Beyond beginners course

To suit Longbow, Recurve and Compound archers to help them perfect their technique and understand the elements in shooting a bow accurately.

Coaching notes for use over 3 sessions

These are a collection of notes I use when helping intermediate Archers, these are followed up with one on one coaching for advanced techniques and assistance.

Session 1 - Stance

Session 2 - Draw

Session 3 - Setup for shot and release

Session 1

Stance and release

From Toes to Fingers

Consistent and

Stance and Core


  • Flat soled shoes - not running shoes, we need to be stable and solid throughout the shot


  • Shoulder width apart, relaxed angle
  • Same position each shot and end
  • Square to target direction
  • Open Stance needs more corrections in alignment and twisting - mot needed  and more room for

Weight Balance

  • Ball of foot with weight on toes and heel
  • Do not let toes or heel lift up
  • Solid and stable stance


  • Relax, do not force them to be locked back

Rotate Hips to flatten back

Keep chest forward and slightly down, down not lift chest up and arch back

  • Chin over toes with core and stomach tight
  • Leave room in front to use and work with string and bow

Shoulders down and out as lifting bow

  • Lift bow to eye level even front and back
  • Settle down and out with shoulders as bow is drawn


  • Solid Core as foundation of the shot
  • Arms move from the solid body/core, the sternum is not to move through the process but be the centre of any pivots
  • If there is even a 1mm wobble you will miss the Ten at 50+metres

Release - pre practice

Added here to let Archers get used to this before pt 3

Let the String Go - Do not Let Go of String

Ie. Do not open the fingers, relax the fingers and the string will push them out of the way

  • Show Grip position
    • First joint not tips
  • Show the relax
  • No tension in back of hand
  • No fingers straightening
  • Relaxed fingers - tension - relax - String gone!
    • Practice with string, pen or even thumb or fingers on other hand.
    • Show with bow hung from fingers at side, instructor rotates out front and archer can feel the tension on string 2-3cm pull, let archer relax fingers and get the feel of relaxation.
  • Do not look for the Arrow or where it has gone, wait till after shot finishes!

Session 2

Prepare for the shot

Consistent and repeatable!


  •  Solid and stable - from pt1


  • Thumb pad pressure point
  • Wrist relaxed
  • Not high in web of thumb hand
  • Lifeline and below not on grip - to side
  • Check angle of back of hand, this will help with elbow clearance
  • Grips on bow can be moulded to suit hand
    • 5deg off angle (thumb side lower)

Draw fingers on string

  • First joint of fingers
  • Not on tips - if they hurt then you are letting string slip or setting up too far to end of fingers
  • Curl the fingers to the palm
  • Deep grip
  • Relaxing fingers to let the string go not needing to open them, the string will push the fingers out
    of the road


  • Size to suit the width across the 3 fingers and protect tips from string
  • Backing may be cut to suit
  • Check gap for arrow is not too tight, cut to suit
  • Finger spacer
  • No need for shelf in you use the top finger correctly under chin for anchor

Chest guard

  • Use chest guard, if string drags on clothing arrow flight will be off


Hand positions and tension on string

  • During initial setup of fingers and grip put a slight amount of tension in the string to maintain
    positions as you raise the bow

Raise bow smoothly

  • Shoulder abduction not lift Check elbow
  • Close front shoulder to string distance
  • Shoulders and front bow hand in alignment

Alignment for shot

  • Recurve/Longbow - move shoulder in line at beginning of draw cycle after for compound
  • Close the distance between front shoulder and string
  • From the side the archer should not be leaning in any direction, vertical and stable
  • Front shoulder should be slightly lower than the rear shoulder, held down and out with Triceps and Latissimus Dorsi

Begin the draw

  • Direction of draw, hand to move in opposite direction of arrow
  • Draw with the elbow around and back not hand to face
  • Elbow up and around with shoulder not at shoulder
  • Elbow will be just above the arrow line
  • Draw to anchor and release - see pt3

Shot cycle, rhythm

Use checkpoints in process to step through consistent process and timing

Use video delay software app on iPad to see what you are doing

Session 3

Shot Execution

Consistent and repeatable!

Keep all movements to a minimum and make it simple

The Mental Game

Focus - In the space of now -each shot, shot by shot - not the result or score or what ifs - no changes to process - > keep these as deliberate training exercise not as a panic during scoring shoots.

Practice like a Competition and Compete like Practice - Stay relaxed!

Remember pt1 and pt2

Solid core smooth setup, close alignment shoulders in line with bow hand, clean release


Come to Anchor slowly and in control

  • Do not pull hand in - follow the elbow, keep wrist relaxed
  • Hand in front of face and slide under jaw line, do not go too low and need to lift up
  • Let the draw shoulder relax (Scapula retraction) and move out of the road, back around with the
    shoulder blade

    • Don't pivot at the shoulder

String to nose

  • Same position each time
  • Same pressure shot to shot
  • Do not move head to string!

Top finger on draw hand under jaw bone

  • Solid anchor against bone
  • Do not let it slide up the side of the face

Fingers on string should not be slipping off

String alignment

  • Find your easy consistent position
  • Vary to cater for windage

No cant on bow

Push and Pull - 50/50

  • Do not lean back
  • Keep front shoulder down and out, push through shoulder not arm
    • Keep arm and wrist relaxed
  • Draw elbow above line of arrow


Let the sight float to the Gold, drop in from above to help in keeping the shoulders down

  • Focus on the Target not sight
  • Keep eyes/face relaxed if
    possible - two eyes open -  the
    second sight image may be behind the riser of bow.
  • Maintain back tension
    throughout - string never stops
  • Sternum never moves
  • Let it settle on Gold and
    then go to expansion!
  • Exception when aiming off for
    windy/gusty conditions


Push and Pull - 50/50

Equal Push and Pull
from anchor through expansion to after release.

  • String should not move across the body of the archer during expansion, sternum does not move
  • Back tension to expand opposed to front reach, push thumb to target to stabilise front arm
  • Draw hand back in opposite direction to where the arrow is going - do not introduce sideways forces
    or moves
  • Check to see if bow moves forward during expansion

Clicker use

  • Set Clicker so it goes off as an indication for release
  • It should not be a fight to get it to go off
  • Set it to  a little behind the consistent anchoring position
  • It may be in a different position week to week
  • Release arrow when clicker goes off! Do not hold to over aim!
    • Trust in the force! (the sub conscious brain does some amazing stuff if left to do it)


Let the String Go - Do not Let Go of String

Ie. Do not open the fingers, just relax the fingers and the string will push them out of the way

  • Grip position on string in first joint not tips of fingers
  • Show the relaxation of fingers and getting pushed out of way
  • No tension in back of hand
  • No fingers straightening
  • Relaxed fingers - tension - relax - String gone!
  • Do not look for the Arrow or where it has gone, wait till after shot finishes!
  • Nothing deliberately moves - movement is a result of the release of the tension as draw hand snaps
    back, should end up with hand behind ear or backwards - not waving
  • The rear elbow will move down and around, more down than around back of archer
  • The angle of the draw arm elbow normally will get smaller not open up

These steps are a major part of the rhythm of the shot or process

Follow Through

Let arms move through the power of the release in push and pull direction

  • Wait till after the shot reaction to let down, it is not part of the release
  • Relax
  • Reset
  • Repeat!

Find your shot process for ease of repeatability and consistency, checkpoints, steps, rythm or

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