A new archer usually starts his training at a distance of 10m or less. After achieved a good grouping (less than 6”) at 10m, the new archer can then consider moving up to the next distance, 18m (target boards at TBAC are layout at distances: 10m, 18m, 30m, 50m and 70m). This is also the time to decide what equipment to continue his training with: Olympic recurve bow, compound bow or barebow. The archer may also take into consideration whether to eventually participating in in-house competitions or open competitions as objectives. That may guide him as to what setup to settle in and help him assess his own progress.
Irrespective of the type of setup chosen, the new archer will probably spend the next 3 – 6 months at 18m practicing on 40cm paper targets. It is advisable that the archer does not make hitting the gold (center spot) the primary objective initially. He should pay more attention to his form and shooting routine. Each step of the shoot routine from raising the bow, pre-aiming, drawing to anchor, anchor point, draw length, aiming (by whatever method), string picture to finally release should be considered.
The new archer should also consider practice shooting at a simple small target mark (e.g. a 1” x 1” piece of tape) without using the standard target face. This may help the archer concentrate on his form more than attempting to hit the higher point rings.
18m (or 20 yards in imperial rounds) is the most popular competition distance for indoor. Some of the well attended 18m indoor competitions internationally are The Vegas Shoot at Las Vegas, USA held in Feb and the Princess Cup at Bangkok, Thailand held in June annually)
Grouping sizes usually get larger as distances get farther. The archer can estimate if he is ready for the next distance by multiplying his grouping size by a factor of 2. Therefore, to keep all his arrows on the board for 30m, the archer should consistently group his arrows on the 40cm x 40cm paper target face at 18m.
Missing the board not only frustrates the archer who has to search for errant arrows but also cause inconveniences to other archers.
For some helpful advice from an archer’s mind, see Archer’s Musings