still at that distance whos to say your not going to hit the top or the bottom with any given shot? I guess to make my initial question alot shorter I just should have asked....Are there some people that will never be able to shoot good....no matter what...Or can everybody be good? For example: some people take 10 golf lessons a year and play 3-4 times a week and are still terrible....It's just not in their genetic make up to play golf....I assume that's possible for archery too? But I agree that I do need to find a coach to see if there is any hope:)
 

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When you drive down the road....usually your are driving sub-consciously and thinking about 50 other things. Your mind takes of the task of "aiming" your car down the center of the road. You constantly make minor corrections to keep the car in the middle of the road.

Let me ask you a question. If you find yourself drifting off the side of the road.....can you get back to the center by holding the steering wheel still?

No.......your sub-conscious makes corrections by constantly moving the steering wheel.

MOVEMENT IS CORRECTION.

A small amount of pin movement means your sub-conscious is making corrections to put the pin in the center. Focus on the pin, put it in the center, then transfer your conscious mind to making a good release and let the sub-conscious do the aiming.
That is the exact opposite of what Michael Braden, Larry Wise and anyone elses books/ videos I have seen. They say concentrate 100% on aimimg and let your subconcious do the rest
 
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