Rick McKinney 3 P

September 12, 2017 | Author: Federico Barrada De Zavalia | Category: Shoulder, Archery, Arm, Attention, Bow And Arrow
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Grip: Have palms facing the body and the dumbells at the sides. Action: Lift the dumbells directly sideways, going over the head to where the dumbells will meet. Return to the starting position and repeat. Keep your elbows slight1y bent. Muscles strengthened: Shoulder(middle and anterior deltoids, and serratus anterior) and back(trapezius).



Position: Stand erect with your feet shoulder width apart with toes pointing outward.

éJ~ Arm Raises Position: Stand erect with your feet shoulder width apartwith toes pointed outward. Grip: Have your palms facing the body and the dumbells in front of your thighs. Action: Elevate one arm forward till that arm is straight over your shoulder. Lower slowly to the starting position. Repeat with the other arm. Muscles Strengthened: Shoulder(middle and anterior deltoid and serratus anterior) and back (trapezius).




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Backward 2 Arm Raises Ú --



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Position: Stanq erect with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing outward. Grip: Pronated grip with the dumbells at your side. Action: Move the dumbells behind you and upward as far as possible without bending at the trunk or hips. Lower the weights slowly to the starting position and repeat. Muscles strengthened: Shoulder(teres major and posterior deltoid) and back(latissimus dorsi, rhomboids and middle trapezius).

@ '-"~ Bent Over Lateral Arm Raises Position: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bend over at the waist until the torso is parallel to the f1oor. Grip: Hold the dumbells in front of you with palms facing each other. Action: Raise your arms sideways as high as possible. Lower slowly and repeat. Muscles Strengthened: Shoulder(posterior deltoid) and back(trapezius aand latissimus dorsi).







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Position: Lie down on your back and bend your knees at about a 30 degree angle. Cross your arms, touching your left shoulder with your right hand and your right shoulder with your left hand. Action: Curl your torso up until your elbows touch your knees. Return in the opposite sequence to the starting point. Repeat as required. Bending your legs easesthe strain on your back. Also, do not jerk when curling up to touch your knees, it is a total waste of time! Muscles Strengthened: Stomach(frontal abdominals) and the hip f1exors.


Morning or Hyperextensions Position: Stand erect with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed out. Place a light barbell behind your neck and across your shoulders. Unlock the knees slightly. Grip: Grab the bar near the weights pronated. Action: Slowly bend forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Return to the starting point J":":'\ and repeat. Position: Get on a hyperextension bench face down, your heels hooked securely under the pads ~ ' , and your hips supported by the large pad. Slide forward until the top of your pelvis is directly over the edge of the large pad. Put your hands behind your neck and sag your body forwad until your torso is hanging straight down. Action: Do a reverse sit-up, arching up backward t ~ past the point of being level. Return to the starting 6'~ position and repeat. Muscles Strengthened: Lower back(erector




I use a variety of the above work outs so I do not get bored. During the winter times, I spend more time in the exercise room where I can do stationary biking one day, lift the next, use the power stepper the next, lift the next, etc. Also, I have displayed a lot items in the exercise room, including pictures of tournaments, targets, awards, plaques, etc. in order to keep me motivated. Using these images gives me more positive feelings and I can do my mental training at the same time as I do the physical work outs. Mental training can be implemented while doing Cardio vascular or physical work outs. The amount of mental training the archer does could easily give them the edge. Since they are spending time lifting weights or working on Cardio, they might as well spend that time doing some mental workout too.



MENTALAPPROACH The mental approach to a tournament can give an archer the edge on the competition. If an archer goes into the event with a good positive feeling of total preparation, they will do better than if they go into the event with doubt. Most archers hope to shoot well, champions expect it. Depending on the personality, an archer will come into the event with an air of cockiness, while another one will come into the event with an air of confidence. One will need to say it to anybody who willlisten, while the other does not have to saya word. Their mannerisms, the way they talk willlet you know that they are one to reckon with. The archer will do the talking on the field with his/her shooting. That is the difference between confidence and cockiness in the mental approach. How do these archers approach the mental game before they get to the tournament? Some will start to get ready for an event according to the degree of it's importance to them. An expert archer who has won many events including national and international will focus more on the National Championships or above. Some archers may be just starting to climb the ladder and will put a similar focus on a regional championship event or even a club event. An elite archer will use the club, state or regional event to test something. It could be a new piece of equipment that has proven very well in practice and now they are ready to give it a try in a tournament. It could be a new part of their form. They may want to try it under a pressure situation to make sure it will work when it really counts. It could be a new mental strategy that they want to try .A1l of these things do not take away the competitive spirit for the elite archer. It may be a small handicap to them due to the extra effort they have to put in, but you can be assured that they are still at the tournament to do their best and will not settle for anything less than 100% effort. Basically, I will start to think about a national championship level event or higher about one month before the event. This gives me time to check out my equipment, my form, my physical and mental condition. I will begin to start imagining myself in the competition almost every night before I go to sleep. I will imagine who will be there and what they will possibly shoot. I will imagine myself shooting a better score, usually above my personal best. Each practice session I will start to focus on my form and give myself compliments and imagine I am at the tournament needing to shoot these arrows for a really good end in order to win. All of this is preparing me for the pressure and stress I will feel at the event. Since I try to imagine all of the possibilities, I should not be surprised at any outcome. I am prepared for the worst as well as the best. I am able to focus on my form during the event and have a confident feeling that I have prepared myself to the best of my abilityat this time and should feel no remorse if I do not fair well or no elation if I do fair well. The week before the event I intensify my mental psyche. I am getting myself into an emotional elevation that feels a lot like challenging oneself to go do something better than before. There is an air of confidence that builds to a crescendo. If everything works well there will be complete satisfaction of knowing that doing things right is fun and exciting. The day before the tournament, I shut down my mental emotions about the



event. I have toId myself that it is out of my hands now. I cannot expect to win or lose. I will just do my best and if I stay with my plan I will do fine. I start to focus on the enjoyment of the event. It is good to see friends I have not seen for some time and it is good to be at a tournament where with each shot I am seeking pleasure in executing that good arrow.

MENTALCONTROL Once the tournament starts, then I have to keep my mental control at a level that is highly structured towards shooting good form and reading or feeling the shots so I can make adjustments if necessary. My focus should not be on the tournament it should be on my form. I try to think that I am in my back yard practicing and I am working on shooting good arrows. The feel is important and I am working on that feel to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. If I get anxious I try to concentrate on breathing. Usually this will settle me down. If that does not work, I will work on timing or continuation of the shot. I will concentrate on one item at a time checking to see if my form is at it's optimum. As I am doing this I am making sure my arrows are grouping. I do not waste too many shots before I move my sight. That is why feeling the shot is so important. If my form feels wrong and I shoot a poor shot, I will try to correct it on the next shot. If I cannot make that correction (form wise), then I will make a sight adjustment in order to get more gold. During this time I am working on correcting my form, but at the same time I am still shooting gold. Eventually, I will work out the problem and my sight will need adjusting again, but I do not waste many points on trying to change my form. I move the sight in order to score well and continue to work on that problem. I see too many people shoot a lot of arrows in the red or blue and shoot good groups, but refuse to move the sight because they know it is a form flaw that is causing the arrows to group there. So they work on the problem and loose points at the same time. Why not work on the problem and still get the points at the same time? If I am close to a personal record, I try not to think about it. I continue to try to focus on my form or something that works at the moment to shoot gold. I also

1993 World Championships with 1346.


4 The "New 01ympic Round" (NOR) was developed by FITA Council under the direction of president Mr. Jim Easton. The efforts were directed towards having head to head competition. The excitement generated by this new round can be shown through the archers, the spectators and media. A11have liked it. It is simple to follow for all involved.


The end justifies

the means

Although the New Olympic Round has been around for some time now, it is still considered new in FITA terms. i prefer to ca1l it an Elimination Round, since it truly eliminates an archer with head to head competition. It is an exciting round that has generated a lot of emotional feelings pro and con. Many traditiona1ists (in FITA terms) feel that the only way to choose a true champion is by shooting lots and lots of arrows and the highest shooting archer will win and is determined a champion. All of my three World titles was determined by this method. That is what I am good at. It is not that I cannot be good at this new round, it is that I have trained over twenty years with the "old" method. It takes time and a lot of effort to change. First, an archer like myself, has to "unlearn" what he has learned and then learn some new tricks. I know that many "coaches" say that you should be able to compete in any type of competition and still win no matter what. That is a great utopia that very seldom happens in the real world. Most of us are very ego driven. Do not take that as a negative. As a matter of fact it is positive. If we take a look at all of the past champions, they will usually be similar in many ways. One of these similarities and a strong one is they are very self centered. Again, the definition of self centeredness is not a negative comment. You have to be thinking more of yourself than someone else in order to stay focused in order to win. I have yet to meet a champion in any sport who does not have that capability when it comes to their sport. They may be a very giving person overall, but when it comes to their specialty sport, they are very eager to win. EGO. What does all of this have to do with the NOR or elimination round? I guess it justifies the means to an end. Like losing

150 goints What does it take to win in an elimination round? I find that the person must be very focused in shooting one arrow at a time. It is more crucial than in a FITA round (144 or 288 arrow round). A person has time to make up for mistakes in a FITA round. They have no time whatsoever to make up for even the slightest mistake on the elimination rounds. For those who are very analyticallets just break it down to something that makes sense to all of us. The World Championships used 288 arrows to determine a champion in 1985 (the last time the double FITA was used for this event). When you miss the target out of 288 arrows it has a c~ --~cc .0035. factor of da~age to your perf~rmance. m,,:':::'~",.,"/ ~ ~ That lS about 3/10 S of 1%. Ifyou mlss an ar, row during an 18 arrow elimination round in 7



comparison it would be a factor of .0556 in damage to the performance or 5.6%. That is over 15 times the damage a 288 arrow round would


cause. If the point system were equalized to 2880 points, the miss during the double FITA is a loss of ten points. The 18 arrow round,a1though is just 180 points total, if you equalized it to be 2880 points the miss would be like losing 150 points! Can you imagine what it would be like with just a 12 arrow elimination round match? This causes a lot more stress on the archer knowing that EVERYarrow truly counts! So, what is the best strategy for shooting the elimination rounds? As I mentioned before, it is very important to be focused at shooting one arrow at a time, like the coaches have been preaching for years. If you are a person who thrives on the competition and needs to know exactly what the person shoots in order to do one point better, then this round is great for you. If you are a person who needs to learn to stay in their own zone and not wanting to know what the competitor is shooting then it will take a lot of concentration and focusing in order to accomplish that feat. Obviously, it is important to get into the "zone" if possible, but sometimes we cannot always get there on a given moment. Learning to deal with this pressure is something that takes time and a lot of effort. Competing in these type of events is very important. Getting used to the round helps a lot. It is like anything else, once you get used to it, the objective becomes more of a good habit and it can happen without thinking.



first or last? Should you shoot first or last during the round? Since the round is set up to where an archer can get an advantage (depending on how you view the situation) it is important to plan a strategy for the round and have a back up strategy if the first plan goes astray. For instance, you are a type of person who likes to get the first arrow off, giving you an advantage of shooting the first 10. This is great, however, you a1sobecome the person who has to shoot the last arrow of the round.If you are the type that can take the lead in the beginning and keep it, the last arrow is not as critical as shooting the first arrow. If you are the type of person that needs a "jump start" in the beginning, it might be wise to let the competitor shoot first, this way you can feed off of the archer's shot. It also gives you an edge at the end if you like to get finished first and leave the final pressured arrow to the competitor . Obviously, it1s important to have a backup system just in case your first plan goes astray. Since the coin toss is subject to luck, you will not always get your way, so you should plan two mental strategies and be ready to execute either one. The best case scenario is to be comfortable with either choice. Again, this takes practice. Getting comfortable with either choice will help ease the pressure and you can be in that "Comfort Zone" as discussed earlier .



