Archery | Shot Tempo (or “Running Down the Clock”)
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Archery | Shot Tempo (or “Running Down the Clock”)

August 14, 2019


[shhh-thunk] Hey guys this is NUSensei, today
we’re going to talk about shot tempo, or how to make the most out of the clock.
Now in most archery competitions you are given four minutes to shoot six arrows. Let’s shoot six arrows! That was a lot less than four minutes. By the way, this is the 10m grouping.
It’s nothing special, but people like to ask for some reason, so, there it is. What I find interesting is that
four minutes is quite a long time. That’s 40 seconds per arrow.
Now, in Olympic match play it’s 20 seconds per arrow, but in normal competition it’s 40 seconds for one arrow.
Most people can shoot six arrows in 40 seconds, and
if you shoot this well in forty seconds, why waste four minutes standing on the
shooting line. One thing to keep in mind is that your last shot must be as good as
your first shot. So the sixth and last shot of the end shouldn’t be outside the gold,
if that’s your standard, and the last shot of your competition should be just as good.
And keep in mind that a competition could be a 72 arrow ranking round.
It could be a 90 arrow round, 120 arrow round, or 144 arrow FITA round. That’s a lot of arrows, and that’s not including
the practice ends and sighting ends. So, in a single day of competition, you could
shoot up to 200 arrows. That is a lot of shooting. So with that in mind, the first problem is fatigue. Shooting will tire you out, and shooting quickly even more so.
Shooting six arrows in rapid succession especially with a high poundage bow,
will make you very tired so it’s very hard to be sure that your last shot is just as good, and by the
end of a 120 arrow round you can definitely feel it. This problem is aggravated when you have to let down.
This can happen quite frequently. There are many reasons why. You
might come through, and you just can’t get through the clicker. You’re just way too tired.
You cramp up, and you can’t get through the clicker, so you have to let down. Or, the clicker might come off early. Or, the wind might blow you away. And all these reasons will force you to draw,
go “oh whoops” and let back down. Each time you do so, you increase the strain and
fatigue on your muscles. So you’ve barely managed to pull five shots off,
your last shot you just can’t quite do. You’re just too tired,
and then you look at the clock, 30 seconds remaining. 20 seconds remaining,
and you panic. You go to pull it back. You just can’t quite get it off.
It just doesn’t work, and then you finally let it go, and it misses. It’s a horrible feeling, and if you’re
stuck in this rut, it gets worse as the day goes on. Remember, you have four minutes. You don’t have to rush your shots.
I know some people like to shoot really quickly and get it over and done with, but you don’t want to shoot crap arrows.
You want to make sure you use time well so that your shots are good,
but you’re also not too fatigued to continue shooting. So, what are some strategies that
you can employ to make the most of your 4 minutes? Firstly, I want to mention that
some people do have a naturally fast tempo, and that’s OK.
If you are conditioned to the point where you can shoot at a fairly fast rate,
and not feel the need to rest, then that’s OK. You might find in a later round
you need to slow down. but, if shoot well, with good rhythm,
and consistently, at a fairly fast rate, then stick with it. However, more often than not, people
generally need to be told to slow down. You have plenty of time so use that time strategically.
One thing you can do is to simply use all 40 seconds for each shot.
So a normal shot might only take around five seconds. So the siren goes.
You’re on the line. You do your first shot. And then you rest. You might load your next arrow,
and then you stand there and relax. Normally there is a clock in front of you.
You can see time tick down. You’ve shot. You’ve got around 30 seconds,
and 30 seconds feels like forever when you are on a shooting line,
and that means you can just relax. You stand there, and your muscles relax. You’re probably very tense and fatigued and a
??????????? the competition, so take time. 30 seconds is a really, really long time.
I can’t wait 30 seconds, but you have this luxury and then, when time runs out, and you start
reaching for your next arrow, you go for it. You do your second shot. And then you repeat. You rest for 30
seconds. You pull your next arrow, and you shoot, and the idea is that you feel fresh or
fresh enough between each arrow. So if you have 40 seconds per arrow and you know
that you’ll take around five seconds to shoot then you can maximize the rest
time in between each shot. Another strategy you can use is
you shoot several quick arrows, and then stagger the remaining shots. This is particularly good when you know
that you’re freshly beignning your end, so you don’t need to rest between every single shot,
So you go through two or three quick ones to buy you more time later. Let’s shoot three quick arrows. Again, this isn’t a very unusual tempo.
It’s pretty normal so far. Alright, that’s three. Not too fast, pretty
average pace. Now I rest. Okay, that’s three fairly quick arrows. I’m feeling a little fatigue,
but I shot those three in around 30 or 40 seconds, which means I’ve got
200 seconds to shoot my last three arrows, and this is very strategic
because you can burn down that clock. You can wait to the very end to shoot
you last few. So, the first 40 seconds, or 200 remaining, shoot three arrows.
Then I’ve got the next 50 seconds one arrow, and then next 50 seconds one arrow,
and the next 100 seconds one arrow. That’s a lot of time in between each arrow, so rather
than 40 seconds per arrow, you shoot three, or two or three of four in a row, then burn the clock down with the remaining arrows you have. That’s one way where you can start strong,
reenergize, and finish strong. There is a third strategy, and it involves eating. The fact is, you have to eat.
You need to replace your energy stores during the round,
and a round will take hours. You don’t have breaks that often, and
between ends you’re scoring and fetching, So, one thing you can do is shoot six arrows
quickly, and then go off the line and eat in the remaining time, because people will spend two
or more minutes to shoot giving you time to scarf down an energy bar or a banana, which can give
you energy for the next few ends. To sum up, in a competition, whether it’s an
official competition, or a casual club competition, You have time. You don’t have to rush through
all your shots just so you don’t have to be the last one. It’s okay to be the last one to finish
as long as you’re in regulation time. So, since you have that time you may as well
use it well. Don’t rush your shots. Don’t feel like you have to exhaust yourself.
Burn the clock down, and shoot at your best all the time. Anyway, this is NUSensei,
I hope you found this interesting and helpful. Thanks for watching, and
I’ll see you next time

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Hi David, great video. The shot tempo video comes just after i finished a 70m 720 round today in HK. i empathise with the running out of juice and cannot go through the clicker. i had one shot today that i could not get through the clicker and my shoulders kept collapsing, in short i ran out of time.

  2. im very much a beginner. I try and shoot slowly, with the theory that I have muscles that are underdeveloped for archery and if I take my time, I will become stronger. Any validity to this?

  3. Hi NUSensai, first of all, thanks for sharing your experience in archery here, its has been a nice collection for a new comer as I am..
    I have a question to ask regarding shooting regularly.. from the last two days of my shooting, I have developed sore fingers.. fatigued shoulders and back is something its there for only a lil time but fingers(used to draw) are something that gets sore after some time and stays sore longer.. Is this normal? Is there any exercise that you can suggest to avoid/recover quickly?
    Thanks!!

  4. I remember when I was beginner, an "old" archer now a friend told me "slow down, breath, rest"
    Now looking at new beginners I always tell them dont shoot so fast, breath, you are no Lucky Luke, you are Robin Wood/Katniss Everdeen Take your time

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