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What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

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What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

Postby TradArcher » Thu May 29, 2008 12:30 pm

I'm starting this at the request of many who have asked me to do so. I'd like to start with a couple of "openers". I believe it will help anyone who takes the time to really read and try to understand what is being written. OK, to start, most of my comments regarding archery are from 25yrs of friendship-training-coaching-thousands of conversations on archery/shooting with Len Cardinale. Who's that you ask?....The short answer is that he(I believe) is the only individual both in the Archery and Bowhunting Hall of Fames. He also has been an Olympic coach...to several countries. To say he "Knows shooting" is a gross understatement. To the best of my recollection he has some 80+ national/regional champions to his coaching credit.
My second opening comment, I believe will benefit all LEO's and anyone else who understands good firearms shooting. To that I'd say there is a definate and close parallel between good (firearms) and archery shooting. It's so close that virtually all of the foundations of both are the same. I'll likely use a firearm analogy from time to time in the discussion of archery and good shooting.
I'll start by saying that a "shooters' goal is PREDICTABLE ACCURACY. If one's purpose in "training" is to" watch the arrow fly" then that's just fine...but, you're wasting your time reading any more of this thread. What does it take to become "predictable"?....Simple answer. "Consistency"...Not impressed yet? (Me neither)
I'd like to continue with the introduction of "The Bale", what it is and how to shoot it.... Let me start by saying that I've heard stuff like, "I've shot the bale. It doesn't do "squat" for me....or...."The bale bores me to tears"...or..."What's the sense in shooting at a blank "target", there's nothing to aim at and no" feedback."...or..."The only way to improve one's shooting is to shoot a lot of arrows at a target, you'll eventually improve." (Side Note: Of all the preceeding, I guess my pet assinine comment is the last. It truly demonstrates a profound ignorance that certainly encroaches on stupidity. :roll: :lol: )
Getting back to the bale, admittedly it takes some getting to know/understand it but like a good friendship, once understood becomes indespensable to one's shooting.
Briefly, "The Bale" is an arrow catcher...It is shot at VERY close distance 4-6ft will do just fine.Don't have something with absolutely NOTHING on it to shoot at?...put a plastic garbage bag over your target. To clear up from the "getgo" the business of "How" to shoot it, I'll start by saying a couple things. First, ANY part of one's shot can be "investigated", or, one's shot in entirety. Next, while some say they shoot the bale with eyes closed, I don't recommend that AT ALL. I'd argue that when a shooter,(firearm or bow) can tell me that they shoot at targets with their eyes closed and excell at it, THEN and only then will I change my thinking about it. For the LEO's I'd simply say, "Practice the way you intend to play." I think you guys can relate to that.
Here's a couple of "things" one can look into using the bale.... Say, your looking into whether you prefer a deep or a shallower "hook" on the string. Ya just can't make up your mind and it's starting to get into your head. ....Go to the bale, set up your "hook", one of the ways you want to investigate, say shallow. Now, first take note of what you've "set up" (as far as the string position and tension). Come to anchor, when you can mentally acknowledge that you have arranged your shot and there's no changing going on, then commit to the shot and run it thru your conclusion.
I know in this last paragraph I've introduced some terminology that will likely draw some questions....so I'll stop here and wait for the pot to stir a little. :D

Tom
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Re: What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

Postby WildmanSC » Thu May 29, 2008 12:51 pm

Tom,

Thanks for starting this thread. I've got to build myself a bale. There used to be a range on the Weapons Station close to my house. It consisted of 10-12 4'x4" bales that were constructed of 2x4s with chicken wire on front and back, the bales were stuffed with rags and there was a piece of gray carpet tacked to the front and back of the bale. For the most part there was no markings on the bale. Someone had taken a can of spray paint and painted a 1"-1.5" dot on a couple of the targets. I used to go shoot at the bales with the dots. What I didn't do was close up bale shooting to establish my grip, my form and my follow through to complete the execution of the shot. I can see how one of these bales would be very beneficial to developing the execution of the shot from grip, to anchor, through release and follow through.

