Tips For Self-Coaching


1) Get a full length mirror you can stand in front of. This is a great way to see your own form. Where is that elbow? Where are your feet? At the end of your legs, I hope. How are you holding your head? You can't see yourself as others do, but a mirror is better than a friend, it won't lie to you.

2) Keep a journal. Each day you shoot, debrief yourself. Write down your impressions of what worked or didn't work. Read your notes and think about those observations. If you don't shoot every day, notes will refresh your mind to what you're working on as you build a repeatable shot sequence.

3) Take your movie camera once in a while and record your shot sequence. A picture is worth a thousand words, and you will see how terrible your form really is. Once you see the problems you can begin to work on them. Smile at the camera, you're becoming a work of art.

4) Take a picture of every group you make. You can study your groups and eventually see patterns like usually left and high or perhaps right and low. When you become aware of where your shots are falling you can go back and work on your form to correct this. If you're not aware of your shot pattern you will only keep doing the same thing that causes the problem.

There are three "LINES" you must be aware of:

1) The Line of Sight
The line of sight goes from your eye to the target. It is the only straight line in archery.
The line of sight consists of the dominant eye, the target, the arrow point and finally put the arrow nock on the line.
You are now lined up visually. Lining up visually is relatively easy, but if you have one kink in your power line, or if the line of force does not go from the elbow to the target you're not getting a hit whether it looks straight or not.

2) The Power Line
The power line consists of the bow hand, bow, string, draw finger, back of the hand, wrist, forearm muscles, and string elbow. Look at the power line like a chain where each part of the power line is a link in the chain. The chain must be pulled straight from the bow hand to the string elbow. If there is any twisting between any link, the power line is not straight and results in a miss. In other words do not hold the bow, only hook the string, do not grip it. Do not cock the wrist. Do not tighten your forearm muscles to grip the string. If you do any of these things you'll torque the power line and miss. RELAX BABY - RELAX.

3) The Line of Force
The line of force has only two points. They are the bow hand and the string elbow.
The string elbow must be directly behind the bow hand. If there is any torquing of any link in the power line, the force line goes from the elbow to that link. The force line will not go from the elbow to the bow hand. This is why you miss even though the arrow appears visually straight to the target.You cannot see the line of force. You must feel it and direct it to the target.

If you can put these three lines together you've got a hit. The essence of this is being relaxed as a chain under tension.

The truth is your elbow is the anchor not the not the corner of your mouth. The corner of your mouth is just a draw check. If you line up from the corner of your mouth, the arrow will appear straight to the target, but when you release the power will come from wherever your elbow is and if it is left or right of your mouth you will miss. PERIOD.
Relax the upper body and get that elbow back in line.