The long road home

1 September 2018 – 90 arrows

I have been out of shooting for a while focusing instead on coaching and judging but hassling moved to a new club and losing a lot of my previous commitments has opened me up to shooting.

Having decided to start shooting again I had to remind my self to follow the advice that I dish out to every returning archer “take it slow or you will hurt yourself”.

With that in mind I found out my light limbs and a club bow. Alternating each end is somewhat hard to keep track of but allows me to both build my strength and technique without over exerting myself.

My main focus is on my loose. It was always a problem for me when I was shooting and coming back it’s one of the things that I want to make sure is correct right at the start.

I am also hoping that by using my back properly to do my loose I will put less strain on my shoulder which I have had issues with in the past.

Just a short blog for today.

Training Alone

One of the problems that I have encountered is that I often train alone, this means that I have a hard time knowing whether or not the technique that I am practising is any good or whether I am just reinforcing bad habits. This has led to me purchasing a tablet (and a tough case with screen protector for it) and tripod tablet mount. This means that I can mount the tablet on the tripod in front of me and use a video delay app in order to shoot and then watch what happens afterwards. Some of these apps also let you save the footage which you can then open later with any software that lets you go through frame by frame. Whilst my tablet doesn’t give high frame-rate footage it can be useful to see what I am doing.

In particular I initially started using it to monitor my hand during my loose, whilst I could use it to see whether my hand was coming away from my face during my loose or where my anchor point is.  The main downside of this setup is that I can only monitor what I are doing in front of I as the tablet has to be placed where I can see it and still video myself.

Then I discovered that there are apps that will let you link a phone or camera to the tablet. This means that I can record with the phone camera and show it on the tablet screen. This has the benefit that I can film any part of my shot (that doesn’t put the camera in front of the arrow) and see it on the tablet. Also the camera on my phone is higher quality than my table which is a definite benefit. The main downside to this is that it can take up a lot of space on the shooting line, with a tablet positioned in front of me and a phone behind me. This means that on smaller ranges with limited shooting time and space¬† I have to be careful to not annoy my fellow archers by sanitising a large section of the shooting line.

You can also set the tablet up so that you can watch yourself at different angles whilst at full draw rather than after, though I only tend to use this with clini-bands or a low poundage bow.

I also use this method to record my shooting so that I can show it to a coach when they see me and get their opinion on my shooting and ways to improve.

The apps that I currently use are:

  • Video Coach – Delay Mirror by Apply Hand (on my phone)
  • WifiCam HD for VideoCoach by Apply Hand (on my phone)

Back Posture Training

I have recently been trying to improve my posture whilst shooting but I have had a hard time figuring out if I am doing it properly. Practising with a clini band i front of a mirror is okay but I cant currently get my bow in front of a mirror so it can be hard to tell if I am correctly replicating what I need to do.

At a recent training session I tried an idea my boyfriend came up with. The idea was to get a black shirt and sew a white stripe down the back. This could then be monitored during my shot in the style described in Training Alone.

I initially did this indoors at 20yrds with my club. I had to set the camera quite a way behind me so that it would pick up all of my back which meant that it took up more space than usual.

I had to ensure that the stripe was lined up properly down the centre of my back before my shot started to ensure it actually showed what my back was doing. Whenever I walked around or bent over too much it had the tendency of moving. I thought that pinning the bottom of the shirt to my trousers might help with problem.

It showed whether my hips were directly under my shoulders and could also be used to see if my shoulders were in line with the rest of my body. This didn’t cover all of the problems that I wanted to check with my shot but it did help.

It would be interesting to see what it looks like when practising at long distances, it might be a good method to tell if I am shooting long distances properly.