Getting in the Zone Repeatedly

Getting in the Zone Repeatedly

I’m sure this post has been a long time in coming, but it can be extremely difficult to put mental aspects into words that make sense.  I’m going to do my best to talk about the focus and control that you need for shooting at your best and how to get there over and over again.  I call it getting in the zone and the goal is to learn how to get there before every shot.

You can do this because I learned how to do it by learning from others that were already doing it.  It wasn’t the easiest and it takes a lot of time and practice, but it can be done.

A pre shot routine

The first step of getting things ready is to develop a pre shot routine that will help you to always get your mind in the right place.  A pre shot routine can last anywhere from 10 seconds up to a couple of minutes and it is something that you do before every single shot that will prepare your mind and body for what it is about to do.  If you take some time to look at other sports that deal with accuracy, you’ll notice that every player develops a little “thing” that they always do.  That’s their pre-shot routine and you can start by copying theirs first.

Mental control

I’m not talking about mind powers.  I’m talking about the effort that it takes to focus on only one thing and to block out all the other things that you could have distracting you.  I found that when I started blocking things out, that I kept finding more and more things that distracted me.  It took a lot of effort and practice, but it’s easier now to block out everything and focus only on the shot and making it the best possible.

Dealing with Fatigue

Fatigue is one of those things that doesn’t sound like it’s that big a deal, but I’m here to say it makes a big difference.  Imagine going to a tournament where you end up making 60 shots over 2 hours plus warming up.  There is a lot of room for getting tired, sore, muscle fatigue, and more.  The more energy you use, the harder it gets to focus and make a good shot.  The main cure for fatigue is consistently practicing.  This gives you more stamina over time to continue making good shots.

Learn to stop

The other part of practicing so that you get good at focusing completely over and over is to know when to stop.  You not only need to learn how to turn on the ability to focus and block things out, but you also have to learn how to turn it off completely so that you can relax and conserve your mental energy.  I know it might sound a little weird, but it’s true.  I’m sure you know people in your life that are so passionate or committed to something that they never “turn it off.”  It’s kind of the same idea, but the purpose is to help you conserve your mental energy so that you can spend it where it’s needed most.

Taking a shot with a bow isn’t that hard.  Making a great shot is definitely harder.  Making a great shot for every shot is very difficult and that’s what the mental aspect of the sport of archery is going to come down to.

Shoot straight

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Some of the Best Archery Movies

Some of the Best Archery Movies

I normally try to stay just on the topic of helping you out with archery, but now and then I like to go and find something completely different that will still be fun and entertaining.  Well, that’s the hope anyways.  So today, I’m really just pointing out a few movies that do a good job of showing people using a bow right.  You’d be surprised how often you find movies or pictures that don’t do a very good job of shooting a bow and that’s just plain depressing.

Most archery movies are going to much more action oriented and I’m okay with that.  The great thing about these movies is that they get people interested in archery.  It’s easy to pretend that it’s not helpful or important, but to keep the sport alive and doing well we need more people to join in.  Luckily, archery is something that anybody can do at almost every age.

Without more jabbering, here’s some of my favorite archery movies, or groups of movies really.  All the links go to Amazon so you can read all the reviews there.

Great Archery Movies

Brave – This is an animated movie about a princess who makes a huge mess of things and just happens to be a really great shot.

Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves (Extended Cut) – A gritty remake of the classic tale of Robin Hood and the challenges he has to overcome to defend the people that he’s supposed to protect.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray] – The Lord of the Rings is a great trilogy that is both epic and exciting.  If you focus on the archery, it’s actually pretty good.  You can be a very fast shot and indeed many archers in the past had to be fast.

The Hunger Games – There are two movies out now, but it is going to be a trilogy made up of 4 movies.  One of the great parts of this movie is that an Olympic archer was the trainer for Jennifer Lawrence so she actually has very good form and does a good job acting the part.

