How Bad Shots Make You Shoot Your Bow Better

How Bad Shots Make You Shoot Your Bow Better

It's unlikely that anyone has ever told you to shoot a bad shot on purpose. However, when we received this advice, it eventually made us much better archers.

During some tournament shooting, one of us was having problems being consistent throughout the entire competition. He would shoot well for most of the tournament but always seemed to hit a rough patch and miss quite a few shots.

By intentionally replicating flawed shots, you can determine what is causing your misses and correct any equipment or form issues.

After a particular tournament, he vented his frustrations to Steve, one of the top shooters. He pointed out that if he wouldn't have had a plague of high misses, he would have won. He was just going to have to practice harder.

Steve just shook his head and asked him a simple question, "What's causing the high misses?"

When he didn't really have an answer, Steve went on to explain that every time he missed, he knew exactly what he did to cause it. Steve knew that if he missed to the right, he was pulling the string into his face. If he missed low, he was dropping his bow arm. Steve even knew if he missed at 8 o'clock, he must have lost track of the bubble in his level.

Steve explained that a form flaw may cause him to miss a point in a tournament. But he was, hopefully, only going to miss one. By knowing what caused the miss, he could watch for it and avoid making the same mistake in the future. This kept his missed shots to a minimum during the tournaments.

Steve suggested he go to the practice butts and purposely shoot flawed shots and try to replicate the high shots. He also said to keep experimenting with his shooting form until he figured out exactly what was causing the misses. That way, the next time he had a high shot, he could instantly fix the problem and not let one miss become many.

In the past when he had missed shots, he would just invest in more practice time. The practice helped some, but the pressure situations had a way of bringing out the worst in him. He took Steve's advice and went out to the practice butts and experimented. Through several practice sessions and a lot of trial and

error, he eventually figured out what was causing the high arrows.

This new approach was so enlightening, he decided to share the information with all of us. What Steve had said made a lot of sense. So, we all went on the journey of trying to define exactly what was causing our missed shots. Every single one of us had different form problems. What was a problem for one wasn't necessarily a problem for another.

We quickly found some unforeseen benefits of defining our missed shots. We realized that if we knew what was causing us to miss, we automatically did it less. In addition, we found some of the problems could be remedied with equipment and tuning changes.

Steve's advice to purposely shoot bad shots and define what was causing our misses was amazing. It was something we had never considered. We always figured more practice was the answer. But Steve's advice made us all much better shots.

Nowadays, most of us can tell you exactly what mistake was made when we miss a shot. And if we can't, it won't be very many practice sessions before we can.

Recommended for You

Treestands & Blinds

How Do I Shoot from a Tree Saddle?

Greg Staggs

Take advantage of 360-degree shooting.

Scouting Tools

Moultrie Mobile Cellular Camera: Remote Scouting Made Simple

Christian Berg - July 22, 2019

We tested this new trail-cam technology!


Resources to Get Started with Tree Saddle Hunting

Greg Staggs

Ready to saddle up? Here's where to start!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

South African Warthog

Mike Schoby and his wife Dory go on an action-packed South African hunt for plains game including the warthog.

Bill Winke's Bowhunting Treestand Set-Up Tips

Field Editor Bill Winke provides bowhunting treestand set-up tips that'll help make life easier when it's go time in the fall.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

ATA Show

New Fixed-Blade Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new fixed-blade broadheads from the 2019 ATA Show. Check out our top...

ATA Show

Top New Arrows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show!

ATA Show

Best New Bows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for...

See More Stories

More How-To


Scouting Public-Land Mountain Bucks

Beau Martonik

Are you up for the Appalachian whitetail challenge?


Become a Better Bowhunter by Choosing the Right Bow Sight

Tony Peterson - July 16, 2018

If you want to be the best bowhunter you can be, you need to concentrate on choosing the right...


How to Bow-Kill a Buck at Ground Zero

Darron McDougal

Whether you've never killed a deer from the ground or had little success, there are several...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.