A lot of you may wonder if it's possible to learn archery without a coach or an instructor. We would say it is. A lot of us get excited about grabbing a bow and arrow and start shooting but then get confused about basic techniques and methods. It can get a little overwhelming. 

We bring to you a few beginner essentials to help you get started. 

1. Determining your Dominant Eye: 

Need to know your dominant eye for aiming or even just to choose your bow? Here is a short guide and helpful video that makes it easy to find your dominant eye.

Determining your dominant eye will let help you aim and hit the target. However, it also determines whether you are right or left-handed, which in turn affects the hand you use to hold the bow and your shooting stance.

Do you know your Dominant Eye?

Do you want to easily find your dominant eye? Here is a simple trick that helps determine which eye you should use to aim at the target;

Place your hands together while overlapping your index fingers and thumbs to form a small triangle. Next, extend your arms towards an object situated at least 5 meters away. 

With both eyes open:

  • look at the object through the small triangle
  • then bring your two hands closer to your face while still looking at the object.
  • the triangle formed by your hands will naturally move towards the "aiming" eye called the "dominant eye".Now you try.

Now you know: 
If your dominant eye is the RIGHT, you hold your bow in your left hand, draw the string with your RIGHT, and aim with your right eye. (cf Green drawing)
If your dominant eye is the LEFT, you hold your bow in your right hand, draw the string with your LEFT, and aim with your left eye. (cf Orange drawing)

2. How to find your Archery Stance

Having the proper stance at the shooting line can help achieve a beautiful shot. Here is a short guide and helpful video that makes it easy to find your stance.

Do you want to have the very best chance at hitting the jackpot, the center of the target?
  • A good stance when facing the target is an important factor to consider.
  • Your feet should be on either side of the shooting line, which runs parallel to the target line.
  • You should be facing sideways with both feet parallel to the target line.
  • Your stance should feel natural with your feet directly beneath your hips.
  • This stance will provide stability during your shot.

Throughout the shot, your posture should be;
- Feet in line with hips
- You should always be facing the target sideways
- Keep a straight posture with your weight distributed evenly on both feet.

3. How to put an Arrow on your Bow

This short guide will help you easily and correctly put an arrow on your bow.

Once you know your dominant eye and have learned the correct stance to take at the shooting line, you're almost there.

Let's learn how to correctly put an arrow on your bow and its cord, a process which is called "nocking".

First of all: 
  • You step up to the shooting line and turn sideways to the target.
  • Point your bow down for safety purposes.
  • Position your arrow on the arrow rest.

Next, you slide the arrow to secure it to the string between the nocking points. You will feel a slight resistance and then a click that indicates that the arrow is correctly positioned and secured by the string. (cf video).

Cock feather
The arrow is made up of three feathers, one of which is a different colour: this is the cock feather.
The cock feather should be perpendicular to the bow's grip on the arrow rest, facing away from the bow.
This preparatory stage helps you concentrate so that you consistently shoot well.

4. How to hold your bow

After having determined your dominant eye, this short guide and helpful video will teach you how to properly hold a bow. After having determined your dominant eye (cf tip sheet why determine my dominant eye)

Are you right-handed? If so, then you should hold the bow in your left hand, which is commonly called the bow hand. However, if you are left-handed, the bow should be held in your right hand.

  • This entire first step concerns the bow's handle.
  • The central part where you will place your hand is called the "grip".

How to position your hand on the handle grip

Start by placing your hand at the handle. Maintain a minimum of support so as not to squeeze it excessively. There should be very little tension on the string so that you can properly position your hand on the bow's handle and therefore balance the power of each limb.

The best way to hold your handle is to grasp the grip with the hollow of your palm so that your palm is pressed against the edge of your grip.
  • Lightly holding the grip will keep the bow in position.
  • As you improve, the bow will be supported by your palm, anchored between your thumb and index finger, and held in place by a strap.

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