Keeping Barebow Training Interesting

By Mark V. Lonsdale, USAA Instructor Trainer

Archery training requires hundreds of arrows per day, thousands per month, and tens of thousands per year. As such, many seasoned and aspiring competitors take every opportunity to train alone in their backyard or local public range, often without the benefit of a training buddy. To make the training sessions more interesting, there are a number of ways to change-up the routine of just shooting hundreds of 3- or 6-arrow ends.

Arrow Tracking: One very useful training exercise is to number all your arrows and record them in the margin of a clipboard. After each end, record the score for each individual arrow. The goal is to track which arrows consistently score 10s and 9s and which stray into the 7 or 6 rings. You may find that you have one arrow that consistently scores low so may be slightly bent. The ones that consistently score well will become your “first string” competition arrows. Most competitors will set aside eight or nine A-list arrows just for competition and then use the others as “beaters” for training.

Endurance Training: Instead of shooting 3- or 6-arrow ends at 50 meters, shoot 12 to build up strength and endurance. Shooting 12 also tests your ability to remain focused for all 12 arrows. Pay attention to see if your scores drop off as you feel the muscle fatigue.

Arrow Competitions: Take two sets of identical arrows with different colored nocks, for example, 6 red and 6 white. Then, shooting in ends of 6 or 12, have a competition between the two colors.

Arrow Competition with Red nocks versus White nocks. Red are winning in this image with 4x9s and 2x10s for a score of 56. Note: when you see an arrow out of the group, such as the one low left, note the number of the arrow to see if it consistently scores low left and if it may be bent.

Endurance Training: In a standard Barebow competition, the archer has 4 minutes to shoot 6 arrows or 2 minutes to shoot 3 arrows. To work on endurance and developing a subconscious shot process, try shooting 12 arrows in 4 minutes. This requires a continuous shooting process with little time for conscious thought.

Long Hold Training: Another aspect of endurance and strength training is long hold training. The standard shot cycle usually includes a 3-5 second hold, but to build confidence and endurance, try training with 10-second holds. This also serves to help prevent target panic and the feeling that you have to get the shot off quickly. Just relax and watch the point of your arrow hover on or under the 10 ring while counting to ten in your head.

Hold-off Training: To be able to shoot well in windy conditions, it is important to be able to aim off center. To work on this, even on a windless day, practice shooting a group to the left or right of the gold. Also take the opportunity to get out and practice on windy days to become comfortable in windy conditions.

See you on the range


2022 Vegas Shoot

3-6 FEB 2022

Registered and training for the 2022 Vegas Shoot. As of this date, over 1,000 competitors have signed up.

2021 was Championship only and all the Barebow categories were lumped together. Expecting great things for February 2022
Hanging with Spanky Brookes in the training hall.

Bring your “A” game an see y’all in Vegas


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