How a couple of strips of tape can help your archery?

What you need is a length of card board about 3 foot 6 inches in length and about six inches wide. This may sound a little Blue Peter but it does work. (For anyone who was not raised in the UK, Blue Peter is a long running TV program famous for making stuff with double sided sticky tape, especially in the early 70s and 80s).

3 colours of tape and card board

The idea is similar to the concept I shared the other week with using a bamboo pole to help distance.

My practice bosses as 3ft tall so by making the card 6 inches longer I can attach the card on top of the boss.
In my example I applied a strip of grey tape down the centre of the cardboard along its length.

Grey tape

I then added 6 inch strips of black tape alternating so you had a strip of black then a 6 inch gap showing grey.

Marking out 6 inch sections

The idea being to alternate black and grey so the archer can us it to aid distance and aiming. Some might want to use 4 inch sections but I keep it to 6 so it ties into the bamboo cane method.

White tape

The last thing is to apply a strip of white tape down the centre of the black and grey tape. Cheap masking tape works perfectly for this.
The white tape is what you will be shooting at. The coloured tape is there to aid in distance judgement and to act as a contrast.

Card on the boss

So how do you use this?

Fix the target to the boss and then at 5 yards shoot a set of arrows. I normally shoot 4 arrows in a set when I’m practicing.
I start at lower part of the boss, bottom 6 inches and try and get my arrows in a vertical line gradually moving up the boss and in the white tape.
When I’ve reached the top of the boss I repeat the exercise but moving down from the top of the boss.
The focus is on you being able to put your arrows in the white tape consistently.
When that’s done I move back to my next distance and repeat. I’ll usually do this to about 15 yards or so. Reapplying white tape when needed.
Past 20 yards I focus on my arrows being in the silver or back tape. The way I look at it is if I am in the tape at this distance I’m hoping I should be in the highest score zone when shooting on a course.
The technique is not that dissimilar to one my first archery coach used to use where they would dangle a coloured ribbon down the boss and aim for that.
If you really want to challenge yourself try replacing the white tape with string and ensure each of your arrows are touching it.

So why do this?

Not all scoring zones are central to the boss. If you look at different target faces or 3Ds the height off the ground varies. You might be shooting a deer 3D where the kills 24 inches or more off the ground. With the next target being a 3D crocodile where the highest scoring zones inches off the ground.
I recall one championship where the paper face ermine was on ground level about 8ft away.

Paper Ermin

So this technique helps you focus on keeping your line and adjusting for height.

It also aids you in bending at the waste, sometimes called tea-potting. If you recall the children’s nursery rhyme “I’m a little teapot” that is where it gets it name from.

By the way the keen eyed among you will notice the target doesn’t have the white tape on it. This is because I took the photograph and then realised I hadn’t applied the tape. So I went back and applied it so you had a photograph of what it should look like.

Thanks for reading.

Full Draw

Why your Draw length is not the same as arrow length?

Here is a quick post following a question I’ve had asked of me “Why your Draw length is not the same as arrow length?
Before I start though, some of the more regular readers may have noticed I’m not doing many shoot reports and instead focusing on coaching articles. This is intentional as I’ve written loads of shoot reports over the years and currently I’m not getting out to many shoots. So I’m trying to produce some archery resources or publish material that all archers will find useful.
So if you have any questions let me know. I’m working on something about target panic and hope to put that out shortly but it’s taking a while to write and get it right, or should I say useful.
So back to the question on draw length and arrow length. First things first, here is a definition or two.
Draw length – Put simply your draw length is how far you draw back the bow string to your anchor point. This is measured in inches so mine is a just under 28 inches 27 1/2 if you want to be exact.
Arrow length – Your arrow length is how long your arrow is. This is normally measured from the bottom of the groove in the arrow nock to the tip of the arrow shaft behind the point.
Your arrow length should be longer than your draw length to allow the arrow to clear the bow or arrow rest and more importantly not to come off your rest if you over draw slightly as this could be dangerous. I have to say I cringe when I see some archers draw back and their arrows come within millimetres of coming off their rest. Yes it can demonstrate very good draw consistency but it doesn’t take much to go from great consistency to accident. Especially in wet conditions or when they are at full draw and sudden a bug decides to have a munch on their arm. I’ve seen both and neither ended well.
So, if your draw is 28 inches your arrows should be over 28 inches. I’m going to offer a couple of what I hope are useful tips. Let me know what you think.
Useful tip #1 – For beginners who are still developing a sound draw and static anchor point or junior archers who are still growing, I tend to recommend them having the arrow length a couple of inches longer so if your draw length is 24 inches your arrows should be 26 inches. When the archers settle or stop growing the arrow length can be reduced.
For those of you who shoot wooden arrows.
Useful tip #2 – When I started shooting wooden arrows, all those years ago. I always made them slightly longer than needed so if the arrow snapped just behind the pile, the arrow would still be long enough to use. I could simply fit a new point to the slightly shorter arrow.
I still do as you can see in the photo below.
Rob Shooting

Rob Shooting

Measuring draw length is really easy and you can either use a measuring stick or use a mathematical  based approach. Height in inches divided by 2•5
I’m 5 feet 8 inches  so that is 68 / 2•5 = 27•2.  This provides a rough guide as in my case my draw is slightly under 28 inches.
Full Draw

Full Draw

 You can buy draw length gauges from most archery stores or alternatively I made a measuring stick from an arrow shaft, marking it up in inch bands of green and red.
Measuring Arrow

Homemade Measuring Arrow

I hope you find this useful. Thanks for reading.