Reagan Trent, February – Practicing archery as a team gives you a special bond and a family. Coaches usually have a planned-out schedule with timed exercises. They are designed to help all archers improve their form, shot, and overall performance. While these exercises help, it is okay to practice and have your own “drills” that are specific to you. I started experimenting with my personalized drills in my freshman year of high school. With the exercises from coaches and my own drills, I was seeing improvements by the end of the first week.
My main goal with these drills was to make myself stronger and have my muscles memorize my stance. I first started bicep curling milk jugs as a substitute for weights. While that was helping my strength, I knew there was something else that could help me even more. I did some research and found out that working your left and right deltoid muscles are particularly important for control and stability over the bow. The three main exercises were shoulder presses, lateral raises, and front raises. These drills were meant to help my shoulders relax when I drew back my bow.
I would try to make the drills a competition, whether that be against someone else or against myself. I found a random item in my house that was heavy, but not too heavy that it was painful, just something to challenge my strength. Ideally, the item would do its job better if it were a little heavier than your bow’s poundage. I would set a timer and hold the item like it was my bow for as long as I would with my bow hand. Eventually it would not be a challenge and I would replace the item with my bow. This drill makes it easier for your bow hand to hold and stabilize your bow.
Another drill I do to improve my strength is to practice pulling back stretchy items with my draw hand. This drill usually works with a resistance band or a bungee cord. To do this drill, I hold the resistance band or bungee cord at full draw for as long as I can hold it. Setting a timer for this as well. Make sure you’re careful with the resistance band as it can snap and hurt you. Remember to slowly let the band or cord down. This drill helps your draw arm pull back your bow easier with less tension.
Thank you for reading and stay shooting!