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Jason Wesbrock
Post count: 762

I agree with Don about letting the right form find you. I have seen more folks get messed up horribly by trying to shoehorn themselves into someone else’s mold. There is a fine line between trying new things in the hopes of improvement and abandoning what works best for you because someone else says it’s wrong.

A very good friend of mine, Kevin, is one of the best instinctive shooters I’ve ever met. When I first heard of him about 15 years ago it was because he was the guy with the longbow kicking all of our tails in the recurve class at local 3D shoots. The first time I actually met and shot with him I was blown away. We shoot with two very different styles, his being very fluid, canted and leaning with me being more “classical” and rigid. I knew the physical and mental gymnastics I was going through to hit 10 rings, but he made it look so easy and effortless. I’m pretty sure he outshot me that day.

Several years went by and Kevin decided to jump into upper level competition. His first time at the IBO Worlds he made the top five cut in the recurve class—he had switched from longbows a few years prior. After that tournament he wanted to improve his accuracy, so he started changing his equipment and style to match what the top recurve barebow archers were doing (upright, classical form and conscious aiming).

For two years Kevin’s accuracy went to pot. The further away he got from his comfort zone to worse he shot. We got to talking one day and I told him what he’d already known. He needed to go back to what worked best for him, not someone else. He found a recurve that complimented his canted, fluid instinctive style of shooting and went back his roots, so to speak. Almost immediately, his accuracy jumped right back up to where it once was. Best yet, he’s a lot happier with his shooting now.