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Main Boards => The Shooters FORM Board => Topic started by: Jim Casto Jr on December 31, 2018, 03:27:46 PM

Title: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on December 31, 2018, 03:27:46 PM
Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve suffered from this damnable stuff for years. I’ve tried everything I’ve seen and read on the topic and still, no cure. I hunted and shot with a clicker for years, then, started anticipating it and blew up. I shot left- handed for years and did okay, but have never been able to shoot as well as I did, right-handed.


After much trial and error, I’ve come up with a regimen of drills that DID IT for me, a close friend and several volunteers who also suffered from this demon for years. We finally have SUCCESS. Some report a complete cure while others report the confidence to maintain control over the demon.


Now… I’m not a good shot, not a psychologist, not an archery coach or anything of the sort. I’m just a desperate archer who’s tried everything. Nothing worked—until now. I honestly think if you're willing to put in the work and spend 63 days (maybe more) following the drills I’ve put together, you'll have success too. If you're as frustrated and as desperate as I was, in the words of President Trump, “What in the hell do you have to lose?"


So far, EVERYONE that has followed the drills “TO-THE-LETTER" has been successful.
If you’re interested, just PM me your email address and I’ll forward you the drills and a spreadsheet  to keep track of your progress in a PDF document. I’d appreciate communication along the way with updates of your progress too.


Please note:  To keep from being derailed, this thread is not intended to be a discussion of what target panic is, or what your thoughts about it are.  It's simply to offer a set of drills that have been tested and found to be successful.  If you want to give it a go, just let me know.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on December 31, 2018, 03:36:48 PM
I've also suffered from TP for many years, and have tried a lot of different things to cure it.  At the moment, it seems to be under control and I can anchor and come to full draw dependably, but still have the urge to rush the shot.  I'd be interested to see what you've come up with, and will send you a PM.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on December 31, 2018, 07:13:34 PM
Gee Whiz folks!   The requests are "almost" overwhelming.  I'm doing my best to keep up.  If I miss someone, please contact me again.  I'm getting old and sometimes things fall threw the cracks.  :)

Please be advised:  You must be willing to spend 20 to 30 minutes a day for 63 days (maybe more) on a very strict discipline, and you MUST follow the drills TO-THE-LETTER. If you aren't prepared to "pay the price" of admission, there's really no need to start-seriously. It'll also void your warranty. ;)
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 01, 2019, 11:18:46 AM
Here are a few reports from folks as they progressed through the drills:

“Cecil has been keeping me posted all along with his progress. I was very eagar to hear how everyone did on day 22 (the first day to shoot arrows). I was thrilled to learn cecil shot his day 22 arrows in complete control. I was thrilled for him.... and me. lol lol"


Quote
"So, closing in on my drill to actually shoot an arrow, I shot day 19's regimen on the Field course today. My bud was shooting close range cause he is still chasing deer, it is a lot more enjoyable to me to walk the wooded course and do the drills than in the garage.
I am so comfortable with my shot sequence this week, trying to really pay attention to some of the finer points of the expansion movement. Thinking about direction of elbow movement and engaging scapula. There is so much to be said about this process and how it has brought me back on track to just that, the process, and not the outcome of any shot. When all you do is try to perform the steps in your shot sequence as perfectly as possible then that indeed becomes the focus...which is the purpose after all. lol
Seems very logical. Absolutely no urges anymore even as I practice the expansion and imagine setting off the clicker. Very confident is how I feel. Also curious how, or if , adding the loose is going to change things. I'm guessing not much. So..about a third of the way through and feeling good."


Quote
"This is my day 30. I had a late start cause we got married.. and yadda, yadda, yadda.....anyway this is working great. I think the real reinforcement is drawing 9 times and shooting once, it teaches you to let down for sure. I even had a couple instances where on the 10th arrow it didn’t feel right. And I was able to say... NO. And just let down. And then shoot the 11th. Working well man. I’ll keep you posted! Thanks for a great system"


Quote
"For the first time in over 10 years I can anchor, aim and shoot in control. Sometimes I still get antsy but I can let down and start over. When I feel insecure I just move closer and do a few let down drills…"


Quote
"I've been following your formula to the tee EXCEPT I stayed with my same weight bow(44lbs). Today I ran down to Lancaster archery and bought 30 lb limbs for my Satori. Today was day 43 and I shot from 5-30 with the lighter limbs with complete control. Shoulda bought them to start. I'll finish these last 20 days with them. Thanks for your help"


Quote
"Jim, day 18 is under my belt and doing great to this point. I have utterly no urge to release. I have settled into a comfortable 31” draw. I am following the program to a “T”."


Quote
"Day 23 and all is well. I am enjoying drawing and shooting without that hellish urge to SHOOT IT!! :o)"
"Jim, I just completed day 50. I'm in complete control and it feels sooooo good. Thanks so much..."

Quote
"Up-date. I just finished the day 27 exercises and boy am I pleased. Now shooting at 15 yards with utterly no urge to blow up. LOL Jim emphasizes "immersing" yourself in aiming. That needs to be emphasized because one of the big issues with TP is the urge to release the moment you get even close to the target. To retrain your brain not to have that "idea" it is crucial to do the shot sequence steps and then FOCUS, FOCUS, Focus on the spot you intend to shoot...when you are ready. Thus far I am extremely pleased with the results. It requires discipline to follow the regimen as laid out. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It is so pleasant to shoot an arrow at 15 yards now in control. "


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"Today is day 61 I have 3 days to make up. my shots are controlled shots now. I plan to keep right on with the 4 let downs and shoot one arrow."


Quote
"Performed day 32 drills earlier today, really amazing how this works. I was at the range and had some folks show up, had to explain why I was letting down so much. ha ha They were familiar with TP though and also amazed at how these brain exercises are working.
Of course they wanted to see how the actual shots went too and I was glad to have the pressure myself, the real deal. Executed the shots just like executing the "let downs" , great stuff...."


Quote
"Jim, day 54 is under my belt. I had a hiccup the other day. My very first draw at 5 yds I let loose. I have no idea why except my mind was somewhere else. I got right back on track though and am doing well. I've been mixing my excersizes up between 30 lb and 39 lb bows.... There is no doubt in my mind that this is working and I can feel confidence growing and doubt lessening."


Quote
"Day 31 checked off this afternoon--half way through nearly. I got to shoot at 20 yards! No yips, jerks, no little demon in my head screaming SHOOT. This is so cool and I am actually having fun doing it--look forward to my daily sessions. Feeling calm and in control feels so good, AAAAH."


Quote
"Just finished day 8. Anxiety is way down as can be expected at this point. Having been relegated to snap shooting I've never been able to concentrate on a point of aim for more than a flash but now doing it 30 times a day before let down. Tomorrow I need to go out to 20yd so need to be at the club range at sunrise to make it to work on time. Guess you can say I've committed to make this happen. Thanks for the opportunity, Jim."


Quote
"Merry Christmas Jim. I’m in Michigan for Christmas and took my bow. I just have 2 days left and this is a great Christmas present to be shooting in control..."


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"Day 38 done today and still amazed at the results I am experiencing. This is the best approach to treating the dreaded archer's affliction I have seen."