Another strategy to be prepared for is either shooting fast or slow during the 40 second allowance time. Knowing the competitor is good since you can plan your strategy around that person. I know that many archers look at this as foul play or unsportsmanlike conduct. However, there are no rules that say you cannot do this and when an Olympic medal is being considered in this type of round, take the gloves off and go out to win within the guidelines of the rules. We will all get put in an uncomfortable position at different times during an event. Being prepared for all different cases helps the person stay calm and focused. So, what do we do? If you are a fast shooter, you need to learn to shoot slow. If you are a slow shooter, you need to learn to shoot fast. This is because you should be prepared to compete under any type of condition thrown at you. I recall shooting with a top shooter who shoots fast and at the time I was struggling to get through the clicker which took considerable amount of time and energy to get the shot off. This person would immediately shoot his arrow once the allotted time was given to him. This meant I had only about 5 seconds of rest before I had to prepare for the next shot. A1though it was difficult to deal with at the time, I learned to slow my shots



down when I need to so I can be prepared for this type of strategy. What we forget though is the opposing strategy. I was slowing down this person's rhythm as well. Since he liked to shoot fast and I was taking every bit of the 40 seconds allotted me, he had to wait before he could shoot his arrow. Thus it took him about 45 seconds to shoot an arrow and most of that time was waiting and thinking. Every force has an opposing force. Take advantage of the either or situations and you will be prepared for just about anything. How to shoot

the NOR in the wind How should an archer conduct themselves in the wind? If it were windy, I would probably let the competitor shoot first so I could get a good reading on the wind. However, you have to be careful when you do this since you are not sure how far the archer aimed off. The better the archer the less reliable this system is. But, if you can watch the arrow f1ight you may be able to pick up the type of wind currents that are out there. Usually, the arrow willlay over one way or the other. Although this is not a surefire method, it does give you a small advantage. You also need to pay attention to all wind type flags on the field. Watch them one at a time and shoot an arrow ( this is usually done during the practice sessions and maybe the qualification rounds). Eventually, you will be able to find a flag on the field that is a good indicator of what your arrow may do. If you watch the top archers, they are usually looking around a lot in the beginning. This is because they are experimenting to find which flag will give them the key to aiming off in the wind. Most people think that the archer is looking around for fun or to see if anyone is watching them. This may be true for some, but most are very busy getting prepared for the competition. Another good system to be prepared for in the wind is during the practice sessions is to aim right at the center of the target and see how far the arrow drifts in the wind. You usually get a feel as to how much the wind is blowing and so will be able to aim off more accurately during the tournament if you find out how much of a drifting pattern is out there. In other words, if the arrow drifts in the blue ring, you can aim in the opposite side in the blue and the arrow will drift in the gold. Veryaccurate. All of these strategies are very important and key to winning. The biggest element of winning is to have confidence in what you are doing. If you are fully P!epared your confidence will soar and it should be easier to be more competitive. Being all set does not always make it a guaranteed win. But if you are fully prepared and the competitor gives you an opportunity to win, you will be ready to take that lead and win. Strategy is more important now than ever. But the bottom line is that you must be focused and be able to concentrate and be ready to win. All of this is preparation which can only be accomplished by practicing. Practice needs to take place in your back yard or c1ub and then practice needs to take place at the competitions. The more competitions you shoot the better prepared you will be.


STO This section deals with Champions who have either won the World Target Championships or the 01ympic Games(except one). The purpose is for you to consider studying their form, their attitude and their determination. There are videos, books and artic1es about these archers. If you get a chance to see them in action, it is highly recommended that you watch and learn. They have mastered the art of good execution and they have a winning attitude.




Flute The 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist has shown more consistency than most archers in the new elimination rounds. He won the European Championships, the World Indoor and the Olympics. He is not considered to be one ofthe top FITA round shooters, although he is competitive. His efforts are directed more towards the elimination rounds and obviously those efforts have paid off. Sebastion's form does not stand out as being one of the best, but his mental control is without a doubt one of the finest I have ever encountered. He is able to keep control of his emotions during the competition. Some consider him to be cold. I see him as focused. Sebastian earned his Gold Medal and without a doubt deserved it. Sebastian Flute

Park K~ung-Mo The 1993 World Target Champion is master executioner of the NOR. It is too soon to tell of his true capabilities, but there is no doubt that at the 1993 World Target Championships he was in full control. Park is a product of the Korean coaching system that has proven to be very successful for the past several years. His form and technique is consistent with their philosophy.


Fairweather The 1991 World Target Champion put together 9 excellent arrows to win at 90 meters. The last major Grand FITA event, Simon is still struggling to find himself with the NOR. His form is excellent although it is unique due to his physical attributes. Most archers work on endurance which is considered to be the best for archery, not bulking up. Simon works very hard to bulk up. Very uncommon for archers.

Park Kyung-Mo








Zabrodski The 1989 World Target Champion broke Darrell Pace's la year old record of 1341. It took the Grand FITA to be able to do this. Most archers were able to improve their FITA round when shooting the Grand FITA. This does not mean that Stanislov did not deserve the record. His form was strong and consistent through out the event. Although he has an unorthodox style (Ukrainian technique) of putting the thumb behind his neck, he is one of the few who uses this technique correctly. His line and execution of the shot is superior. It is said that he has ice in his veins. At the World Championships it could have been true.

Ja~ Barrs The 1988 01ympic Gold Meda1ist earned this title by shear determination. I had the fortunate opportunity to watch Jay's training to prepare for the Games. Jay won the event with his mental preparation. His form was good at the time. If he ever learns true back tension he could be even stronger . One of Jay's strongest assets is the tenacity to stay with proven equipment. While most top archers are trying to figure out the new products, Jay waits for the other archers to work out the bugs then he shoots what works. Stanislov Zabrodski


Jay Barrs

Echeev The 1987 World Target Champion is very similar to my style of archery. He has tremendous reflexes that keep him on track. Even when he gets out of line, he is able to "goose" them in! Vladimir is a1soone of the top equipment specialists. His major emphasis is to get the fastest set up. This shows in his performance. When h~ is shooting exceptionally well the score is very competitive. If he is off just a bit, his critical set-up catches up with him.

Vladimir Echee1 TO M Y DEAR RIV ALS


Tomi Poikolainan The 1980 Olympic Gold Meda1ist. Tomi has been consistently in the top 10 in the World for some time. He continues to improve his form every year. Tomi has good execution, although he holds longer than most top archers, he is strong enough to do it.

Tomi Poikolainan



1976 & 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1975 & 1979 World Champion. Darrell is truly one of the greatest archers in modern history, His technique and form has only been equaled by Kim Soo-Nyung of Korea. Darrell's belief in himself has never been equaled by any other archer. That was one of his strength's and his biggest weakness. Although Darrell has not been competitive internationally for some time, if he ever puts in the effort again, watch out!







Kim Soo-N~ung Without a doubt one of the greatest female archers in modern history. She is the first archer who would only shoot good arrows. She eliminated taking risks on shots she was not sure of. If they felt wrong, she let them down. Her technique is the best there is bar none. I have learned more by watching her than anyone else. Although she has retired from internationa1 competition, an archer can learn a lot by viewing videos of her .

Kim Soo-Nyung



The oldest 1300 shooter with the youngest mind! There is no one more positive out on the archery field. Ed is the only archer that I know who can adapt to change. He was a top archer when 1100's were good, he was a top archer when 1200's were good, he was a top archer when 1300's were good, he was a top archer when the Grand FITA was used (he placed 7th at the 1991 World Championships) and he is still a top archer with the NOR (he finished 8th at the 1993 World Target Championships). His enthusiasm is addictive. Most people want to be around him because of his positive and enthusiastic attitude.





6 There are many different types of the menta1 game. First we should understand why the mental game is so important. Since there are several reasons for an archer to develop their mental skills, let us look at these reasons and ways for improving our menta1 control. Each reason and each program are interlinked in many different ways. As I speak about one I may go into another because of this close interrelationship.






As mentioned in prior chapters, the mental game is a very important part of a champion. We have discussed the physical part of the game including form, technique and physical conditioning. We have discussed equipment set up and the valuable part that this plays in winning. Each of these are vitallinks to becoming a champion. An archer cannot win without learning and understanding all three. But the mental game seems to be the biggest difference between most archers and the champion. Many champions use some form of mental skills without realizing it. If they could learn to understand this successful mental approach, they could make it stronger and make them harder to beat. The funny part of this is that when a top archer says they do not use the mental game, it means they do not know they are using it and will not be interested it improving it causing them to lose the advantage they had. Attitude

The attitude of the archer is very critical to performance. Most archers know in the very beginhing how they may perform at an event. They do not know why, but they can "feel" it. Many champions exude confidence. What makes an archer so confident one day and not so confident on another day? If developing confidence is so important then why are archers so reluctant to practice self confidence skills in order to become more consistent? There are several attitude skills programs available. The problem with any program is to get the archer to commit to it. Dr. Denis Waitley who wrote "the Psychology of Winning" lists 10 important tools a champion needs: I. 2. 3. 4. S.

Positive Positive Positive Positive Positive

Self Awareness Self Esteem Self Control Self Motivation Self Expectancy

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Positive Positive Positive Positive Positive

Self Image Self Direction Self Discipline Self Dimension Self Projection

Each of these tools are important for the competitive archer. Notice something else that Dr. Waitely keeps emphasizing: positive and self. Both of these are extremely critical to the champion archer. Most champion archers are considered to be very positive when it comes to competing and they are definitely "I" people. Most are not team players, they will do it their way and they get results, because they know themselves very well. They know what it takes and they feel they have a destiny to fulfill and no one will get in the way. This does not mean they will not be a good team member. These archers will rise to the occasion when necessary, but the biggest importance to them is the individual event. In order to develop this confidence the archer needs to practice various skills that will enhance their belief in themselves. But first, have you ever seen or heard of an insecure champion? Not humble, but insecure. Believing in themselves is critica1 to advancing. Most are impatient, but eventua1ly they will win out in the end. It is a matter of diligence and perseverance. There are four skills I work at to improve my positive attitude. The first is imagery, the second is self-talk, the third is relaxation and the fourth is




I will explain later how to use them and why they are so im-

portant. Attention

Being able to concentrate and focus on the proper stimulus at the right moment is critical for an archer. When Sebastian Flute won the Gold Medal his focus was not on the television cameras, photographers, spectators, his coach, his parents or even his competitor. The focus and concentration was on execution. His focus was not on the noise or the heat. He was focusing on how to make corrections for his next shot. He was able to fine tune his focus and attentional skills through a mental skill. Most of the time a champion will get into a "zone". This is a place when the archer is so focused and in so much control that everything around them is in slow motion. The archer is able to make corrections very quickly while things are going on in slow motion. They are in a world that is very hard to describe unless one has experienced it. Usually it is easy to tell if an archer is in the zone by their emotions during and after the event. They have a hard time getting out of the zone causing them to look and act a bit like it was no big deal about winning. It takes time to come out of the zone and so they must relish the experience later. Also, most archers are asked how it felt and what they were thinking about during the competition. Most champions do not recall, because their focus was not a "Kodak moment". They were too busy focusing on the job they had trained to do. There are a couple of mental programs that can enhance this part of the mental game. One is Imagery and the other is one I call simply Concentration/focus skills. Emotions

