The Whole Ten Yards

The Christmas tree is up in our front room for another year, but aside from that I’d say that receiving the certificate for officially completing my archery beginners’ course was a pretty good way to start the festive period. I got it yesterday morning upon attending my first archery session in three weeks, and as soon as I got back onto the shooting line – with my target ten yards in front of me (hence the title) – it felt like I’d never been away. I have a band at home, lent to me by the instructor to help me simulate the action of pulling the bow, and using it helps me to be stronger and improve my shots. I’d made sure to pick it up during the time I’d been away, and it allowed me to work out a good technique to utilise prior to releasing an arrow. As I pulled back, I’d carefully ensure that I was sat up straight so as to avoid slumping and affecting the trajectory of the shot. This can also happen if I’m not holding the bow straight, and my left arm needed to be outstretched as fully as possible. Then came the aim – I’d previously opted not to use a sight, as some of the other people shooting do, and therefore shoot “barebow”. This can give mixed results, as you’re not guaranteed a bullseye even if you point the arrow at the centre. It can therefore pay off to pick an area of the target that, when fired at, will help to guide the arrow towards the gold spot. In my case, this was the bottom right-hand corner of the board, over the black and white rings on the outside. When I’d found this, all I needed to do was pull back about as far as the corner of my mouth, with my elbow straight and raised, and release…

…and somewhat to my surprise, this approach worked. I found yesterday’s session to be among the most consistent I’ve had so far, and all because the majority of shots landed in the gold or inner red areas – which would mean big points if I was scoring! It was a tremendous confidence boost, as it always is, and I was even more pleased when I thought about how I hadn’t been in three weeks. Having completed the beginners’ course, I now need to join the club proper, as well as Archery GB, and I have paid for my membership of both. I don’t know what will come of this in the future yet, but I’m very excited to find out. Let’s just hope I can keep that technique up – I should be fine as long as I keep getting the band out!



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