Month: November 2015

Archer’s Musings

Some sagely thoughts from our Mads, Founder of the Eagles Barebow Chapter.

 

I don’t always get what I want. Since I am not 2, I shall not lay on the floor and throw tantrums. I shall remember these notes to myself, keep trying and enjoy the journey.

 

  1. Don’t over-analyse

Overthinking the steps to a release, to whether the right form has been achieved and whether the aim is at gold, for example, slows the archer and leads to the arrow creeping forward as the draw weakens. Finally, a rushed and botched release follows.

2. Go back to basics every so often

It is easy to get frustrated when things don’t go right. One sure way of getting back on track is to reread the tips on form that were so helpful when you started. Takes a few moments but clears the cobwebs in the mind.

3.  Use the right equipment

Archery is not weight lifting or bodybuilding; it is a sport requiring precision much like darts or shooting. You don’t hear of dartsmen bragging about how heavy their darts are so why do some target archers go for heavy poundages that they can’t handle and which they can hit targets with when they are the size of cows?

4. Fight target panic

It takes a lot of time and mental strength to overcome and one frequent symptom is the way the bow arm locks up before the arrow is aligned to the target, leading to a premature release. Apparently, professional help is required to fully overcome this neurological deficiency.

5. Maintain consistent timing and aiming

Possibly another neurological defect is not being able to maintain consistent timing and aim. In a quick release, the eye sees down the shaft of the arrow. As the draw is held, the eye focuses on the tip of the arrow. The angles being different, the shot will go higher in the quicker release and lower in the slower release. Consistent timing probably leads to consistent aiming.

6. Steady with the bow arm

Sometimes, the bow arm is too relaxed and is noticed only after the release. The shot goes off and the bow arm is thrown, usually upwards or leftwards.

7. Keep calm and carry on Ignore your fellow competitors and focus on your own game. Easier said than done. Most of us report pounding hearts and cold hands and feet in competition. Some competition venues seem to turn on a rush of cold air when it’s your turn to shoot.

8. It’s good to shoot with better archers

It spurs you on and you learn a lot more. That said, it is also good to shoot with poor archers. You learn as much from the former as the latter.

Lynx.Garden.Dream

A great thrill of archery is seeing one’s arrow launch, cut gracefully through space, land smack on some far target. And being part of a club that has a physical training ground does wonders for archer’s sanity, otherwise an archer could easily find himself shooting cross-eyed at the living room wall.

This Lynx has been fortunate enough to rest her feet and found good company at the current TBAC… and be in Singapore.

Only in Singapore, one can hop onto the public train service and emerge 10min walk to 70m outdoor archery range, or in some cases, land at a bus stop right outside the range itself. Take another 5 min walk and one would be greeted by markets, food centers, neighborhood shops and if lucky, even a shopping mall.

Dinner and movie date after shoot? sure can do. Just leave the gear in a locker in the mall and be free to roam about. If one is at TBAC, just take a short bus ride and one could, very easily and possibly, be on the next cruise to Indonesia or Malaysia.

Cool yeah? lynx thinks so too.

Singapore is also known as the Garden City… and one would think archers here get to shoot amongst the lilies and banyan trees, accompanied by birdsong and tea. Ah.. that’s actually is a nice thought…

Fact is, every inch of this urban garden is worth its weight in gold. The pressure on land space is so high that one would not find anymore, any spot on the island whose future for the next 10 years unplanned.

Co-existing in such tight areas, it is not uncommon for public curiosity to turn into police attention – Lynx had that personal experience while running fun-shoots for the community which was featured on the local citizen-journalism website discussing the dangers and legality of doing an archery shoot in an area where human traffic is so high.

Range space often have a lifespan between 2-5 years and whatever endures beyond this timespan are compact setups located in the heart of residential estates.For a long time now, local archers have lamented the lack of a permanent shooting facility. Not just as a home for the competitive national athletes, but a base from which the sport can be promoted as well along with a practical approach to public engagement and talent nurturing.

A dream? Maybe. Singapore is also known for aggressive land reclamation. With new soil, maybe just maybe, hope still exists for that dream.