Emotions, stress or arousal is very important for the champion archer. First we need to understand stress created by the archer during competition. Stress is not all bad. As a matter of fact, a lot of that stress is desired. When one becomes robotic in nature, the thrill and joy is lost as well. Many champions love that feel of excitement. Most want to be able to feel it, but challenge themselves to control



it. That is the all time learns how to control during the competition Most have heard

rush of excitement. But the key here is that the champiot this stress and convert it into positive energy to be used for winning. How is this possible? about how to "psyche up, get psyched, get motivated " state-

ments from some competitors or coaches. On the down side of these statements are, getting "psyched out", he is just a "head case", she "tried too hard" or the best one is "he choked". As a coach, it is important to watch what you say since it will affect your archer's confidence level. As an archer, it is important to learn how to deal with all statements so nothing will bother you during the competition. Each archer has a perfect arousallevel just for them. Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution on how to find this except for trial and error. Each of us has experienced the day we went to a competition and we just could not feel anything and we performed rather poorly. We could not put our finger on it, but it just was not an exciting ordeal. We got angry and frustrated and our performance climbed somewhat (that is because we elevated our arousallevel). At other events we were so nervous that we not only could feel our heart beat, but hear it as well! We could not control our shots and eventually shot so poorly that our feeling of excitement came down to a feeling of depression. But our performance improved when the heart settled down once we realized our chances of a good performance had ended (that is because we lowered our arousallevel). Each archer has a different level of emotional arousal that will give them the best performance. They need to recognize their arousallevel at each event and record it when they are under aroused, over aroused and perfectly aroused. And, what they did to achieve that status. Skills that could be practiced to improve arousallevels are Self-talk, Concentration/Focus, Relaxation, and Imagery. Since each archer has this different emotionallevel that it takes to be in full control of shooting, it is best for each archer to determine what is the best emotionallevel and how to get there. This makes the archer responsible for knowing and understanding their emotions during the competition. Awareness of the body is very important. The archer needs to recognize what factors combine for a poor performance at a specific competition. It also is important to know the difference between poor performance related to emotions, equipment or weather, etc. It is important to develop a mental routine that will keep the emotionallevel that will give a top performance. And as is said all the time, practice makes perfect. Practice mental rehearsal over and over again. When the archer becomes over aroused, using relaxation techniques has a calming effect. Imaging good performances works too. A1so,putting the event in perspective works for some. Simply stated, the archer should ask themselves just how important is this event in relationship to living, dying, happiness, etc. A tournament is just that. An event to have fun at. When under aroused the archer needs to ask why they feel down. Self-talk for psyching-up or imaging to get aroused by maybe seeing how it felt before a really big event. I find that if I challenge myself, I can get up for anything. If I am shooting at a small event with no importance I may ask myself how embarrassing it would look if I get beat! Simple things to get the emotions up is important, but the archer must know if they need to get up or down for an event and this takes getting to know oneself very well.




In every champion is a strong burning desire to achieve a higher level than ever before. The drive, the desire, the tenacity, the urge, the want to be better than anyone else is very strong. Some archers sacrifice time and effort, champions do not know the word sacrifice because they want to win or be the best and they will do whatever it takes to get there. If an archer complains they do not have enough time or they have other responsibilities, then the chances of them becoming a champion are very minimal. Many archers need to look at why they are doing what they do. Why does an archer spend all that time getting ready for an event? Why does an archer stand in the rain for 8 hours? Why does an archer spend all that money to go to a competition? These questions should be asked and truthfully answered. Some archers are motivated by their parents. Some parents really know how to put a guilt trip on the child to make them feel bad if they do not practice or train. Too bad many parents want to live through their child's experience. I wish they would let their child achieve the level they want to achieve and not their parents expectations. Or how about the coach? Sometimes the coach lives through the archer as well and forgets the most important part of archery -fun. I am sure we have all questioned why someone like Joe Montana, a seasoned American football player still wanted to play after he was extremely wealthy, injured and older than most players. It was obvious to me, he stillloved the game. He had fun. Money was secondary to him. An archer needs to ask themselves why are they shooting and decide what level they really are willing to commit to and why. What motivates them? When they decide the motivating factor they will be able to implement a plan. Goal


We discussed goal setting in a prior chapter. The reason I bring this up here is because I consider it to be very important towards developing mental skills. The archer needs to have a plan. Writing down this plan makes life so much easier. The archer can follow the road map and see progress and learn so much about themselves. If goal setting is used to develop good mental skills, the archer will be headed towards that championship ladder of success.



TYPE OF THE Self-talk



This mental skill is used by most archers, but many fail to realize the importance of it. Also, the program is poorly used and often times they do not know they are using it causing many to perform below their expectations. Self-talk is just that; the archer literally talks to themselves. Some speak internally while others talk out loud causing more than one person to take a second look at a potentiallunatic! Self-talk will either improve ones self image or cause the archer to loose self image thus determining their performance. If self image improves, performance generally improves. However, since most archers are rather negative in their self-talk expressions, their self image decreases causing a drop in performance. And, when their performance drops, their self-talk becomes more negative causing the self image to decrease even more. It can be seen that this is a vicious cycle that can only be broken by changing bad habits and developing self-talk skills in a positive way. Words are very strong tools, whether they are thoi.1ght or spoken. It is said that self-talk is 60 times more powerful than the actual experience. I am not sure how true that number is, but I know this mental method is powerful. Most archers use a negative thought to either inspire, get the pressure off of themselves or because that was the way they were raised. No matter how this negative self-talk was introduced, it needs to be reversed and the archer needs to start saying things in a positive way. The first thing the archer needs to do is to identify negative statements. These could be self deprecating statements such as putting themselves down or negative pressure type statements or excuse or regret type statements or defensive pessimistic statements. A statement may be, "You idiot! Can't you do anything right!" "I knew I would blow it, since I am such a looser!" "If I don't miss the target I won't finish last!" "If the wind would not blow so hard!" "Try to keep from choking this time!" "I have to keep from shooting so bad!" Do not use words with cannot, will not, could not, does not, etc. These words are negative. The wording needs just a few changes and positive statements can be used in order to improve self image and performance. Begin statements with: "I . " d " I can... " . Wl11...an It is a good idea to write down various positive statements in order to practice them. The archer can make these statements anytime of the day, whether they are shooting, lifting weights, jogging, or just sitting on a bus, subway, train, plane, etc. Let's use the statements just presented and turn them around to be positive: "I can do better than that and I will!" "I learned from that shot and now I can become a winner!" " Just execute a good shot and do the best you can!" "This wind is challenging. I like shooting in the wind! " "I know how to shoot a good shot and I wil1!" "You know you can do it!" These are just some of many positive statements that give an idea of what


can be done with negative statements. At first it will feel awkward to say something positive, especially if it is not believed. However, give it time and eventually it will become a belief. Another method that 1 use are not statements but just certain words at moments when it is important to keep thoughts down to a minimum. These thoughts are positive and become que words that spark a complete picture. Words such as, "smooth", "effortless", "relax" are used. Also, simple statements that tell a complete picture, such as, "I feel good" and "stay focused". Another thing that I do is give myself positive reinforcement after shooting good shots. These statements may be, "nice shot!" and "It feels good!" Again, these are just a few a person can come up with that will give positive reinforcement and help the archer's self image which will increase performance. Sources of confidence could be from previous success, training and personal goals and values. The closer to the truth these statements are the stronger they become. This increases confidence. Keep an eye out for anything that could cause a negative reaction. Concentration/focus Learning to concentrate on the right subject is very hard for most of us. Learning to focus is even harder! The best way to learn how to develop the focus and concentration effort is to use something that would develop a special image during the practice sessions. An easy way to learn how to focus and to concentrate is to learn how to look at an object for a period of time without breaking the thought process. This takes time for an archer to learn how to do. However, once learned, it is an excellent way to keep focused while competition gets more and more challenging. Usually, the winner of the competition is the one who can stay focused and be able to concentrate on the task at hand. The one who looses is the one who looses the capability of being able to think clearly and simply. Most of the time the loosing archer will start thinking about winning or loosing. This is the worst kind of thought they can have. If they just focus on doing the task of executing the shot like they have been doing all along, the arrows will go in the middle and eventually the archer will win. But, the closer a person gets to a goal the easier they are distracted. This is why focusing on the target and learning to concentrate at will is very important in order to wip. Many years ago a top professional archer carne to me after I made my first Olympic Team in 1976. He offered to give me some advice in order to meet the cha1lenge of competing at the most visible event in archery .He was an artist of sorts (draftsman) who was very good at drawing. He made a sma1ltarget for me (about twice the size I use today). The whole purpose was to be able to work on focusing on the target and thinking aggressive thoughts. He told me to try to do this at The men's individual final of the 1995 World Target Championships in Indonesia;Lee Kyung Chul vs. Wu Tsuing- Yi.


least once each day. I figured it would be worth a try since I had already found out that the mental game was vitally important. I learned that the mental game was important when I was a Junior in High School. I was a pole vaulter on the track and field team. During one of my last events of the year I accidentally learned about visual imagery. I was standing at the end of the runway getting ready to take off towards the pit when all of a sudden I just started to see myself running down the runway and planting the pole in the box and vaulting myself up and over the bar for an easy attempt. When I tried the actual attempt I cleared the bar with ease. I was really surprised and excited about what I learned. That night I went higher than I had ever gone by over one foot! My immediate thoughts were about how I could apply this to archery , since archery was very important to me. I started to use this visual imagery more often for my archery. I would see myself (like a video camera does -on the outside) drawing my bow with excellent form. I would then see myself (through my own eyes -on the inside) releasing the arrow. The bow arm was absolutely still, the follow through was smooth and flawless and the head was motionless. I then would see myself like a camera again (on the outside) letting go of the string with a smoothness accomplished by just a few. Then I would see the arrow fly thought the air (on the inside) and landing right in the middle of the "10" ring. This type of "visual imagery" helped me in two different ways. The first way was giving me confidence of what I could do. The power of the mind is a wonderful thing and is not utilized to it's capacity. When a person believes they can do something the easier it is to accomplish that goal. The second way that it helped me was my focus. The more I practiced this imagery, the better I was able to keep my focus during a longer period of time. My performance improved substantially when I started working with this program. When I was given a small target to work with, I was able to get deeper into my visual imagery training and improve my performance again. In less than six months I was able to become the World Champion. I am not saying that it is the only reason, but it was a major part of the reason. . After I used the target that was given to me, I wanted to do more with it. I found that it was a bit too big for me to carry around and a bit too small for me to hang up on the wall or ceiling. I started to use bigger targets for my wall and was trying to find a more portable one for my personal use when traveling. Putting a target on the ceiling or wall in your bedroom is an excellent way to work on the menta1 game. It gives you an opportunity to look at it just before going to sleep at night and when you wake up in the morning. Taking a minute or two just before getting out of bed to look and visualize has a great impact on one's attitude. Cho Youn-Jeong checks her shooting behind the shooting line.


Using a small target to carry around in a planner, notebook, wallet or purse is just an extension of the target on the ceiling or wall. When traveling, waiting in line for just about everything, or just sitting you can get the little target out and look at it for just a few moments to do some mental training. If this procedure is practiced a lot, the archer will notice a more positive approach to their shooting. Since the small target is with them at all times they will never have a moment of doing nothing. Just get it out and look at it at any time and all of a sudden you are on the competition field imagining shooting against the best archers of the world and competing head to head in a NOR round. You have only 12 arrows to shoot the best you ever have and you shoot each arrow, one at a time. If done enough times you will get used to competing at a higher level. When it actually comes to reality you may feel more relaxed and confident because you are used to it and then you can enjoy the shooting! It is easier to stay focused and to concentrate. The purpose of using the small target is to stay motivated, confident, set new goals, feel comfortable competing at bigger competitions, and to learn to focus and concentrate. These are just some of the things that can help your shooting. As I stated earlier, you should keep the small face with you at all times. It is even a good idea to have a few of them. I have one on my desk at work, carry one in my notebook when I travel, have one in my bow case and I have one at home. Anytime I get a chance to look at it and think positive thoughts about my shooting I do it! How should an archer think while looking at the small target? It is good to imagine yourself at the next competition you are going to. See yourself (in your mind's eye -sort of like day dreaming) at the field ready to shoot the competition. Then when you start you try to imagine you are nervous (if that is normal for you) , then you take a deep breath get relaxed and focus. All the time looking at the small target. Then you begin shooting the event under control, with confidence. You see yourself shooting good smooth arrows and they are going in the " lO" ring or "9" ring. You are shooting very well. I usually cut out all of the unnecessary details like loading the bow, walking to the target, scoring, etc. I usually just see myself setting my hand in the bow, making sure my fingers are on the string, drawing the bow, continuing my motion while my arms are very relaxed and using my back while executing the shot, keeping my follow through good and seeing the arrow leave the bow, hitting the center of the target and now I am ready to shoot my next shot. After the first end I know my score and I try to improve it after each end or I try to stay consistent. I usually add up my score after each distance and end up with a personal best by a few points. This just makes me more comfortable if and when I reach that point in a real tournament. I have been there mentally and I just continue to keep my focus and concentration through out the event. Remember, the more you practice with the small target the more prepared you will be. Focusing and concentration is a learned experience. The more you do something the easier it becomes. It takes time to learn a habit. This is a good habit to learn and that is why I keep saying to use the small target every chance you get during free time. It only takes a few minutes. Also, set aside about 15 to 30 minutes each day so you can actually shoot a whole competition in your mind (just the important parts like shooting the arrow and seeing it hit). Each time you look at the target you should try to feel positive



