Getting ready for indoor archery season can be a tricky task. The Indoor archery season can be as long as 6 months in some parts of the country. A shooter can easily get burnt out by shooting too much but on the other hand you can end up not being prepared if you wait too long to get started. I have outlined a schedule that I have found to work well for myself over the years.
Generally, I try to start doing some indoor archery practice in October either on days that I did not go hunting or in the evening after coming in from the hunt. I do not shoot very often this time of year but do try to get a little archery shooting in every other day or two just to get started. During this time I’m trying to get my muscles back into shooting shape and try to shoot 30-60 arrows at a time. I don’t want to overdo it early on since I haven’t shot my bow much in the past few months.
The first month or so I work on my form and getting it where it needs to be. I like to shoot each shot as perfect as I can. As much as I want to shoot a good score I try not to focus much on score at this point. I am more concerned with my form and making good shots. As the November rut passes and archery hunting season ends I will start shooting more and more.
This is when I start to shoot more serious. I put more value on the score and try to get my equipment sorted out. I will replace the bowstring and cables on my bows and get them ready for the upcoming season. With my body in better shape I can now start to sort out what is working and what isn’t working on my setup. I will shoot different setups back to back or day to day and make fair comparisons. It’s always good to shoot multiple rounds when doing testing for the best results.
By mid-December I try to shoot my bow almost every day if possible. I will start to ramp up the number of arrows shot. I try to shoot 60-120 arrows a day. If I am happy with how my setups are working these will always be for score. If I feel like something needs work then I will address that as well. If I’m not aiming well I will spend the day just working on my aim. If I’m getting lazy on the release end then I will work on that. I compare this to a sports team practicing. A sports team doesn’t just go to practice and play a pick-up game. Each practice is broken down into smaller session of working on a specific piece of the game. This is one area that I think most archers don’t do enough of. Most will just go to the range night after night and either shoot good or bad but never work on what needs fixing to shoot better. It’s amazing what a single night of ‘maintenance’ practice can achieve.
As New Year’s rolls around the local archery tournaments will be starting. These tournaments will let you know how well you did getting prepared for the season. If everything was done properly you should roll into these with no problems. Your confidence will be high from knowing that you and your equipment is performing the best it can.
My archery practice from Jan-March will be pretty much the same as it was in December. I will vary it a bit depending on the archery tournament schedule. With the varying indoor formats I will vary my routine a bit to adjust for each one. It’s important to use your archery tournaments to improve your shooting. No matter how good or bad you shoot at each one you should come away with a ‘to do’ list every time. What were your flaws and how do you fix them? I will often take a day or two off after a big national archery tournament to reflect and relax.
One thing to remember is that shooting needs to be fun. If sneaking out to practice seems more like a job then a hobby then it might be time to cut back. I know I normally don’t shoot as well on nights that I don’t feel like shooting compared to the nights that I can’t wait to get off work to go shoot. If you feel like you’re getting burnt out it’s not a bad idea to step away. Sometimes I’ll put everything down for a week or more just to take a break.
Shooting indoor archery can be fun, rewarding and frustrating all at the same time. I hope this article has helped to lay out some groundwork for those of you looking to shoot serious this winter. The key thing is to find what works for you. Indoor archery is a game of repetition. The key is to do it over and over again until it becomes automatic. Stay tuned for future helpful articles on archery. Feel free to ask any questions at 60X@60XCustomStrings.com or visit our blog atwww.60XCustomStrings.com