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Archery Help for Writers in Middle-earth: 2. Shooting Flaws and Errors
SHOOTING FLAWS / ERRORS:
--- Faults for Bow Arm: ---
Bow arm elbow too straight, or locked/hyper-extended - this will cause string to slap forearm on release.
Bow arm bent at elbow when at full draw. Arm should be firmly straight, but not rigid or elbow locked.
Bow arm (left) shoulder hunched towards chin - improper attempt to brace for pressing bow outwards, common when beginners try a heavier bow. Both shoulders should be on a level plane.
Wrist of bow arm bent to the left.
Wrist of bow arm too stiff - Wrist should be in natural press against the bow.
First and second fingers of bow hand separated when grasping the bow - Allows hand to improperly tip up on the bow, rather than maintaining a loose fist.
--- Faults for String hand: ---
Creeping - Allowing string hand with string to relax or "creep" forward during aim or release, or allowing bow hand to come/creep backwards.
Plucking - To jerk upon release of string, rather than letting the fingers simply stop pulling. This will cause the arrow to fly left or high.
Anchor point - Error can be in allowing index finger on string to drift off anchor point away from the face, causing arrow to fly to the left. Anchor point can also be mistakenly placed too high, too low, or too far forward.
Too much of the fingers on the string - String should rest in first joint of the fingers, at right angles to the string.
Too little of fingers on the string - If fingertips only hold string, hand is not at right angles, and fingers could easily slip off string and cause premature release.
Knuckle joint bent on string hand - Fingers where knuckles join the hand should not bend and stiffen, but should be relaxed and naturally follow to string.
--- Reasons for Missing Target ---
Anchor point is off. (See above, and further definition below.)
Aim wrong - Error in not coming fully to point of aim before release.
Aiming with left eye - this is usually the weak eye, and will send arrow off-target.
Plucking on release - this sends arrows left and high.
Relaxing - Allowing shoulders and arms to relax at moment of release, instead of properly continuing push/pull for follow-through. Only the string hand should relax.
Creeping - this will weaken the draw and may make arrows fly low.
Flinching - either flinch of bow arm or drawing arm will send arrows astray.
Lifting chin - to meet string and finger upon drawing, instead of properly holding head steady and bringing finger to it. Bring the string to your face; don't bring your face to the string.
String hitting bow arm - the bow-wrist is turned in or elbow is hyper-extended, which can make aim go awry.
Extending bow arm first and then drawing string, which tends towards bracing with too-stiff wrist and elbow of bow-arm.
Sighting on "wrong arrow" - If sighting with both eyes, a trick of vision shows the archer two arrows, but only the arrow which appears to be to the left is the correct one. (For right-handed archers. One can point finger and close alternate eyes to see effect.)
Tipping or bending - A tendency to bend backwards at the hips. Body weight should be evenly placed on one's feet.
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