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Author Topic: How do you quiet yourself?  (Read 318 times)

Offline N. Naiden

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How do you quiet yourself?
« on: January 17, 2005, 12:28:00 AM »
In the moment before the release what do you do to calm yourself, or quiet yourself, so the shot will fly true?

It is said that in Bhutan, where archery is the national pastime and after-work contests in traditional dress are a daily event..when the archer  knows they have shot perfectly they drop their bow and run down the field to see where the arrow lands.  They do not worry about the other shooters whose arrows continue to fly - but follow the joy of that singular awareness, that their shot was prefect.

We all know this feeling - that things were 'right' and it will work.  It is harder to make things right consistently.

What do you do, in those seconds before you release, to make things work?
N. Naiden

Witnesses of missing have no problem missing your ego. "HOW DID YOU MISS??".   Brian Krebs

Online Shaun

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2005, 12:40:00 AM »
Nothing. Its all the doing that messes up most of my shots.

Offline Bill Curlis

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2005, 12:50:00 AM »
Just remember to breath.
Pick a spot and concentrate!

Offline insttech1

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2005, 01:00:00 AM »
It's not the "shot" that gets me...

It's the point that I see the animal that I know I can harvest...that's when the heart pumps so hard I can feel my throat throb...and I start to flush...

But that ends the second the bow is raised, or the rifle, or muzzleloader, or shotgun, or whatever...at least for me, anyway...

That comes from years and years and years of marksmanship and Marine Corps training, though....when it comes to making the shot for a harvest, that's all there is--the shot itself...

The heart slows, the form comes together, the body stiffens...and breathing calms or stops altogether...

That's one reason why people might never touch a .300 win-mag at a rifle range, but if they touch one off at a deer or an elk, they never even feel the impact, and there is NO residual effect of recoil in later hours that would make your shoulder ache...

It's the ingrained ability of the body to react to what the mind tells it is coming...something to be excited about, and yet something that demands precision and focus...

Eventually the two just "meld", and it is not even a conscious thing anymore...it just..."is"...
"When you catch Hell--DROP IT!!  When you're going thru Hell--DON'T STOP!!"

Offline Jeff Strubberg

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2005, 01:22:00 AM »
My name is Jeff Strubberg, and I am an archery addict.....


I live for that still moment at the center of the shot.  Everything tight, everything in line.  You feel as if you could hold the shot forever.  Releasing the arrow is almost an anticlimax and there is no question as to where the arrow will end up.

That feeling can wash away the worst of days and adds depth to the color of the leaves of the fall woods.  The day I stop enjoying that feeling is the day I hang my bows up.

Short answer to your question...I seek that "feeling" so aggresively, both in the woods and on the target field, that there is no need to calm myself before the shot.  The target itself almost fades away.  It's just me and that perfect symmetry of form and function, tension and relaxation.
"Teach him horsemanship and archery, and teach him to despise all lies"          -Herodotus

Offline Terry Riley

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2005, 01:40:00 AM »
I slow down in the last few inches of my draw before I reach anchor point and try to focus all attention on the smallest point I can visualize so that everything else sort of fades into the backround. I practice this while stump shooting so it just happens.

Terry

Offline StanM

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2005, 02:19:00 AM »
On the rare occasions when I'm shooting "in the zone" I know that I'll hit what I'm shooting at because I get a distinct visualization of the perfect shot before I actually release.

Same thing used to happen for me on the golf course.  I used to call it holing a putt before I hit it.  Just saw the ball rolling into the hole as if it couldn't do anything but.

One of my goals between now and next Fall is to work on the mental aspect of my shooting.  Would've done it earlier, but I'm scared as hell to look inside my own mind.

Stan

Online Yohon

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2005, 06:17:00 AM »
Jeff...Excellent discription  :thumbsup:
"Take the time to take your time and enjoy the trip." Mike Bolin

Offline deerfly

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2005, 07:53:00 AM »
positive thinking, long slow deep breaths through the nose and intense focus on the smallest little detail where I want the arrow to go.

Offline bayoulongbowman

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2005, 08:57:00 AM »
NO RED BEANS & RICE THE NIGHT BEFORE , AND iM OK..  :D    :wavey:    :wavey:  ...
"If you're living your life as if there is no GOD, you had  better be right!"

