HELP! I have horrible target panic!

Discussion in 'Target Archery' started by rackaddict, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. rackaddict

    rackaddict Weekend Warrior

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    I have been shooting Archery since age 10, and I'm nearing 30 in a couple weeks. I shot two different 20yard paper leagues for about 13-15 years of this time. Over the course of the last 3 years I've been getting severe "target panic"! As wierd as it sounds, as long as my finger is behind the trigger I can hold the pin on target just fine. but as soon as I move my finger to pull the trigger my bow arm falls so the pin is below the target a few inches causing me to JERCK the bow up to get close to the 5 ring! This has gotten so bad lately that standing at full draw makes me flinch sometimes! I was just wondering if anyone else has, or has had this problem before. Any pointers will be VERY much appreciated. Thanks eveyone! Adam
     
  2. Backcountry

    Backcountry Grizzled Veteran

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    This is a very common problem and IMHO is never 100% curable. But it is controllable.

    One of my favorite methods is through muscle memory in an exercise I often refer to as blind bailing or shadow shooting. To do this simply step away from your target approximately 5-10 feet, to where you can't miss. Draw your bow, anchor as your normally would, close your eyes, then reach forward with your trigger finger and shoot. With the release you really want to focus on a nice fluid release with good follow through. By taking the aiming out of the equation you can really focus in on the actual release and how it should feel. This has helped me and many, many others with the issues of target panic, as it trains your body to shoot one way and shoot one way only.

    I will usually take a few blind shots before and after practice. As well as from the couch when my wife isn't home:tu:
     
  3. rackaddict

    rackaddict Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks a lot for the idea man! I'll be trying that tomorrow after work! SWEET!
     
  4. tc3144

    tc3144 Weekend Warrior

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    Hey rack addict. From what I gather from having the same issues is there are a few different types of "panic." Yours sounds exactly like mine. Not to worry you, but I have severely struggled with this and it has even gotten worse for the last couple seasons. At one point I sold al my stuff and quit shooting for a couple years. Big mistake. I've tried everything, but the thing that has worked best for me is to shoot from a couple yards. Shoot close to your target(5 yds and less). And I will shoot all night arrow after arrow from close distances, each time focusing my pin on the bull and slowly squeezing. I have also shot this way where I make myself count to different numbers after the pin is on the bull to focus on holding it there. Once you can consistently shoot w the pin in the bull, move back a few yds and repeat. Just don't move back until you are ready. If you have any questions pm me. I'm just getting to the point where I'm feeling confident once again. Good luck and don't give up!!!
     
  5. sneakin

    sneakin Newb

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    Oh man do I feel your pain. League shooting for 5 years brought it on for me also. Luckily, for me it does not happen on live game. Too many other things going on I guess, so I can zone in at crunch time. But it would come right back on the range. My personal solution was 2 steps.

    1. I would dry pull. Draw and lock in on the bull without an arrow. Which even knowing I could blow up my bow was really hard to hold on the bull at first. I would flinch, shake and sweat as long as i could till I calmed down and could hold on target. Then nock up and shoot. After a dozen shots or so I would dry pull again for awhile. After a few days of that I was way better unless I shot for over an hour.

    2. Acquire the target from different angles then usual. For me the problem was anticipating the release caused by exact repetition. Start below or to the side of the target and move onto target differently every few arrows. Now when I feel it coming on I draw back aiming way low and bring my aim up. Just tricks my brain I guess.

    But my guess is you won't have the problem in your stand.
     
  6. Sadlk

    Sadlk Weekend Warrior

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    If the previous suggestions don't work for you then put the bow away for a week or two until you stop thinking about it. When you go back out start at ten yards to get the feel back. In many of the shooting sports I have been involved in I have used this tactic when my mechanics break down and I always have been able to get back in the groove quickly. Your mussel memory will take over and your confidence will return, right now I would guess that it's all in your head and you just need to clear it..... Like resetting your cable/satellite box when it's messing up.
     
  7. tc3144

    tc3144 Weekend Warrior

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    Sneakin I have the same problem like I mentioned above. I can't count how many flinching sessions I have had to get back in the bull. And you are the same as me, I'd shake all over and not be able to get the pin Near the bull, yet I can shoot game and focus like its do or die time!!! It's crazy aggravating!!!
     
