Target panic or just poor shooting

I’ve been doing some reading on the subject of target panic recently, as I am wondering if I am suffering from a version of it.

Since going back to shooting flatbow my scores have been ok but not great, well actually the last few shoots they have been going down hill big time. Its got to a level where i am beginning to wonder whether to carry on. With my old recurve I would score 660 plus easily  on 36 targets, yet I am only just getting over 480 with a performance  flatbow!! Yet with my old flatbow I would come in with 680!!
If the target is more than 5 yards away i lose any idea as to where to aim , focus or anything, not great as i don’t use a sight or gap shoot. I’m now even holding too long or just shooting as quick as I can to get over it.
I know it is effecting my form as I am picking up lots of bad habits such as catching the side of my face, not anchoring properly etc All the articles I have read say it is in the head and you have to work through it but its not proving that easy.
It is really getting me down and making me question myself so much.
i was at a shoot yesterday (Sunday) and it was a really well set out course but I nearly walked off after 2 targets as I just couldn’t work out what I was meant to do and getting more and more frustrated with myself. Not great for someone tryiing to improve there own shooting and support others as a coach
thanks for reading.

4 comments on “Target panic or just poor shooting

  1. I am sure you are suffering from target panic or not. Target panic is often associated with not being able to letting go of the string. I suffered from target panic for a short period of time when I was younger. I was simply trying to make the shot “too perfect” and this is a very big danger. It took work, love and guidance of my coach to help me overcome it.

    You sound like you have expectations, high expectations, and are frustrated. Everyone gets frustrated now and then, especially change disciplines, but remember, shooting is about enjoying the sport and shooting.

    Good Luck.


  2. Thanks for the reply.
    You are probably right in that i have expectations of my hoped for performance. It is the lack of confidence when presented with a shot that I find hard to cope with now.Previously I have been able to draw up and know where I plan to aim / angle etc. Now it is like my mind goes blank and I have lost that degree of judgement.
    Thanks for support


  3. I was recently watching Masters of the barebow 3 in which Rod Jenkins describes the shooting process as two people one i front of the other. The guy in back is the subconscious you and his job is to run the shot, form, etc, the fellow in front or the conscious you just is concerned with aiming. The problem comes when the guy in front starts to check on the subconscious guy in back and you are trying to do two things at the same time. He mentioned that this could lead to issues, TP, etc.

    I thought it was a very interesting description, it may have absolutely nothing to do with what you are experiencing but thought I’d mention it.


    • Hi Charles
      thanks for replying. I think Rods description makes a lot of sense in many ways as its like you know what you should do but lack confidense and result in questioning yourself.
      So much of archery is subconscious muscle memory.


Feel free to leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s