Home Forums Campfire Forum Acute target panic… How to cure?

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    • dodgetrapper
      Post count: 4

      I have been shooting my bow fairly well this season but I have noticed in practice sessions I sometimes am releasing just as I touch anchor or even an inch before it. It really hit me tonight when a pretty doe walked down a trail parallel to my stand, a bleat stopped her at 18 yards, I picked a spot drew and released. All seemed well until I watched the arrow seem to drop from the air inches below her chest. She bounded away unharmed and I sat in my tree shaking my head. I got home turned on the flood lights and the harder I tryed to hit anchor and pick a spot the harder the bow seemed to pull. Bad practices that I let myself get away with have manifested themselves in a horrable case of target panace. Has anyone else suffered from this recently? I ended my session tonight by pulling my bow to anchor a few dozen times while closing my eyes. It seemed to help, any other suggestions?

      Thanks in advance

    • Troy Breeding
      Post count: 994

      Been there, done that. Tried just about everything to stop it. Finally came to the conclusion it’s simply a disconnect in the ol’ hair covered computer between the ears. Get the brain clear and simply work on your form.

      Troy

    • jason samkowiak
      Post count: 141

      that’s exactly how target panic hit me a bunch of years ago. I could not get to full draw. as soon as my mind was locked on I could not finish my draw and my anchor would be 3 inches short but I could not draw any farther as my mind would not let me.

      How I beat it and never had to deal with it again so far after 20 years was to do the following. now keep in mind there are probably better methods out there now but this is what worked for me at the time.

      I started drawing the bow aiming at the ground about 10 feet short of my intended target. come to full draw aiming there. then raise the bow get locked on, and count for 2 second count during witch making sure everything is soild and locked. then releasing. I did this for about a month and then was able to go back to my normal shooting and not have target panic.

      I know its a little different of a method but it worked for me. my thought was it would break the link between my mind and body and let me take control of the shot again.

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      I think Asbell wrote that he experiences this every now and then. If I remember correctly his solution was shooting at a hay bale from a few yards away with his eyes closed, not worrying about his target at all, just focused on form.

      Jim

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Mine attacks when I’m in a group of people shooting for score. When I’m stumping or goofing off or hunting, no problem. I guess that’s when I just pull back and shoot without thinking about it. That basically what the G Fred deal is methinks. You have a blank mind. Or perhaps better concentration at an “internal brain” target than an external target??

      I have no suggestions for a cure cause, I ain’t cured, just better, but I one thing, some people say to never quit on a bad shot but if I’m struggling with target panic and I feel that I gotta get that one good shot in or that one good score before I quit, I get worse. So when I turn to crap I know where the problem lies, put my gear up and go do something else. It’s kinda like a batting slump, quit trying so hard to hit the ball and it’ll happen.

      By the way, I shot just as well at a 30 yd. 3D elk target with my eyes closed as I did with them open! I think it was the same branch I hit. I made a mental image of the target, the shot and apparently the branch. Good day to you and a happy one, Ralph.

    • Fallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      I have taken Rod Jenkins class and he said the biggest reason TP (never speak the words allowed) set in is because we program ourselves to loose the arrow every time we draw it. We need to train the brain to only loose the prefect shot. When you draw the bow some thing does not feel right let it down and start over. This is easier said than done since we all love to watch the flight of the arrow. It is what has drawn us to the bow. I know a guy from our archery club who got TP bad and he took to drawing his bow while facing a concrete wall. If the arrow was loosed there was no pleasure received and the genie was put back into the bottle (for now). It only took 5 or 6 arrows to prove it.:twisted:

    • dodgetrapper
      Post count: 4

      Thanks guys for all the tips, I have orientation in the morning for my first sikta hunt on assuitgue island. Hope I can pull myself together if I so happen to get a chance.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      I’ve been holding back, hoping that Moebow (Arne) would show up. I would bet he’s got some ideas!

      Jay Kidwell’s latest revised book Instinctive Archery Insights has a section he told me on curing Target Panic.

      Good luck!

    • Arne Moe
      Member
      Post count: 147

      Dodge, Doc Noc alerted me to this thread. It is a difficult thing and probably hard to fix in the middle of the “season.” There are some good suggestions above but let’s see if I can “boil it down” a little for you.

      What you are doing – it sounds like – is letting your subconscious run the shot and you are mentally concentrating on the aim. I am convinced that the reverse should be done. Concentrate on the mechanics of the shot and let the subconscious aim. This is what the blank bale exercise does for you. You concentrate on running the shot (no matter the situation – target, hunting, etc.) with your mind stepping through each step! You ONLY aim AFTER you get to the “anchor” step. Then move your thinking on to release and follow through.

      Your subconscious is really powerful BUT it wants to skip needed steps. So if you only give it ONE thing to do, there is nothing to skip. Give it the aiming step only and mentally control the rest of the shot yourself.

      This change in thinking during the shot takes some practice and as I said, probably difficult during hunting season.

      In the meantime, try to NOT worry about the shot itself until you are at full draw. There is no point to aiming until ready to shoot and that is full draw. You wouldn’t aim a gun before you load it would you?

