If you have been in Deer Creek Archery recently, you know that we teach a style of shooting that focuses on pulling with your back, not your fingers. Often times. our archers are surprised by what we teach since they learned a different style and have been seeing it for so long. However, there is a method to our madness! Here is why we teach the "surprise shot."
No matter what style of release you are shooting, there is always a question of how best to shoot it. For the archers shooting thumb buttons, the common misconception is that they slowly squeeze their thumb over the button, almost as if making a fist, For the wrist strap or index finger shooters, many archers like to pull the trigger with their finger as if shooting a gun. These ways of activation fall under the category of "command shooting," where the archer directly chooses to shoot....NOW!
The "command style" can work, but tends to produce a very specific set of issues. First, archers who use this style tend to have issues with target panic. Whether freezing high or low, jumping off the shot, or what have you, when you are trying to decide when to shoot, you require a much higher level of mental discipline to be effective. That is not to say that it cannot be done! Many famous, talented hunters like Cameron Hanes, or archers like Sarah Sonnichsen and Demir Elmaağaçlı use this style to great effect. However, 90% of archers will notice more issues with target panic shooting with a command style.
Secondly, command style archery produces certain misses that are difficult to get rid of. When punching the trigger, or command shooting, right handed archers will tend to miss to the left and have erratic high and low misses. These mistakes happen because archers are fixated on the target and not the feel of the shot, leading them to forget their follow through (for more on that, see this article).
But fear not, archers, there is another way! Shooting with a surprise shot style of shooting simply means that you stop trying to aim and choose when to shoot, and you simply pull through with your back muscles (specifically your rhomboids) to make your shot break consistently the same way. This video can show you an example of good back tension shooting and its benefits with one of the best archers in the world, Levi Morgan.
Shooting with a back tension style leads to the solution of these issues because you surrender your control. Instead of deciding that the shot will go off right now, you instead focus on pulling through the shot, creating better follow-through and more easily replicable movements because we are using large muscle groups. Additionally, because you don't decide when the shot will go off, you are put in a position to simply hold on the target and focus on how the shots feel as you slowly add tension with your back. For most archers, committing to this style of shooting drastically reduces the feeling of target panic and results in more 10s! To see this type of shot done, simply stop in to the shop and we will show you how it works!
While any style of archery can produce great results if you do it the same way every time, surprise shooting, or back tension shooting, will tend to create more consistency because the larger back muscles are easier to consistently activate. Come try some surprise shooting on the range and see if you like it!
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