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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I have been lurking around in this forum for quite sometime now but I have read most of the interesting postings here since I joined last year.

I have been practicing almost daily in my garage (about 9 meters). I just wonder how many arrows do the 1200 and 1300 scorers shoot everyday or every week in order to attain that kind of proficiency?

Another question would be - how long should I be shooting before I can stop making changes to my style? I notice that every time I practice, I still discover something that I believe improves my shot feel, consistency, arrow groupings, stamina, posture, etc. such as the manner of release, manner of holding the string, bowhand position, head and shoulder position, feet position, etc..

There is an upcoming major tournament in this part of the world (Phil) next month and I feel I still have no permanent style to practice consistency with.

By the way, I am using 70" Hoyt Helix/42# 900CX cranked all the way down and an X10/550 arrow 29" from nock groove to SS pointend.
 

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Giancarlo Ferrari was used to say that even 10 arrows per session are enough, if they are all bull's eye! This means that it does not matter how many arrows to get consistency as long as you are shooting good. Of course, long sessions gives you muscle power and endurance, ensuring you'll be consistent even in bad conditions. But the idea should be, in my opinion, that quality arrows are much important than quantity arrows.

Having said that, I know a few italian 1300s that were used to shoot a fita round per day (even a double fita), so I guess this could be a good indication. I believe that you should shoot at least the number of arrows that your competitions require.

Another consideration is that you should not discover every day something new that can improve your form, this could mean that you are searching for a magic recipe that depends on a day basis (your health condition, for example) and cannot lead you to consistency. You should give yourself objectives (e.g., keeping the shoulder low) and work on it for a long period, in order to get a single point of the form consistent. Then you'll work on something else, and so on. Working on everything in your form could be endless.

This is my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Working on everything in your form could be endless.

This is my opinion.
Thanks for the insightful comments. With regards to your last sentence, I just wonder if those 1300 Archers are still trying/discovering something new on their forms or they are at the stage where they are just perfecting what they have been doing.
 

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There is no limit to the possibility of improvement in scores for everybody.. and shooting form is part of this area of improvement..
In Santo Domingo world cup, top men score has been 1348... still 31 points less than WR 1379 ... that is still 26 points less than women WR 1405, that is still 35 points far away from 1440 ...

Today, a 1300 shooter is just at average medium-low international level.
No way he/her can get to the podium anywere if they don't improve much over that level... and almost all of them are trying to do so...
The average expectation is that the target world championships can only be won by archers at >1350 level for men and >1360 for women... since already more than 10 years...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There is no limit to the possibility of improvement in scores for everybody.. and shooting form is part of this area of improvement..
In Santo Domingo world cup, top men score has been 1348... still 31 points less than WR 1379 ... that is still 26 points less than women WR 1405, that is still 35 points far away from 1440 ...

Today, a 1300 shooter is just at average medium-low international level.
No way he/her can get to the podium anywere if they don't improve much over that level... and almost all of them are trying to do so...
The average expectation is that the target world championships can only be won by archers at >1350 level for men and >1360 for women... since already more than 10 years...
Thanks Vittorio for that piece of information. I don't know if it will motivate me to know that there are still a lot more to improve on me since I am still far away from the scores you mentioned, or it will discourage me since with my present capability, it seems hardly possible to even go near those scores.

Do archer in the >1300 category practice for consistency or practice to improve further their forms. Is archery a continuous discovery for archer at all levels or is it finding that "seemingly" perfect form and be consistent with it?
 

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I, like yourself, have been curious about what the top OR shooters have done/are doing to achieve their level of proficiency and consistancy. I have
been shooting OR for a few years now and still have not found the shot
sequence that I feel is the path to high scores. I ,like most archers, do not
have a coach to guide me. I think that unless you posses a high degree of
natural ability, you will not achieve 1300+ scores withou a coach. Just my opinion.
 

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take what you think it will take, and double it, then you are starting to get close to the amount of work needed.

consistency is directly related to good form. The better your form, the easier it is to repeat it and hence you have better consistency. The two are directly related.
 

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How much to practice depends on where you are and where you want to get too. If your new to the sport then 3-6 hrs a week will give you slow but decent steady progress for awhile should get you up to 1000 maybe 1100 Fita scores in a year or two, thats by yourself with little outside help, provided you are able to give yourself a decent basic form and focus on it. To get to 1200 will require more time and effort per week 6-10hrs I'd guess, and ideally some coaching to help spot and improve form, I imagine another year or two doing that. 1200-1300 again another step up in time/effort and support.

A somewhat vague general guideline in many activities/sports/music is to get to a basic good international level, in an activity requires about 10,000 hours (10 years of 20hrs a week for example), of focused continuously improving practice. Archery is a smaller community so less time might be needed and previous sports/activities might reduce some of the time needed. But certainly 5,000+ hours would be a good place to aim for, and it needs to be in a small enough time frame, (at least 1000 hrs a year), and needs to be focused improving training, not just shooting arrows.

