Cure Target Panic

  1. Learn to shoot with a hinge-style release aid – it is believed that anticipation of the shot is one of the major causes of target panic. Thus, hinge-style release aids (aka “back tension release”) are specifically designed to cause the release to be a surprise to the archer. However, when first learning to use this type of release, you should use a loop of cord held in your bow hand rather than your bow.
  2. Shoot your bow with your eyes closed – although we often strive to do so, no one can hold a bow perfectly steady at full draw. Therefore, the second step to eliminating shot anxiety is to shoot with your eyes closed. Thus, start by obtaining a large target and significantly reducing the draw weight of your bow. Then, position yourself a short distance from the target (3 to 5 ft.), nock an arrow, draw your bow, and aim while focusing on the sight pin. Then, close both eyes, relax, and release the string while concentrating on the feel of the shot. Repeat until you are comfortable.
  3. Shoot a bare bow – because the sight pin often serves as a distraction, the next step is to remove the sights and concentrate entirely on the feel of the shot instead. Thus, remain close to the target and focus on how the bow feels in your hand and how it feels as you draw and release the string with your eyes open. Also, imagine that you are following the arrow on its flight to the target.
  4. Shoot with sight and a target – next, you need to introduce both a sight and a target. But, you do not want to actually aim just yet! Instead, place a brand new target face on your target, replace the sights on your bow, and adjust them way up so that your arrow will not strike the center of the target. Then, stand close to the target (3 to 5 ft.), draw your bow, place the sight pin in the center of the ten ring, and fire one arrow repeatedly. But, instead of concentrating on the sight pin and holding the bow steady, let the bow drift and instead concentrate on the feel of the shot as you release the arrow as described in the previous step.
  5. Move back to the 5 yard point and aim – for this step, you will need to move back to five yards, face your target, nock an arrow, draw your bow, and aim at the center of the target. But, DO NOT SHOOT! Instead, simply aim at the target for 15 seconds while concentrating on keeping the pin in the center of the ten ring and then relax your draw for 30 seconds. Then, perform this step repeatedly.