about yourself and your shooting. Believe you will do better, you will shoot stronger, smoother, more relaxed and be in control of your shots. All of these positive statements reconditions your mind into believing you can do it. Once you believe, you have a better chance in meeting your new goals. And finally, remember that since you have been practicing with the small target, once you actually get on the field of competition, you will notice that once you look at your shooting target there will be a rush of positive excitement since it is just an extension of what you have been doing all along. Relaxation Relaxation skills are important not only for archery, but in everyday situations. Most archers need to stay calm and relaxed during competition. With relaxation skills the archer can leam to control their emotions and execute good shots. There are three different types of relaxation programs; progressive relaxation, meditation and hypnosis. I use a progressive relaxation program that teaches the archer how to relax in a moments notice. I have not studied mediation or hypnosis skills. The archer begins with sessions that average between 30 to 45 minutes. At first these sessions help the archer learn that they are usually tense and need to learn the difference between tension and relaxation. The archer lies on the floor in a comfortable position. They are guided through tensing and relaxing 3 to 7 sets of muscles. (Depending on the method, some people combine groups of muscles differently). The purpose of tensing the muscle, then relaxing is to recognize the difference. During competition many people will slowly tense up and not realize it. This method helps them recognize the difference. In the beginning the archer learns how to relax, and it does take some time to learn this. Once they learn to relax, they learn how to speed up the process. Once they are able to speed up the process to relax, the archer then sits in a chair and goes through the process again. Eventually, the archer goes from lying down taking 45 minutes to relax, sitting up taking 30 minutes, standing up taking 10 minutes, shooting and between arrows taking S to lO seconds. It does take some time getting to this last point, but when under pres$ure, the archer will be glad they took time to learn this program. They can relax and execute good shots. Another reason for relaxation training is that it helps in imagery. When an archer is relaxed the subconscious can focus more clearly. This helps making images more focused and clear. The more focused the image the stronger the impact. Let's go over a portion of what would normally happen in a relaxation session. First the archer wou1d be asked to remove any restrictive clothing like shoes. They will be asked to lie down on the floor, mattress, etc. They are not to cross their legs and should put the arms by the side, not on the chest or crossed. Once they are comfortable, they are to close their eyes. The room should be dark. No harsh lights. The person in control will guide the archer through the stages of tensing and relaxing the muscles. Each time they will ask the archer to concentrate on the breathing. Getting the archer to focus on breathing helps establish a rhythm. This is an effort to learn more about interna1 focusing. Once the archer goes through each muscle group (feet, legs, stomach, arms, shoulders, neck and face) the more relaxed the archer becomes. It is not uncommon for the archer to fall asleep be-


fore they get to the end of the session. This is common, because the archer is relaxing for the first time. This should not bother the archer. Everyone falls asleep in the beginning. This is actually a stage of near sleep. The archer hears what is going on but will not be so mentally active (mind wondering). Once the archer gets to this stage, they will be asked to think about a relaxed surrounding. This could be the beach, in the park, at home. Any place that is very comfortable to the archer. Then the person will guide the archer to a tournament or exciting experience. This will make the archer become tense. The speaker will direct the archer back to a relaxing place in order to calm down. Eventually, there will be a relationship of thinking of something relaxing when becoming tense. This helps the archer stay relaxed during emotional times. Do not expect miracles at first. Give it time and it can give the archer advantages not considered before. Image!:y

Imagery is the internal communication for the body and mind. It can be mental pictures, sound, taste, smell, or touch. It can be a combination of all of these things. For example, the skier may imagine a downhill race. They may see themselves getting out of the gate as smooth as can be, hear the sounds of the fans along the run, feel the sharp cold air while racing down the slopes, feel the muscles tighten in the legs as they make their turns and they may smell the cool crisp fresh

air. Imagery is the best communication to the subconscious mind. The more imagery is practiced the more the confident the archer will be. Most people think of imagery as just visualization, but as mentioned before it is a whole lot more. It can open the door to a very powerful tool; the subconscious mind. Imagery can give an archer experience without ever leaving home. Although this experience is a mental rendering, it is effective. We are what we think. The more we think positive experiences about ourselves the better our chances are of improvement. The archer can observe a champion performing at their peak and then transfer that image to include themselves instead of the champion. Or, the archer becomes the cham"Smalltarget"develops concentration onthetarget. pion. Imagery is a simple communication that takes less effort and time than speaking the same action. The saying, " A picture is worth a thousand words", is appropriate. Imagery is a skill that takes time to develop. The archer needs to practice this skill just like they would practice physical technique in archery. At first it may be difficult to image. However, in time it will be simple and easy to use, but very valuable. It takes an average of 21 to 35 days to develop a good habit. Patience is very important in developing a new skill. The best way to use imagery depends on the skilllevel of the archer. The beginning or intermediate archer may want to work on the basics like form. The advanced archer may want to work on physiological controls, problem solving or competition scenarios. The archer should use a combination of imagery practice with actual practice for best results. Also, using cassette tape programs is ideal. There are several commercial tapes available which will work. However, the most


effective tapes are ones especially developed for the individual archer. Get a professional sport psychologist to help and it should make it easier. Once the skill level has been determined then find a quiet place to practice this imagery. Using relaxation and/or attentional/focus skills with this helps a great amount. The perception of the images will be enhanced. The vividness will increase. And, the rational mind which screens the ideas or images created will be kept out of the way. However, when using relaxation or concentration/focus skills anything imagined is possible and can be believed. There are several areas in which imagery can be used for training and competition. Mental rehearsal is one. Using imagery to practice some part of training or competition. These images might relate to specific skills the archer needs to master, making these skills automatic duting competition. Using imagery to learn basic skills is another use. Watching tapes or videos of champion archers gives the archer great opportunity to review and image these role models. Imagery is also used to practice a scenario for a future competition. The archer might imagine where the next major event will be. This archer can imagine getting ready for the event, physically and mentally. Imagine starting the event, shooting well and finishing the event. The archer can work on several strategies for different scenarios. Imagine competing against certain competitors, being behind them, close to them and leading them. Handling all different types of situations will help the archer be prepared for these in reallife. And as a result itgives them more confidence. Imagery helps in problem solving too. Imagining various problems and how to correct those problems prepares the archer for just about any situation in a competition. Controlling their emotions during poor performances or excellent performances while imaging will prepare them before the real event. By associating with what works best for these performances during practice will help the archer. They may need to imagine that their bow arm is like a steel inf1exible rod. This may make the archer improve their bow arm. During a competition, they know to imagine this and it will work as well in reallife as in fictional. Learning to control anxiety or stress while imaging helps to prepare for these events and give them some degree of control during the real thing. A good example would be when an archer shoots the first arrow for competition. Normally, this is met with lots of nervousness, fear of the unknown. Practicing a breathing exercise and imaging positive results could produce a feeling of control or relaxation. Ignoring distractions or focusing attention to the right detail is another way to use imaging. Say for instance the wind picks up. Instead of worrying about what to do, the archer has already imagined what to do. Make adjustments for the wind and aim off executing the shot with fu1l confidence. Setting goals and imagine reaching those goals helps the archer achieve the goals a lot faster . There are two different methods to use imagery. During practice many ar-



chers will use goa1oriented images. They may imagine setting new persona1 records, world records, winning championship events, etc. But during the competition it is best to avoid these goal related images as a possible cause of increasing stress. Using task related images (form, weather, etc.) during the competition keeps the archer focused on a series of steps that help guide them through the competition. It keeps the archer's mind on key basics of performance instead of winning or losing, how well the competitors are doing, how the crowd is reacting, etc. Goal related images are great motivators and task related images are great attentional/ focus for the immediate task. Some archers like to be very realistic when using imagery. Others like to exaggerate their imagery .Each archer will have to determine which way is best for them. In exaggerating, the archer may imagine shooting nothing but 10's. Obviously, this is not possible at the moment. But when doing this over and over again, it raises the archer's comfort zone and they become confident that their score can increase. Another archer may not be able to believe such an action so they must practice the realistic imagery .The realistic imagery is one where an archer practices imagery close to their shooting performance, but elevated just a bit higher in order to increase their comfort zone and develop confidence for the next event. As is true for any skill, imagery must be practiced to be effective. It should be included in the training regimen so it becomes a regular routine and not just another gimmick or a low priority to be used only in desperation. Imagery can be used before practice for creating specific mental states or how to cope with different situations during practice. It can be used during practiceto emulate competitions. And, imagery can be used after practice to reinforce specific points made during the practice session. There are two levels to work on imagery skills. General skills can be worked on with the team or a group. When working on specific skills then the archer needs to develop and work on them individually. Each archer will be at different skilllevels of imagery. Just have patience and eventually the archer will be very skilled at imagery. I use imagery in many different ways. I a1souse imagery with my other skills such as self-talk, relaxation and concentration/focus skills. It takes time to develop a good quality program, but once it is developed it will give the archer an advantage over most of the competition. I image before I get out of bed each morning. It may be going over a major competition coming up. It may be imaging my practice session planned later in the day. I also do short image sessions times during the day at work. This isa good break for me during a busy day at the office. I may use my attention/focus target and imagine shooting a world record. I may compete against a top archer in the NOR. During my practice session I may image shooting the major event talking to myself about the event and what is happening. I may image specific skill tasks in order to work on certain parts of my form. And finally, before I go to sleep at night I image a competition and record setting accomplishments. As can be seen, my imaging is with me constantly. I am a very good day dreamer! During competitions I image skill specific goals of what I want to accomplish. It may be to keep my bow arm solid or use my back before, during and after the shot. I image shooting good form and see the arrows hit the center. I image myself to look like a top role model. This is effective for me. Each archer will have to try



many different types of imaging and eventually they will find what works best for them. And do not forget that imaging helps the feel of the shot most of all. Others

Reaffirmation, subliminal techniques and biofeedback. Reaffirmation is a menta1 skill that is used by Jay Barrs, the 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist. This form of mental training takes good planning like many other programs. The archer writes down several (7-9) statements that will increase their comfort zone. They then read these statements several times during the day. Usually they will read them when they get up out of bed, they read them before going to school or work, they read them before training and after training and before they go to bed at night. These statements may consist of statements that say, "1 enjoywinning tournaments." or " I am comfortable shooting 1300's". Each ofthese statements should be written down in the archer's own hand writing. These are personal statements that do not need to be shared by others. This program was used successfully by Jay Barrs during the 1988 Olympic Games. Subliminal techniques are statements made in a cassette tape that the conscious mind cannot hear, but the subconscious mind can. The tape is usually made up of soft music or ocean waves with the positive statements made in the background. The point is to listen to a relaxing tape (which we learned earlier helps increase our subconscious awareness) and then the subliminal statements are made to educate the subconscious. These tapes are available through various sources. Biofeedback is a psycho physiological exercise that helps the archer learn to be more awareof their body. One example is a portable heart rate monitor that the archer can set for a low and high heart rate. The archer can hear when the heart rate is too low and too high. Also, the archer can do relaxation techniques with the monitor on to learn how to raise and lower their heart rate at any time. Takeshi Matsushita used one at the NM National Championships one year to observe his heart rate during a major event. Although electronic devices are not allowed during FITA competition, this was not a tournament that held a major importance to Takeshi. He would not do this in a tournament that would cause concern from other archers. Another example is a galvanic skin response device that measures nervousness from very small changes in the surface of the skin. This device is hooked up to the archer's pinkie (little finger) and can react similar to the heart rate monitor. Since it is smaller, it can be easier to use. The archer can work on techniques to either get relaxed or become more excited in order to reach the perfect arousal level. In a limited surrounding, the archer can work with scientists on several Electomyographic (EMG) areas. These EMG's are generally hooked up to an archer's specific muscles. These could be muscles such as, release fingers, bow hand, etc. Then the scientists can tell the archer if they are too tense in strategic areas. As can be seen, there are many different ways to improve one's mental strength. Vladimir Echeev says that equipment, physical and mental are all interlinked. They are like a chain. If one link is weak, the whole chain will break. In order to have a strong chain, none of these three parts can be weak. Find a good mental program that works best for you and it will strengthen that chain. 132



