Top 10 tips for starting out in archery

Useful pointers for beginners in archery

Archery is a great sport. However, before you jump right in to archery practice, here are 10 top tips on starting out in the popular sport.

1. Find a good archery club with experienced coaches
It is important to have the right person to assist you correctly from the beginning. Every club will have people who can teach you your elementary steps. There will also be some old master hands, who can take you further as you take the sport more seriously.

2. Try renting your archery equipment at first
Clubs will often provide the beginner with equipment free of charge or will rent it to you for a small fee. It is best to try out the sport first rather than splashing out on something of which you may never get any proper use.

3. Master the basic archery techniques
Most instructional books refer to 10 basic steps to shoot an arrow, from stance, finger placement, hand placement, bow arm, drawing, anchoring, holding, aiming, release and follow through. These need to be mastered, but in order to use it to improve, the archer also needs physical fitness and mental fitness.

4. Consider improving your health condition
While physical strength is not the main concern to begin with, special attention to the upper body and arms should be made, especially if you wish to get more competitive. More power in your upper body means greater control over the shot.

5. Be patient with archery training
Learning to safely shoot a bow and arrow takes only a few minutes, and with proper instruction, most people can hit the center of an archery target from a reasonable distance within a few tries. However, don’t expect to instantly be a master — an archer requires years of training to reach a good competitive level.

6. Select the right archery equipment
If you are required to provide your own equipment then select specialist beginner equipment that will help train you. This means using a properly-sized bow that pulls at a light poundage (with less effort), and arrows that are long enough so as not to pull past the arrowrest when you are at full draw. It is best to consult with a club expert in any case before making a purchase.

7. Practice makes perfect in archery
There is no short fix for becoming an excellent archer. Hours of practice and dedication are required to reach a decent standard. One good way after making good progress would be to test yourself under competitive conditions.

8. Make notes to monitor archery progress
Keeping a record of training sessions, writing down how many arrows you have shot, your scores, the weather conditions, and any minor adjustments made — everything that will let you know how you are progressing. To remind yourself how far you have come will help with your motivation to further improve.

9. Enjoy yourself when doing archery
Don’t get uptight! If you can’t forget about any mistakes, then the next arrow is likely to be just as bad, if not worse. By all means learn from a mistake, but adopting the right attitude can make archery enjoyable and lead to vast improvement.

10. Know when to call it a day
It is good to know when you have had enough. If your muscles are flagging, or you’re in a bad mood or hungry, then stop. Practice is only good if you're practicing with good form.

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