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Author Topic: Form pics.....a theory  (Read 1350 times)

Offline Dave Bulla

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Form pics.....a theory
« on: January 08, 2004, 10:11:00 PM »
Well, as I'm sure you all know by now, the form pics thread is a wealth of knowledge and is one of the best archery threads ever to hit cyberspace.

One constant comment is the importance of a solid bow arm and that is coming from guys who really KNOW how to shoot.

Now, I aint no Robbin Hood by any means and I've fought target panic and poor accuracy for several years but in the process, I feel like I've learned a little about the importance of good form and what exactly good form is.  I've beaten the short draw and still have trouble with relaxing on target but I think my overall form when properly executed is pretty good.  Anyway, that's just to let you all know where I'm coming from here.

In my "quest" to learn proper form I came up with an idea I thought was original but I've since read similar thoughts in books and online.  

The idea has to do with stance and addressing the target but the result is a very solid bow arm.  What I found is that when you draw a bow blindfolded or with your eyes closed it is very natural to hold everything solid and square.  Sort of a natural "sweet spot".  Everything is in line and you naturally make a + sign with your upper body as Terry Green (I think) said on the form pics thread.  When I shoot from this position, nothing moves in my bow arm and my release is clean.

Aha! I thought, if I could just learn to address the target before hand so that I am in that "natural" alignment I'll shoot a lot better.  And it's true!  I've been playing around with using my legs and stance to get situated so that when I draw my bow I don't have to move my bow arm left-right or up-down and it seems to help a bunch.  I really believe that a lot of becoming a good shot is learning to do just that but I bet most "naturals" don't even realize they are doing it 'cause it comes ....well, naturally.

Since everyone seems to be trying to improve their form and accuracy now that the seasons are winding down in most states I'd sure like to have some of you all try this and let me know what you think.

Do this:  Stand in front of your target and position your feet and upper body where you feel "lined up".  Close your eyes and come to a full, natural feeling draw.  Open your eyes and see where you are pointed.  If you are right on target, forget the whole thing 'cause you are already doing it naturally.  If you are off left-right, let down and adjust your stance.  If you are off up and down, bend or straighten your knees as needed to move up and down.  Bending front leg lowers impact and bending aft raises it.  Keep that + shape in your upper body.  Now of course left-right or up-down can be adjusted by swiveling but to start out I prefer to get the stance correct in relation to the target until it just happens natural.  Later, when it feels natural, practice swiveling for hunting situations.  Think of a point somewhere above your hips between your navel and spine as an unmovable point that your body can move around.  Nothing in your upper body should change in relation to the center and the lower part is free to move and make adjustments but also can't disturb the center point.  

In the mean time, try to develop a feel for total body alignment before the shot.  Pay attention to follow through and see if you see any difference in how solid your bow arm is.  If you don't have the 12 and 6 o'clock alignment from arrow tip through string arm elbow you might still see movement.  Try increasing back tension to get everything in line before giving up though.

I've found that my bow arm is naturally solid when I do this and aim with my legs but that I still have some tendancy to try to adjust my aim with my arm which leads to movement at release because things are not aligned in that "sweet spot".  When I use only my legs, things are rock solid.

I'd really be interested to hear what some of you think of this idea wether you are a good shot or a bad one and if it helped you in any way.

Now, if I could just improve my release, learn to really concentrate and relax "on target" I'd probably be a pretty good shot.....    :rolleyes:    

One step at a time though.  I've got a lot of old habbits that need fixing.

Dave
Dave


I've come to believe that the keys to shooting well for me are good form, trusting the bow to do all the work, and having the confidence in the bow and myself to remain motionless and relaxed at release until the arrow hits the mark.

Offline Charlie Lamb

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2004, 09:55:00 AM »
Dave... I do something very similar to what you are talking about. The exception would be that my legs/lower body are out of the equation.

Upper body alignment with the target is very important to me. In John Schulz's great shooting video he talks about lining up the bow shoulder with the target and bringing the bow up in a straight line with the target and that's what I try to do.

I have gotten to the point in my shooting that I tend to focus on left/right alignment with the point to be hit. Elevation comes without thought. (for me)
Once full draw/extension is acheived it is important to switch focus to the target and block out any other thought.
I do think you are onto something with this excersise!
Hunt Sharp

Charlie

Offline herb haines

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2004, 10:28:00 AM »
Dave ,
 i am slow on clock positions have 3 o'clock (arrow point ),9 o'clock elbow . where are 6 and 12 . dumb huh -- herb
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Offline Douglas DuRant

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2004, 10:41:00 AM »
Dave you seem to have good insight into shooting even when you have problems with doing so.