Equipment There are many different types of equipment offered in the world of archery .This chapter tries to simplify the efforts to choose the right equipment and set-up. Although there are hundreds of different pieces of equipment to choose from it is important to keep things as simple as possible. The simpler the equipment is, the easier it is to keep the equipment in top shape. Also, if the equipment breaks down, it will be easier to fix as quickly as possible. Although equipment set-ups and tuning parameters are close to absolute and should work in theory, they can and will be different for each individual because of human differences. Essentially, it is very important to stay close to the recommendations. However, the final decision is the compatibility, grouping and consistency of the equipment and



BOWSANDTHECOMPONENTS ~ Currently there are four types of risers an archer can shoot; wood, aluminum/magnesium, machined aluminum and composites (carbon, ceramics, etc.). The wood riser has not been used competitively (World or Olympic Championships) for some time. This is due to several reasons. Some of those are lack of availability, not considered to be as stable as metal risers, and the grip must be thicker than others because of how fragile wood is compared to metals and the latest in composites. In 1972 Earl Hoyt introduced his first take down metal riser which was the catalyst to creating a variety of metal risers. Although this was not the first metal riser, it was definitely one of the most popular. John Williams and Doreen Wilbur won Olympic Gold medals with these bows in 1972. These metal risers were made with an aluminum and magnesium mixture. Molds were made, metals were melted and poured into the molds. These risers were extremely strong compared to wood bows and proved to be more stable than wood bows and highly accepted in the archery community. When other parts of the equipment improved however, the riser had to be improved. The equipment was quickly becoming too fast and harsh for these risers and another generation of riser was developed by the bow manufacturers: the machined aluminum riser . The machined riser is made from a solid piece of aluminum. The grades are different per manufacturer. The machined riser is much stronger than molded risers, can be made smaller in the grip and additional features can be added. The machined riser made it's major re-introduction in the early 90's. Although this concept has been around since the late 1960's, it was widely accepted just recently due to cost. Normally, the machined riser is heavier than the molded riser. However, Hoyt introduced the innovative "Isogrid " design which allowed the riser to be lighter than a molded riser . For years several manufacturers have been toying with a composite riser design. Yamaha introduced a carbon riser in the late 1980's. This riser was a limited riser made to celebrate Yamaha's 100th anniversary. Obviously, this type of riser will be the future. The technology is not advanced enough to keep the price reasonable for the average archer. Eventually other composites will be used; maybe ceramics, boron, etc. There are several risers on the market today. The archer needs to go with a bow that fits them personally. There are only a few that have been widely accepted by champion archers. I recommend when the archer reaches a certain level that they go with one of the proven bows. Many archers are very critical with their equipment and one of the biggest concerns about a riser is it's straigthness. A crooked riser is nothing serious as long as it stays consistent. Most archers want a perfect riser when paying the price for a new riser. However, the manufacturers are in the market to make a riser that will be reasonably priced for as many archers as possible. The



cost would be prohibitive if the manufacturers made a riser so perfect that it would satisfy the most critica1 perfectionist. The champion archer usually takes a riser and makes many sma11changes to get the bow to fit them. It is like a pistol shooter. They usually purchase a gun, then take it to a gunsmith and make many changes to fit the individual. 1JmQ§ There are various composites used for bow limbs. Years ago the limb was made of wood. Fiberglass was added to the limb making it more durable. Carbon was added later to make the limb lighter causing a faster, stable and more consistent set-up. Hoyt came up with the syntactic foam to replace the wood core. This material has increased speed (it is lighter), added stability and consistency and it is impervious to the changes ofweather. Yamaha has introduced the ceramic limb. This limb is similar to the Hoyt limb 1n terms of consistency, speed and durability. The most important feature about limbs is to make sure they are straight. If they are twisted a small amount and stay consistent, try to see if they can be tuned. If they can, they will perform exceptiona11ywell. Darrell Pacewon the 1976 01ympic Gold medal with twisted limbs. He knew they were twisted, but he also said the limbs performed extremely well.



Bow grips are one of the more important parts of the archer's equipment. Each archer has a slightly different shaped hand. Since all hands are a bit different the grip needs to be shaped for that hand. Over 20 years ago the archer did not have a choice in grips since the bows were made of wood. lt was a major risk to work on the grip, because if it was messed up the archer had to replace the whole bow. Even the first metal risers had metal grips. Hoyt carne out with the first interchangeable plastic grip with three different shapes; a low, medium or high grip. The high grip was not very popular and was discontinued. However, the medium and low grips were very popular. Since they were made of plastic the archer could shape the grip to fit their hand. If they made a mistake they could just replace the grip at a fraction of the cost of the whole bow.

Wooden grip fits to rny hand.



Grips are important because that is the last place the archer has to cau~e deflection of the shot. Once the arrow is released the arrow is still connected to the archer through the grip. If the archer moves before the arrow leaves the arrow rest, the arrow will not hit what the archer was aiming at. Also, if the grip is not shaped properly for the archer's hand the bow will relieve itself of the torque caused by pressures applied to the grip while at full draw. The best way to correct these two problems are as follows. First, the archer just needs to make sure they do not move their bow arm and bow hand during the shot. This just takes practice, practice, and more practice. Just watch the champion archers and it will be obvious that is what they did to make sure that bow arm and bow hand stay strong and stable before, during and after the shot. Second is to eliminate torque. Torque is a twisting or rotation around an axis. The axis in this case is the grip. When the archer draws the bow back and the pressure is not equal on the grip, the bow will rotate around the grip after the archer releases the string to the least resistant area. The archer can eliminate this movement by filing and sanding the grip to fit the archer's hand. The easiest way to work on the grip is shoot some arrows and notice which direction the bow goes; If the center stabilizer goes left, then the right side of the grip needs to be filed down. And, if the center stabilizer goes right (this will also cause the archer to hit their arm with the bow string) then file the left side of the grip. Make sure to keep the grip smooth and round. There should be no square or flat areas on the grip. This can cause inconsistent torquing. Stabilization

Stabilization is a very sophisticated system to balance and stabilize the bow before, during and after the shot. Each archer is different in what they are comfortable with. It is very important for the archer to find a comfortable set up that performs well for the archer, not for everybody else. I will cover these three different stages briefly.

Magnus Petterssen, 1995 World lndoor Champion, uses "Swing V-bar",



The 1995 World Outdoor Champion, Lee K yung Chul's orthodox setting.

The first stage is before the shot. Stabilization influences weight distribution and if the bow is too heavy the archer will have a difficult time in aiming. Although some "specialists" say that the bow should be perfectly balanced in three different dimensions the way they measure this is in a static position. This does not influence performance in a dynamic position. The second stage, during the shot, is not as difficult to satisfy through stabilization. Since bow grip and tiller (1 will discuss this in tuning) effects the bow reaction with stabilization, it is most important to get the mass weight right so that the archer can aim and execute the shot with enough energy left over to finish the shot. The third stage is the most important for the archer. Even though the arrow is already on its way to the target and the influence of the shot is not possible, the archer will begin to anticipate the shot and make subconscious movements to make adjustments necessary for the archer to feel the shot the way they want to. For example, the bow rotates too fast for the archer and the bottom limb comes up and hits the archer in the chest or jaw. The archer will begin to move their bow arm to the right during the shot to keep the limb from hitting them. This physical adjustment will cause inconsistency. lf the bow is balanced properly for dynamic execution, stabilization will help the archer. The two important parts is mass weight and weight distribution. If the archer gets these set properly, they will be able to execute a good shot without being hindered by poor stabilization. Also, when there is an urge to play with stabilization, after the archer is through with positioning their stabilizers to the right feel, make sure that the bow is re-tuned. Anytime the archer makes stabilization change causes the bow to be out of tuning adjustment. It will only take a few minutes to readjust the tune. Length and stabilizer placement varies per archer. I recommend the archer try all different stabilization positions. Experimenting takes a little time, but it is worth it. Especia11ywhen the archer finds the right position. The type of stabilizers vary also. The harmonics of the bow is important. Different materials and different shapes make the bow feel different. The feel of the bow will tell the archer when it is right.


Compensators are used to dampen the vibration of the bow. Some archers believe that compensators are not necessary. 1 feel they are very important to the feel of the bow and the well being of the archer. Vibration is energy that could not be transferred to the arrow. Since the carbon arrows are so much lighter and leave the bow so much faster than aluminum arrows there is less energy transferred to the arrow. This energy must go somewhere. Usually it goes through the limbs, riser, stabilizers, sight and the archer. Yes,the archer will absorb some EQUIPMENT


of the energy through the bow hand. If compensators are used, they will absorp most of this excess energy. Usually archers put the compensators between the stabilizer and bow or v-bar. The latest thing is to use the compensator between the stabilizer and weights. The difference of placement is up to the individual. Again, feel is very important to the archer. A1though, the feel comes after the shot, most archers will 'compensate' for the wrong feel to make it feel right. Bow


Most bow sights are similar in design. The most important thing to consider with a sight is that it is stable, does not vibrate loose easily and is accurate in movement when the archer wants to move it. Some sights are heavy and some are light. The sight can act as a stabilizer because of its weight and length of extension. So when moving the sight in and out keep that in mind that it could cause your bow to act differently in two different positions. Most sights are made out of a form of aluminum. This aluminum works fine. It is heavier than the carbon sights that are available and the oscillation is different between the two types of materials. The cost of carbon discourages many archers. Although, carbon has a similar vibration ratio to the carbon arrows, many archers like the larger vibration of the aluminum. This is a persona1 feel and the archer will1iave to make the decision on which sight to use. Sight


Most sight pins are similar or look that way. If the archer likes to use a pin, look for one that satisfies the aim. Some archers like a large pin and other like a very small pin. Use one that is comfortable and makes the aim a secondary function. Some archers like a ring sight with no pin. There are large rings and small rings. Again, look for one that makes the aim comfortable. If the ring causes the archer to hesitate to make sure the aim is correct, it means that the ring is not suitable. Aiming needs to be secondary (the primary concern is proper execution of the shot) and in order to do that the pin or ring needs to fit the archer .

There are many kinds of sight pins. M y favorite is "ring sight" with no pin. 138




There are two types of string material being currently used by the top archers. There are several modifications of the string developed in the Netherlands. It is ca1led Dyneema, Fast Flight and ASB Dyneema. I will call it 'spectra' to make it consistent for all three. A company in the Netherlands invented the plastic materia1 and a company from the United States and Japan received a license agreement to manufacture the product in America and Asia. These companies process the materia1 for our bow string manufactures who finish the product to be sold to archers. All three products are similar and yet different enough for top archers to notice a difference in performance. The string materials are different in thickness and wax content. It is important to test these different strings to find out which one will perform best for the archer. Two of the three perform very well for me, however, I know top archers who prefer the third string material. I suggest that the archer test the different materia1s and find out for themselves which they are most comfortable. They will all perform good enough to shoot good scores. It is the one which gives the archer the most confidence in consistency, accuracy and durability that counts. Burnish the excesswax out of the string when new. Take a cloth or some old leather and rub gently up and down the string. This helps in getting the excess wax out quickly. Some materia1 has an inconsistency of wax and will cause the string to perform inconsistently for a period of time. It will appear to stretch. One materia1 has very little wax on it. This makes an excellent string, the material is not the easiest to work with. It is a good idea to add some wax to the string once it is made and then burnish it. When you burnish the string, make sure not to apply too much pressure or speed. These strings are made of plastic which has a low melting point. I use a braided serving of 'spectra'. It is extremely durable material. There are a few good serving materials out there. They are usually a bit expensive, but well worth it. If made properly, strings willlast for at least two years. This helps in making sure the archer has at least two good shooting strings. They should be rotated in order to make sure all strings are good enough to have the confidence to shoot them during the competition. If something goes wrong, the archer should not loose confidence in their back up string. The amount of strands to use is up to the archer. There should be enough to make sure that the string does not elongate. Usually 16 strands for around 30-35 pounds, 18 strands for 35-40 pounds, 20 strands for 4045 pounds and 22 strands for 45 and up.



