PAYTON BELLINGS February – Have you ever shot four arrows in a perfect group, just to finish the round with the last one not even near the group? That “one bad arrow” can be incredibly frustrating, but there are things you can do it prevent it from happening again.
Numbering your arrows
Numbering your arrows can help detect wonky fliers. It can help you notice that one arrow is going off into the same spot every round, allowing you to swap the arrow out. By doing this, you are able to rule out equipment malfunction as a reason for a bad arrow.
If you just shot four really good arrows, it can sometimes be nerve-racking to shoot the fifth. I find that it helps to take a deep breath and mentally prepare yourself before you take the shot if you are in this situation.
While bad arrows are somewhat preventable, there are still going to be times when they happen. How you react to it happening can affect how you shoot for the rest of the time, whether you are at a tournament or just practice.
I find that it can be incredibly helpful to just pause and think about what happened after shooting a bad arrow. If I did something wrong, I do what I can to prevent myself from making the mistake a second time. If it is an equipment issue, I make sure to fix it before the next round.
Sometimes you may see me laugh a bad arrow off. The most important thing is to not overreact. I promise you that everybody, even the best archers, have bad arrows occasionally. One bad arrow is definitely not the end of the world! While you may not be able to control that one bad arrow, you can control all of them after that. Try not to dwell on past arrows, or rounds, and focus on the present.
~Payton Bellings is a 2023 student contributor~