Just something they teach you in a beginners course because they have to, isn’t it? Nobody else bothers, so why should I?
Actually, warming up is important. Everybody should do it every time. Make it a habit before you shoot, and it is easy. It is often said that it reduces the risk of injury. The evidence is actually a bit mixed on that one, but on balance it seems sensible. Warming up does literally warm up the muscles, and warm muscles work more efficiently, there’s no doubt about that. Why handicap yourself by not doing it?
DON’T STRETCH! How many people do you see do a cursory pull of the elbow round with the other hand a couple of times before shooting? I know a lot of people were taught to do that, but please don’t, it isn’t good for you. Stretching before physical activity can actually make you perform worse.
Don’t get me wrong, stretching is good. Those of us over 40 in particular benefit as the range of movement in your joints tends to reduce as you get older, if you do nothing about it. A regular stretching routine can help keep you supple, but do it after you shoot, not before.
I’m not going to go into details of the specific exercises – there are lots you can do, so ask your coach or look it up. Spend a good five minutes on it, concentrating on the upper body but doing something for the whole body. Your whole body is involved in shooting, after all. Warming up should be gentle repeated movements to get things moving, gradually increasing in intensity, but always staying within your normal comfortable range of movement.
Sarah Conisbee shot at the three day Grand National Archery Meeting from 24th to 26th June 2015, and not only did she win the ladies longbow Double Hereford and Long National rounds, she had awards for the best score with a wooden bow and the Best Gold in the Double National, which was also the ladies Best Gold of the meeting (including all the recurve and compound archers with much more modern equipment)! Fantastic performance, Sarah!
Cause and effect – it isn’t always obvious which is which. In archery, they are often confused. When looking at any aspect of shooting technique it is important to know why something happens the way it does. How many people do you see snatching their hands behind their heads as a separate movement after release? Somebody has probably told them they need to pull their hand back behind their ear when they let go, so that’s what they do. What should happen is that the hand moves back of its own accord (effect) because there is a steady pull from the shoulder and the string suddenly isn’t resisting any more (cause).
Here’s another one: current thinking is that correct use of the shoulder muscles through the draw (cause) should result in a slightly curved path of the drawing hand (effect). Making the hand go through a curve is not the same thing.
Focus on the cause, and the effect is a sign that you have got it right. It doesn’t work the other way round. Forcing the effect doesn’t make the cause happen!
News from our AGM on Friday 10th July: we knew this was coming, but we would like to say farewell and thank you to Peter and Sarah Conisbee, who having moved house have decided to join Redruth Archers as they are much closer to them. We would like to thank Peter for the work he has put in over the last few years as not only Secretary but Tournament Organiser and (along with Sarah) Records Officer as well.
I am now the Secretary, and other members have taken on Peter’s other roles. Most of the other officers have stayed the same.