9 Steps to the 10 Ring
Got all your gear together and ready to go?
Before you go out and start practicing, let's go over the steps to properly shoot your bow. These examples are for the Olympic Style of archery, and will help keep you consistent when shooting. And consistancy is key to doing well in archery! These steps are called the 9 steps to the 10 Ring (the center ring on the target), and are important to keep in mind.
You want to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your shoulder facing the target. Stand up straight, and watch your posture. Keep your neck upright.
With your bow in hand, set your arrow on the arrow restif you have one. If you are shoowing a bow without a arrow rest, the arrow will sit on your hanf. Please Note! If you don't have an arrow rest, you'll want to wear gloves, as the fletchings (feathers) on the arrow can cut your hand!
Nock your arrow on the bowstring. The arrow should have an indend in the back that's intended to help place it on the bowstringstring. As you can see in this photo, this string had a "Nock Locator" that helps you knock the arrow in the same place every time.
When you pre-draw, you bring your string back partway, chacking that the arrow isn't going to go sliding off, and that your stance is still correct. The string should be resting in the joints of your fingers or on your fingertips, not gripped in your hand.
Draw your string all the way back. You want your arm to be facing straight towards the target, and at a right angle from your body. Make sure you are pulling with your back muscles, and not your shoulders only.
Your Anchor-Point is the specific spot you draw your string to every time. Some people use the corner of their mouth, or, like shown in the photo, the center of their chin. It's important that you choose a specific spot and draw back to this spot every time.
Aim your bow, either by using a sight, as on this bow, or by looking down your arrow. The more you shoot, the better you'll know how to adjust to get the arrow going precicely where you intend.
Relax your fingers and let the string slide off them. Your release should be smooth, without any "plucking" at the string.
Bring your hand back towards your shoulder in a smooth motion. Don't relax your bow arm untill the arrow hits the target. This will help prevent you nocking the arrow off course.
Congratulations! You have just completed the 9 steps to the 10 ring, and are on your way to learning archery! Now, let's look over some quick do's and don't to help keep you safe while practicing.