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Archery For Beginners: Here Are Shooting Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Archery has always been an exciting sport and activity. But a beginner developing bad habits can be problematic in the long run. Take a look at the following mistakes you should avoid in this archery for beginners lesson!



Today we’re going to talking about archery for beginners and the most common mistakes that rookies make. More often than not, it’s the mistakes that hinder beginners from becoming great archers. As such, you need to be able to pinpoint and avoid these mistakes as soon as possible. This way, you won’t be developing bad habits because as they say, prevention is better than cure. Let’s get a bit into detail on the shooting mistakes you need to avoid.

Archery For Beginners: Here Are Shooting Mistakes You Need To Avoid

It can, and it will be, frustrating how your arrows don’t hit the bulls eye no matter how hard you practice. Although you practice a lot, you might be practicing a wrong stance or grip. That, in itself, is a bad thing to keep repeating. A beginner developing bad habits can be problematic in the long run. Take a look at the following mistakes you should avoid in this archery for beginners lesson!

Wrong stance

The stance is the most important aspect of shooting an arrow. Knowing what the proper stance makes your shots more consistent because you have a more stable body. There are a few stances that you can do but as a beginner, I suggest you work with the square stance first. It is the easiest to perfect and you’ll see the results in no time.

Inconsistent stance

Another problem that may arise with your stance is inconsistency. The only way to get rid of this is to keep practicing and focusing on your stance all throughout the shot. Inconsistent stance will produce fluctuating results making it hard for you to assess your shots. Always be mindful of your stance and replicate the proper form as much as possible!

The Death Grip

The death grip is a very common mistake for beginners and this basically means gripping the bow too tight. The proper way to hold the bow is to relax your hand and focus only on pushing the bow toward the target. In addition, you have to make sure that the bow isn’t resting behind your thumb but center on the gap between your thumb and index finger.

Shooting without an arrow

If you want to ruin your bow before you get the hang of archery, “test” it without an arrow. However, I strongly recommend you don’t do this because it will cause your bow to break or deform. Drawing the bow transfers energy on the string and releasing it without an arrow will transfer all that energy onto the bow’s limbs instead of the arrow. The limbs won’t be able to handle that amount of force causing it to break or deform.

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Using four fingers

Your fingers aren’t the same in length and the pinky is significantly shorter than the middle three. As such, drawing the bow with four fingers puts a larger amount of pressure on your pinky finger than the rest. This causes the release to become shaky and produces a poor shot.

Not fighting gravity

When you’re focusing on the bow for too long, it is easy to forget to fight gravity and hold the bow straight forward. Another time that gravity could take over is when you release the arrow and immediately put your arm at rest. Both of these scenarios will result in a low hit and you don’t want that to happen.

Elbows below the shoulder

When drawing the bow string, you don’t use your arm muscles or biceps but instead, you use your back and shoulder. To do this, you’ll need to position your elbows higher than the shoulder so you avoid using your biceps. This is a very common mistake among beginners but it is one of the most fundamental steps of shooting. Always be mindful of your form and the muscles you are using.

Inconsistent anchor point

Just like your stance and everything else, being consistent with the anchor point will result in closer group shots. Varying anchor points will ultimately vary in results and you most likely won’t be able to keep track of them. Reproducing the perfect stance is what you aim for when practicing so always be consistent and execute the proper form.

Not finishing the shooting process

The shooting process starts with your stance, drawing the bow, and releasing the arrow. Random movements in between these steps produce a poor shot. Many archers tend to drop the bow as soon as they’ve released the arrow. A good practice is to wait for the arrow to land on the target before lowering the bow to a rest. This will produce more accurate shots and avoid having a low hit.

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Heavy draw weight

As an archer, you will come across the term “draw weight” really often. Having the correct draw weight of your bow to match your physique is paramount. Drawing a bow that makes you exert more effort than you could muster will cause you injuries and, consequently, a bad experience. You don’t want any of these bad incidents when you’re starting out because it will deeply discourage you in pursuing the sport. I find this article very informative and it’s a good reference for archers of average sizes.

Bow maintenance

This may not entirely be a case for beginners, but bow maintenance is important as well. It’s better to start to learn how to properly maintain your bow even for greenhorns. This does not only preserve the longevity of your bow’s lifespan but also provides better performance as you go.

Appropriate clothing

Archery for beginners, unlike other sports, isn’t very strict with clothing as long as it is comfortable. However, wearing a loose shirt or anything that might hit the arrow while you release it could affect its flight. For instance, wearing a t-shirt with loose sleeves on a windy day outdoors may affect your arrow’s velocity if they come in contact with the arrow or the string. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing or even a chest guard for extra precaution.


Practice is what made all of those star archers reach the top tier of archery. Archery for beginners may not be as fun especially if your shots are poor. However, you can remedy that by none other than practicing until you get the proper form. While you practice, be mindful of your stance and form, and the whole process of shooting is to always get it right.

Hit play below to watch Al Lizzio on Howcast having a demonstration on what the bad practices are and how to remedy them!

Once you’ve pointed out which of these mistakes you’re guilty of, you become conscious of it as you practice. It is very important to perfect the fundamentals before trying out different stances and fancy bows. No matter what type of bow you’re using, archery for beginners will have the same fundamentals. If you have more ideas on what common mistakes beginners make, share them in the comments below!

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Featured Image via North East Outdoor Center

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