This is just a rough estimate and the archer will have to determine what number of strands performs best. Again it takes time to test what works best, but once that is determined the archer will know for sure what to use. Some new material is out on the market. One is called Dyna-f1ight and the other is Magna-f1ight. The materia1s have less stretch and c1aimsto be more accurate. Magna-f1ight does not last as long as the 'spectra' material and it is heavier. Only time will tell if it is the new string for the future. Arrow


There are many different arrow rests available for the archer. In the beginning I recommend the archer use a rest that will be stable and consistent. Later on, once the archer has developed a knowledge and understanding of equipment they can experiment with the many different rests that are available. Trends change over time, but the Hoyt Super Rest has proven to be one of the most widely used and stable arrow rest for many archers. I used it to shoot 1352 and 1346. I do not have to worry about failure or inconsistency with this rest. The durability is not as long as the metal rests available, however, it stilllasts for about 25,000 shots. Good enough to use most of the year. It a1l depends on the tune of the bow. The hot rests of today are the metal wire, spring loaded or magnetic rests. With the carbon arrow, vertical compression is very critical. It should not happen! A firm rest helps keep the arrow stable. The spring loaded or magnetic design compensates so that when the f1etch touches the rest, the wire collapses inward letting the arrow continue it's f1ight unimpeded. These rests takes a litt1e tinkering with to make them work exactly the way the archer wants them. Again, the archer must experiment and tailor the rest to fit them. Plungers

There are two types of plungers; working and non-working. Most plungers are the latter. It is important to make sure the plunger stays smooth. I usually take my plunger apart and make sure it is clean and smooth several times per year. It helps if this plunger can be put back together again easily to the same place every time it is taken apart. There are only a few plungers like that. Also, I look for a very finite pluI1ger that I can tune with as much exactness as possible. I use a plunger that has a detent button in it to make sure it goes to an exact place. The size of the spring will determine the exactness. The larger the spring the more exact an archer can tune their bow. And finally, remember that you get what you pay for .





Easton has developed an excellent tuning system that has been implemented in most of their literature. It is commonly accepted world wide. Most of these ideas are in the Easton Technical Bulletin number 4. The following information is very similar to the Easton tuning recommendations. I have mainly tried to put the information into my own words presented in a similar but different way. Most of this information comes from Don Rabska and myself. Don is considered one of the most qualified experts in the field of recurve bow tuning. He has given tuning seminars all over the world with a great deal of acceptance. His knowledge of the sport of archery is truly extensive. And finally, all information is given for right handed archers. Left handed archers need to do things opposite of what is recommended. Tuning the bow is important for several reasons. The first and most important reason is to make sure the proper arrow size is used. Easton's Arrow Selection Chart is the standard when trying to choose the proper arrow size. However, there are so many different variables that come into play that the chart cannot give all scenarios. The chart is specifically designed to reach the majority of the archers or the norm. Another reason is to make sure there is good clearance and finally, tuning can give a person a few extra points as their form improves. There are several methods for bow tuning. I will cover basic to advanced in this section. Preliminary Equipment Setup which is important for all skill levels is the first priority. Then we will discuss, Visual Inspection tuning, Bare Shaft Tuning, and Paper Tuning for basic and intermediate level archers. Finally, we will cover Micro Tuning and Short Distance Tuning for the advanced archer . Preliminar~

eguigment setup It is extremely important to make sure there is good clearance when shooting carbon arrows. Since the arrows are so light, there are several causes for the arrow to be deflected causing the archer to miss what they were aiming at, although they executed a really good shot. What happens to the archer is loss of confidence when they start missing well executed shots. Once the confidence is lost the form will deteriorate rapidly and then it becomes a vicious circle. Nothing will work until the archer slowly starts to rebuild their form, equipment and mental preparation. Finding the culprit or the problem area is generally easy when dealing with equipment. It is the only absolute we have in archery. The form must be felt by the archer to know the finite difference from one shot to another. The mind control is another internal function that no coach or psychiatrist can penetrate at times. But the equipment is very basic and easy to work on. It is either right or wrong and if the archer is diligent and writes everything down, like the brace height, nocking point location, clicker setting, etc., then it is easy to know if the equipment is on or off. That is why it is so important to check out the equipment really fast when the archer runs into a problem and is not sure why they are shooting poorly. Normally, it will be in their form or their head. However, since equipment is easy to check and if it is off a correction can be easily made.




Centering The first item to work on is making sure the archer can find the center of the bow, limb and arrow. This is important in order to set the plunger alignment properly. Although it is not absolute, it is important to get close to the alignment so that when doing the basic tune, the bow will be set up fairly close. With the bow strung up, measure the center of the upper limb about 3 to 4




inches above the riser (Diagram 1). Put a piece of tape on the limbs and find the center. Mark it with a noticeable marker. Do the same with the lower limb. Now we know where the center of the limb is supposed to be. When standing directly behind the bow, the archer can align the string with the two limb marks. If it is not possible then the limbs or the riser is probably a little bent or twisted. This is usually not a problem. The whole purpose is to align the arrow just a bit off to the left of the string by adjusting the plunger depth in or out of the riser (Diagram 2). Many people feel that they cannot shoot a bow unless it is perfectly straight. Not so. Darrell Pace won the 1976 Olympics with all kinds of World and Olympic records and used twisted limbs. In 1983 I won the World Championships with a riser that was

3/16th's ofan inch out and shoot back to back 1300's! It is not as critical as people think. The importance is as I stated above. It just helps to get the arrow aligned as close as possible in the beginning. Another and easier method to align the limbs is by using the Beiter Limb Line Gauges. They just clip on the limbs and with the two lines on the gauges already the archer need only look behind the bow and see where the string lies with both limbs.

RECURVEBOW Finger Release

Bowstring aligned with limb center

COMPOUNDBOW Finger Release



Bowstring balanced Diagram




aligned with limb center


Now why is it so important to have the arrow aligned properly and just a bit off to the left of center? An arrow oscillates as it travels to the target. The reason for this is because as the archer releases the string, the string (with the arrow attached) moves to the left instead of just straight out. This is because the string leaves the fingers a bit side ways, so to speak. The fingers do not move fast enough for the string, so the string will go to the left and then take off from there. This

T yplca. ( . II


O rrow



.. I SCI


f a





1 ustra mg no e pom s

-Front Node






a side





superimpose an arrow cycle when it bends completely right and then left, there will be two places on the arrow that looks as though there is no movement. This is called node points. The arrow has two of them, the front node and the rear node (Diagram 3 ). These nodes are very important to make sure they are launched direct1y behind one another when releasing the string.




.. . d pe rf ect 1y w h 1.l e bemg . smce lt lS not aI 19ne 1aunc hed the arrow buckles, so to speak, toward the bow. Mter a full cycle of this the arrow bends away from the bow and the arrow bends back and forth to the target. This is what is called the archer's paradox. If you were to

If the nodes are aligned properly, then the arrow will be very easy to tune and the best stable arrow will be -J ..\ easier to accomplish. An easy way to find noda1 points is to hold the arrow between the finger and thumb light1y. If a vibration of the arrow is created by bouncing it against the other hand while still holding the arrow light1y between the thumb and finger, the

Arrow Cycle and String Path of Finger Release. (overhead view)











/ /

( Diagram 4

-( o






N ode


Finger Tab





lo Targel




1 I



vibration will be more continuous the closer to the node the finger and thumb is held. The farther from the node point the vibration occurs less and the vibration is extremely short. The Node Alignment picture (see Diagram S) shows why it is important for the arrow point to be off center just a little bit to the left, since once the arrow is released, the arrow bends towards the bow. This causes the plunger to collapse inward and if the arrow was aligned properly, the two node points are in the direct line of the target from the launch position. The ideal set up for archers. We can get into more detaillater on when we are micro tuning.


Horizontal Plunger Alignment with the Arrow One of the second things that needs to be done is to make sure the arrow sits near the middle of the plunger (see Diagram 6). If it is too high (for right handed archers) the arrow could jump on top of the plunger when releasing the shot. A1so certain plunger tips could come unscrewed since the friction of the arrow could keep twisting the plunger tip counter-clock wise. I have experienced this in my early years. I would be shooting all right and then I started to shoot to the left and I would move my sight. I would keep doing this and still did not know why. A11of a sudden the plunger tip flew offwhen I shot the arrow. I frantically looked for the tip and put it back on. I forgot to change my sight so I shot a lot to the right when I fixed everything. Lessons that I still need to learn! Make sure the arrow does not lay against the plunger too low (for right handed archers) because there is less clearance. The left handed archer will have to worry about what happens to a right handed archer in the paragraph above. Watch for plunger wear as well. Since there is a lot of friction from the arrow traveling against the plunger the tip will start to wear unevenly. This will cause the arrow to be inconsistently in line. On a well worn spot the arrow will be PI

nger U. th


Alignment th

A e


closer into the bow. On a non-worn spot the arrow will be out further from the bow, lefts.


a few



And finally, make sure the plunger is securely tightened against the bow. If the plunger is not secure there will be some inconsistency in grouping and there is a good possibility that the plunger barrel could break from the vibration caused dur-


ing shooting. Diagram







Rest Positioning The arrow rest should be a few degrees up from level (see Diagram 7). This keeps the arrow leaning against the plunger. It also gives a little better clearance. If the arrow rest is angled down the arrow could slide down the rest once the clicker clicks. This could cause some poor shooting scores! If the arrow rest is horizontal there is a possibility that the arrow will move away from the plunger a little differently each shooting se...quence once the clicker clicks. The Rest Posltlonmg clicker keeps the arrow positioned properly, but once the clicker clicks there is no force against the arrow to keep it in place. If the arrow rest is angled slightly up then the arrow will always rest up against the plunger .






Rest Clearance It is very important to make sure the arrow rest is also set up properly for clearance (see Diagram 8). If the rest sticks too far out from the arrow there is a chance that the vane may clip the rest as it leaves the bow. The arrow stays on the arrow rest about 5 or 6 inches once the string is released. The arrow is taking it's second bend or opposing bend at that time and leaves the rest. But during the next bend the fletching starts to come back toward the rest. If the rest is too long it may interfere with the flight of the arrow. To ease the clearance problem, it is very wise to make sure the rest is not sticking out from the arrow to begin with. As you can see from the last picture, the




Arrow Rest -Overhead View (Fingers)


~ ~

Arrow Rest







Incorrect Position


arrow is circumferential meaning that there is only one small place for the arrow to sit on the rest (half way around the shaft). Anything beyond that is not necessary. However, we all understand the concerns of the archer's mental game. If they think they need more rest, then let them have it, but only to the edge (so to speak) of the outside part of the arrow(seeDiagram8). Anythingbeyond that could cause the third fletch to hit against the rest thus causing poor grouping, especially at closer distances. Some rests will only need to be trimmed. Other rests can be manipulated to fit. The double wire version need only to be bent slightly to bring the wire in. The long wire rests can be adjusted easily to fit the arrow. Some




single wire rests need only to be clipped a little to fit. And finally, make sure that the arrow rest can handle vertical compression. If the arrow rest is easy to move downward then there is a possibility that the archer's finger tension at full draw could cause inconsistency with the arrow rest, giving the archer a lot of high and low arrows. Nock Alignment to Fletching Make sure the fletching does not touch the arrow rest or plunger. The illustrations of nock alignment to fletching show the possibilities of clearance problems. If one f1etch is touching the plunger or the arrow rest there is a strong chance that the arrow will not group very well at close distances. In order to make sure there is no deflection from the vanes, just put some lip stick type substance on the vanes and shoot them. If there is any residua1 on the rest or the plunger, rotate the nock position one way or the other and test again. Keep doing this until there is optimal clearance. It takes a little time, but it is wel1 worth it. Another way is to use some form ofpowder. Put the powder lightly on 1/3 of the back part of the arrow. Be carefulloading the bow. It is very easy to touch the powdered area. Shoot a few arrows this way but make sure they are not grouped Nock FI


t e

h. C

(fi mg


too close together. Usually try having two


or three aiming areas so there is no possibility of the arrows touching each other. If


they touch then the test is invalid because the powder could have been marked by the arrow sliding down the other arrow. If there is enough separation between arrows ..and there is still markings in the powder Most common posrtlon forSpin Wing Vanes then rotate the nock and repeat the test ing until there are no marks on the arrow. I have given two vane positions that are most popu1ar with each vane, plus other locations that could cause clearance problems (Diagram 9). Start with the most common and go from there.