Marvel’s The Avengers –  The character Hawkeye might have some fancy gadgets on all his arrows, but he’s an excellent shot and gives you some fun ideas about archery.  Not to mention, he’s got a pretty cool code name.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian –  I know that there’s more than one movie out now and I thought about linking to the set, but this one movie has more interactions for you.  I prefer watching series of movies and this is the second one.  I think you’ll like it.

There’s always more movies out there and each one of them is going to come down to taste and personal preference.  Luckily, this is my spot where I get to stand out in front of you and shout out random loud noises such as, “This is the best thing ever!”  So please take all these recommendations as suggestions.

The links go to Amazon so you can check them out for yourself.  If you do decide to make a purchase through there, I will make a small commission.  It won’t cost you anything different and it will go to helping make this site better for you.

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Get Archery Lessons Online

Get Archery Lessons Online

Archery is a sport that I love and have been doing for a very long time.  I’d love to tell you stories of me traipsing through the woods and making Robin Hood shots from extremely long distances, but I’m not going to do that.

I’d rather talk about you and how I’d like for you to be the one that has those stories.  I’ve got plenty of my own, but let’s talk about you.  Have you been interested in archery or are new and don’t really know where to begin?

I have the solution for you.

You can get Archery Lessons Online through my Beginner Archery Course. 

Click here to get the archery course.

I’ve put together a video course along with extra material to help you go from a beginner to a very accomplished shooter in a short time.

You’ll learn what types of equipment is available as well as what to look for in a bow.

I’ll definitely cover the most important part.  How to shoot a bow and do it well.  You’ll learn how to use a bow correctly and how to start getting extreme accuracy from the beginning.

Need more than just archery lessons online

I’ve also added a personal coaching section that you can get for a discount with the course.  I normally charge $20 just to help you once with archery, but I’ve added a special deal for those of you taking the course.

You can get 2 coaching emails for the price of one.  This is where I’ll help you with your technique or any part of picking a bow.  You can take a video or picture of yourself shooting and I’ll help you out.

The other option, which is by far the best deal that I’m offering is an unlimited email coaching for 3 months.  You only get this when you buy the course and there isn’t any other way to get this.  If you really want to progress quickly, then this is the fastest way to go and I’ll help you out as much as possible

Click here to Get the Archery Course and Coaching Now

No animals where harmed in the writing of this article.  Why are you reading this? Just click that link!

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5 Tips on How To Start Archery For Kids

5 Tips on How To Start Archery For Kids

Beginning archery is a fun process and many parents will find themselves doing something they don’t know to help their children get started with archery.  Knowing how to start archery for kids isn’t too difficult and a bit of learning will go a long way to helping both parents and kids have the most fun as soon as possible.

Here are the things that I’ve found to be some really helpful tips so that you can have the best experience of getting into archery with your kids or any other youth out there.

Get educated

Children are naturally curious and will want to do things that you don’t know anything about.  It’s easy to get started and it’s a great chance to help them try something new.  The first thing I’d recommend is my Archery Lessons for Beginners to get the right information on how to shoot a bow correctly.  It’s going to be really hard to teach your child how to shoot a bow if you don’t know anything about it.

Get the right archery equipment

There are many great choices for your child. You’re very lucky that there are so many good options out there now.  You will need to be sure and match a bow to your child and their abilities.  Here are the most important things to know when looking at bows.

  1. Child height or size – You’ll want to buy a bow that is big enough and can be drawn back far enough.
  2. Relative strength – Most beginners will start at a bow weight of 20#.  A stronger youth might prefer a stronger bow up to 30#.  A simple test is to see if how many push ups they can do in a minute.  1 = 20#, 5=25#, and 10+ = 30#  This is a general guideline and will have to be tailored to each individual.
  3. Right or Left handed This is easy to figure out.  Have your child make in imaginary bow and arrow and draw it back to their face.  Whichever hand comes back to the face, that’s the answer.  If they pull back with the right hand, they need a right-handed bow.  Most people will pull back with their dominant hand and it will normally line up with their dominant eye.