Quote
"I’ve had target panic for over 50 years in all forms imaginable shooting compounds with releases and fingers and also with my traditional bows. I took Joel Turners online course and though that helped me a LOT, I still had tp.
So when Jim graciously made his off for 12 volunteers to try what helped him, I signed up. I committed and gave up my archery season to try and once for all get this demon off me. So it began and I followed it to the Tee except I started it using my hunting bow and not going with a real light bow. I did eventually get new 30 pound limbs and kept going following Jim’s program as he spelled out.
His program WORKS. I am now shooting controlled shots.
I believe I will always have to fight it at times, but have learned how to combat it and only shoot controlled shots.
I want to thank Jim publicaly on here for his encouragement through out this program through emails and phone conversation. I love shooting and shooting in control is so much better...."
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 03, 2019, 05:48:08 PM
Well, I want to throw in my own thoughts and experience with Jim's program.  I will move to day 44 tomorrow.  I am still amazed at what is happening.  My form has been tweaked (through some personal help from Jim as he does not live real far away) and my draw length and anchor moved to a much better place, the urge to release has been gone for quite some time--since the very first few days.  I will echo Jim's words...you MUST be willing to make the commitment to stay with the program from day 1 and don't mess around with adding or leaving out steps.  Some won't be willing to stick with it as they will think that all these steps are not necessary....don't do it! Use what is working for a bunch of folks who have not gotten help from other efforts.  I assure you that if you do the program as designed you will be oh so glad. After two hunts this season, I gave up hunting the rest of the  season to focus on doing this as I realized that I had no business shooting at a live animal the way things were, and I have to say that I have enjoyed every minute of it--even those days when no arrows could be loosed yet, because it felt so good to be getting control.  I have used (or tried to) a clicker for years, attended Joel Turner's seminar, read Jay Kidwell's book--nothing got me in control like this program has.  I have a friend who refers to it as my "detox" program and in a sense that is just what it is.  TP is a toxic thing for an archer and if you struggle with it you should at least give this a try. Jim has worked hard on this, studied what others have written, attended seminars as I have, and he has put this together and generously offered it to any one who needs/wants it free of charge!  Again I say, a huge thanks to you, Jim. :thumbsup:

Please note that you really need to start with a bow that you can "dominate" in Jim's word.  Too much bow weight will be detrimental at the start.  You can tell your wife that you "need" that new bow or set of limbs for your detox program.  Tell her Dr. Dave said you must.  :biglaugh:

If I were starting a new archer out who was new to traditional bows, I would insist that he/she work through this program first.  If they do, I doubt seriously that  they will ever struggle with target panic.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on January 03, 2019, 07:11:51 PM
I'm going to do this.  A question about procedure: in your instructions, you say to do 30 drills a day.  Later, you say, for example, to anchor and let down 5 times, and then do that again at a different distance. When I anchor and let down 5 times, is that 5 drills or 1 drill?
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 03, 2019, 07:23:29 PM
30 times a day, total throughout the drills. 

Beginning on day 2, you draw and let down 5 times and each yard to 6 yards.  5 x 6 = 30

Some folks need to 10 in the morning; 10 after lunch and 10 in the evening.  :)


More is okay if you're strong not fatigued ...but NEVER less than 30
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on January 03, 2019, 07:27:45 PM
Thanks JIm!
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 03, 2019, 07:36:23 PM
Dave,

I read you to be one with the metal fortitude to stay with the drills TO-THE-LETTER.  It might be nice if the fella's I sent these to, might report back with their progress on this thread now and again. 

You wouldn't beleive how many emails I've sent out the last few days--several hundred.

Bad news about that is, there sure are a lot of us closet sufferers out there.   

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on January 03, 2019, 07:48:20 PM
Yes, I would imagine we're all over the spectrum, from not being able to make it past 2/3 draw to being able to draw and anchor but still having that last little bit of nervousness that makes us shoot too soon and not get as good a score as we should.  That's where I’ve been stuck for about a year.  It doesn't seem like it should take a comprehensive program to get rid that, but wishing it would go away doesn't seem to work either, so as you say, what have I got to lose?
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jock Whisky on January 03, 2019, 10:32:36 PM
Interesting the things that come with this. I started today and when I focused on the target my eyes would cross, wander and lose focus. I found I was looking out of the extreme corner of my eyes. I turned my head a bit more and that issue seemed to go away and so did the string hitting my nose. I wonder if the eyes being at the extreme limit of their travel to the left (I'm right handed) are under a lot of tension and become somewhat unstable? Just an observation.

I am looking forward to this exercise. It sure makes you concentrate on a repeatable shot sequence.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 05, 2019, 06:57:00 PM
Guys, I have been on Jim's program now for quite a while.  Today I completed day 45.  I'm at that point where we do the draw/let down reps and then shoot an arrow from 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 yards.  I can't believe I have had no issues even out to 30 yards.  Have confidence in the program, don't take short cuts.  It sure doesn't seem like I have been doing this that long.  I gave up this hunting season to work on this and it has been worth it without a doubt.  Stay with it....what do you have to lose but the evil demon?   :clapper:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 05, 2019, 07:23:05 PM
Jock, interesting things have happened to me as well.  Working with Jim in person, we changed my anchor to a much better spot which I really like a lot--it gives me
three points of reference. The result is a considerably longer draw length.  Guess what that does!  I have arrows now that are too short and some bows that are heavier than I care to shoot.....so I have been thinning the herd and have picked up a little bow I really love--the Galaxy Ember longbow and some more limbs for my Bear TD.  I got it to start the program with a light draw weight and found that it has the best grip (for me) that I have ever had.  I now have two of them.  :saywhat: It sure is fun to have a good reason to pick up some new stuff.  Gotta do it for my "detox" program.  I'm having a ball. :bigsmyl:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 05, 2019, 07:39:43 PM
Dr. Dave Mitchell,

Since you're further along than anyone else on this forum, I'm curious.....


How long has it been since you shot an arrow in complete control without the aid of a clicker, or the TARGET PANIC?

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 05, 2019, 08:02:55 PM
Jim, I can't even remember. I even had trouble getting through the clicker--especially if I was shooting with other people.  All of my early years of shooting I was shooting right handed because I am right handed and just figured that was how I ought to shoot and had no one to tell me differently.  I developed TP shooting compound bows around 1980 with sights and fingers.  Same problem when I started shooting trad bows.  Mike Fedora told me I needed to be shooting left handed since I am strongly left eye dominant--I mean REAL left eye dominate.  I got a lefty bow and was amazed....the sight picture was incredibly better and I had not one iota of TP. I was one happy camper.  That lasted maybe 2-3 years, then TP began raising its head on the left side.  If I had this program back then, I don't think I would have developed TP.  But I made the switch to lefty bows about 26 years ago and the TP came back with a vengeance a couple of years later. I have had so much discouragement with it.

I might mention that I am 75 years old and I am excited...so one is never too old to work on this issue. :goldtooth:
 

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on January 05, 2019, 11:27:26 PM
Like David, my target panic increases when I shoot with other people, and increases more as I shoot in tournaments or any situation with higher pressure than shooting alone.  Assuming a person is able to get to place where they feel confident when shooting alone using your method, how do you recommend taking it to the next level, when there is more pressure than when shooting alone?
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 05, 2019, 11:57:06 PM
Now that, Dave, is an excellent question.  Unfortunately, these drills are so new, no one can answer that question with certainty, but I believe you touched on with the question.  I’m convinced the ability to perform under pressure situations will be directly proportional to how much CONFIDENCE you've gained in your shot sequence during the drills.  They were designed to allow the archer to gain confidence daily.  So far, EVERYONE is reporting just that.  We simply need more time for any confirmation.

