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THE HOLD

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THE HOLD

Postby Jim Casto Jr » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:39 pm

Sometimes I find it difficult to put feelings/actions in to words, but I’m going to give it a whirl here.

I’ve read a lot of threads about shooting and the different aspects of it. Many talk about back-tension, the release, the follow through, the conclusion etc. While all of those are certainly an important part of the overall shot, how about the HOLD? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the importance of the “hold” and just how you do it. It seems to me that there must be a time in the shot process that we have to bring ourselves into the proper alignment before releasing and arriving at our conclusion. I’ll try to explain what I’m doing. “IF” I do it correctly the arrow seems to fly true to the mark.

First: I draw and come to anchor.
Second: I consciously extend and push my bow hand toward the mark while continuously pulling my anchor.

I guess I would describe my “hold” as active—pushing and pulling at the same time. It feels sort of like a spring working in the opposite direction.
"Archery is really very simple. You just have to do the exact same thing on every shot"
Bill Leslie, July 22, 2017

"Form is everything."
Al Cole, June 7, 2008
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Re: THE HOLD

Postby Jett » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:33 pm

Exactly! Only I call it "fluidity", but that's what I try to do. If the shot is fluid, the arrow is there. My anchor & bow arm are extended all the way but are not static when I loose the arrow. I think you got into words just fine for me; I understood perfectly what you were trying to convey. Maybe because I do the same, I dunno?
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Re: THE HOLD

Postby Bender » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:36 pm

Interesting that you should post this now. I had a recent realization. I guess that when all goes well my hold is similar to yours. I think of it as reaching out to the target, pushing the arrow into it. Nothing exagerated of course. I doubt if an observer could see it. Just how it feels to me.
As part of the hold I have realized that I must be sure of what I am holding on. (I'm a gapper.) Any uncertainty and my form falls apart. I have to be totally zoned out on aiming for my release and follow through to properly execute. If I'm wondering "Is this right?" I wind up with a pluck, and a dropped bow arm.
People talk about how important aiming is compared to form. Most folks seem to think that aiming is secondary to from. Not surprisingly I'm bass ackwards.
Aiming is 100% important, other wise why bother to try and hit a target/animal? But aside from that semantic arguement, for me, aiming, which happens during my hold, is critical.Without it the whole shot falls apart for me. But really that's because without form the shot is nothing and we really actually all know that, and I'm just weird and have to be aiming like a maniac in order to get my form to work.
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Re: THE HOLD

Postby str8shooter » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:28 am

As I understand it the hold is the point between reaching anchor and the release. During my shot sequence I focus on getting a certain feel in my back. I find that I don't pay much attention to purposely extending or pulling but rather, I try to develop a tightness in the upper back. When I get the right feel down I can feel a contraction running down my trap, the draw arm shoulder blade is pressed down, and the lats are engaged. I don't try to feel each part individually. When the feel is correct I know the shot is good because everthing is rock solid. When I get to full draw its a tightness that loads and stabilizes everything. Once I get that feel the shot is gone. With my pre-aim style I only hold long enough to get the feel, no more.

One thing I feel is crucial during the hold is to never relax into the draw. For me it is always a continual pull that never stops. Like Bender said, it may not be apparent to an observer but there is no stopping on the extension.
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Re: THE HOLD

Postby Hornseeker » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:52 am

I have laid off the bale for a while now... when I was working the bale, I was concentrating on the push pull...all was good in the world...

This thread just showed me what probably my biggest problem is right now. The last two 300 rounds have been horrible...and now I look back and think... I"m getting to full draw and relaxing..letting the bow just push my arm into my shoulder... NOT the right thing to do! When I shoot good...I'm reaching for that target like Bender says...you cant see it..but I am...

Im glad I read this... Gotta hang the bale back up and start getting serious again...

E
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Re: THE HOLD

Postby Bender » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:54 pm

Hornseeker whaqt you describe I call being collapsed "in" the shot. Not collapsing at or on the shot, but in the shot. Do you hold for some amount of time? One second? Two? Five? What ever? This will happen to those of us who do hold for some amount of time. I do it sometimes. It becomes more of a problem for me near the end of a long shoot.
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Re: THE HOLD

Postby Hornseeker » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:45 am

I'd say 1 second would be minimum...1.5-3 is normal...

E
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Re: THE HOLD

Postby tradspirit » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:54 pm

I appreciate what has been previously stated, but my shot process is a little different in that I don't aim or point my bow arm throughout the entire shot process. Instead, I look at my target, then look away from it by looking at my arrow, set my hook with the bulk of the tension on my middle finger (shooting split finger), raise the bow with a bent arm, and make a conscious effort at pointing my bow arm to the spot on the target (hanky style) that I want to hit, focusing at only the spot I want to hit, then draw to my double anchor (thumb web behind jaw, and index finger on cheek bone) making certain that my draw hand is limp while at the same time pulling my draw elbow to my rear (creating back tension)once my anchor references are located. I "hold' for a couple of seconds but am actually continuing to pull my draw elbow (never stopping) to my rear until the shot goes off without any conscious release of fingers. I do get a rearward reaction of the string hand to the release, but it is a motion that tends to be fairly short, perhaps a couple of inches. Certainly not an exaggerated follow through to a shoulder touch. My draw hand usually ends up somewhere near the bottom of my ear/ neck area. This shot process, if maintained shot to shot results in surprisingly accurate shots and extremely tight groups. I typically shoot three arrow groups and sometimes an occasional fourth. I have limited my shooting to varying distances out to 20 or so yards, but find my best performance to be between 13 and 18 yards from the target. I have not yet developed the confidence in my bow arm's "ability" to compensate for longer ranges...something that I hope extended practice will achieve. Hope this helps.
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Re: THE HOLD

Postby doowop » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:16 pm

I have learned a lot about what not to do when I switched to lefty. I learned to never let my sight picture trigger the shot. Thats how I got so messed on the right side. I look at my shot as a rifle on a bench. Once I set my sight picture ( gapper ) I concentrate on push- pull. When I feel the right amount of tension I quit holding while still pushing. Works well when I do it right.
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Re: THE HOLD

Postby njstykbow » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:26 pm

Jim,

In the shot process method I subscribe to the "hold" you're talking about is referred to as "no softening"...meaning...as long as you're not creeping...it's O.K. That's it in simple terms, but the net effect is that tension continues to be applied in a rearward motion. The thing you have to be careful with in a push-pull method of shooting is not attaining the exact same draw length on each and every shot. Think about the difference in draw weight and speed through a chrono if you reach a draw length and continue to pull through the release. It's one of the ways a guy can say he has a bow that is 6-8 fps faster than ours when we have the exact same model! :o

The best way I can describe it is to imagine the feel of a string being tied to your draw hand elbow and someone pulling it in a direct line with the arrow while you're completing your shot sequence.

Joe
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