Really there is no correct answer, but the way I usually think about it, is:
10hrs a week will turn you into a talented amateur at something.
20hrs a week is minimum need to approach becoming professional.
40hrs a week to come a competitive professional (ie, top 20 finishes)
60-80hrs a week to have a chance of being a champion.
And all of that is focused training, not just playing/practicing the activity. Also intensity matters, doing 10hrs a week for 10 years does not equal 20hrs a week for 5 years.

Anyways that my rambling thoughts, might not be much use but hopefully it a useful perspective.
 

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Artvid -

Aryzel is pretty much spot on. One of the biggest "general" mistake I see new shooters do is try to copy what the "professionals" or elite shooters are doing or shooting (equipment wise), or worse what they think they are doing. If you're serious about your shooting start off with a couple of sessions a week, stopping when you "think" fatigue is setting in. (If you think is has, it probably already has...) Increase as your tolorance dictates. If you can find a coach who has a clue, he will tell you when to increase the frequency and/or duration.

Viper1 out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Really there is no correct answer, but the way I usually think about it, is:
10hrs a week will turn you into a talented amateur at something.
20hrs a week is minimum need to approach becoming professional.
40hrs a week to come a competitive professional (ie, top 20 finishes)
60-80hrs a week to have a chance of being a champion.
And all of that is focused training, not just playing/practicing the activity. Also intensity matters, doing 10hrs a week for 10 years does not equal 20hrs a week for 5 years.

Anyways that my rambling thoughts, might not be much use but hopefully it a useful perspective.
Aryzel,

Generally, I agree with the idea that more correct practice means better skill development. on the issue of practice, is it more measurable to use hour per session rather than arrows per session? Most of the top archer in our club would suggest certain number of arrows per day or week. Also, I can shoot more arrows in an hour in my garage than in our club range - much less when practicing outdoor.

Along this line also, will it be better to practice indoor than outdoor?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
take what you think it will take, and double it, then you are starting to get close to the amount of work needed.

consistency is directly related to good form. The better your form, the easier it is to repeat it and hence you have better consistency. The two are directly related.
I am just wondering whether you can acquire the good form outright with the help of a coach and then practice for consistency of that acquired form or, on the other hand, the good form is something that you have to continuously and consciously seek and develop. At what skills level (or is it score level) does a top archer stops experimenting for new forms and techniques and just focus on practicing for consistency?
 

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It's not the amount of arrows or time that is a factor. It the QUALITY of shots, time used wisely, and the amount of attention that is paid to both, that makes all the differences.

Consistency means just that...no changes.

A helpful tip might be to start a journal outlining what you want to accomplish, when, a concise shot cycle broken down into minutes steps (with breathing patterns included) what to work on each session, and the results or effects of the/any changes.

Begin at the blank bale, close your eyes, breathe, and start to 'feel' what is most right, then write it down(after each shot if necessary-I did) Reread before next session to confirm what you 'think' you should be doing.

Before long you will omit what doesn't 'need' modification, change what does (saves energy and time) and begin to get YOUR cycle consistent. Using THIS consistency, you will reach a plateau in scores. THEN go back and review the journal and begin again if needed.

My 2 cents....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's not the amount of arrows or time that is a factor. It the QUALITY of shots, time used wisely, and the amount of attention that is paid to both, that makes all the differences.

Consistency means just that...no changes.

A helpful tip might be to start a journal outlining what you want to accomplish, when, a concise shot cycle broken down into minutes steps (with breathing patterns included) what to work on each session, and the results or effects of the/any changes.

Begin at the blank bale, close your eyes, breathe, and start to 'feel' what is most right, then write it down(after each shot if necessary-I did) Reread before next session to confirm what you 'think' you should be doing.

Before long you will omit what doesn't 'need' modification, change what does (saves energy and time) and begin to get YOUR cycle consistent. Using THIS consistency, you will reach a plateau in scores. THEN go back and review the journal and begin again if needed.

My 2 cents....
Thanks for your input Bradd... I have more queries though...

Do you use the "feel right" technique in assessing whether you are doing the right thing or do you look at the result (arrow groupings) to know that you are doing the right thing?

My problem right now is that everything that "felt" right when I started is completely out of tune now because my body is telling me that there is a new technique that feels better every time I even master that acquired trick.

I can compare it to a gymnast where at the start, he can only do simple acrobat that his body allows him to do but before he even master a new technique, he feels he is ready to progress in to a more complex technique, and so forth and so on.... until his body loses the flexibility to learn new tricks anymore and will plateau.

Will it be similar to the archery? Do top archers continuously improve on their technique by developing new "feel right" as a result of better muscle response perhaps, until their score reach a plateau?
 