I did try to touch on that in the last paragraph of the drills. "If you’re at the range or shooting with others, just remember, just because you drew the bow, doesn’t mean you have to shoot the arrow.  Let down as often as needed and make sure you ONLY shoot strong controlled shots. "

We do know one thing for sure.  Everyone who has followed the drills TO-THE-LETTER  is reporting being able to shoot controlled shots when alone and they weren't able to do that previously.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: BruceT on January 06, 2019, 10:00:31 AM
     First off , I would like to thank Jim,for being , so generous with his time and effort to try and help a lot of people, with a problem that may be affecting a lot of archers in a lot of different ways !!!
     I am new , starting into day two, using a very lightweight kids bow . The concern I have is . When I let down with my regular bow ,45# @ 28” it is really hard on my bow arm shoulder . I am concerned with the transition, from kids bow to my regular bow. I’m thinking at day 22 , I should be using my regular bow .
Any suggestions ?   
     Bruce
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 06, 2019, 10:29:43 AM
Bruce,

I can only assume, if it’s “hard" on your shoulders it's too much weight.  I'm sure you just need to build into more weight gradually.  I suggest in the drills, when you feel comfortable beginning to increase weight, you only do it by three to five pounds at time.

I’m convinced there is a direct correlation between the pressure on your body (bow weight) and the pressure on your mind.  We don’t want any “shock” to the system to add that extra pressure to your mind while going through the drills.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on January 06, 2019, 12:07:31 PM
This is day three, and I thought I’d share my preliminary observations. I found in drawing 5 arrows one after the other, I’m not always drawing the bow the same way. So I settled in on what I think is best, and always try to draw the bow the same way. Probably my age, but I find I lose track of which arrow I’m drawing, and which group of 5 I’m on. So since my quiver has 2 compartments, I empty one and put each arrow I draw into the empty compartment until there are 5 there. This also adds realism, because I’m nocking an arrow before each draw. To add further realism, I walk away after each draw and re-position my feet for the next draw. To know which group of 5 I’m on, I start with 6 field points in one pocket, and move one of them to the other pocket after I shoot each group.

So everything is as realistic as I can make it, right up to the point where I would normally shoot the arrow.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 06, 2019, 01:26:27 PM
I had to laugh at that one Dave.  I couldn't keep track either.   :)     I had to take a pencil and write it down as I went along. 
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 06, 2019, 02:34:54 PM
Yep, me too.   :biglaugh: Gettin' old may have something to do with it for me.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: mistercmath on January 10, 2019, 07:07:28 PM
Jim,
First of all, thank you for your generosity. It seems like you are helping a whole bunch of archers out of the goodness of your heart.
I have a question, though. I will not be able to go out past 15 yards until the spring, and want to begin as soon as possible. Should I wait, or can I just alter the drills for my available inside distances?


Stephen Connelly
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 10, 2019, 09:14:03 PM
Yeah, I don’t think there's a problem at all starting at that distance.  I believe when the weather breaks, just continue the drills at the longer distances.  You’ll know how your confidence and progress is by that time and have to tools to keep the demon at bay.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: fnshtr on January 13, 2019, 04:55:29 PM
I hope to go through this program after my Florida hog hunt in February. Sounds like a GREAT program.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: mistercmath on January 13, 2019, 07:02:56 PM
Just bit the bullet (or arrow to be more relevant) and did the first day of the program. Was holding off because I just got a brand-new custom recurve from Black Ram Traditions and am seriously smitten with this bow. Any hoo, it feels odd to be able to not have the string release without my permission. It has felt as if someone is inside of my head making my fingers release the string. This evening that person was absent. I like this.  :thumbsup:
Thanks, again, Jim.
For the record, After finishing the program for the night, I did come upstairs and hug my new bow.

Stephen
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 14, 2019, 10:14:42 AM
I know the feeling of being able to just hold and relax...I am now at day 51 of Jim's program.  I hope you haven't started with too much bow weight.  Going with a light draw weight has helped me substantially and now I have moved up some more.  Take your time, be patient, and you'll be surprised. :goldtooth:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 14, 2019, 04:45:59 PM
Jim is away this week on a hog hunt in Florida and asked me to forward the program info along to anyone who wants to start it.  I am a satisfied client myself.  :jumper: Just drop me an email if I may be of assistance--dmitchell43@suddenlink.net.  Good shooting  :archer2: and I wish Jim the best of hunting.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on January 15, 2019, 01:31:42 PM
I’m on day 10 now, and enjoying the program.  My only question is that up to this point, the instructions say to make my first draws at 3 yards.  If I literally draw at 3 yards, I have to move my arrow out of the way of the target when I start my draw, so I have been standing back far enough to get sufficient clearance to draw the arrow normally, which is about 4 yards.  Is that okay or is there something magic about3 yards?
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 15, 2019, 02:35:42 PM
Dave, nothing magic about three yards, but if you go back and check it starts at three feet.  No I'm sure Jim would tell you that no harm will be done if you start at enough distance to give you room to draw. But I am shooting full length arrows and drawing 30 1/2" and still managed to do the three feet distance.  It's a fail-safe distance I guess is what Jim has in mind.  Proceed. :wavey:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on January 15, 2019, 03:16:00 PM
Sorry, you’re right.  I meant feet, not yards.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 15, 2019, 08:06:24 PM
 :thumbsup: :archer:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: last arrow on January 15, 2019, 10:05:58 PM
I emailed you David.  Looking forward to hearing from you.  This is a very interesting concept.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 16, 2019, 11:03:13 AM
Blaine, start as prescribed and stick with it.  You may be tempted to take a few short cuts and feel that some of it is not all that necessary, but avoid the temptation.  Relax, enjoy the process, and I honestly believe you will be very happy.  I know I am and I have struggled with "the demon" as Jim calls it for years, did the Joel Turner seminar, read Jay Kidwell's book, etc.  Nothing helped me like this.  It's a bit like going back to "elementary" school at first, you may think.  But just stay the course and you will graduate. :biglaugh:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: mistercmath on January 18, 2019, 07:13:10 PM
 :pray:   Just finished day 4. It's very easy. It feels really nice to feel my anchor, back tension, and the feather against my nose. I wish I'd started with this from my first day as a trad archer. The only negative is that I really miss shooting arrows. I sure hope this works.  :pray:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 18, 2019, 07:41:54 PM
It will work, just be patient.  The day you can shoot an arrow will come faster than you think it will.  In the meantime, just enjoy the feeling of being at full draw, setting your back tension, and not having that uncontrollable urge to let it go. I did day 55 today.  It sure feels good to be able to stand 30 yards away from a target and get to full draw and have a controlled shot.   :archer2:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on January 19, 2019, 10:56:52 AM
I am enjoying the process so far.  One thing that is helping me, and might help others who dread the thought of drawing so many times without shooting very many arrows, is the knowledge that studies have shown that it usually takes 60 days (or more in some cases) to change a habit.  That means 60 days of arriving at full draw and aiming while feeling relaxed and under control to replace the habit of reaching full draw feeling compelled to release the arrow like it was a live wire.  So a 63 day program should be about right. Any claim of being able to change a strongly held bad habit, like smoking, overeating, etc., in less than 60 days is just hype.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 19, 2019, 12:26:24 PM
McDave is absolutely right.  I just came in from doing my day 56 drills--shooting at 30 yards without TP is such a joy and well worth the patience to do the program as spelled out.  To those who are on it, stay the course.  You'll be very glad you sacrificed the time and the shooting of a few arrows to wait until the time for that.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 22, 2019, 09:55:01 AM
I don't have clue how I double posted.


Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 22, 2019, 09:59:34 AM
Only an archer plagued with the dreaded demon of target panic could understand and appreciate the next few lines. 

I have just returned from a pig hunt in Florida; this was my 15th year in a row going with Osceola Outfitters.  It was a cool morning as I moved in on a large, lone sow.  I worked in to 15 yards and had to move slightly to my left from behind the huge palmetto to get a clear shot. As I took that step, the sow looked at me and turned slightly quartering to me.  I could clearly see the seam between her neck and shoulder; I knew the anatomy, I knew how much room I had and I was confident in my ability to make the shot.

As I drew the bow, I went through my shot sequence; draw, anchor, set my back tension, keep pulling and admire the sight picture.  Then, the shot was off and the carbon arrow tipped with 260 grains of Grizzly broadhead was off, found its mark and buried deep in to her chest. She took two steps and fell dead.

This is the first time I have had a “pressure" shot since I completed the drills.  The report is a short one:  Complete control with no anxiety or apprehension--ROCK SOLID!  The first CONTROLLED shot in decades!

I shot two pigs on this trip; the results were the same with #2.

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Dan Jones on January 22, 2019, 08:58:44 PM
Jim Casto:

I'm about 10 days into you program and I've done something that may be of interest to you and others trying to conquer the panic. I'm drawing and holding on a target in my basement that I have set up to be identical to what I shoot at when I'm at my archery club - a blank bale with only a white plastic bottle cap as the aiming point.

I'm doing this because my panic is clearly triggered by the sight picture. I'm hoping that drawing and holding on that exact target will desensitize me to that target and end the panic.

In years past I've done about a million draw and hold exercises at a blank bale without any lasting success so I'm hoping this step will bring a different result.  Your thoughts? 
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 22, 2019, 09:07:17 PM
Jim Casto:



... I'm doing this because my panic is clearly triggered by the sight picture. I'm hoping that drawing and holding on that exact target will desensitize me to that target and end the panic.

In years past I've done about a million draw and hold exercises at a blank bale without any lasting success so I'm hoping this step will bring a different result.  Your thoughts?

Dan,

That is EXACTLY what these drills were designed to do.  I could blank bale very well and it's a good exercise to work on form, but.... there's always a but, you know... when I introduced aiming, I blew up.  These drills will MAKE you aim and WILL eventually "desensitize" your need to release the string.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Dan Jones on January 23, 2019, 10:27:50 AM

Jim,

I hope you are right that at some point the sight picture will no longer trigger the shot. I'm twelve days into the program and I can tell that I'm not there yet. As I have said to you previously, I don't think that target panic begins - or at least my decades long version of the panic - began as a mental problem. It began as an eye/hand problem - i.e. the eye sees a sight picture and tells the brain to release. It is that cause/effect connection that has to be broken or desensitized. A clicker never worked for me because it didn't break that connection. I believe that for me switching hands did work to escape the panic because the sight picture was very different and the arrow was no longer anchored under my dominant eye.

We shall see.  Thanks again for your efforts to help people overcome target panic.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 23, 2019, 01:47:42 PM
Dan,

I guess the question is, "Are some folks simply unable to retrain the brain and not HAVE to release the string?"  My guess is, there are.  However, since your 12 days in, I assume you haven't released the arrow--right?  If so, you're making progress, so, just stay put until you're completely comfortable at anchor while aiming.  There's no rule that you have to advance to the next step on a certain day.  I stress in the drills to NEVER advance beyond your complete control.

Of the hundreds of folks I've sent these drills to, I hoping above all that you find some relief.  I know how frustrating this darn stuff is.

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Dan Jones on January 23, 2019, 02:46:53 PM
Unfortunately, I have had several arrows get away from me. I went back and repeated that day's drill from the beginning. Was I supposed to have gone all the way back to day 1? 

As I have said, I've done a whole lot of these draw and hold exercises over the years and I can sense that the panic is still right there waiting for me. I believe that I'll know when or - if -the uncontrollable release is gone. In previous draw and hold efforts, the panic was alway there when I first tried to shoot an arrow. If I remember correctly, I once did the draw and hold on a blank bale for six weeks and didn't put a dent in the damn panic!  Maybe this time.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on January 23, 2019, 03:21:40 PM
Dan,

I'm thinking you might just stay close (very close), aim while holding and just stay put there until you "feel" comfortable.  There's really no need for you to go to more distance until you get it down up close.

Everyone I've communicated with has had the NEED to shoot leave them in just a few days.  You're a tough one, but I'm confident if you stay close, immerse in aiming and let down, that desire will fail--sooner or later. :)

Never advance beyond your complete control.

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: jeff w on January 23, 2019, 04:36:19 PM
Kind of a rookie in the process, just completed day 13.  A couple obsevations:   1-glad I had some lighter limbs than I was shooting.
Drawing, and holding, a little different than drawing and letting fly.  2-in addition to controlling the release, I feel that I am coming to full draw with a consistent anchor.   

Determined to follow it through as prescribed.  Once complete will keep a copy to refer to as a refresher if needed.  Thanks again Jim!
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 24, 2019, 04:33:30 PM
Jeff, I have finished day 58.  Stick with it brother and it will help you.  Don't give up!
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 29, 2019, 12:02:13 PM
Gang, Today I finished the 63rd day's exercises and that in the frigid temps we are getting! The time has passed very quickly, and it has actually been fun to do the drills.  I had no idea what lay ahead when I received an email from my friend Jim Casto, Jr. asking if I would be interested in receiving a program to combat TP which he had developed which had worked very successfully for him and another mutual friend, and he now wanted to see what results others might have and so graciously offered to send it to anyone free of charge (and it's still an open invitation I'm sure).  I figured, why not, I've tried about everything else and was still having trouble even getting through my clicker before I froze up and let go.  My draw length was shrinking and I was frustrated.

Day 1 began....stand 3 FEET from the target, draw, anchor, set back tension, immerse yourself in aiming, and let down. Do this 30 times!  Seriously?  Yes.  Seemed mighty close-up--but heck, who couldn't manage that!  I determined to do the drills just as spelled out--no short cuts, no cheating, no releasing an arrow before the time.  Looked like a long time ahead doing daily drills but I have struggled with that stuff for waaaay too long.  I committed to do it as prescribed.

Some of you who have been there and done that can relate to my joy at finally being able to back out to 30 yards and make a controlled shot.  Those who have never had it won't be able to grasp the joy that brings.

This has been the start of a new day for my archery, I believe.  I have increased my draw length quite a bit in the process (at Jim's suggestion) and thus now have some bows too heavy and arrows too short. But a small price to pay....and new reason to get some new stuff.

I want to openly thank my good friend, Jim, for putting me on the way to where I am today.  Will it last, you may ask.  I now have the tools to keep working with into the future and I intend to do so.  I honestly believe that if an archer new to shooting, especially traditional bows, begins first with this series of drills they may very well never develop the problem.  To others who are somewhere along the way whether day 1 or 50, stay the course!