Most common for Standaro Fletching Diagram


Clearance Why is clearance so important ánd how can someone tell if there is a clearance problem? When a person can stand behind an archer and see the arrow "wiggling" on it's way to the target it is called "minnowing" (see insufficient c1earance on the next page). Don Rabska carne up with the term since archers have developed a "fish" definitions for nocking point problems; "porpising" in spine or plunger problems; "fish tailing" in flight. The biggest difference between "minnowing" and the other two is that "minnowing" looks minor in comparison to the other two. However, "minnowing" is just as important to correct. Most of the time grouping patterns will not be appreciably different at the longer distances; 90, 70 & 60 meters. It is very noticeable at the shorter distances. That is why some archers shoot good scores on the long half and rather poor



scores in comparison on the short half. This is why it is important to make sure the vanes do not touch the plunger or arrow rest as it leaves the bow. Another way to tell if there is clearance problems is to record groupings. If the grouping pattern is good at 90/70, not bad at 70/60 but the pattern starts to deteriorate somewhat at 50 and 30 then there is a strong possibility there is a c1earance problem (see Diagram 11). Another area of concern is excessive drag. It can be spotted right away if the grouping pattern is very poor at the longest distance and the other distances are usua1ly very good. There is too much spin on the vane causing the arrow to spin faster than the speed of the arrow at the end. It starts to essentially float to the target or "parachute" the last 10 to 15 meters. There is very little control of the arrow if this happens and the arrows will be at the mercy of the winds. Just changing vane angle will correct this. Spin Wing vanes usually do not need much of an angle if any and rubber vanes should have some angle from 1/16 of an inch to 3/ 16 of an inch (from top part of the vane to the bottom part).





Good grouping pattems show progressively decreasing grouping sizes as shooting distance decreases.

'--" Men

90 m

Wamen 70 m Poor cjose range grouping Acceptable long range grouping

o 70m 60m









Path without disturbance










70m Women70m 6Om


Most common cause: Excessive Drag


o 90 m



o 70 m

o 50 m

o 30 m





Women70m Oro

Most Common cause: Lack of Clearance

Diagram 10 Diagram


there will be some inconsistency. Make sure the point is well above the clickertip. C1icker tension is very important as well. If there is too much clicker tension against the arrow the plunger could compress until the clicker clicks. Once the pressure is relieved against the plunger the arrow will spring out away from the plunger causing inconsistent movement on the arrow rest. If the clicker tension is too light the clicker could spring back out as the arrow fletching is leaving the bow thus causing clearance problems. Static

Tiller Adjustment There are two types of tiller; dynamic and static. Dynamic tiller is the balance of the limbs while the string is being released. The purpose is to make sure the limb tips end up equally thrusting the arrow out of the bow. This is adjusted in the nocking point. We will discuss this during the bare shaft tuning section. The second type of tiller is called static tiller and ~ -it is what is happening while at full draw. Limb balance ~ is very important while at ful1 draw. The archer can aim more consistently and keep their bow hand relaxed V while at full draw. If the static tiller is off some the J/ archer wil1 unwittingly create pressure in his bow hand to keep the riseí at the correct angle to aim. If you can imagine the riser at the correct angle and then when drawing the bow back the top limb is a litt1e stronger than the bottom limb. What happens is that the top part of the riser will come back towards the archer faster than the bottom. Then subconsciously the bow hand will create enough tension on the upper part of the hand to keep the riser at the correct angle(see Diagram 14). It is really easy to tell when the archer starts to aim and pull through the clicker. The sight keeps wanting to drift up above the center of the target. The opposite happens if the lower limb is strong than the upper limb at full draw(see Diagram 15) . Since the grip area is not the center of the bow there shou1d be a static tiller difference. The common manufacturers recommendation is usually 1/8" to 1/4". The measuring is where the riser meets the limb to the string. Generally the top limb is about 1/8" to 1/4" higher than the lower limb. However, these are just \\ general recommendations. Depending on how the ar~ cher positions their bow hand into the bow will determine the correct static tiller. A1so,some new bows have repositioned the distance of where the grip is to the center ofthe bow. This will also create an unusual static tiller than what has become the norm. How do you adjust this static tiller? Stand about 10 to 20 meters from a 40 or 60 cm target face. Aim -=the pin on the center of this face. With the bow loaded



r= ,

Diagram 14


Diagram 15


draw the string back very slowly and direct1y to the anchor without any up or down motion. Keep the sight pin on the center of the target or try to. Drawing slowly is the key. If the pin moves up while drawing the bow



back then the tiller needs to be increased (either increase the lower limb poundage or decrease the upper limb poundage). If the pin moves down while drawing the bow back then the tiller needs to be decreased (either decrease the lower limb poundage or increase the upper limb poundage). If the sight pin moves very little then the tiller is probably correct. To make the testing a bit easier, let someone stand a little to the side of the archer and they can line the sight or bow up against something in the back ground and tell whether or not the static tiller needs to be adjusted. The rewards of the correct static tiller will be noticed immediately. Just having a very relaxed bow hand will be a revelation, the aim will be so much easier, the bow should tune a lot better and the grouping should follow after the better tuning. Brace Height The brace height has always been another manufacturer recommendation. Usually 70" bows are recommended to have a brace height of 9.25" to 9.75",68" bows are recommended to have a brace height of 8.75" to 9.25" and 66" bows are recommended to have a brace height of 8.25" to 8.75". These are just good places to start. Why is brace height so important? An arrow has a cycle which we have already discussed. The string has a cycle as well (see Diagram 4, page 143). Since the arrow is bending back and forth and the string is weaving back and forth, it is very critical to make sure the nock leaves the string at the right moment in order to get good clearance for the nock. If the nock is at an angle while it is trying to leave the string then there will be a def1ection that will be inconsistent and the noise should be noticeable (see Diagram 16). What is a good brace height? With today's carbon arrow the brace height has become even more important than with the aluminum arrow. Since the carbon arrow is so light it is more sensitive to any type of def1ection compared to the heavier aluminum arrow. A good brace height comes only with the sound of the bow. If the arrow spine is correct and the brace height is correct then the sound of the bow will be very harmonic. It will be a nice hum to it. A high or harsh sound usually is associated with weak arrows or the brace height is off. If the arrow tune indicates that the arrow spine is correct, the noise can generally be attributed to the brace height or the nock end snapping away from the string. There should be a fairly noticeable tighter grouping pattern with an improved brace height.





Bare shaft tuning Once the preliminary equipment setup is completed, then it is time to make sure the arrows match the bow and archer. The simplest method is called Bare Shaft Tuning. Easton has recommended this method for years and it has been very popular in the Olympic style of archery. Two other important goals to accomplish with bare shaft tuning is nocking point adjustment (dynamic tiller) and plunger spring tension adjustment. Determining Spine There are two types of spine used in archery language; static spine and dynamic spine (see illustration at bottom of the page). Static spine is a simple system developed and used by Easton. It is a major factor for the Easton Spine Chart. It works by putting an arrow on two posts 26" apart. A 2 pound weight is used to hang on the center of the arrow. This is generally called a side load on the arrow since the direction of force is on the middle of the arrow. The amount of bend that occurs on the arrow determines the amount of recommended poundage for that particular size arrow. If the arrow bends more it is for lighter pound bows. If the arrow hangs less it is more for heavier bows. Dynamic spine is the bend of the arrow under the stress of the bow string being released. The direction of force is from the end of the arrow or column loading. The dynamic spine is mechanically inf1uenced by bow setup. This could be the string, stabilization, nock tension, point weight, f1etch weight, arrow alignment, clearance, brace height, nocking point weight, etc. There are a lot of ways to inf1uence the dynamic spine mechanically. One other way that the dynamic spine can be inf1uenced is the archer's shooting form. We will just be talking about dynamic spine since the static spine is the Easton Spine chart. Remember, the Easton Spine Chart is used as a recommendation or a great place to start. Once arrows are chosen, then the bare shaft tuning method is used to determine the best basic start for good grouping.




Side Load





IDirectio~ of





Arrow Under Stress ofHanging


Arrow At Rest

Arrow Under Stress ofRelease EQUIPMENT





Nocking Point Adjustment Nocking point location or dynamic tiller is the first thing the archer needs to set in the bare shaft tuning method (see Nocking Point Location). Setting the nocking point compensates for the asymmetry of the bow. As discussed earlier the bow grip and arrow is not exactly in the center of the bow. This creates an imbalance of the limb action upon release. When the arrow moves up and down during f1ight it is called porpising. The goal is to make sure that the limb tips are at the same point in relationship with the bow when the arrow is launched from the string, thus eliminating the porpising. In order to achieve this the arrow must find the center of the moving string. Once the dynamic balance of the limbs are achieved,

Location tiller)

Nocking point position 1/2" Fingers 1/4" Release

+ + ~





(nocking point adjustment) PORPISING ;


Nocking point too low






Nocking point too high

then a nocking point needs to be secure so the arrow will be located in the same position each time. When tuning for proper nocking point make sure that the material used for tuning the nocking point is the same material to be used after it is set. When using different materials for ease of use, the weight is probably different thus changing the tune again. So use the same material! One of the biggest problems I have seen over the years is that archers believe that the nocking point should be a certain distance on their bow square. That is not true! The best place for a nocking point is the dynamic balance of the limbs, no matter what the final nocking point position is on the bow square. How is the nocking point adjustment achieved? Have a minimum of three f1etched arrows and a minimum of three bare shafts for shooting. Stand about 15 to 20 meters from the target. Shoot the three f1etched shafts in order to establish a grouping pattern. Then shoot a couple of bare shafts. If the bare shafts hit together then the tuning procedure can continue. If the two bare shafts hit in different locations from each other, then shoot the third bare shaft. Two of the bare shafts should be hitting in a similar place. If so, use those two. The one "odd ball " shaft may be because of a poor shot, but it could also be from not being

Bare (plunger

Shaft spring







StitT Arrow .Unfletched shafts impact left for RH.





Weak Arrow .Unfletched shafts impact right for RH.



then a nocking point needs to be secure so the arrow will be located in the same position each time. When tuning for proper nocking point make sure that the material used for tuning the nocking point is the same material to be used after it is set. When using different materials for ease of use, the weight is probably different thus changing the tune again. So use the same material! One of the biggest problems I have seen over the years is that archers believe that the nocking point should be a certain distance on their bow square. That is not true! The best place for a nocking point is the dynamic ba1ance of the limbs, no matter what the final nocking point position is on the bow square. How is the nocking point adjustment achieved? Have a minimum of three fletched arrows and a minimum of three bare shafts for shooting. Stand about ¡S to 20 meters from the target. Shoot the three fletched shafts in order to establish a grouping pattern. Then shoot a couple of bare shafts. If the bare shafts hit together then the tuning procedure can continue. If the two bare shafts hit in different locations from each other, then shoot the third bare shaft. Two of the bare shafts should be hitting in a similar place. If so, use those two. The one "odd ball" shaft may be because of a poor shot, but it could also be from not being Bare (plunger

Shaft spring










StitT Arrow .Unfletched shafts impact left for RH.