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Do you use the "feel right" technique in assessing whether you are doing the right thing or do you look at the result (arrow groupings) to know that you are doing the right thing?
How I did it may be different from most but it really helped me.

I started a journal, broke down my cycle into 4 main parts, detailed each motion, and worked on each part individually. I used the methods and techniques as close as possible to the B.E.S.T. system and other systems out there. I also only shot a series of 30 arrows max for each session, then wrote out what was happening and how it felt(max 120 a day in short sessions). I did this for about a week. Blank bale and even longer distances, bulls eyes don't matter when training as groups show more consistency.

At first, I didn't make any major changes, but focused on shooting one arrow at a time, and making sure I was breathing properly, relaxing adequately and doing each step of the cycle consciously, then checking that I had accomplished each part of the cycle before moving to the next...with full awareness, relaxation and breathing. Then after every shot, I mentally reviewed what I did right, what I missed and what to focus more on for the next arrow. At then end of each 30 arrow session I wrote everything I could about how I did, how it felt and what I needed to do next session.

After a week or so, things began to fall into place and I found that there were details that felt good and became automatic. I chose to stick with what felt best and then move to a 20 meter distance.

At 20 meters, I tried my best to stay as relaxed and as close as possible to my shot cycle and THEN paid more attention to the groupings. I knew that no matter where my groupings were, I could move them around using tuning and/or modifying my form slightly...I worked on consistency. However, as my cycle progressed to automation, and I became more confident, I found that my mind adapted to the center and so did the groups, while still retaining the good feelings.

I shot a tourney and didn't place as well as I thought so knew that I had to start doing VERY MINOR changes to begin to 'place' the arrow where I wanted it to go (Not consistent enough.)

I also know that it's all about finesse and as soon as we stop thinking about the bulls eyes, the sooner we begin to hit them.

So at 20 meters, and since most of my cycle was automated(ingrained), I could begin to fine-tune my form by; consistent hand placement, anchor(even 1/16th movement) will be 3-4" at the target, and most of all, becoming as relaxed as possible...not only to fight off the tourney jitters but also to make sure my release was as smooth as possible. Again, with any change, at first my mind-body felt uncomfortable but the groupings showed that I was on the right track so I kept at it until it became part of me...by then I only had to concentrate on doing that ONE thing right every time. That's training.

Practice is different. I practiced allowing my mind and body come together while still going step by step in my mind through the shot cycle...it has to be ingrained to consistency.

At tournament time I decided NO CHANGING and allowed my mind/body do what it was trained to do, still thinking about every part of the cycle in detail to fight off the jitters...it worked.

In short, (not bragging but making a point) I went from mediocre 346 on 600 in my first tourney, to 6th place with a 408 (could have shot 450+ I think) in the Canadian Nationals Indoor Championship(Masters Barebow-no sights) in only my 6th tournament since I was 14 - over 42 years ago. The training only took about 2 months of dedicated effort...it's easy! This year, after this summer's training, there is no reason why I won't be able to shoot over 470.

One BIG word of advice...learn who they are and listen to the guys that really know on here. Guys like Viper and Limbwalker have helped me in ways that I would never have imagined!

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How I did it may be different from most but it really helped me.


So at 20 meters, and since most of my cycle was automated(ingrained), I could begin to fine-tune my form by; consistent hand placement, anchor(even 1/16th movement) will be 3-4" at the target, and most of all, becoming as relaxed as possible...not only to fight off the tourney jitters but also to make sure my release was as smooth as possible. Again, with any change, at first my mind-body felt uncomfortable but the groupings showed that I was on the right track so I kept at it until it became part of me...by then I only had to concentrate on doing that ONE thing right every time. That's training.

Practice is different. I practiced allowing my mind and body come together while still going step by step in my mind through the shot cycle...it has to be ingrained to consistency.

Hope this helps!
Bradd7

I think you hit the nail in its head when you differentiated between training and practice and that's probably what escaped me. Now I understand that we train to develop our form and we practice to develop consistency of form.. Thanks for that insight..
 

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art...my 2 cents....1) get a good coach....2) practice on PERFECTING your form as per your coach.....this is a continuing process throughout your archery career!!....3) practicing from 9 meters is only going to be beneficial if you will be shooting at the short distances(indoor)....when you have to elevate your sight there are adjustments that have to be made when you are shooting at the longer distances-ie-bending from the waist instead of just raising your arm, etc....4) when i ONLY practice shooting from short distances due to lack of access to an adequate outdoor range i am always disoriented when i start shooting the longer distances.....remember that the tournament you are preparing for(which i also plan to enter) will be a full fita and our first distance i is 90 meters!!.......5) there are ways to simulate long distance shooting like using your 90m or 70m sight lines BUT shooting at a distance of not more than 5 meters or shooting from a depression so you are in effect shooting up (that is what i am doing now from my 25m outdoor range until i can find a longer range)........BUT nothing will beat actually shooting at 90m and 70m to prepare for a full fita event....6) call me soon and we will try to find an appropriate outdoor range together somehow at least a week before the nationals!!.......mari..
 