 :clapper:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: mistercmath on January 29, 2019, 07:36:42 PM
David,
Interesting you should mention your increased draw length. I notice an additional inch in mine. Not sure how much of this is due to the light poundage bow I am using for the program, or whether it has come from a more careful shot cycle.
I also have a much better anchor and more consistent back tension. These are all new for me. I've been shooting trad bows for about two and a half years, now, and over-bowed myself from the get-go. I certainly wish I had done Jim's program before ever shooting any arrows. The increase in confidence is nice, too.
That's really inspiring, and I'm only done with the first 14 days.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on January 29, 2019, 07:47:46 PM
Very interesting, Stephen.  I actually live only about 45 minutes from Jim and went to visit him before starting the program.  He worked with me on my shot set up and told me that I was not nearly where I should be on draw length.  He worked with me on getting back where my alignment was correct and I was using my back muscles as I should.  That increased my draw quite a bit.  I am delighted with the new draw and set up.  I have stayed with the longer draw when I moved up in weight.  Stay the course and just enjoy drawing, getting your back tension, and enjoying the sight picture without the uncontrollable urge to release.  The time passed quickly for me.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: mistercmath on January 29, 2019, 08:11:37 PM
One thing I forgot to mention is the feeling I've always had that there was someone in my head who keeps letting go of the string, without my permission. I even tried let-down drills, but had nearly no ability to not shoot the arrow. It really felt bizarre, and a bit frustrating. My shooting kept getting more accurate with time, and I have really enjoyed shooting my bows, but I always wanted to control my shots.
It now seems like that is the likely outcome now. I don't have any trouble holding and aiming (staring at the spot). Hallelujah, brother!
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on January 29, 2019, 08:58:22 PM
Interesting that you should mention this, but I have found new ways to hold at full draw that seem more solid, where I don’t feel like I need to let go of the arrow until I want to.  I have never practiced holding at full draw without shooting before Jim’s program, and this is definitely a benefit.  Of course, a lot depends on what happens when I return to shooting, but at this point I do feel more confidence.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jock Whisky on January 29, 2019, 10:46:10 PM
That is interesting for me as well. I'm on day 27 and have come up with a more consistent grip on the string which led to a better anchor. That in turn lead to better back tension. I had made some progress with TP over the years but I still had that little bugger in my head that would drop the string very quickly after anchor. Having to aim and vary anchor time while doing these exercises just might be the magic needed.

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Mark R on February 01, 2019, 03:03:51 PM
This is a good training exercise for me, the only thing is letting down so many times has to be done a certain way for me or I get a little pain and stiffness in my neck and top of shoulder area, this subsides after a few hours but if I switch over to pulling lefty during the exercise it helps even it out with no problem of pain and stiffness. Just saying the letting done is not a natural motion for my shoulder for so many times and switching around to lefty and repeating some seems to help even things out, of course I'm a righty and I don't shoot any arrows lefty just draw and let down to keep things even, may be why some have a hard time of letting down if they experience some discomfort. Just working one side without the other can mess with your bodies over all alignment. I've been do this regularly when I shoot for sometime now. JMHO
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on February 01, 2019, 05:34:29 PM
Mark, are you using a heavier/hunting draw weight bow?  I began the program with a 30# bow.  There are a lot of reps to do daily and it helps a great deal to use a bow that doesn't over stress muscles.  Of course, I'm 75 years old...so  :saywhat:
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Dan Jones on February 01, 2019, 06:39:59 PM
I will echo what David Mitchell says about the risk of over stressing muscles and joints etc.. I started to do the program with the initial group and I tried to do it drawing a 30# bow with my left hand that I hadn't used to draw a bow for some years. (I switched to the right to escape the panic.) I found that I now have arthritis in my left index finger and I had to stop after about 10 days because of serious pain in my left shoulder. I've tried to get back to the program several times but the shoulder pain persists. There are indeed a lot of reps and a lot of holding at full draw and letting down. I'm also in my 70's but you don't have to be a senior citizen to do serious harm to the shoulder.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on February 01, 2019, 07:48:34 PM
Remember, there is more than one way to let down: you can either let your string hand down, or your bow hand, or both at the same time, I suppose.  Letting down your bow hand is sort of like doing half of a push up.  Maybe one way will be less stressful for you than another.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Mark R on February 02, 2019, 08:06:27 PM
Yeh Dave I'm using a 35# bow, I do the whole exercise session at once, I find if I let down with both arms at the same time it works best. No real problem but the first time I did it all at once and did not shift to the other side and I think thats when I got a little tight, I switch to lefty after each 10 reps and pull that way about 5 or 6 times and no problem.   
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on February 03, 2019, 03:47:05 PM
As I move into the shooting phase of this program, I notice that when I draw with the intention of shooting, the old nervousness returns.  There is a difference, however.  Rather than the nervousness triggering my shot, I am able to recognize it as a nervous feeling that is not connected with shooting the bow.  If I hold for a few seconds, the nervousness goes away, and I am able to complete the shot under control, feeling the same as I do when I draw and let down.  Hopefully, now that the nervous feeling is not triggering my shot, it will diminish over time and maybe even go away completely.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Dan Jones on February 03, 2019, 04:39:50 PM

McDave,

You are fortunate to be able to hold until the "nervous feeling" or impulse to release passes. Despite numerous serious, sustained attempts over the years, I've never been able to reach that point. The sight picture triggers my release and no draw and hold exercises or any other approach has been able to stop that. Fortunately, I don't have the panic when shooting from my right side, which to my mind raises a serious question about the standard explanation that target panic is invariably a mental problem. After it sets in, target panic clearly creates a mental problem for the afflicted, but does it really begin there in all cases?  I doubt it.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on February 03, 2019, 05:16:37 PM
I think it would be reasonable to conclude that it is a mental problem if one is able to draw and hold and aim under control if there is no intention to shoot the arrow, but is unable to maintain that control if there is the intention to shoot the arrow, since intention is a mental process, and switching it on or off is what triggers the problem.  This was my case.

If one is unable to draw and hold and aim regardless of whether there is an intention to shoot or not, then I think it would be reasonable to look for other causes.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Dan Jones on February 03, 2019, 08:40:26 PM
McDave:

I can usually draw, hold and aim if there is no intention to shoot, although I can feel the impulse to release right there and sometimes an arrow will get away from me.  I can draw, hold and release perfectly with no panic impulse if I do not aim at anything, such as shooting arrows into an open field.

Knock on wood, but I think that I have not experienced the panic by switching to the right side because the sight picture is very different. I'm no longer anchoring under my dominant eye and I no longer see down the arrow pointing to the spot I'm aiming at. Shooting right handed, the sight picture doesn't seem to trigger the release. I don't think that fear of missing or an overwhelming desire to hit the target or any other mental issue is the cause of my target panic.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on February 04, 2019, 12:01:01 AM
“I can draw, hold and release perfectly with no panic impulse if I do not aim at anything, such as shooting arrows into an open field.”

So with you, the target panic results from aiming, whereas with me, the target panic results from the intention to shoot.

I think Jim’s program might help you, even more than it is helping me, because his program requires you to draw and hold and aim, and then let down, many times.  This should help to desensitize you to the fear of aiming.

My problem is more indirect: fear of shooting.  Jim’s program is helping me too, by having me hold at full draw many times in full control with confidence, and then letting down.  Even though I could hold at full draw and aim when I had target panic as long as I had no intention to shoot, I only did this occasionally out of frustration, not really enough to ingrain the feeling of confidence from doing it many times.  Once I had ingrained the feeling of holding at full draw and aiming without any compulsion to release early as the new norm, through many repetitions, then I think my mind was able to downgrade the compulsion to shoot to a transitory nervous sensation, and separate the nervous sensation from the act of shooting the bow.  At least I hope that’s what is happening.

