Regardless of your sport, to be good you need to perform a routine of mental and physical exercises before beginning practice or competition. Just as in other sports, it’s important for an archer or bowhunter to have a routine; it is the muscle memory, the calm breathing and relaxed composure that will make you successful. Taking 15 minutes nightly to build your routine and practice with your bow will only make you a better competitor or hunter. If you use several ways to practice your archery, it will make the time fly, as well as the arrows.
For a healthy and successful hunting season, getting an early start will only increase your strength, stamina, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Why?
To the surprise of many, archery is more of a mental sport than physical, as you learn to control your excitement, breathing, adrenalin and your focus.
To be a strong archery hunter, you need to blend in with your environment and remain calm, you want your target close. If you can’t be in control of the mental aspect, then you will give yourself away every time. Remaining perfectly still in your shooting stance while aiming your bow at the target exercises your core muscles supports proper posture. Strengthening the abdominal muscles allows the weight of the upper body to be evenly distributed over the front and back, improving balance.
The earlier you can get focused on your target and end goal of a successful hunt, the easier it will all come to you. Ideally, if you have been in a summer archery league, you will have given yourself even more mental and physical preparation for hunting this fall, or for any fall competitions.
It’s never too late to call your friends, form a team, walk a few hills and take aim on some 3D targets. It’s the small things you do now that will add up and give you big results later.
Other Ways to Practice Archery
If you don’t have 15 minutes nightly, we recommend signing up for an archery league at your local range because you will be forced to focus on your routine as you build muscle memory, dial in anchor points, make the adjustments needed to sites and everything else needed to line you up for a successful season.
Or, take a weekend block of time and go to a 3D range. The 1- to 2-hours of walking a 3D target range gets you away from your everyday stress. Getting out on a course with your friends insures some healthy competition. Receiving advice and input from someone watching your form, critiquing your stance and giving you input on equipment set up will just make you more prepared. A 3D course offers variety – with variation of distances, angles, target sizes and weather These range conditions prepare you for hunting, as well.
Games for Archery Practice
If you can’t make it out to a 3D range, invite some friends over and make practice fun. Here are 2 games we like to play.
Remember to practice safe shooting while on and off the range, which is like shooting a gun as far as downrange rules and pointing a loaded gun or bow.
This Retro WON first appeared August 30, 2017.