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How well you do and how quickly you get there depends on your natural abilities and your mental game. If you have natural tallent and good form to start with you will progress quickly. Couple that with the right attitude and mental game you'll be on top without having to shoot tens of thousands of arrows and coachs. So how long it takes you is totally up to you.
 

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Ok... so I have read this entire thread and I think the one thing that is missing from all the good information that has been provided is that you can shoot 3 hours a day, 7 days, a week and if you are "practicing" doing the wrong thing, you will just do the it better.

The key to all practice, regardless of the sport, is quality, not quantity. JMVARGAS hit the nail on the head when he advised you to get a good coach. A good coach will not only teach you what you should be doing, how to do it correctly, but also how to practice what you have been taught.

You said that you had been shooting at 9m almost every day. That is a good way to practice your form. All of the people that I coach must work with me on their form, and have it down firmly, before I will even work with them on their shot at distance. The approach is pretty common in that you perfect your form by building muscle memory so that the mechanics of the short are second nature to your body and mind. Only, and I mean only, after your form is rock solid, will you be able to focus on hitting your spot on the target.

Anyway.. hope I didn't sound too snotty with my comments above, that wasn't my intention, I just have a lot of passion about this topic because I think that if you don't get a good start in archery you aren't likely to stick with it and I want to see as many people shooting as possible.
 

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I would just like to comment on hours of practice that are being throw out here.
I remembered that Reo Wilde once said he practices around 2h a day, but constantly every day. Now, it seems to me that it doesn't matter whether it was compound or recurve, but rather to make every setup/release/shot count in those 2h.

Personally I train more than 14 hours a week (between 15 and 25, depending on my free time), but I think it's not the number of hours that count, it's more how you use them...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
art...my 2 cents....1) get a good coach....2) practice on PERFECTING your form as per your coach.....this is a continuing process throughout your archery career!!........6) call me soon and we will try to find an appropriate outdoor range together somehow at least a week before the nationals!!.......mari..
Mari,

Thanks for the technique you recommended for long distance. I will probably call you before the National tournament to practice 70m and 90m as it is hardly available here in my place.

On the issue of coach, it would have been a great help to have a good coach. However, as you well know, we don't have the luxury of good coaches in this part of the world with the caliber of the coaches here in this forum so we are forced to rely on the advices of great archers and coaches in this forum. plus the books and of course, with the aid of video-camera to know if we are doing it in accordance with what we hear and read.

I would venture to say that getting advice from a not so good coach may even be harmful to our development as it tends to limit our knowledge although getting advice from too many coaches and players (say in this forum or in books) is not good either as it confuses us with their different styles and techniques.

I do agree however that if we have available top caliber coaches here, I would be glad to take my lessons under him.

How well you do and how quickly you get there depends on your natural abilities and your mental game. If you have natural tallent and good form to start with you will progress quickly. Couple that with the right attitude and mental game you'll be on top without having to shoot tens of thousands of arrows and coachs. So how long it takes you is totally up to you. ..
ATXHunter,

I agree. I have seen this in many athlete and it is really a different matter for those with natural abilities like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, etc.. But I also see these great athletes to be training and practicing as hard, if not more than the others.



Ok... so I have read this entire thread and I think the one thing that is missing from all the good information that has been provided is that you can shoot 3 hours a day, 7 days, a week and if you are "practicing" doing the wrong thing, you will just do the it better.

The key to all practice, regardless of the sport, is quality, not quantity. JMVARGAS hit the nail on the head when he advised you to get a good coach. A good coach will not only teach you what you should be doing, how to do it correctly, but also how to practice what you have been taught.

... The approach is pretty common in that you perfect your form by building muscle memory so that the mechanics of the short are second nature to your body and mind. Only, and I mean only, after your form is rock solid, will you be able to focus on hitting your spot on the target.

''''because I think that if you don't get a good start in archery you aren't likely to stick with it and I want to see as many people shooting as possible. ..

So Cal Archery,

Yes, I almost forgot that... I agree that practicing long hours may even be harmful if we are practicing the "it" or the wrong form because once it is totally ingrained in our muscle memory, it is hard to change (reminiscent of my golf days).

Dado,

Indeed, quality is much better that quantity.. but shooting quality that are too few may not yield the kind of proficiency that we want to aspire. Will it be good to combine quality and quantity?

To all,

This is great... I am picking up too many lessons for free that will definitely help archers like me without access to good coaches...
 
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