In your case, since your target panic seems to be more related to aiming, which is addressed more directly in his program than my fear of shooting is, I think it will be even more effective than it was with me.  Jim’s program is based on repeating a movement that caused target panic many times until your mind is desensitized to it, which is missing from other programs I have studied.  And the number or repetitions is consistent with other studies I have read on breaking bad habits: 60 days.  It seems like a lot, but it is a realistic estimate of the MINIMUM time required to break a bad habit.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on February 04, 2019, 01:33:36 PM
Dan, I had target panic bad when I shot right handed.  I am left eye dominant but right handed so i just figured I ought to shoot right handed.  I had nobody to help me back when I started many years ago.  When I switched to left handed shooting when someone told me that's how I probably should shoot, I was totally amazed...from the first shot there was no target panic, none at all.  A bowyer friend warned me though that I could get it back on the left side as well.  Well, I did.  Had I had Jim's program when I moved to left handed shooting I firmly believe I never would have developed it.

One other thing McDave mentioned is the great value in Jim's program of having to aim right from the start.  I think that has helped me a lot.  Like you, I could get to full draw and aim  as long as I had no intention to shoot, AND as long as there was nothing resembling a target in front of me.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: mistercmath on February 04, 2019, 09:57:25 PM
Just finished day 21. Am looking forward to shooting three arrows tomorrow. I really miss flinging arrows. This evening the aiming felt as if I could not possibly miss my bulls eye if I had let an arrow fly. Also, my form was as good as it's ever been.
I'll admit that I had almost zero faith in this system, and here I am after 1/3 of the program and I do not feel the person inside of my head trying to let go of the string ! That is a beautiful thing.

Thanks for this, Jim.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on February 04, 2019, 10:18:07 PM
Good for you Stephen.  I would caution everyone... don't be in a hurry.  21 days or 63 days really doesn't mean much.  What does mean something, is being in complete control along the way and  to NEVER advance beyond that complete control. 

The goal is eliminate the need to open your fingers and release the string before YOU want to.  For some, that will be   freedom from the demon; for others, it will be the ability to overcome him and shoot only controlled shots.  The end results for both scenarios is....VICTORY.    :)
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: mistercmath on February 05, 2019, 07:53:40 PM
Just did day 22. The first three sets of ten were not a perfect as I would have wanted. Let me explain. The nine let-down "shots" were as good as they had been. The three real shots, although they were far more controlled than I had ever experienced, felt as if I did not hold them for a long time before letting the arrow fly the three,or so, feet to the bag. Maybe three seconds was all I held. So, I waited an hour or so and went downstairs to do another round of ten. Same thing.
My conclusion: I will do the 22nd day over tomorrow, and the next day, etc., until I feel enough of that complete control that I crave. It's not here yet. I'll keep you posted on my progress.
It's like Dave was telling earlier. The intention to shoot has a roll in my ability to control the shot. Interesting problem here.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: BruceT on February 21, 2019, 08:20:15 AM
   Can see light at the end of the tunnel !! Thanks Jim !!
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: goingoldskool on February 24, 2019, 07:27:47 PM
I'm on day 15 now.... I'm really confident with draw and anchor...  I snap right into it now.... still waiting for that day 21 when I can let go of an arrow!
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: BruceT on February 25, 2019, 09:36:58 AM
  A few observations that I have made :
The “Paper trail” created by Jim keeps me on track.
Drawing and letting down, requires a lot more exertion than drawing and   shooting.
When letting down, moving bow arm slowly upwards, is easiest on the bow arm shoulder for me .

  Still struggling a little bit with the release, hold a few seconds and sometimes that trigger , isn’t very consistent ?? Hard for me to explain .
  Anyway , there is “Light at the end of the tunnel”.

  Thanks again Jim
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Mark R on February 25, 2019, 05:55:32 PM
I'm on day 46, and happy with progress, the start of day 43-45 were a little bit tough to stay on track but I stuck with it and now am comfortable, for me I can shoot out to 20 yards in the back yard safely but have to travel 1/2 an hour to the range to shoot the 25 to 30 yards, I'm lucky to have that opportunity, I wonder if there is an alternative for those who do not have a place within easy distance to do this everyday, and I think being able to complete this close to the days it takes is better than stretching it out over a longer period when it might be more convenient for some. For myself it takes a little discipline to complete correctly, and without that this just would not work as well,JMHO.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on March 07, 2019, 01:29:41 AM
Yesterday I finished Jim's program.  I believe it is an excellent program that builds a strong foundation for shooting without target panic.  The foundation is really the difference between Jim's program and all the others.  Before you ever shoot a shot in Jim's program, you really know what it feels like to have a solid, relaxed hold at anchor, at full draw, aiming at the target.  You have repeated this enough times that anything else feels unnatural and you know it isn't right.  Then you go on to shooting, and it may not feel exactly right; at least it didn’t for me at first.   But I had the foundation, so by drawing without shooting more times than I drew and shot, I was able to use the same foundation until it felt the same way to draw and shoot as it did to draw and let down.  I plan to draw and let down as many times as I need to before drawing and shooting on into the future.  For our fun shoots, I’ll just shoot fewer shots in order to not hold everyone up.  So rather than shooting four shots in a row, I may shoot only two shots and two draws without shooting.  I find that drawing and shooting after drawing and letting down substantially increases my accuracy.  If this results in two bullseyes rather than four near misses, other people may start paying attention.  This is what has happened while shooting under Jim's program; I guess it remains to be seen if I can carry this same level of accuracy over to shooting with my friends, and then shooting in competitions.

Other programs attempt to deal with target panic while continuing to shoot the bow.  To me this seems like trying to repair a parachute while in the air on the way down to the ground.  Some sort of repair may be possible, but if the objective is to have controlled, relaxed shots, why not do the repair in an environment where controlled relaxed aiming is possible?
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Mark R on March 07, 2019, 11:54:58 AM
Yes I totally agree Dave :thumbsup: I think anyone getting into trad, likes it and wants to continue should do this program, or at least something very similar,  may take some time at first but will help you improve and keep you on track in the long run.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on March 09, 2019, 01:37:36 PM
McDave, that is one great analogy about repairing a parachute while in the air going down!  Love it.  Jim's program has sure helped me a bunch.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on March 10, 2019, 10:05:53 AM
...Before you ever shoot a shot in Jim's program, you really know what it feels like to have a solid, relaxed hold at anchor, at full draw, aiming at the target... 

... is to have controlled, relaxed shots, why not do the repair in an environment where controlled relaxed aiming is possible?



Dave,

You just summed up the entire program with those few words.  With the type of target panic I had/have, I could never get relaxed at full draw while aiming and it led to premature and/or erratic releases.  That’s not the case now for many others and me after going thru these drills.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on March 21, 2019, 05:57:43 PM
One of the great pleasures in the life of a target panic sufferer…


...draw, anchor, set your back muscles, aim, keep pulling toward conclusion, then saying to yourself, I can either shoot or let down, and having the control to do either at any given time.

:)
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on April 04, 2019, 10:56:46 AM
It has been a while now since I finished Jim's course, and I have had the opportunity to shoot many times casually with my friends, and one 3D tournament.

My initial concern about not being able to carry over the ability to make controlled shots when shooting with others proved to be groundless.  I can make controlled shots under most conditions if I do everything else right.  Stated another way, I never feel compelled to release the shot before I am ready.  Jim's course is not a panacea for everything.  If I don't concentrate, I will blow the shot.  If I pluck, I will blow the shot.  Both of these are examples of uncontrolled shots, but are different from feeling compelled to release the shot early, and there are specific things I can do on the next shot to correct these errors.  Actually, before Jim's course, I never could have told you that I missed a particular shot because I wasn't concentrating, because all the shots were gone so soon I didn’t really know if I was concentrating or not.