Offline Douglas DuRant

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2005, 09:11:00 AM »
Hi Deerfly hope y'all came through this last hurricane season without too much damage. My Dad's place was spared. Hope to see y'all in March.

What a good question this is. Wish I could give an adequate answer to it. I don't really know how I get there for the shot, It just seems to happen. I feel it relates to the quality of my concentration on my focus.

Perhaps think of our concentration on focus like a solution of liquid so concentrated that there is no room for anything else to dilute the quality of our concentration. Thinking is allowed before and after the shoot but only dilutes our focus when we are making the shot.

I feel my best shots are made when my subconscious is concentrated on making the shot, rather than my conscious mind which wants to be over controlling at times. My conscious mind is almost always thinking about more than just the shot, so it is best to leave it out of the shot many times. Just let it handle the preliminaries, then give it something to do like saying follow through to occupy it.

I strive to quiet my mind when hunting so I can become more attuned with the world around me, and listening to every sound is part of the method I use to control my internal dialog. This state of quiet observation may be of help when it comes to making a hunting shoot.

For 3D shoots i am laughing and thinking about how to have fun with my friends even when standing at the stake. But when it comes time for the shot I just tune it all out. The laughing and ribbing keep me centered in a way that doesn't let worrying about a bad shot or the score dilute my concentration on the shot at hand.

The book "Free Throw" by Dr. Tom Amberry gives some good insight into this aspect of shooting, even though the book is about shooting a basketball. At the age of 73 he shot about 2,700 free throws in a row without missing. Now that is high quality concentration.

Hope I haven't rambled too much, since i really do feel my explanation is less than adequate.

Offline mich-mtnman

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2005, 09:17:00 AM »
this may sound funny but i get into like a zen mode.
 i try to be the ultimate predator and slip thru the trees and woods trying to be aware of everything that is going on. i am aware of every step , leaves falling , wind changes , a flick of a tail or the horizontal line of the deer quietly making his way along.
 with all this going on around me all the time there is not much time to think about the shot or screwing up! remember what they say about practice...
 practice does NOT make perfect.
 
 PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.

 thats why i believe that stumping and stalking small game is the best thing to do to prepare you for the hunt. the rest will come natural. if you feel as if ..what if i miss , pluck the string  or fumble the draw...forget it. this means you probably didnt practice enough before season. we owe it to our game to take them quickly and as cleanly as we can.
 this may sound mushy but it pretty much sets US traditionalist apart from the rest. mtman
" still trying to look like a 300# leaf "

Offline deerfly

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2005, 09:23:00 AM »
thanks Doug, we came through everything fine, just some blow downs which convert nicely into firewood.  :)  Should be there in March too barring any business travel.

I didn't get into that subsconscious thing at the shot in my previous post because I read the question to be more in line with preparation for the shot, but it definitely happens for me too. Time stands still, everything in the world goes silent and then the shot happens. After that, precise recall of the release is foggy at best. - Eric

Online Pat B

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2005, 09:50:00 AM »
I concentrate on the "spot" and try not to think about the mechanics. I shoot as much as possible during the rest of the year so I don't have to "think" when the time comes...just do it!   Pat
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!
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Offline **DONOTDELETE**

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2005, 04:36:00 PM »
I don't know why but I never worry about calming down before the shot. While it is coming and then when it happens I go cold and work like a machine till the arrow is gone.

There is no jitters, no buck fever no worries, no thinking, just cold decisions, it is like watching someone else make the shot. in front of the target face, I am nervous and distracted and thinking of the pretty girl standing next to me. I cant concentrate but get me in the woods and it is all gone while I am shooting.

I discoverd this about me while I was in the forces. on the range, a circle target just messes me up but put up a "crazy Ivan" and it all goes away. Even my DI noticed it, of course I was busy shooting the knees and privates out of all the targets but hey..