Minimum Equipment List

A Bow
You want a bow that has the right draw length and draw weight.  If you don’t know which type of bow you want, get one that has a variable draw length or a traditional bow. Two good examples are:


Samick Sage Recurve Bow, I recommend this to anyone who is starting archery. It is able to grow with your child as once your have the initial bow you can purchase different limbs later to increase the draw as your child grows. Check out the reviews on Amazon; and the


Genesis Bow Kit, this is a great bow kit for all the family, including mum and dad. The draw weight can be adjusted if necessary for smaller children. The range is about 20 yards, ideal for most backyards or just practicing.

These are both amazon affiliate links so you can check out the products


Generally a beginners archery set will come with 3-6 arrows, over time these are going to break and pieces are going to come off, so buy some extras.  Arrows can disappear really fast. Whilst learning I would start with fibreglass arrows, these can be purchased for about $3 each. If buying for a junior normally the 28″ arrow would suit depending on the child’s strength and the type of bow.


Arm Guard

Learning archery needs to be fun and one of the most common injuries and pain, whilst learning is the bowstring striking the wrist.  Stop it from the beginning.  Who wants to shoot a bow when it hurts? I recommend getting a arm guard for all learners, the OMP Youth Armguard, offers good protection for under $10.



You need something to shoot at.  You can make your own target, or get something like The Block Archery Target, designed to last for a very long time.

Keep it short and fun

As an adult, I have a short attention span.  As a child, it was even shorter.  Most kids are the same way, so don’t expect them to want to stand and shoot for hours of endless ecstasy on end.  10-15 minutes is long enough for many and you want them to leave happy and excited so they have positive memorize to make them want to keep shooting in the future.

Engineer success

Having a first positive experience is really important with archery for kids.  Take some time and learn to shoot a bow real quick, then get the right equipment for them.  The third part is to stand extremely close to the target.  Seriously, maybe 5 steps away.  You want to be so close that it’s almost impossible to miss.  You can always move the target farther away, but for some reason it always comes across weird to move it up.

Make friends

There are tons of people and other kids that shoot.  Ask around and I’m sure you’ll find some that are in an archery club or have a target setup at their house.  It’s a fun way to hang out and you can meet new friends that way.  Or, you can get your own friends into archery with you.

I hope these help you to figure out what you need in order to have a good experience.  I love archery and it’s been something that I’ve been able to do for years.  I’d love the same thing for you and your family too.

Please share if you know anyone who might be interested in archery.  It will help them to get started in the right direction.

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The Different Types of Arrows

The Different Types of Arrows

There is a lot to know about the different types of arrows available for archery.  I’m going to try to give you the basics to help you understand the differences between them so that you can choose the right ones for you.

The first thing that you need to know about arrows is that they are extremely important to the accuracy you get.  You can’t just shoot anything from a bow and expect to have great results.  Arrows need to be tuned to each bow individually for the best results.  I don’t want it to sound too complicated, but there are some things that you need to know to get the right arrows.

Arrow Spine

Arrow spine is the word that describes the stiffness of an arrow.  When you loose an arrow from the bow, it undergoes compression and will bend either a little or a lot.  You will want to match the spine of the arrow to what you’re shooting.  Compound bows will typically favor stiffer arrows and traditional bows will favor more flexible arrows.  Don’t worry because almost all manufacturers will have a chart to help you choose the proper arrow.


Most fletchings are plastic vanes but they can also be made from feathers.  These give an arrow stability in the air and allows you to have great accuracy.  Fletchings can make arrows fly straight with or without spinning.  The only thing you need to know about fletchings are that compounds will use solid vanes and traditional bows with use feather style vanes.

Inserts, nocks, and arrow tips

The part of an arrow that attaches to the back and to the string is the nock.  Nocks are important, but the main thing is to make sure that they are just keep the arrow on the string without being too tight or too loose.

An insert goes in the front end of the arrow and lets you change out arrow tips.  Arrows are cut to the length desired and then the insert is glued in permanently.  Some arrows will have the tip glued on and can not be changed.

Arrow tips are the pointy business end of the arrow.  Field points, or target tips, are the ones you’ll normally see on arrows at an archery range.  Hunting tips, or broadheads, are made for hunting animals and are very dangerous.


