In golf going low means pulling out all the stops. Why are we talking about golf you ask, because playing good golf and shooting great archery scores are similar in may ways.
In both sports the only person who can stop you from getting the job done is you. In both cases the equipment is very simple in principle, more on this on another occassion.
Going low in golf is the same as shooting the archery game you always knew you had inside you. In golf this means 100% focus, tuning out all the surroundings. Focusing on the ball and where you want it to go. You should now have the point.
In archery this can be very difficult because we are so conditioned to rate our performance based on the score or where the arrow goes. In order to ďgo lowĒ we need to throw this out the window for a while. If you can bear with me i will show you what i mean and in the process tell you how to shoot the game of your life far more frequently.
Beofore we go any further you need to go get your gear, i mean everything you need to shoot, bow, arrows, release, etc. Now, lay everyhting out on the livingroom floor and look every piece over thoroughly. If there is one piece that needs attention fix it before you go any further. I am not saying go oiut and buy a new sight. I am referring to maintenance type things, you know, that peep that bugs you, the string that needs waxing, etc. You cannot procede unless you can completely emerse yourself in what we are going to do.
Ready, I hope so because here we go......Have you ever put an arrow in the exact center of where you were aiming? Of course you have, i am talking about one arrow from any distance.
I suggest that if you did it once you have the physical skill to do it every time. The problem is you keep getting in your own way. As soon as you made that shot you did one of two things. You said ďhow did i do that?Ē and you started to analyze what you did. Or, worse yet, you got on youself and said ďwhay canít i do that all the time?Ē.
Whe you are shooting for score or shooting at a spot is no time to analyze you game. When you are shoting for score you need to be emersed in the shot and only in the shot. How do we get there, well Iíll try to help you with that.
Letís start with some practice drills. You are now saying here we go again, another batch of boring drills. No they are not boring! and you will see results. If you donít have a place at home to shoot make yourself a cord with loops on both ends. It should be the same as your draw length.
The first driill is a little different for most people. I want you to shoot an entire game (of your choice) without keeping score, on paper. You will be blank bailing or using your cord. This is not just grip it and rip it. I want you to shoot the entire game paying attention to every detail. Keep track of the ends you have shot, score them in your mind if you want. This needs to get boring !! Yah i said you need to get bored !! You see, in order to go low you need to be boring to watch shoot, let me explain.
You want to get to the point where if people were to comment on your shooting they would say you were boring because it was the same every time. Or if a friend were to be watching you they would know what you were going to do next in your shot sequence. There is no place for creativity in shooting archery for score. You want to do everything the same way every time.
The other reason you need to get bored is to work on your focus. If you can maintain your focus through this entire drill you will instantly increase your scores.
This is where the drill i mentioned comes into play. since there is no reinforcement based on score you will be more inclined to do it the same way every time. The more often you do this drill the more automatic your form will be.
For probably two months I took one of those loops to work and I would shoot an entire game during lunch. It payed off big in terms of developing a solid form. Now i can trust my form and simply let it happen.
You now have this rock solid shot routine and your form is so honed you sleep in that position. Letís move onto getting out of your way.
Let me ask you a question. When a golf pro (the ones on TV) look over a put do they expect to put it in the hole. You bet they do !!! Then when you draw back your bow you fully expect to put this arrow right where you want it. You donít !? Then why did you take the shot ? If you donít expect to drill the spot you are aiming at you are selling yourself short. From now on when you step to the line, stake what ever it happens to be i want you to picture the arrow going in the dead center and fully expect it to go there.
Letís talk about warming up for a minute. This past year at Nationals we didnít get our wake-up call so we were quite late getting to the arena for our 7am line. I didnít have time to put up a target for my first practice end. I simply aimed at the area where i would put a target and focussed on my shot execution. The results were amzing. That was the most comfortable I felt behind my bow in some time. Golfers do this all the time. They will stand around the tee box and just swing a club slowly and smoothly. They arenít just killing time.
I suggest that you try blank bailing as part of your warm up. It will allow you to loosen up without worrying about results. Doing this will hopefuly take you right back to your lunch time games or your blank bailing. It will relax you and tell your muscles, this is what i want to do and this is how it should feel.
Remember when i mentioned being emersed in the shot. This is very much part of going low and getting out of your own way. Donít try to analyze when you are shooting for score. Simply execute what you have been practicing. As soon as you start to think about the shot you just made you are done because you are not focussed on shot execution.
Ever see a shooter hastily lift their binos and look down range. I would wager that 99% of the time you see this, that person just shot a bad shot. I donít believe in this, all you are doing is increasing the chance of doing the same thing again. Staring at the arrow through your binos wont move it to the X, I tried it once or twice, so why look at it. That shot became ancient history as soon as it left your bow. Here is the odd part of this deal, if it felt perfect drink it in and do it again.
Some people will say, you canít have it both ways. Itís my head why not? You choose what you think about so choose carefully.
I hope this has made sense to you and maybe you learned somethig from what I have suggested. If you have any questions or want details on any of this feel free to post or contact me directly.
Great advice Paul!! Thanks for taking the time and sharing that with us!!
Very helpfull information, do you have any tip's with regards to aiming and what type of exercises can help to find the gold and keep it there?
etmerlin, Thank you- There is a drill I did quite a bit last summer. It is exhausting so don't try to do it for very long. 20-30 minutes is the most you should do it at one time.
If you have someone who can run a stop watch have them help. You come to full draw and hold as long as you can without your dot leaving the X. As soon as your stabalizer moves they stop the watch. Let down, Rest 8-10 seconds and do it again. I got up to 7 seconds on a consistant basis. Do this at 20yds at first and then move on back till yuo can duplicate your 20yard times at 40yds.
Trust me this bugger will build the shoulder muscles and steady you up. It will also beat you up pretty good at first.