I think your + analogy is a good one. I think bending at the waist from a tree stand is important to maintain the +.

Bob Weslly (sp) talks about keeping the bow arm shoulder down. Some people tend to let it ride up toward their head which breaks the + sign so to speak.

There is more than form involed in good shooting though. There is the hard to put in words mental aspect. Since I have recently read "Free Throw" by Dr. Tom Amberry, I have thought you might be interested in what he has to say.

The author at 73 shot 2750 free throws without missing. You can put him on the line with any pro from the NBA and he'll out shoot them in short order.

Way to much for me to cover here, but he has some very good stuff on shooting under pressure, focus, concentration, and confidence. He tallks about letting go with the consious mind to let the subconcious and the body make the shot.

Not trying to hijack this thread, but I have been meaning to pass this info on to you about his book.

Offline Naked in NH

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2004, 10:46:00 AM »
It's not an uncommon method for learning to shoot a rifle offhand.
-pablo
making shavings in the 603

Offline Douglas DuRant

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2004, 10:46:00 AM »
Herd your head is 12, and your waist is 6. Not dumb, you just didn't have it visualized. Dumb would have been not to ask.

Offline joel smith

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2004, 11:05:00 AM »
Thanks,Dave, very interesting idea, i'll be trying that and let you know
"...some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I've had a good life all the way..."
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Offline pav

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2004, 11:20:00 AM »
I am a new shooter, but I figure I ought to shoot and practice as if I am hunting in a ground blind, beings limiting movement is the key to success IMHO. I like to line the arrow up paralell to my bow arm and plumb the arrow up with my bow string and do kinda of a pre-draw aim,this is all a fluid motion done very slowly, my first trad. bow kill took me about 10-15 minutes to do this then draw, that way if I draw I am already on line with an anchor and release and I hit the dear almost right where i was aiming. I hit it directly in the shoulder and I was aiming behind the shouldder.
>>>>----Paul--------)>

Online Terry Green

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2004, 11:25:00 AM »
Herb,

Here's what I wrote....

"An over head view would reveal that the arrow is at 12:00 O'clock, and the elbow is at 6:00 O'clock. NOT 12:00 and 4 or 5 O'clock."

As in WHERE the elbow is pointing.

Now visualize an overhead view of this pic....

 


The *+* sign comments were directed to the alignment of this pic 'as is'.

   
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Offline Douglas DuRant

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2004, 11:32:00 AM »
I see i visulized a different clock than Terry. LOL

Online Terry Green

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2004, 11:36:00 AM »
BTW, that thread has gotten rather large....and there is some good info that may be getting scattered, and watered down.

Herb...I've had to do it myself.  you may want to go back and re-read it from the beginning, and take some notes in the order the posts were submited...like a set of cliff notes.  Plus signs, and clock times can get confusing.
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"It's important,  when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia

' An anchor point is not a destination, its  an evolution to execution' - Me

Offline FLHunter

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2004, 12:22:00 PM »
Dave,

I think its a bit more than a theory!  No doubt having everything lined up properly is part of good form. It is my feeling that the more contorted your form is the more problems you are going to have.  

I will often use the expression "Pre-load" when describing gripping the bow, meaning that if you don't have your hand in a neutral spot the bow will torque when released even though everything is pulled straight at full draw.  The same with your body when the draw pressure comes off it goes back to its pre-loaded position, kind of like electricity it seeks the path of least resistance.  It takes alot more muscle force to hold position shooting in an awkward body position.  Once your form is developed well you can get away with alot more.  Doug your "sweet spot" is where everything just naturally lines up in a neutral position not putting unnecessary imput into the shot, I agree.

I agree with Charlie that maintaining the upper body "T" regardless of your what your legs or feet are doing is most important.  But you have to learn to know how to maintain good upper body form first to get there.  Having good upper body form will generally keep you on target.

There is a reason why target archers shoot the way they do, CONSISTANCY AND CONTROL.  Once you have  control and consistancy muscle memory you can accomplish more off the wall shots because your training takes over, but you must have a good foundation to do so.
Aim Hard!

