35+ Pros Shared Their Archery Tips for Beginners

​Archery is becoming more and more popular, not only in the US but around the world. A lot of new archers are starting to learn this awesome sport and looking for archery tips for beginners.

​So, we decided to gather and ask one question from 35+ Pro Archers: "In your opinion, what are the 3 most important factors that a new archer should focus on?"

​Well, I'll tell you that some unseen advice can make you surely surprised.

​Quick recap:

Practice, practice, practice (15 votes)

archery form

Archery Form (12 votes)

have fun

​​Have fun (7 votes)

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​​Ryan Lisson (zerotohunt.com)

​Ryan Lisson is a wildlife biologist, hunting mentor, and outdoors writer from Minnesota. He's a regular content contributor to several outdoor brands and magazines, and focuses heavily on recruiting and mentoring new hunters through his website Zero to Hunt.

​1. Bow Fit:

​To be as accurate as possible, you need a bow that fits your body well. If you’re shopping around or buying new, make sure you measure your draw length first.

You can do this by stretching your arms against a wall and measuring your arm span in inches. Then divide that by 2.5 to get your draw length.

A bow with the correct draw length removes some form issues, and can help you shoot more consistently.

2. Archery Form:

​A new archer should spend most of their time just perfecting their form. It’s much easier to do this at the beginning than try to correct it later. 

If you’re just starting, go to a pro shop or get some professional help from someone who’s experienced and can point some things out (e.g., adjusting grip to reduce bow torque, consistent anchor point, adequate follow-through, etc.).

Continue focusing on perfect form throughout your practice sessions, and consider taking a break if you find your form suffering.

3. Practice Different Situations:

​It’s easy to feel confident about your shooting when you’re practicing on the same target at the same distance each week. But when you’re bow hunting, it’s rare to get that perfect shot.

To be better prepared for a hunt, include different situations in your practice sessions, such as shooting while seated, shooting from an elevated position, and shooting at different targets (including 3D lifelike targets).

You might also practice in your hunting jacket once in a while to get used to shooting with the additional bulk around your chest and arms.

Ryan Lisson
Founder, Zero to Hunt

​Darné Pretorius (​sentientarchery.com)

Sentient Archery specialises in Recurve Archery. They offer a broad range of services including Training & Coaching, Equipment support, Range/Club Management, Corporate Events, Group Events, Team Building, School Programmes and more...

​Archery is a complex sport with its own unique intricacies, we at Sentient Archery like to break it down into three more manageable groups or "circles":

  • ​Positional Form (Physical)
  • ​Mental State
  • ​Equipment

​We use the term circles to explain that if one circle is bigger or smaller than the others your shooting will suffer.

​​1. Positional Form:

Is how the body interacts with the bow​:

  • ​How we stand
  • How we set our shoulders
  • ​How we engage our core and stabilizer muscles.

Which eye we use to aim with. Then how we draw the string and perform our "expansion" and release.

2. ​Mental State:

​An archers headspace plays a huge roll in how they will execute each shot. Ideally, an archer wants a neutral headspace, not too excited not too relaxed, not too happy, not too sad. 

This is definitely the hardest part for an archer to perfect.

Outside of archery practice, this should be practiced and maintained as best as possible to help with controlling the mind during shooting. Meditation will help this process.

​3. ​Equipment:

​It is very important as it will affect your shooting. If the wrong equipment is used you will never get a consistent shot.

  • ​If your limbs are a higher poundage than you can manage, you will never learn the correct positional form.
  • ​If your arrow spine and limb poundage do not match, your arrows will not fly correctly.

​​Even at a beginner level, this will make a huge difference in your enjoyment of the sport.

​Don Morrison (​vintagearchery.org)

The Vintage Archery Org is a joined website designed by Don Morrison, solely dedicated to the archery history & maintaining, preserving, and remembering traditional archery. Moreover, it has an exclusive focus on Archery’s Golden period, which Don Morrison has somewhat subjectively selected as 1955-1975. The site consists of different articles to provide first-hand information to archers.

​To me, the 3 most important things a new archer should consider are:

​1. Equipment:

​Don’t rush to buy the first bow, arrows and accessories that strike your fancy.

  • Watch other archers
  • ​Talk to them
  • Consider what kind of style you want to try (e.g. compound release, traditional, etc.)

It may be helpful to first buy used equipment to try before you spend a lot of money on the latest and greatest setup.

2. Technique:

​Take the time to learn proper shooting form.

There are lots of articles and videos on proper shooting form. Take lessons if possible.

If you develop good shot execution in the beginning, you won’t have to try and correct bad habits later on.

3. Have Fun and Be Patient​:

Take time to enjoy the experience of learning and shooting a bow and arrow.

Be patient with your progress.  It will come.

I remember a new archer who joined our club who chose to shoot an Olympic style recurve.

At first he could just barely hit the target. He worked hard to develop proper form and technique. Over time he became better and better until his arrows formed a tight group in the bullseye. He later made the U.S. National Team.

But it didn’t happen overnight. Enjoy the journey and have fun along the way.

Don Morrison

Founder, TraditionalArchery.Net, and 17 time state archery champion

​Crystal Gauvin (crystalgauvin.com)

​Crystal Gauvin is a professional archer and currently working for FEA. After spending 3.5 years of her life with the compound bows, she decided to opt recurve bows in order to become eligible for Olympics. She also became a significant member of world championships, US National and World Cup teams. She is still working hard to start his lifetime career as a coach and athlete.

​1. Developing a mental process:

​You will never find true success in archery without a strong mental program.

​2. Train/Practice like you would for any sport:

  • ​​In other words, don't just go and fling arrows X days a week 
  • ​Have a plan (periodization works!)
  • ​Vary arrow count, intensity of practice, and build in rest days and weeks

​3. Have fun:

  • ​Make friends with your competitors
  • ​Find ways to make practice entertaining

​Hope that is helpful!

​Rob Jones (​offthearrowshelf.com)

​Rob Jones is an occasional skier while living a busy life in United Kingdom. By being a coach trainer and field archery instructor, Rob enjoys the field archery & photography during his leisure time. Over the years, he has also written several shoot reports and currently Rob is trying hard to produce different archery resources in order to help other passionate archers.

​From my perspective these are 3 things to focus on for a newbie:

​1. Get some decent coaching:

​YouTube can be great but not all videos about shooting are good instructional videos and others are just wrong! Some time spent with a decent coach is time well spent.

2. Focus on form:

​Focus on developing good archery form with light poundage bow.

Get this right then you can accomplish anything with any bow whether target, hunting or field shooting.

​3. Be patient with yourself:

​You are learning a new and complex set of skills. Some days it will go well and others it won't,  but don't rush especially with numbers of arrows shot or increase in draw weight.