Want to Improve Your Archery
Game? Try These 5 Things. Want to Improve Your Archery Game? Try These 5 Things.

What’s one of the best things about archery? It’s an indoor and outdoor sport, which means year-round fun!

But whether you’re inside or outside, archery changes once you move your target back to 20 yards (or 18 meters, depending on the game you’re playing) and more. Whether you’re just starting or getting more serious about archery, consider these five things to improve your indoor game.

1. Arrow Up!

Do arrows matter indoors? Not as much as the attention you pay to each shot. Photo: World Archery

Do arrows matter indoors? Not as much as the attention you pay to each shot. Photo: World Archery

Should your arrows be different when you shoot from 20 yards, rather than 25 or 30 yards away? Maybe. Some archers think they benefit by shooting larger-diameter arrows indoors. That’s because fatter arrows “catch lines” on the target’s scoring rings more easily, which generates higher scores. But bigger isn’t always better. Arrows too big for your bow might not flex enough, meaning they’ll miss their mark more than they hit it. The solution? Work on your shot first, because bigger arrows are never a substitute for great technique. Then, work with an archery store to ensure you’re shooting the right arrows for your bow.

2. Not All Lights are Equal

Toja Cerne, an emerging superstar from Slovenia, had to shoot in challenging lighting to win a bronze medal at the recent Indoor World Cup in Nimes, France. Photo: World Archery

Toja Cerne, an emerging superstar from Slovenia, had to shoot in challenging lighting to win a bronze medal at the recent Indoor World Cup in Nimes, France. Photo: World Archery

You have lots of options for shooting indoors. You can practice at an archery store, hit your closest archery club, or try a league or tournament. Each option is fun, exciting and easy to try. Just know that lighting changes from place to place, and affects your ability to aim and execute your shots. Is that a bad thing? Heck no! It’s just another fun challenge. Some places have bright lights, which make it easy to see your target. Others might have dimmer lights. Either way, you’ll be able to perfect your indoor archery skills, so it’s all good!

3. Pick a Target, Any Target

Whatever archery target you choose, they're all challenging and fun! Pick the one that intrigues you most, and then focus on your technique. Photo: World Archery

Whatever archery target you choose, they’re all challenging and fun! Pick the one that intrigues you most, and then focus on your technique. Photo: World Archery

To some extent, the target you shoot is a personal choice. Do you like aiming at blue and white “spots”? Then try the target face for indoor field archery. If you love the Olympics’ multicolored target, there’s a 40-centimeter version for target-archery events. Both targets offer “single-spot” versions, in which you aim at the centermost ring on a single bull’s-eye. For a fun challenge, choose a “five-spot” target for the field-archery face, or a “three-spot” target for the multicolor face. No matter your choice, you’ll have a fun challenge trying to hit the center!

4. Aiming: Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Aim too little, and your arrows are all over the target. Aim too much...and they're still all over the target. Learn to balance keeping your muscles strong with aiming just enough to be accurate. Photo: World Archery

Aim too little, and your arrows are all over the target. Aim too much…and they’re still all over the target. Learn to balance keeping your muscles strong with aiming just enough to be accurate. Photo: World Archery

Once you pull back your bowstring, it’s time to aim, right? But how much should you aim? Some top archers and coaches say to aim as much as you’re able, while others say you shouldn’t aim until you’re at full draw and focused on maintaining tension in your back muscles. Our advice? Err on the side of caution: Look at your target before raising your bow, but once you start drawing don’t settle your sights on the target until you’re fully drawn. Then, limit your aiming to less than three seconds for a recurve bow, and five to six seconds for a compound. This prevents over-aiming, a bad habit that can hurt your shot.

5. Fantastic Follow Through

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Posted by Jake Kaminski on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Whether shooting in your backyard, basement or at an indoor tournament, one rule remains the same: Finish every shot like it matters. Because it does! Each arrow you shoot is an opportunity to train your muscles to make better shots; i.e., improve muscle memory. Focus this opportunity on creating a strong feeling in your back muscles, and maintaining that strong feeling through your release and the arrow’s impact on the target. Your eye should remain focused in the same place and not follow the arrow. By following through correctly, you’ll join successful golfers, baseball players, football players and other athletes who finish their movements all the way every time. Need proof? Check out the follow through on Olympic medalist Jake Kaminski, above – that’s what great follow through looks like.

Do you have indoor archery secrets that help you succeed? Let us know in the comments what works for you! Ready to try archery? Head to an archery store and get shooting today!

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