View Full Version : Practice ain't enough

Sonny Thomas
06-26-2013, 09:32 PM
Seems if you're on ArcheryTalk everybody and their brother is shooting 100 shots per day and as much as 4000 per month. I shall refrain from posting what I think (profanity not allowed), but give; Shooting this much and only hunting? Shooting this much and not doing well in competition? 4000 shots in one month, 48000 shots per year and how many sets of strings in one year.

If you got your form and shot game down pat then judging yardage is paramount, but just as paramount is studying the 3D target and then placing your arrow. I do not shoot 100s of arrows. I mean, I do over a year's time, but my shooting is directed to good form and putting my arrow where it needs to be. I got it figured this way; 25 good all around shots in one session is better than flinging 100 arrows in one day. And I might put in 2 or 3 sessions in one day. And just like at a competitive event, I don't burn myself out on the practice range. I might shoot a couple of arrows to make sure everything is like it's supposed to be, but that's all. And I don't change my sight settings for any club practice range. For me, ratchet jawing with those practicing is more to my liking.

Note; I've added it enough times. I shoot something of 15,000 or more shots per year.

I think I touched on placing the arrow before either here or somewhere else. Now, placing the arrow for 3D can be a solid 10 or that bonus 12 ring.
Shooting bull's eyes is nice, but kinda boring...depending on how far you're shooting. But for 3D my Super Senior class has a max 40 yards. And that 12 ring is pretty dang small, 1 1/2", and then add distance. Of course making things more challenging is not being able to see that dang 12 ring from farther back. Entry studying the target. Find the 10 ring, find the 12. For IBO and NFAA finding the 12 ring is pretty easy as it's dead center of the 10 ring. Center the 10 ring and either a IBO 11 or a NFAA 12. For ASA that dang 12 ring is low, like on the left side of the 3D target, 5:00 or 5:30 just inside the 10 ring and on the right side of the 3D target it's low at almost 6:00 on some targets and maybe almost 7:00 on others. Lord! So many times I thought I had that 12 drilled and didn't.

So today, I knew where those dang 12 rings were hiding. I tried drilling that 12 from as far back as 40 yards and some of my "stumps" are shot out and I went for the 14 ring (allowed only for Shoot Offs). Two things; One, I know my bow is pin point accurate. Two, there was no guessing yardage. So 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 yards. My major problem was having my pin where it needed to be and this "seeing" how my pin should look on the target. I didn't shoot a bunch at each distance, but shot until that dang 12 was dead meat (not all the time, but if not dead meat, then scared near to death). From 40 yards I was quite amazed. I ran off something like 50% hits. The 50% that didn't hit came super close or fell low, but well in line with 12s and 14s. The low shots was nothing more than me looking instead seeing the sight picture needed. Old habit maybe because for years I stacked my pin and wanted point of impact. And this was what I was trying to find out, why when in competition and going for the 12 I shoot low. Like the Pekin ASA Qualifier. I shot low so many times and just missing and missing low enough I ran a string of 8s. Twice I know of I just caught the edge of the 10 ring below the 12 ring.
Making things a little more perturbing was after we shot we discussed the yardage and we were either in agreement or maybe a yard or so off. This meaning I was just shooting low, looking instead of seeing the sight picture for the target.

So I just need to get my "ducks lined up" and maybe things will improve.

I wish I had taken some pictures, but just shooting was about all I could handle as the heat and humidity was a bit much.

Sonny Thomas
06-28-2013, 03:22 PM
Nicer out so I shot some and took some pics.

First pic; Using pointers. The blades of grass points the way. From 25 yards, just settled the pin in the "V" and let go.

Second pic; My first two shots from 25 yards.

Third pic; Upper right hand corner is the first shot for this "stump" and from 30 yards. #2 thru 6 and all from 35 yards. I didn't mind #2 and 4, but you should have heard me for #3 and 5...Well, maybe you shouldn't have heard me.... #6 was the hardest of all to shoot. Let down twice because I could get what I wanted for a sight picture. Gave my bow arm a few seconds and then drew. All set in my head was to follow-through no matter. The shot felt good, real good, but I couldn't see my arrow to save my life. So on to the target and there it was.

Sight picture defined; Pin centered to the peep is part of the picture. The wanted point of impact is another part of the picture (only way to describe it). I then blend both together to form the wanted sight picture. All together I just easy into a back tension/draw to trigger the release. I follow through the arrow normally follows through.

As I noted in the initial post, my bows are pin point accurate. Arrow doesn't go where it should, then it's me, not my bow.
Of the third pic you can see #2 thru 6 are virtually straight up and down from each other. As such, if #2 and 4 were lower they'd be in the 12 ring. If #3 and 5 were higher they'd be in the 12 ring.

Sonny Thomas
06-28-2013, 03:36 PM
Still just playing, using my Shadowcat, I did a couple of stack the pin to wanted point of impact. This is still seeing a sight picture, but a point of reference, the wanted point of impact.

Sonny Thomas
07-04-2013, 01:15 PM
I've rattled off of more than a few times, placing your arrow and I've noted to use "pointers," whether something in the target lane (blade of grass, branch, weed), blemish on the target or a person's arrow.

Good as you can be isn't always as good as you need to be. In 3D there is rotation and you should adhere to it. Being the "nice guy" can rob you. In the 2011 ASA State Championship I played the "nice guy" and shot first throughout the whole 30 targets. What it was, we shot in a down pour and I was teamed with two Traditional shooters. Okay, it's raining, Super Senior, I shoot from 40 yards and they being Traditionals shot from 20 yards. What's easier on the whole? Me shooting first and no walking back and forth in following rotation. Like if it wasn't raining it was raining harder and at times so dark it as impossible to find the scoring zones on targets. A arrow in the target for guidance would have been wonderful. Playing the "nice guy" almost cost me. I got lucky and placed 3rd.

Of rotation you can visualize where the arrow needs to go, but a "pointer arrow" can give that little extra you may need.

Old pic of placing arrows (clock configuration) and I can't remember the distance shot, but for sure 20 yards or more. The 2nd pic is of using arrows as pointers. The top and first arrow is the Pointer and at the top of the center X ring. Being one of those targets where the 12 ring is near 6:00 I just allowed down a bit to split the X ring and hopefull nail the 12 ring (actually just low of the center of the 12). The arrow in the 12 ring then became my pointer. The "stump" is a older Rinehart center with factory 14 ring. Straight left and so far right of the edge of "stump" and Presto! Yeah, I got lucky, but those who practice get luckier than those that don't practice.

Sonny Thomas
07-04-2013, 01:27 PM
Caution! When making "clocks" like in the above picture, do it at home. Yeah, there I was making this "clock" on the practice range at a 3D event. I guess really focused I didn't pay attention to others practicing being done. Nor did I pay attention directly behind me. When done I turned around was greeted by 15 or so people and a round of applause. I about did something and the restroom was a long ways off.

Never made another "clock" at a club again....