Passing the Love of Archery to Others – Part 2


This article stems from Part 1 article, going into more detail of teaching archery to others. Most would teach archery to a younger audience, but this really does apply to all age groups. It all depends on the one learning, and knowing that you both want the same outcome from the lesson.

At this point, you’ve given instruction on the basics – the equipment, safety, and focus. What to do next? This is when you really dig down into the nitty gritty of shooting archery. The easiest way to get the fundamentals down is to go over the eleven steps of archery success.


  1. Stance – Feet firmly planted shoulder width apart, perpendicular to the target. Front foot can be turned slightly towards target to open body down range.
  2. Nock – Nocking the arrow on the bow string, under the nock point. Arrow with odd-color fletching facing out, and placed safely on the arrow rest.
  3. Draw Hand Set – This is the hand that will draw the bow. Setting the first groove of the first three fingers under the arrow.
  4. Bow Hand Set – This is the hand that grips the bow. Lifeline of hand in contact with the grip held at a 30o – 45o angle. The easiest way is to make an “okay” gesture with hand around the grip.
  5. Pre-Draw – Setting up to draw the arrow. Facing down range, ensuring stance is strong, bow hand position is correct, and draw hand placed under arrow.
  6. Draw – Draw the bow back by rotating your draw arm around until your elbow is directly behind the arrow. Continue looking at the target and keep the string lined up with the center of the bow as you draw back. Maintain a continuous drawing motion throughout the shot.
  7. Anchor – Draw the string to the front of your chin, placing the knuckle of your index finger at the corner of your mouth. The string and string hand should be felt firmly against your jaw bone. Lightly touch the string to the center of your nose, setting your anchor. This is referred to as the “three points of contact” with the bow string.IMAG2788
  8. Aim – Focus your eyes on the target while keeping a consistent line with the arrow string and the arrow. When using sights, line your sight with the center of the target. Without sights, it’s more about instinct shooting and keeping the center of the target in line with the arrow.
  9. Pre Shot Set-up – After reaching the anchor point, bring your draw arm back in one fluid movement. This is where the release comes into play, and you can release the string anytime in this process. Use proper stance and back tension when releasing your arrow.
  10. Release – Release the tension in your fingers and drawing hand, all at once, while you continue the drawing motion all the way back to your shoulder. This is termed “wiping your smile”, or “brushing a bug off your ear”. Continue extending the bow arm towards the target as you release and continue focusing on the target. Do not let the bow drop.
  11. Follow Through/Reflect – Your drawing hand continues back beside the neck with fingers relaxed, ending up near the shoulder. Bow arm continues extension towards the target for a recurve, and maintains its position for a compound shooter. Continue focusing on the target. Maintain your follow-through until the arrow hits the target, or until your fingers touch your back shoulder for a compound shooter.

This information coincides with National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).

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