One interesting, and somewhat ironic consequence of Jim's course happened during the 3D competition.  I was shooting with a favorite competitor of mine, and I was cleaning his clock through the first half of the match.  In the second half, my groups began to spread out and I began missing targets.  By the end of the match, he had edged me out.  The reason was that my strength began to fade in the second half.  People noticed my bow arm shaking and mentioned it to me.  I think the reason was that with my newfound ability to hold, I was using up my endurance sooner that I would have if I were rushing my shots.  The match involved shooting 84 arrows at targets, plus whatever we shot in practice, or about 100 arrows total.  This is more than I usually shoot with my friends in the morning.  While it is hard to get stronger at 74, it is not impossible, and my new goal is to get strong enough to shoot 84 arrows without running out of gas.  The only other alternative is to change to a lighter bow than the 40# bow I currently use for 3D and practice, but I love that bow and don't want to change.

The bottom line is that Jim's program will help you to build a strong foundation, so that the image of shooting relaxed and under control is burned into your mind, and this foundation will not crack under stress.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on April 06, 2019, 01:01:59 AM
That's a wonderful report, Dave.  I'm thrilled that you're now in COMPETE control. 

We've all heard tems like, SURPRISE RELEASE or, JUST LET THE SHOT HAPPEN.  Unfortunately, for decades, I didn't have a clue what those terms meant, until I went through these drills.  You can't have a surprise release, or just let it happen until you have a relaxed hold while aiming. 

Len Cardinale uses the term, "maintainable state."  It's simply maintaining tension while aiming.  He stated something to the effect that when you reach maintainable state, you immerse in aiming, then all you have to do is go to conclusion.

That's what these drills are designed to accomplish.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on April 06, 2019, 11:34:53 AM
That sums up my feelings about the release perfectly.  At times, in my search for a solution to the problem of target panic, I explored using an artificial trigger, or a non-anticipatory psycho-trigger, for my release.  The theory behind using an artificial trigger is that it is our own subconscious mind working against us that causes target panic, and if we take control away from our subconscious mind, we will solve the problem.  This sounds logical, but it didn't work for me, although it appears to work for others. Different strokes for different folks.

Nor did it jive with my knowledge that people have been using the bow for uncounted generations, even before humans had agriculture, to hunt and provide food for their families.  How did cave men solve the problem of target panic?  Did they put clickers on their bows?  I believe that they found ways to control their own minds and bodies.  I doubt if they used your method (sorry Jim) but they found some way to do it or they would have starved and we wouldn't be here.

So I have returned to using the surprise release, now that I am in sufficient control once again to use it.  I think the advantage of the surprise release over an artificial trigger is that we get to use our subconscious mind to help us.  Who knows if our arrow is pointed exactly where it should be when the artificial trigger goes off?  Nor can we make a conscious decision to release the arrow without anticipating the release and triggering involuntary reactions within our own bodies that spoil the shot.  I think the subconscious mind is able to pick the ideal instant to release the shot without triggering any pre-shot flinch reaction.

I saw an example of this one day when I was watching an older former champion shooting in a state indoor championship.  His bow arm was visibly shaking at full draw. With his shakes, I would expect a pattern of hits in maybe a 6” circle around the 3” bullseye, but he was putting shot after shot into the bullseye, better than younger people shooting at his side were doing with rock solid bow arms.  He was not using an artificial trigger.  I believe he was using a subconscious release, and it was guiding him to release the arrow at the precise moment needed to counteract the shake.  I had better learn to do this myself, as I am getting the same arm shakes that the contender had.

Obviously, using a clicker CAN increase accuracy because it controls draw length as well as providing an artificial trigger, or the Olympic archers wouldn't be using them.  But if your goal is to shoot as accurately as you can with the least amount of artificial assistance possible, then a subconscious release has advantages beyond the obvious.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: fnshtr on April 06, 2019, 01:51:30 PM
This thread has been most helpful and enlightening. Thanks to Jim and Dave for their insights.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: David Mitchell on April 07, 2019, 07:45:27 PM
This past week end was the first time i have shot with people around since finishing Jim's program. I was attending the KyTradFest and arrived Thursday afternoon.  Several people were hanging around the club house where the warm up targets are located but activity was slow as the shoot had not officially started yet.  I figured that it would be a good time to give it a try.  I stepped up to the shooting line and made my first draw, aware that some guys sitting nearby were watching because I am a lefty and was shooting the target on the right side of a two target set up.  They jokingly told me that I should be shooting the target on the left as a lefty. I was not sure what to expect, but drew to my anchor, aimed, held a bit and let down--not worrying what anyone thought about my letting down.  I found that I was able to control my shots on the 10 yard target, then on to the 20 and the same experience so I happily shot a number of times with alternating draws and let downs.  Felt good to be able to do that.  I don't remember how long it has been since I could do that!  Friday in shooting the 3D range I only had a few ooopsies, but not the wild kind I was used to having.  :biglaugh:  I was able to know what I had done (or not done) and would go on and do the draw, anchor, aim, let down drill to get things back in sync. Admittedly, I did not have the perfect round, yet I was really happy to be able to do things I couldn't for a long, long time.  I realize that for me, this must be a regular part of my shooting sequence from now on.  I have things basically under good control and know how to fix it when things want to go south. 
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: rnrs on May 09, 2019, 10:50:56 PM
Jim, I hope I'm not the first to fail your program! I am on day 53 but still often can't hold on target if I know I am going to shoot the arrow. I can do it really well if I am going to let down. The anxiety creeps in as I go thru the aiming process.
I have had TP for about 50 years - tough to break. Do I go back to lighter bows and closer distance?

Thanks, Rick Wilson
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on May 09, 2019, 11:11:30 PM
50 years?   Oh my!   That's even worse than me by about 15 years.    :)

Let me ask you a question.  On what day and at what distance did you first notice any anxiety creeping in?

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: rnrs on May 09, 2019, 11:27:24 PM
I felt some level of anxiety when I first started releasing an arrow at 15 yards. I could often hit what I was shooting at but it was not a controlled shot - my mind thought I was on and off it went.    rick
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on May 09, 2019, 11:57:30 PM
I felt sure that was going to be your response.  Rick, with all due respect, no one has failed when they followed the drills to-the-letter; a lot of folks have given up because they didn’t follow the advice in the drills.

Unfortunately, a lot of folks will “read” the drills, and then start the program, but very few will “study” the drills and follow my advice throughout.

To answer your question, let me simply quote from the document itself:

“Before you begin, you’ll have to ask yourself if you’re willing to spend at least 63-days (maybe more) on a STRICT regimen of drills…”

“Depending on how badly you’re afflicted with this devil, you may not be able to advance, or extend your distance as quickly, or feel as comfortable as we'd like. So.... if at any time you’re not comfortable, slow up and go back to the previous step.  We’re in no hurry here; stay with it—you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  NEVER stress yourself; don’t let any anxiety come it.  Stay where you are, or go back a step or two.  Do NOT try to advance until you KNOW you’re ready to.”

“You must NEVER try to advance beyond your COMPLETE control. You have to pay the price and it'll be worth it in the end--trust me.”

“***If at any time the anxiety creeps back in, just go back to the previous step.  Repeat it until it's gone, then advance to the next.”

