Mack S. June – During the archery season, most teams have a pretty constant practice routine or schedule that they follow. With that constant practice comes constant improvement, or just better muscle memory and understanding of the bow. Now, there are some archers that continue to practice and may exercise during the off-season but, for the most part, the majority of archers don’t practice, or even touch a bow for that matter. Practicing is so important for archers because in archery repetition and consistency are the main factors to success. Multiple problems can arise from archers not practicing or exercising certain body parts that are used in archery. Archers can experience muscle loss, incorrect form, forgetting how to properly do certain tasks, and much more. The only way to stop those issues from appearing is to practice at home.
There are multiple ways to practice or exercise at home. One of the easiest and most popular ways to do this is a string bow. For those not familiar with the idea of a string bow, it basically is a string tied into a loop the size of your fully drawn form and is there to replicate a bow or the position you would normally be in when shooting a bow. Sting bows are used to help archers stay familiar with their form and stance, along with helping train their muscle memory with the 11 steps.
Another exercise that isn’t nearly as popular, is the soup technique. The soup technique is as simple as it sounds, all you need is a can of soup or weight and maybe a friend if you want competition. All you do is get into your fully drawn position and hold out the can of soup with the arm you hold the bow in. The can of soup simulates the weight of the bow and helps strengthen your bow arm, making it easier to hold the bow out for longer. It also creates a steadier arm, making it harder for you to shake or drop the bow when actually shooting. The last exercise I recommend is to actually practice with your bow. I understand that not everyone has access to an area to shoot or even a bow, but sometimes you have to use what you have on hand. Even if it is only a few times it will only help you.
In archery, repetition and consistency are the main factors to success and practicing is so important for archers because of those two factors. Archers can only get more consistent if they practice, they can only get better at repeating the steps if they constantly do them. And if you want to be a better archer you have to practice, a little at least, and if you do the results will show it.
Mack S. is a 2023 student contributor.