What is mental accuracy? How do you achieve it? How does it affect my shot?
Mental accuracy isn’t something that you learn to recognize when going into a bow shop and getting a quick tutorial on drawing back the bow, looking through the peep, and pressing the trigger of a release.
Mental accuracy is that moment when you first put pressure on the string with the release and bring your bow to what I call first draw. It’s that point in time where the mind shuts off and redirects all it’s energy and focus on the task at hand, that being the archery shot. For a day to day bow-hunter these little moments in time are often completely a thought on cloud 9. For the target shooters, they know exactly what I’m talking about.
The metal grind of having to smash X after X after X can be very rough. There is a refinement in the target archers skill that makes them untouchable for just a few seconds. What I mean is they are almost separated from reality and in a trance-like mental state during the shot execution phase.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are some ridiculously accurate bowhunters out there and arguably some of Americas best shooters wear camo and not shooter shirts 24/7 but there is a carry over for both shooters. To the 12-month archery hunter who has passed on more P&Y bucks then the rest of us see in a season to the target archer smoking X’s at 50 meters during the summer months these two individuals carry similar mental accuracies.
In archery for that brief moment of subconsciousness that mental accuracy takes over, we need to rely on muscle memory and repetition to guide us through the shot. So it turns out it’s not mental at all, sorta. It’s very much physical and skill oriented but there is only one way to achieve it and that’s by shooting. Shooting for quality and not quantity is what creates mental accuracy.
If you want to find your best level of mental accuracy, you need to shoot, shoot often, shoot with a purpose, and possibly get a legit coach to critique you. Once you have achieved mental accuracy when you become a machine on the shooting line, in the yard, and on the treestand without even thinking about it.
My steps to mental accuracy are:
- Eye on X (not target)
- Big inhale through nose
- Aim (slow exhale)
If you would like to know more about how to achieve mental accuracy check out our online coaching packages and video analysis.