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Beginning Archer Values Your Advice

by 82 Year Old Beginner

I am 82 years old and just started archery with a recurve bow of 19 pounds weight. I can only reiterate what you said regarding the fact that men in particular have a tendency of wanting a power bow much beyond what they can actually handle with ease.

The bow I have which a bow maker loaned to me for learning the basics is perfect because not only do I make fantastic progress rapidly but more important, having fun doing it. No muscle pains, no stress I can concentrate 100 per cent on my routine.

I am having a long bow made to my measurement I.e. Draw length 26 inch at 26 lbs weight. It is better to hit the target slowly than miss it fast.

Congratulations for your excellent advice!

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Beginner Archer – Starting Right
by: Coach Zeober

Dear beginner – Thank you so much for your comment.

Like many things the learning phase of archery is most challenging and proper equipment will have a great impact on how well you learn the technical motor skill that allow us to carryout the shot cycle with predictable results.

Anyone can pick up a bow and arrow and have marginally good results and some will even advance beyond the novice level by grinding through the grit with pure determination.

But the point is to have fun without the struggle.

A lot of people miss this one very simple point – A weight lifter doesn’t achieve his or her end results by lifting 3 to 4 times what they are capable of lifting.

They practice and train with lighter weights and build strength while they learn proper and efficient bio-mechanics that will allow them to lift more weight.

Archery is the same as weight lifting in that it is a progressive learning and strengthening cycle and increasing draw weight must be treated the same.

Regretfully most new archers will select equipment and draw weights that match their final goal and they end up over-bowed.

I see this all the time - the vast majority of the individuals who start out over-bowed never make it through the early learning phase before they finally end up injured or they simply quit all together.

This is one of the main reasons that many aspiring archers end up with an expensive bow that gets buried in a closet or tucked away in a dark corner collecting dust.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The best approach is to start simple with a light draw weight so you can focus on learning the motor skills, build strength and master the shot cycle that will soon lead to a repeatable and more predictably accurate execution.

If your goal is to hit your mark time after time and to have fun then your choices in the beginner phase are critical to your overall success.

Congratulations for starting right – My prediction is you’re on your way to becoming a great archer.

The one piece of advice I would like to make now is to continue to build more strength while you’re waiting for your new Longbow.

The body will become conditioned to the 19 pound draw weight and jumping into a 26 pound bow can be a big leap for some people.

For the record, my students increase draw weight in 2 to 4 pound increments unless they happen to be one of those who take an aggressive approach to conditioning and strengthening.

Keep up the great work, stay focused on the process and enjoy the flight of the arrow...And most important - Have fun!

Best wishes,
Coach Zeober

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