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Author Topic: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)  (Read 3562 times)

Offline Dan Jones

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #60 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.

Online McDave

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #61 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.
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Offline Dan Jones

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #62 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.

Online McDave

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #63 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.
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Online David Mitchell

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #64 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.
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Offline mistercmath

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #65 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.

Online Jim Casto Jr

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #66 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.    :)
"Archery is really very simple. You just have to do the exact same thing on every shot."
Bill Leslie, July 22, 2017

"Form is everything." 
Al Cole, June 7, 2008

Offline mistercmath

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #67 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.


Online goingoldskool

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #69 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!
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Online BruceT

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #70 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

Offline Mark R

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #71 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.

Online McDave

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #72 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?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 10:19:15 AM by McDave »
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Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Offline Mark R

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #73 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.

Online David Mitchell

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #74 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.
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Online Jim Casto Jr

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #75 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.
"Archery is really very simple. You just have to do the exact same thing on every shot."
Bill Leslie, July 22, 2017

"Form is everything." 
Al Cole, June 7, 2008

Online Jim Casto Jr

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #76 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.

:)
"Archery is really very simple. You just have to do the exact same thing on every shot."
Bill Leslie, July 22, 2017

"Form is everything." 
Al Cole, June 7, 2008

Online McDave

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #77 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.
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Online Jim Casto Jr

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #78 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.
"Archery is really very simple. You just have to do the exact same thing on every shot."
Bill Leslie, July 22, 2017

"Form is everything." 
Al Cole, June 7, 2008

Online McDave

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Re: Beat Target Panic (Maybe?)
« Reply #79 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.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 11:45:45 AM by McDave »
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

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