Weak Arrow .Unfletched shafts impact right for RH.



exactly the same as the other two shafts. This will not be common when once f1etched. But to get an accurate reading on bare shafts, they have to be as near perfect as possible since there is no stability on these shafts. Fletching is used to stabilize the arrow and to correct for any minor mistakes the archer may make. Major mistakes are going to take more of a miracle in order to compensate! Let's start with the minor ones. Read the location of the bare shafts from the f1etched ones (Bare Shaft Tuning on page 152). If the bare shaft is above the center of the f1etched shafts then all the archer needs to do is move their nocking point up. If the bare shaft hits below the center of the f1etched shafts then the nocking point needs to be lowered. Essentially, just move the nocking point like a sight or "chase the arrow". Do not worry about right and left bare shafts at this time. Nocking point is the only thing to work on now. When changing the nocking point, the archer must shoot the three f1etched shafts again with the bare shafts. This is because the f1etched shafts will move around too since the nocking point is being adjusted. So always re-shoot the f1etched shafts with the bare shafts if an adjustment is made. Many people ask where should the bare shaft land. The ideal place is in the group of the f1etched shafts. But it depends on the level of shooting capability. Get it as close as can be and then the nocking point can be marked and the archer is ready to adjust spring tension on the plunger . Plunger Spring Tension Adjustment When shooting the fletched arrows and bare shafts, the bare shafts should be either 3:00 or 9:00 from the fletched shafts (Bare Shaft Tuning on page 153). Again, it depends on the qua1ity of the form. If the bare shaft is hitting to the right of the fletched shafts for right handed archers, then the spring tension is too soft. Just tighten the spring tension and shoot the fletched and bare shafts again. If the bare shafts are hitting to the left of the fletched shafts then loosen the spring tension. Once the fletched shafts and the bare shafts are hitting in the near proximity of the other, then the bow is basica11ytuned. This is a very basic tune! It is just the second stage of fina1 tuning. An altemative basic tuning procedure is called paper tuning.



PaQer tuning Paper tuning is another easy basic tuning procedure very similar to bare shaft tuning. It is commonly used by compound archers. It essentially adjusts the nocking point and the proper dynamic spine. Preparation: Attach a sheet of paper toa frame type rack approximately (60cm X 60cm) in size. Position the center of the paper about shou1der height with the target mat about 6 feet behind the paper. Stand approximately 4 to 6 feet from the paper. Shoot f1etched arrows through the center of the paper with the arrow being shoulder height. Then just observe how the paper is torn.

Paper Indications

Tuning for Recurve

Q #1 indicates



Q #2 indicates

a low nocking

Q #3 indicates

a high

1:1 #4 indicates

a stiff

Q #5 indicates

a weak


.!1. point.

111. nocking


!1 arrow



M arrow



.& o


#6 indicates a combination of more than one flight disturbance. -When correcting, start with nocking point lst. -Then adjust the plunger tension.



PaQer tuning Paper tuning is another easy basic tuning procedure very similar to bare shaft tuning. It is commonly used by compound archers. It essentially adjusts the nocking point and the proper dynamic spine. Preparation: Attach a sheet of paper toa frame type rack approximately (60cm X 60cm) in size. Position the center of the paper about shoulder height with the target mat about 6 feet behind the paper. Stand approximately 4 to 6 feet from the paper. Shoot f1etched arrows through the center of the paper with the arrow being shoulder height. Then just observe how the paper is torn.

Paper Indications

Tuning for Recurve


#1 indicates

good arrow



#2 indicates

a low nocking


#3 indicates

a high


I:J #4 indicates

a stiff



a weak

!1 point.

.!11. point.

& reaction


.!1 #5 indicates






Q #6 indicates a combination of more than one flight disturbance. -When correcting, start with nocking point lst. -Then adjust the plunger tension.



Short distance

fine tuning Don Rabska developed a simple technique to help archers who have limited time and/or do not have a long distance practice facility locally. Once the basic tune is established the archer needs to fine tune the set up. Stand about lO to 15 meters from the target using either a 40 or 60 cm face. Shoot fletched arrows along the top or bottom of the edge of the face in order to fine tune the nocking point. The goal is to be able to hit the edge of the paper consistently. If the arrows are moving up and down then the nocking point needs to be moved. When making the changes move the nocking point about one serving thread at a time. Eventually there will be a nocking point that helps the arrow to hit consistently on the line or very close to it. Once the nocking point has been fine tuned then shoot along the left or right edge of the line to establish a good vertical impact line. Make fine spring tension adjustments if the arrows are hitting right and left of the line. When adjusting make sure that the adjustments are very, very slight. Fine adjustment is necessary for fine tuning. Once the arrows are hitting consistently on the line then the plunger adjustment is fine tuned.


~ I~


/ I


tuning Micro tuning is a very fine tuning for the advanced archer. It is used by many of the top archers of today. It is a proven method that could increase your score. However, if you are an archer who shoots 1100 scores or lower, it is highly recommended that you work more on your form. A good basic tune is all you need at this time. Fine tuning gives an archer maybe 25 points at best. If you are a 1200 or 1300 shooter you can see that these 2 S points can help. But an 1100 shooter



can pick up an easy 100 points by just learning the proper fundamentals of form and execution. Consistency goes a long way for higher scores. First, make sure that the preliminary equipment setup has been completed. Then make sure the bare shaft or paper tuning is completed. A1so,make sure that the weather is calm. It is important to make sure the weather is agreeable to good f1ight. In poor weather there is a strong possibility that the reading of the arrow f1ight will be wrong and adjustments will not be very good. Start at 30 meters and shoot the pre-tuned bow with all bare shafts. Make sure that a1l of the bare shafts are marked. Get the largest group of bare shafts that group the most consistently. Select two of them for your bare shaft fine tuning. The other bare shafts need to be reviewed to make sure there are not major "f1yers". Record them for future reference. Fletch all of the arrows up except the two pre-selected bare shafts. Shoot the f1etched arrows (3 to 6 of them) and then shoot the bare shafts to get a good reading. The bare shafts should hit close to or within the f1etched group. Shoot a couple of times for accuracy. If the bare shafts do not hit in the same place make minor adjustments on the nocking point for height and spring tension adjustments for right and left location. Once the bare shafts are hitting in the same place as the f1etched arrows, go to 50 meters. At 50 meters the tuning sensitivity will be magnified. Do the same as at 30 meters. Shoot a couple of times to make sure of consistency. Make the fine adjustments again for a finer tune. Once the bare shafts are hitting in the groups of the f1etched arrows go back to 60 or 70 meters and repeat the same procedure as at 30 and 50 meters. At this distance "nodal planing" should be easily noticed. As discussed in an earlier chapter nodal planing is caused by not having the plunger barrel aligned exactly. Don Rabska and I have developed this system that makes it very easy to use. In the past, all plunger a1ignment work was made by adjusting with the string, riser and limb alignment with the naked eye. When you ask lO different archers to adjust for plunger alignment you would get at least 7 or 8 different alignments. With this new method that Don and I developed you should be able to adjust very accurately. When shooting the bare shaft the f1ight should be very recognizable as to which way the plunger housing needs to be moved. As the bare shaft leaves the bow it will either leave with the point going left and the nock going right, or the point going right and the nock going left. Read it just as it comes out of the bow. The arrow will make large snaking motions a1l the way to the target trying to align it~elf up properly. According to our findings, the plunger needs to be moved if the shaft looks as though it is planing. If the shaft is wiping back and forth, then all it needs is spring tension adjustment and then it should be noticeable in the bare shaft/ f1etched shaft impact relationship at the target. Now, there is a strong possibility that the archer can tune the shaft with the housing out of line. As a matter of fact, probably 70% or even more archers have this setup. It could be up over 90%! I did not have this alignment perfected until just before the 1992 Olympic Trials where I shot the 1352. My scores have increased rather nicely after perfecting this method of plunger alignment. I have also tested it on several females to see how difficult it was to do and it has been very easy and simple to work on. Don Rabska has found it to be the same as I have. In order to adjust for plunger housing alignment just move the housing the direction the point is going on it's initiallaunch. If the point goes right and the



nock goes left, the housing is too far in towards the bow. Move it out a bit. If the point goes left and the nock goes right, move the housing in some. UsuaIly you can move the spring tension the opposite direction and keep the shafts hitting in a similar spot but a lot straighter . Once you get the bare shaft leaving the bow with the proper nodal aIignment you will notice how much easier it is to get more consistency at longer distances with a bare shaft. Continue the tuning method of nocking point and spring tension until the bare shaft and f1etched shafts are hitting in the same location. Once you are able to get the two groups to impact in the same location then go back to 70 or 90 meters and do the same as at 70/60, So and 30 meters. Once the bare shaft is hitting in the center with the f1etched shafts you have completed step one. Now we come to grouping patterns and consistency. Go to the longest distance 90 or 70 meters and make fine adjustments on your nocking point (one thread at a time). Make sure that all arrows are recorded. It is very important to record all f1etched arrow impacts to get a true reading of consistency. Once you have shot about 30 or 40 arrows, look at the recorded arrow impacts. Move the nocking point a thread up and do the procedure again. Look at the recorded arrow impact and come them with the different nocking point. If the groups got worse, move the nocking point down back to it's originallocation and move it one more thread down to shot again. Compare grouping patterns again and see which one gives the tightest group. If the groups get worse then move it back to the original location of the best groups. If the groups get better, move the nocking point down another thread and follow the same procedure again. Continue this until the tightest group is found. Once it is found you have the best nocking point. Once the nocking point is established start on the spring tension of the plunger and follow the same procedure as the nocking point adjustment. One click at a time in either direction. Once you start in one direction, continue in the same direction until the groups get worse. Then go back to the tightest grouping tension. If the groups get worse in the beginning go the opposite direction and continue on as before. Once you have established the best spring tension adjustment, then do the same with the brace height. The adjustment of the brace height shou1d only be moved an eighth of an inch either direction since you should already have established the best brace height because of sound. However, to micro tune the brace height follow the same procedure as with the nocking point adjustment and the spring tension adjustment. Once the three items have been adjusted then you should be tuned. Go to 18 meters and see where the bare shaft impacts from the f1etched shafts. Record the impact and next time it should be a lot easier to tune the bow, since you only need go to 18 meters and get the bare shaft to impact in that area. However, plunger alignment will not be achieved with the 18 meter testing. That is up to the individual as to time constraints. Many people will not want to go through this long procedure. However, it is well worth the effort for the elite archer. It is a very forgiving tune. The archer can work on their form at the same time getting an excellent work out. It is very motivational for many top archers and finally it is extremely educationaI as well. The archer learns more about their equipment which will give them more confidence in what they are doing. The more confidence the easier it is for them to execute the shot.


M y teamrnates celebrating m y first world title in 1977.



Olympic and World Championship Events 1988 Olympic Silver Medalist(Team) 1984 Olympic Silver Medalist(Individua1) 1995 World Bronze Medalist(Team) 1985 World Target Champion(Individual) World Silver Medalist(Team) 1984 World Silver Medalist(Indivisual Field) 1983 World Target Champion(Indivisual) World Target Champion(Team) 1981 World Bronze Medalist(Individual) World Target Champion(Team) 1980 World Silver Medalist(Indivisual Field) 1979 World Silver Medalist(Indivisual) World Target Champion(Team) 1978 World Silver Medalist(Indivisual Field) 1977 World Target Champion(Indivisual) World Target Champion(Team) 1975 World Silver Medalist(Indivisual) World Target Champion(Team) Past World Record Holder-90 Meters, 70 Meters, 50Meters, Single elimination round, Total elimination round. Past Team World Record Holder-1975, 1977,1983,1988

Cover photograph(Canon EOS-lN camera body with Canon EF 3S-3S0mm f3.S-S.6L lense, and Fuji Provia lOOASA) and design by Yoshi Komatsu 160


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