  8. sneakin

    sneakin Newb

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    Yup I was a real head case for 2 seasons. I shoot a handle release and almost sent it down range a few times when dry pulling. A wrist release would be safer but you gotta use what you shoot with. Actually I do remember another panicer that got better by switching release types from finger to thumb. Faking out the brain is tricky stuff.
     
  9. rackaddict

    rackaddict Weekend Warrior

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    Thinking back on it... back when I was around 15 years old, I shot a thumb release and I had some crazy head games going on. I switched to a wrist strap finger release and WOW what a difference! Way better! Maybe I should try a thumb release again...:confused: Anyway, thanks guys for all of your help and suggestions. They are ALL appreciated very much!
     
  10. JakeD

    JakeD Grizzled Veteran

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    I had the same exact problem. It is a horrible gut wrenching feeling to have. But, I believe that I cured mine. All that I did was keep my finger behind the trigger. Like you said, you are fine while it is like that. That's how I was. So, keeping my finger behind the trigger, I would come to full draw and focus on my pins and holding a steady aim. When I first started this, I would focus on the target and keep drawn as long as I could. Then I would let down. Eventually I was able to start to shoot fine again because everything became about aiming, not releasing. I was so focused on aiming and holding steady that it took my mind of wanting to shoot so quickly. This is how I was able to solve mine and haven't had a problem in the past 2 years.
     
  11. rossi9s

    rossi9s Newb

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    hi
    my son was an internationally ranked target shooter a few years ago and he struggled with TP for the longest time.
    I have a very interesting article that was sent to me by George Ryals (in pdf format)
    i would be happy to share it with you , pm me your email adress and i will send you the document
    Good luck
     
  12. ultramax

    ultramax Grizzled Veteran

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    Get help! archery coach should be found from most good archery shops. Lots of guys buy new bows and arrows even release aids every week it seems only to dive back into the same old rut as soon as the new wears off. good luck been there myself.
     
  13. iamsamsamiam

    iamsamsamiam Weekend Warrior

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    My problem is "catching" the bow at the moment of trigger pull, my hold arm will involuntarily grip the bow and throw my shots left. Sometimes high and left. I have to focus on my hold hand during the release to keep it from grabbing the bow.
     
  14. ISiman/OH

    ISiman/OH Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Get a thumb release ;)
     
  15. carbon-arch

    carbon-arch Weekend Warrior

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    This is how I manage my tp, it works well for me. I tried the blank bail thing and it didn`t work as well for me. When I do start actually releasing arrows, I do it 5 yds about 5 yds. Like sneakin, it doesn`t effect me when shooting at animals.
     
  16. vinniemuzychko

    vinniemuzychko Newb

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    I had that same problem, and i had to jerk each shot up. My main issue was anticipating the shot. I would assume that that is your main issue, which is causing you to flinch. It was awful. However, I found if I center the pin above the target and slowly drop it down over the bullseye while squeezing the trigger, i got used to the bow going off and seeing the pin on the target. after a few repetitions of this, I was able to hold the pin on the bullseye without any trouble and squeeze the trigger on the release.
     
  17. Pinnacle Archery

    Pinnacle Archery Weekend Warrior

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    I agree with everyone who said blind bail shooting. Or atleast take the aiming out of the picture and get comfortable with the release. This is pretty common and can be all but eliminated with proper training in back tension shooting. You dont want to be thinking about making the bow go off..it should just do it without your brain shutting down the focus on the target and the only way to get this proper shooting tech is to shoot at close range...just a couple yards at best. 75% of my practice occurs at 2 or 3 yards from the target.
     
  18. Muzzy Man

    Muzzy Man Grizzled Veteran

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    Shooting at huge paper plate sized targets at close range helps a lot. IMO the target panic comes from trying to shoot dime sized holes (or arrow damaging groups) at tiny targets. Shooting at larger targets and allowing the pin to center settle makes shooting much easier and the bow will just kind of go off when it is centered.
     
  19. Pinnacle Archery

    Pinnacle Archery Weekend Warrior

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    I typically get it worse on 3d targets...not sure why? Its all in your head!
     
  20. cmonsta

    cmonsta Grizzled Veteran

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    Would like an update if you have one bud. Did anything work for you? What worked best? I have the same issue. Blind bail shooting and close range shooting has helped me a lot. Just before season this year it peaked bad. But I have it most of the way calmed down now. Always like to hear what works for others though. If there's somethin else you did that I can try maybe it would kick the last little bit.
     

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