      Arne

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      In the meantime, try to NOT worry about the shot itself until you are at full draw. There is no point to aiming until ready to shoot and that is full draw. You wouldn’t aim a gun before you load it would you?

      Arne

      I have hesitated to respond to this thread–but here goes.

      Remember that all that follows is a career in shooting from 3000 meters to 2 meters. And lots of good advice here and the bow experts are so much better then I. But– There is no such thing as an unloaded gun–sorry Arne.

      We aim with our eyes—first lesson in close combat qualification (CQB) Is look at your target point the hand and shoot..Look Look Look and shoot. The form required for pistol/rifle/bow is IMHO the same. Factor in the stress of a hunt or combat and pointing the hand wins.

      But before we get to that point you have to work on YOUR form–up close to the target–when you get a consistent close group –extend the range. To get to the point where you don’t think about your form–requires about 2 hours of practice a day for 30 days.As an aside that’s how long it takes to make Marines march in step. Or a musher in training to harness and hook dogs to the gangline:D

      To sum:

      Perfect the form

      Perfect the aim

      Shoot to kill

      Mike

      Trust I didn’t upset anyone–but if your still undecided check out Fred A’s books.

    • Arne Moe
      Member
      Post count: 147

      No upset or offense at all Mike! A good discussion on a difficult subject.

      You make legitimate points! And YES, “Treat EVERY gun as though it was loaded!” The point I was trying to make, though, was this. When shooting at a (any) target you don’t set a very careful AIM and THEN reach in your pocket grab a cartridge, open the action, insert the cartridge, close the action and ALL the while hold the “aim” very carefully on the target. You don’t do a “final aim” until the gun is ready to fire.

      Drawing the bow is similar to that in that you have to draw the bow before it can be shot. “Looking” at the target for alignment purposes is (IMO) different from aiming for the actual shot. During the shot, your mind needs to be running the steps of the shot and the actual “aiming” step (in at least one style) is AFTER reaching anchor and is only ONE step that is done then you mentally move on.

      I’ll use this example for the distinction between “looking” and “aiming.” For those of you that are familiar with (GASP!!) compound bows: You “look” at the target and orient yourself to it (stance, bowhand, etc.)at the start of the shot/draw. BUT you do not set final “aim” until at full draw and you are able to align the peep and the front sight — final aim. Then you move on to activating the release.

      There are two legitimate schools of thought for the archery shot. One is Fred’s that suggests conscious aiming and a subconscious shot execution. This DOES work for many and I have all the respect in the world for Fred! I took his clinic down at Black Widow a few years ago.

      Another school of thought is the “conscious shot execution and subconscious aiming” school. This is the one I have found to help those with the curse of TP the most. Often just changing the thought process is all it takes to reduce the TP issue. That is why some folks find success in switching hands. They have to think harder about what they are doing.

      Mike is also correct in how much practice it takes to make changes. This is important! Too many do not give changes a fair chance to take effect. They think that if a change doesn’t help TODAY that it doesn’t work for them. That is why I mentioned that trying this during the “season” may not be a good thing. Plan to spend a couple MONTHS working on changes and BE PATIENT!

      There are no easy answers to TP! But helping reduce the effects requires a CHANGE to what the shooter is currently doing and thinking. Everyone is “wired” a little differently and they each need to find what works for them. That takes thought and honest self evaluation. And maybe a little “outside help” too.

      Arne

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      Lots of good info here. Arne’s recommendation for “outside help” is indeed great advice. You can film yourself–but having a knowledgeable instructor can save much frustration, bad habits—worth the cost.

      Semper Fi

      Mike

    • blancharddm
      Member
      Post count: 4

      I suffered with TP for nearly 20 years. I tried many of the solutions that have been recommended here, most specifically a perfection of my shooting form. I could make it work in most instances, except for the most important shots, those that were under pressure. When shooting with a groups of guys, or especially at an animal, I would lose control of the release.

      I disagree with those who say that more focus is the answer, and with those who say that there is no easy answer. I discovered the answer this summer and have been completely cured. My answer came from Joel Turner.

      I found answers from Joel on a thread at Tradgang. I also bought his video on TP from A&H Archery. Joel deals with the subconcious aspects of shooting, and his solution works. I strongly recommend checking out his video. I also noticed in the most recent TB magazine that he is doing a seminar in Michigan, I believe it is.

      I strongly recommend checking him out. I am incredibly thankful that I happened upon him this summer. I am shooting better than I ever have.

    • Fallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      “I disagree with those who say that more focus is the answer, and with those who say that there is no easy answer. I discovered the answer this summer and have been completely cured. My answer came from Joel Turner”.

      Stress is normally the trigger but the cure that is not easy what works for one may not for another. It is like reading the label on prescription medications ” Your results may vary see your doctor if complications arise”. And remember one other thing “Free advice is worth exactly what you paid for it”

    • Arne Moe
      Member
      Post count: 147

      Would that be “free advice” that you are giving too Fallguy?

      🙄

      Arne

    • Fallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      Yup, many things work you just have find what works for you.

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      The most important thing I learned about TP is that there is no universal solution. What works for one person may not work for another. Try everything you can, and give each an honest effort. If it doesn’t work, move on to the next. Eventually something should get you out the other side.

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