Bill
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Re: What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

Postby Dan in MI » Thu May 29, 2008 12:56 pm

I'm going to pick on hook, but only as an example, as I think the question and answer can be applied to any part of your shot.

What criteria do you use to determine what works?

Feel?

Accuracy?

Consistancy?

I'm guessing balance of the three, but what gets more weight/higher percentage?

What if feels like absolute crap but gets high marks in the other two areas? Do you fight to get used to the feel, or does that depend on the personal preference/goal level?

{Zat enough questions? :P }
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Re: What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

Postby Steertalker » Thu May 29, 2008 1:08 pm

Tom,

One of the things that has remained with me since my visit at your place and spending a weekend with Lenny and you is that the bale has become paramount in my practice routine. I can see no good thing ever coming from just pound away at a target. The bale is where things are discovered, problems solved, forms built and maintained. Although Lenny never expressed the term to me I do occassionally hear Yohon saying...."It's like putting money in the bank" or something to that effect. Boy...do I ever appreciate that statement now!!! ;)

Brett
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Re: What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

Postby Spider 1 » Thu May 29, 2008 1:17 pm

How often do you shoot the bail? is this a daily part of the practice routine, or something that is done once in a while when you need to work on a specific aspect of the shot?
like twenty serpents bound together, hissed the flying arrows feather.
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Re: What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

Postby TradArcher » Thu May 29, 2008 1:27 pm

Dan,
With regard to the "hook" and knowing what you want to use... First off, what will answer the question of,"Which one to use?" is going into your "coconut computer" and simply finding a depth of satisfaction/contentment in either one or the other. After say, shooting 25repititions with a shallow hook every night for a week or so I'm sure you'll start getting a feeling for whether it's gonna work for ya. The following week, go to the deep hook and do the same. At the end of a week or so you'll pretty much have it set in your mind what can be repeated consistently, feels good, can be more easily rendered to the subsonscious etc.

Brett, The saying is "Putting money in the bank." It's what we all use when we work/train on the bale. The counter to that is when we've taken a nice animal with a good shot, or done well in a 3D or contest of some kind, we tell Len, "Lenny, took a little money out of the bank yesterday!"...and we both smile, knowing the benefit and result of understanding it's use.

Tom
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Re: What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

Postby BLACK WOLF » Thu May 29, 2008 1:29 pm

Great stuff Tom...I'm looking forward to reading more of what you have to share with us!

I've always believed in some form of blank bale practice.

Practice helps develop our motor skills to perform a particular movement. These motor skills over time are often engrained within the subconscious and are often called muscle and/or motor memory.

I beleieve by shooting at a blank bale the mind is free to completely concentrate on the archer's form without having to divide their concentration between form and aiming.

I believe by engraining good form through repeatition and mastering it...it will than allow the archer to be able to focus more on aiming until the aiming itself.... also becomes more engrained.

Ray ;)
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Re: What's it take to execute a d "Good shot"?

Postby superkodiak38 » Thu May 29, 2008 1:31 pm

I'm gonna sit back and watch for now , I know i will have questions further along in the "process" but I wantend to say thanks now for sharing your knowledge.
When you take your kid hunting and he says thank you and tells you how much he loves being in the woods with you, your day just isn't going to get any better than that.
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Re: What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

Postby BLACK WOLF » Thu May 29, 2008 1:31 pm

I personally use blank bale work nearly everytime I practice...and it's usually the first thing I will practice and finish with.

Ray ;)
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Re: What's it take to execute a "Good shot"?

Postby TradArcher » Thu May 29, 2008 1:35 pm

Spider, I expect the "right" answer is that, the proper use of the bale can NEVER hurt one's shooting. Personally, not a day goes bye that I don't shoot some bale. Ya don't have to spend hours on it...just some time, particularly for one that "has" what he wants in a shot and is using the bale to better engrain the shot into the subconscious.

I'd suggest choosing a number of arrows rather than a period of time. This really has to do with how much time one can invest into a concentrated/focused effort. There's no sense in throwing arrows into a bale without being able to evaluate each and every repitition both at it's beginning and then after execution.

Tom
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