Victory Ranch’s Archery Range, just steps from the Red Barn, has swiftly become one of the most popular attractions among members of all ages. Channel your focus, strength and coordination and follow the 7 steps below to become a Master of the Arch this summer:
1. Stance: The best stance is a comfortable one that can be maintained without great effort. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and turn so that you can draw an imaginary line through the tips of the toes, right into the center of the target. Right-handed archers will stand so the target is to their left, and they will look over their left shoulder to shoot. There are many variations on stance; the key is to find what is most comfortable and works best for you.
2. Load: The arrow goes on the bow so that the nock is fit to the string just beneath the nocking point indicator, with the index finger towards the shooter. The shaft of the arrow should be on the same side of the bow as the shooter’s arm, resting gently on the shelf of the arrow rest.
3. Draw: There are several ways mankind has drawn the bow. The most popular today is the basic three-fingered draw. This method uses the index, middle, and ring finger to grip the string, with the string crossing these fingers between the very tip and the first of joint of each. The arrow fits to the string between the index and middle fingers.
4. Anchor: To get consistent, precise shots it’s important that the bow is held in exactly the same way each time. By having a memorized anchor point, an archer can assure consistency. There are several good anchor points; however, the important part is that once you decide on an anchor point, stick with it and perfect it.
Here are a few examples:
– Touch your thumb to your earlobe.
– Stick your thumb in your ear.
– Touch your middle finger to your cheek.
– Touch your middle finger to the corner of your mouth.
5. Aim: There are several methods of aiming, and different ones are appropriate for different students. In short, the main goal is to get arrows moving in the general direction of the target without anyone getting hurt and to have fun.
6. Release: Ideally, the release should be crisp and smooth, so as to not change the arrow’s flight path. for a good release, gradually relax the muscles of your fingers, being careful not to let your anchor point move at all. When your fingers are relaxed enough, the string will suddenly leave your hand, almost as a surprise. It’s simple, but there are several ways it can go wrong: The Jerk, The Push, The Flinch, and The Wobble.
7. Follow Through: The final step in every good shot, as in most sports, is the follow through. Once your arrow is on the way to the target, hold your position and watch it go. Don’t move anything until it’s been in the target for a second or two. Then let your arms relax down to your sides, and prepare to load another arrow.