Online b.glass

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2005, 04:58:00 PM »
I'm not sure of the answer to that question. But I distinctly remember one day when I was "there". My husband was watching my nephew and myself shooting. I was hitting the mark pretty consistantly. My nephew would shoot then I would shoot. After one of my shots my husband made the comment "It didn't work did it?" My nephew had this disgusted look on his face and then I recalled that he had been saying something as I was shooting. That's when I realized he had been trying to distract me. I was "there". I'm with Shaun, It's when I don't feel like I have to "do" anything that I shoot the best. How do you get "there"...? I'll have to think about that!
B.Glass, aka Mom, aka Longbowwoman
Gregory R. Glass Feb. 14th, 1989-April 1st, 2007; Forever 18.
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Mark 5:36 "Don't be afraid, just believe".

Offline splat38

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2005, 05:27:00 PM »
M

Offline splat38

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2005, 05:45:00 PM »
New UK member .Hi you lucky people.Wish i lived in a country where bow hunting was leagle.
For me when i make the perfect shot i know as soon as the string slides off my tab that it's a hit.
This is the magic that keeps me shooting,plus the fact that stuff occasionaly gets in the way of my already released arrows.Remember the good shots,forget the bad ones.
Like training a dog:keep it positive

Online paradocs

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2005, 06:31:00 PM »
I knew that was comin'

Offline B.O.D.

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2005, 06:34:00 PM »
Noelle, I think mmmmm, this is going to be tasty in my cast iron skillet w/ mushrooms, biscuits and gravy....... I'm a father of 6, gotta think meat lady. lol! ASHSTYK

Online twobows

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2005, 09:56:00 PM »
Noelle,
  I have never been calm when a deer comes with in range, I make the call yes or no if I decide yes I go blank and look through the deer and it happens. A short blood trail and give thanks to the MAN

Offline mikeschwister

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2005, 10:21:00 PM »
I do best when I just shoot, focus on the spot and let it happen. Then I enjoy the uncontrollable shakes and pounding chest.  If I ever get over that part I will probable quit.

Mike

Online gregg dudley

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2005, 10:21:00 PM »
I always visualize 3d targets as game animals and I build a running commentary in my head.  "He's coming in, he dropped his head, pick a spot..."  I never have a sense of urgency when I am target shooting unless the season is approaching and I am shooting poorly.  I can get disgusted if I start making a series of errant shots, but it is still fun.

When I hit a hunting scenario, I do the same thing.  A little auto pilot voice runs through the narration until the opportunity presents itself and then I blank out conscious thought except for "pick a spot," and make the shot.  My theory is that by visualizing hunting scenarios during practice, I am making the actual hunt a more familiar experience.

I always remember the sight picture, but I very rarely remember making a conscious decision to shoot. What Jeff said before has a lot of merit.

Now, after the shot?  That's another story.  I come unglued after the shot!
MOLON LABE

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Come shoot with us!

Offline Tom Leemans

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2005, 08:51:00 AM »
I've found that if I breathe calmly, the adrenaline shakes go away after about 30 seconds. It seems much longer than that but I've timed it.
Got wood? - Tom

Offline N. Naiden

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Re: How do you quiet yourself?
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2005, 11:40:00 AM »
"then I go blank" - that is exactly what I think many people do - they are doing something to center themselves and focus but may not know what they are doing?

I loved Shawn's reply, "I do nothing" - talk about Zen, that's perfect.

I have used a visualization sequence called 'grounding' and it works with breath and breathing, but I often wonder if there are better methods to doing it.

I have read Zen and the Art of Archery over and over, and confess my western mind sometimes gets in my way.

It is a combinations of opposites though, the comment of "tension and relaxation" rings true.

And it makes sense that military style trainging would help greatly - can anyone tell a totally uninitiated person exactly what is Marie style, or military style, training in shooting? Other that accuracy skills, do military agencies teach about staying centered and still in the midst of chaos? How do they do it?

One friend who was a Green Beret in Vietnam told me his preparation was far superior to those who were drafted - he listed the things he had been trained in, but never mentioned stillness, or centering. There are lots of names that would apply.

Thank you for the responses! For me this is the trick to being consistent - my form is fairly consistent, my quieted mind is another story....
N. Naiden

Witnesses of missing have no problem missing your ego. "HOW DID YOU MISS??".   Brian Krebs

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