One Sunday, a couple of weeks ago, I was working at Stowe Archers. It was the day of our fist Paper Animal Point Series shoot and I was standing behind the kitchen counter, hoping that a crowd would come walking through the door.
To pass the time, I was passively watching episodes of Nock On Archery that I had playing on the clubhouse DVD player. A tip segment pulled me out of my daydream and I watched John Dudley explain the importance of anchoring the string hand.
The segment went on to explain that the natural position for the jaws of a mechanical hand-held release was between the index and middle fingers. His tip was to use this “V” formation and index it on your jawbone when anchoring.
It seemed interesting enough and I thought I’d give it a try. After all, I could certainly use the help. I was having one hell of a time with my scores and couldn’t seem to keep my sight pins steady.
A week later, I shot a 450 Round for fun. John Dudley’s tip came to mind and I gave it a try. Up until this point, I had been using the knuckle on my thumb as an index with terrible results.
In an instant, my sight picture went from looking like I was shooting from the hull of a boat on rough seas – to somewhat steady. I suppose the change in anchor indirectly affected my draw length and suddenly I felt much more solid.
To put the difference in perspective, I went from shooting a 14 Handicap (80% Handicap League) last season to a 9 in my first indoor practice session in 8 months. In fact, my sight pin float was so bad last season that I had to use a single spot target in fear of missing a three spot.
I’ve shot one 450 Round since the change and I seem to be averaging about 140 points per game (3 Games of 150 = 450 Round). I’m still leaving a lot of points on the table but I think my improvement is remarkable. I’m hoping that with regular practice I can push my average up to a 144 by the time Leagues begin in January.