Honestly, if you’ve suffered with this devil for 50 years, it may take you a year or two to complete the drills as specified.  I have gotten many PM’s and emails asking similar questions and my answer is always the same…. NEVER try to advance beyond your COMPLETE control.  It’s that simple.  When the first hint of anxiety comes in, you have to stay put until it’s gone. You have the pay the price to overcome the demon. Believe me, I know how frustrating it can be at times.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: rnrs on May 10, 2019, 12:03:51 AM
Thanks Jim,  I'll go back - way back, and not advance until I am in complete control( no anxiety )
 I will really miss not shooting more arrows! Is that your recommendation?    rick
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on May 10, 2019, 12:23:25 AM
Yes sir, I'd recommend going back to day 22 and begin anew.  Remember.... NEVER try to advance beyond your COMPLETE control.   :)
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: BruceT on May 10, 2019, 09:51:22 AM
    Well I’m in exactly the same boat !! I finished the program on April 15 th . I have been shooting twice daily since then . I can get to my anchor, acquire back tension , and then it’s gone . I kinda thought I was cured because before the program I would have trouble even getting to full draw . A little bit of knowing something wasn’t right but not wanting to admit it 😏
    I guess back to Day 22 for me as well . In some ways not shooting isn’t a loss as a feel I have elevations pretty much engrained . Shooting Left and Right was horrendous !
    Just to clarify, shooting with no anxiety and having control, means you attain anchor and back tension and then really hone in on the aiming , when all good you release ?
    Thanks Rick for bringing this up and thanks Jim for explaining the process.
    I’m 67 , likely had the demon for most of my shooting years , a little blip in there with wheels . A lot of those years I likely didn’t realize what it was , partially because of a shooting style , where as soon as you touched anchor,it was gone.
    “That’s my story “.  Bruce
   
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on May 10, 2019, 10:01:29 AM
BruceT wrote:  "...Just to clarify, shooting with no anxiety and having control, means you attain anchor and back tension and then really hone in on the aiming , when all good you release ? ..."

Yes.  You have to get the to place where you can be "comfortable" while aiming.  Once you can comfortably set your back and aim, then you can go to conclusion.  The least bit of anxiety is a signal to "stay put", or go back a step.

Bruce,

It sounds like you have made some great progress.  You just advanced too quickly.  :) 



Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: McDave on May 10, 2019, 07:24:28 PM
Quote
Yes.  You have to get the to place where you can be "comfortable" while aiming.  Once you can comfortably set your back and aim, then you can go to conclusion.  The least bit of anxiety is a signal to "stay put", or go back a step.

This has been my guiding thought since finishing Jim’s program.  At my age, with the number of years of target panic I’ve experienced, I may never reach the place where I can draw and shoot the bow competitively or in front of an audience without experiencing some level of anxiety.  What Jim’s program gave me was the knowledge that I can ALWAYS draw the bow under control and without anxiety if I am alone and close to the target.  My body has memorized this feeling through many repetitions, and I know when I have it and when I don’t.

The first thing I had to do is to make an agreement with myself that I will not shoot a shot unless I feel relaxed and under control.  I found that as soon as I allowed any rushed shots, pretty soon all of my shots are rushed.  The easiest way to avoid a rushed shot is to let the bow down, as Jim recommends.  This not only avoids that particular rushed shot, but trains your body that your response to feeling rushed will be to let the bow down and not shoot the shot, so it becomes easier to let shots down in the future.

The other thing I do, which I haven’t heard Jim recommend, is to wait until the rushed or anxious feeling goes away.  To do this, allow yourself to fully experience the rushed or anxious feeling, rather than trying to avoid it, while holding at full draw.  This feeling is not a mandate to rush the shot, it is simply a bad feeling without any deeper meaning.  I find that after a while of holding at full draw, the rushed or anxious feeling goes away, and then I can focus on aiming feeling relaxed and under control.  I don’t wait until I feel the rushed or anxious feeling to decide to do this.  I acknowledge before I even start shooting that I will probably have rushed or anxious feelings, and commit to holding however long it takes for the bad feelings to go away before I aim and shoot.  I make the same commitment before each shot.  The bad feelings usually go away within a few seconds of reaching full draw, so it isn’t like I’m holding for much longer that I should be holding anyway.  My fallback is that if I have to hold so long I begin to collapse, I will let down the shot, but realistically, this hasn’t happened.

Sometimes I mix both methods: letting down some shots and holding through the anxiety on others.

Try this; maybe it will work for you too.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: rnrs on May 10, 2019, 08:26:40 PM
Guys - thanks for the good suggestions. I went back to step 22 and did fine. I'll keep plugging away.  rick
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on May 12, 2019, 06:44:31 AM
BruceT and rnrs,

McDave’s post brought me back for a reality check.  I may have given you guys some unrealistic expectations in my last post so let me try to clarify some.  Everyone, experiences some shot anxiety at times whether they suffer from TP, or not.

We sufferers may never completely get over the anxiety and urge to shoot at times (rush the shot).  The objective for us is to learn to overcome those urges and shoot only controlled shots.  I handle mine by letting down and starting over; some folks hold thru it until those urges leave, and like McDave, some do both.  The objective is, as stated in the document, “...If you’re willing to pay the price, put in the time and not cheat, you may end up like me and be thrilled that the demon is gone; if not gone, at least under control—FINALLY! ?”

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: BruceT on May 12, 2019, 09:01:16 AM
    First off , thank you Jim and McDave for your insights ! It’s appreciated.

    I started Day 22 ,on Friday and did two 30 shot sessions yesterday, and I think I was in control . I’m kinda thinking that I might just build the program into my regular practice session . Regular practice, was to go out in backyard, shoot for about a half hour. A lot of times that first one was poor , because I rushed . Lots of left, right misses . I would blame the miss on plucking , back tension, eye not over arrow etc. But I think , I was just not aiming intently. When I did aim intently , I had good back pressure and the release just happened on its own. Anyway, the problem seemed to be to much shooting trying to fix a problem, and all I was doing was engraining a bad habit .
    On a positive note, I have the most beautiful outdoor range , shaded by oak trees , and a round bale to shoot at . Longest distance  being 50 yards. It really won’t be an imposition to redo the last half of the program . I have three and a half months to get it sorted !
    Bruce
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: popseal on May 13, 2019, 11:36:46 AM
1. get real close, 2. think about "loading" the rhomboid, anchoring, and/or aligning the shot, 3. blind bail shooting is helpful (pick your poison)......it works for me......
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on May 13, 2019, 11:45:38 AM
Blank or blind bail work is excellent for form work, but in my opinion does nothing for target panic.

I've never seen a target panic sufferer who couldn't blank bail or go thru their shot sequence with their eyes closed. I feely admit we're all different and YMMV.

Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on October 16, 2019, 07:53:37 PM
To-date, I've sent this program to nearly 600 individuals from here and three other forums. I've received extremely good reports from many archers. The program has been updated and should anyone want to give it a try, just PM me your email address and I'll forward the PDF file to you. Winter is an excellent time start.
The only requirement on your part is.... I expect to hear reports along the way.  :)
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Mark R on October 21, 2019, 11:01:43 AM
Hey Jim when you say updated, any changes from original exercises.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Jim Casto Jr on October 21, 2019, 11:45:44 AM
The only change is in the anchor and hold.  It appears there's a direct relationship on how strongly you hold your anchor to your face while pulling and control.

I encourage throughout the revised version, when you anchor, press your anchor fingers into your face as hard as you can while pulling as hard as you can at the same time.  It appears to shorten the control curve a great deal.
Title: Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
Post by: Mark R on October 21, 2019, 02:01:59 PM
OK thanks I'll give it a try.