Offline herb haines

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2004, 12:41:00 PM »
Terry ,
took me 2 days to read through it the first time  and it is alot bigger now   :D  .
have a hard time with the clock thing but have it now just have to remember which clock each persomn is using LOL.maybe some one could go through and sort out some of the info just put in the pernnant stuff and put it in the artical section .so new members can see it .learning a lot now just need to practice , have a shoot on sunday so we will see .just going to make sure my elbow is down and my thumb is up .  :thumbsup:  -- herb
"Heaven is just over the next ridge......"

Hello Darlin'

Offline Dave Bulla

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2004, 12:45:00 PM »
Well, glad to hear some agreement from you all.  I kinda wondered if maybe I was all wet.

Charlie, the method you describe is exactly what I'm going for somewhere down the road but I'm starting out paying attention to my form "from the ground up" so to speak.  The idea is to eventually get the top of the "T" alignment so ingrained that I could shoot from any position like say at a squirrel overhead while stepping over a log and twisting at the waist.  I'm just trying to extend the alignment farther down towards center until I get good at it.

Terry, thanks for clearing up the 12 and 6 o'clock reference.  Hope ya don't mind me borrowing your words.  I've been thinking of it (upper body form) as a "T" like Charlie but since the "+" was already used, I ran with it.

FL Hunter, I like your term "pre load"!  It's what I was trying to describe when I was talking about the "sweet spot" only the sweet spot doesn't have any pre load.  That's why it's a sweet spot eh?  Any time I deviate from that spot I induce strain on one of the legs of the +.  For example, if I lean too far towards the target (on level ground) my drawing arm elbow comes up and so does my bow hand to maintain sight picture.  Basically, my bow arm shoulder drops out of line with the rest of the shot because I leaned forward/down beyond the line of the shot.

Same for shooting up if you reach up with your bow arm instead of tilting your upper body backwards.  Also left or right corrections with just the bow arm.  

Any of these require you to use muscle tension to maintain sight picture (for lack of a better term) and when you let go of the string that muscle tension turns into movement.

Dave
Dave


I've come to believe that the keys to shooting well for me are good form, trusting the bow to do all the work, and having the confidence in the bow and myself to remain motionless and relaxed at release until the arrow hits the mark.

Offline Doc Nock

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2004, 01:31:00 PM »
Wow... At home I'm on dial-up and that great (but big) form thread is a killer... It WOULD be great to have it archived in the HOW-TO section as just bullets for each post or something???

I had a guy coach me once on a foot position. He ponts his bow shoulder at the target, and depending on how far the shot is, his back foot moves away from center. With the bow held out and relaxed, when you move that back foot "out" (not back, but to the side sorta) you see the bow angle naturally moves "up".  sorta like the pics Terry posted of coo- ah, Lance.  :)

That point about dropping the bow SHOULDER is pretty helpful too. I had a bow shop guy watch me shoot and he saw I let my bow shoulder "slide" up toward my ear.  Once I didn't do that, things get solid quicker!

Keep it coming.
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Online Terry Green

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2004, 02:13:00 PM »
Dave,

I used the *+* sign, because I feel it is important to include the neck and head.

I'm gonna see about consolidating that thread.
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"It's important,  when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia

' An anchor point is not a destination, its  an evolution to execution' - Me

Online Terry Green

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2004, 03:03:00 PM »
AH Herb.....I think i might have been confusing myself......

If you were shooting AT the NORTH Pole...your arrow would be at 12...and your elbow would be at 6 on the clock face ...on a north up overhead pic.

Zat better?   :confused:    :D    :confused:    :D
tarz@tradgang.com


"It's important,  when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia

' An anchor point is not a destination, its  an evolution to execution' - Me

Offline herb haines

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2004, 03:24:00 PM »
figured it out after a while ,some times i need hand signals to sifer things out  :(   . easier for me on side view , arrow at 3 ,elbow 9 , head 12 and feet 6 .but then i can cause  a disturbance where ever i go .   :D   ----- herb
"Heaven is just over the next ridge......"

Hello Darlin'

Online Terry Green

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2004, 03:37:00 PM »
Right Herb...and the reason for the overhead comment is because it can be hard to tell how far the elbow is really back on a profile pic.

Hence the 12 and 6, not 12 and 4 or 5 comment.

I'm gonna take a pic for future reference.

Tarzzzzzzz
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"It's important,  when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia

' An anchor point is not a destination, its  an evolution to execution' - Me

Offline joel smith

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Re: Form pics.....a theory
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2004, 03:39:00 PM »
huh ?


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