Archery is a personalized sport, with each archer choosing the discipline that best suits their tastes and needs. In addition, archery equipment must be customized to fit each archer’s unique physical traits, and then personalized to match their individual styles.
Much like your equipment and favorite discipline, your shooting form reflects you. Although archery has its “textbook form,” not all archers have that look because few are built exactly alike.
At the 2020 ATA Trade Show we discussed “finding your shot” with coach George Ryals IV of the Archery Learning Center. You’ll hear his advice in the above video.
Watch Mike Schlosser shoot in this World Archery video.
Many Olympic and world champions lacked textbook form, but they all developed their own consistent shot. As Ryals discussed in the video, world champion and world-record holder Mike Schlosser doesn’t look like he has proper alignment. But look again from another angle, and you’ll see his solid alignment. That’s an important point. Top archers seldom look alike, but they all do similar things correctly like achieving a strong holding position, and a consistent release.
Some archers also modify their form to compensate for an injury. In the above World Archery video, Olympic silver medalist Jean-Charles Valladont explains how a shoulder injury forces him to raise his bow arm higher than normal while drawing at a low angle. That unique draw lets Valladont set his shoulder low for a solid bone-on-bone connection. All archers strive for a low shoulder position, but Valladont’s technique for setting it low makes his shot unique.
What does all that mean for you? Archery is for everyone. No matter your physique, injuries or disabilities, you can develop a shot that works. Your best bet for finding your shot is through a coach. Coaches know archery’s biomechanics, and use those insights to help students build a consistent form that keeps them injury-free.
To find an archery coach nearby, click here.