An arrow’s weight is normally measured in grams.  Weight can be added to the arrow, taken away, and moved from the front to the back.  Moving and adjusting weight will affect the way the arrow flies and how it handles obstacles.  You’ll probably hear about the term weight forward of center, FOC.  If you’re only going to shoot in the archery range, then you only need minimal work on the balance of the arrow, but for hunting, you’ll want to spend more time making sure your arrow gets the best penetration possible.

Types of arrows

Carbon Arrows

Carbon arrows are made from …….carbon and can be made to many different spines.  Carbon arrows are particularly sturdy and can stand up to plenty of abuse, but I don’t recommend trying to abuse them.  Carbon arrows are not fixable like some other arrows are.  Once they are broken, they are done.  I’ve found through my experience that if I break a carbon arrow, it would have broken any other type as well.  Carbon arrows are typically the most expensive.

Read about the Best carbon arrows

Aluminum arrows

Aluminum arrows are light weight and hollow.  Aluminum arrows can be bent and bent back into shape.  This makes aluminum arrows really good if you’ve got a lighter weight bow.  These arrows are also typically a little less expensive than carbon.  You’ll find these to be a good choice that will work for most light weight bows.

Wood arrows

The most traditional of choices is a wooden arrow.  Wooden arrows are typically made to have matching spines and covered in a lacquer finish.  Wooden arrows will normally have feather fletchings and a glue on tip with no insert.  The arrows exist in a range of prices depending on quality.  Wooden arrows can be bent a bit and bent back into place.  These types of arrows are the easiest to break.

Fiberglass arrows

Fiberglass arrows are an interesting choice and can work well for target practice.  They are solid and will have a glue on tip.  I’ve found that they are not very easy to bend back, but they are pretty sturdy.  I’m not a big fan so I don’t really want to go about the benefits with these.  They’re alright if you need something to fling down the range, but that’s about it. They’re normally pretty cheap.

These are the different types of arrows and the things that you need to know about them.  The only thing left to do is make a choice about which one will be the best one for your bow.  You still will have to fine tune it to get the most consistent accuracy.

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Would You Like to Learn Archery?

Would You Like to Learn Archery?

Be the next Katniss or Hawkeye!  Pick whatever awesome character inspires you.  Robin Hood, the animated movie, was what inspired me.  Getting a fiberglass recurve bow was the other part.  It was amazing and I loved it.  Fast forward a few years and you’ll find that picking archery up again wasn’t so easy.

Getting the right information about archery, how to shoot, what kinds of things you can do, and where to go shoot are just a few of the many questions that I had when I was getting back into archery after college.  I didn’t think it would be right to be telling you about all the right stuff without proving that I know the right stuff.  I do know the right things, but since there’s so much junk out on the internet, I want you to know that I care.

Learn archery from me

Here are the two things that I’m doing that I think will really help you out.

I’m getting certified as an instructor

I’m a believer showing you care and not just saying you care.  I know how to shoot and I feel like I shoot pretty good, but I don’t want to just tell you what gear is the best and where else you can go for information, I want to give you the information and getting certified as an archery coach will not only make sure that you’re getting the right information, but it will also help me shoot better too.

I’m creating an introduction to archery video course

This is something I really wish I had when I started.  I didn’t have access to a coach and there’s a lot more to learn than you can pick up from a sales rep at a store, especially when his goal is to get you to buy a bow.

The video course will cover several different things and should be a great resource to help you shoot very accurately from the beginning.

What it covers:

  • Parts of a bow
  • choosing a bow
  • proper shooting form
  • instinctive shooting
  • shooting with sights
  • practice drill ideas
  • lots of other tips such as finding locations to shoot, tips for people with no land, and how to find more local information.

Sorry for the absence for the past couple weeks.  I’ve learned how to make videos so that I could put this together.  It’s been worth it though.  I really feel that you’ll be getting a great value by learning with this and that it really is the next best thing to having a one on one personal coach.

If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll automatically get notified when it’s out and you’ll also get a discount that will be exclusively for those who read my newsletter.

Shoot Straight