Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


The art of concentration

Messages posted to thread:
moleman 1 15-May-18
Glynn 15-May-18
Woods Walker 15-May-18
al snow 15-May-18
George D. Stout 15-May-18
RymanCat 15-May-18
al snow 15-May-18
rallison 15-May-18
tommy 2 feathers 15-May-18
jwhitetail 16-May-18
Phil 16-May-18
Liquid Tension 16-May-18
Hico 16-May-18
Draven 16-May-18
Will tell 16-May-18
DanaC 16-May-18
Woods Walker 16-May-18
crookedstix 16-May-18
Draven 16-May-18
Friend 16-May-18
jk 16-May-18
Longbow 16-May-18
monkeyball 16-May-18
George D. Stout 16-May-18
DanaC 16-May-18
4nolz@work 16-May-18
trad47 16-May-18
Bowmania 16-May-18
4nolz@work 16-May-18
Draven 16-May-18
okiebones 16-May-18
4nolz@work 16-May-18
Glynn 16-May-18
shade mt 17-May-18
tecum-tha 17-May-18
TrapperKayak 17-May-18
Ken Schwartz 17-May-18
4nolz@work 17-May-18
Barebow52 17-May-18
Nemophilist 17-May-18
Bowmania 17-May-18
Bowmania 17-May-18
4nolz@work 17-May-18
larryhatfield 17-May-18
Draven 17-May-18
Bowmania 18-May-18
twostrings 18-May-18
Draven 18-May-18
ground hunter 18-May-18
unhinged 18-May-18
Aerofish 18-May-18
RonG 18-May-18
From: moleman 1
Date: 15-May-18




This evening I done my 1st shot, mowed for a bit and then went to the range to work on (to me) one of the least practiced parts of a shooting regiment....... concentration. We seem to work on draw, release, hand placement, bow arm, ETC., but without the ability to stay focused on a minute spot....the rest means nothing. No matter what style you shoot, if you're shooting the bow/arrow and not the spot to be hit...well, you'll never, hit it. There is truly an art to concentration and although I haven't mastered it,and maybe never will, it to me is one of my least practiced disciplines.....but I'm working on it.

From: Glynn
Date: 15-May-18




No need to go to the range to practice concentrating. You can practice being in the present and removing stress and outside influence through meditation or focused breathing techniques.

As far as focusing on a minute spot... you can only look at something, you can't look at "it" any "harder".

My shot sequence demands concentration on something other than what I'm looking at. Otherwise the arrow doesn't get shot.

From: Woods Walker
Date: 15-May-18




I work on this exact thing every time I throw something into the trash or anywhere else for that matter. You don't need a bow to do it either. Look at a specific spot, focus on it an go for it.

It truly is a function of "aim small/miss small".

From: al snow
Date: 15-May-18




In honor and remembrance of my friend Dean Torges, I will offer this in his words:

The archer who wishes to hunt with traditional tackle should work toward mastering three elements. They form the foundation of shooting barebow, either for the instinctive or the gap style.

The first two elements are about technique and form.

Element One, The Rock Arm. Your bow arm shall remain rock steady, unwavering, pointing to your target, even after the loose.

Element Two, The Faithful Release. Your release hand is likewise unmoving, abiding in the place of its duty. You should never pluck this hand off the string upon the loose; it should not fly away as though to chase an insect from the ear.

These are practical principals: the bow arm is your front sight, the release hand is your back sight. If they wobble about in the act of shooting, then the missile lacks guidance. Simple. Essential.

Element Three, The Hair Over the Heart. The third element is more subtle. It holds your eye solidly against your thought. It glues your inner eye to your target. In this respect, it is a principle of form as certainly as the first two elements. You can state it most simply as "picking a spot." Picking a spot means seeing nothing but that spot and then bearing down on it. Not the animal or the target, not the incidentals to either side of the arrow's path, not even the arrow itself when you shoot instinctively. Just the spot.

RIP, Deano.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 15-May-18




Ten people here would have issues on describing what concentration is, much less how to apply it to archery. We all have a way to work that focus we need when the time arises, and it is as much a learned trait as is good form. We don't all have to do it the same since the result of an arrow going where we look can come in many ways. As for Concentration, I really hated that game.

From: RymanCat
Date: 15-May-18




Yup I can't concentrate on every target shot but when it comes time to take a critters life then its bare down and hone in and let him have it. Eye of the predator takes on a certain posture as I feel.

You got one shot thats your first shot at an animal its much different than target shooting.

If I'm riled up and jumpy then its going to effect a shot so trying to stay calm it all depends on whats happening at the time.

This is a mind game steady as it goes.

From: al snow
Date: 15-May-18




"Ten people here would have issues on describing what concentration is, much less how to apply it to archery." Curious what that means, George. Please elaborate. I would like to hear your thoughts.

From: rallison
Date: 15-May-18




I was a life long athlete. Without the ability to focus, or concentrate, success was, to say the least, elusive.

Whether it's digging in against a good pitcher (one of the toughest in sports...failing 7 out of 10 times puts you in Cooperstown), picking out a puck through a tangle of arms & legs, or visualizing a golf shot from strike to objective, that ability to really focus is vital.

I've never had trouble with concentration in archery, in fact I believe it to be the easiest of every sport I've played. Just stay out of your own way.

In practice, pick your spot, choose your shot, focus, and let it happen.

What DID take time for me when younger was doing that when hunting. It took some blown shots and admitting my errors to learn how to beat it.

I often reference golf. An easy game to "play", but the most difficult to play well. I had WAY too many swing thoughts in my head...paralysis by analysis. I've since read a few books delving into the mental control aspect of the game, and found that knowledge to be plausible towards all sports...including archery.

Anybody new to any sport will struggle with this through the initial learning phase whereby most effort is geared toward the physical aspect. Once that base is established, the tough distance of 6 inches...between the ears...can be addressed.

From: tommy 2 feathers
Date: 15-May-18




lol so so well put george

From: jwhitetail
Date: 16-May-18




great thread.. I have really been working on this aspect of the sport lately. It seems to be the place I need to "work" the most right now. I find it so easy that it can be very hard to achieve. Thanks to the OP and the responses. JW

From: Phil
Date: 16-May-18




A little bit of science that I hope is relevant to Molemans' excellent question.

Concentration is very very energy expensive. The human brain is an exceptionally greedy organ. Even at ambient resting levels of neural activity, the brain demands around 60% of blood glucose to maintain baseline function. Change the activity by focusing your attention on a single activity and the neural energy demand quickly rises above 80% of available blood glucose. That's why concentrating is so hard work.

From: Liquid Tension
Date: 16-May-18




What your missing is in order to concentrate your form must be ingrained meaning the front & back end running subconsciously so your free to concentrate a 1000%. All your focus should be on what you want to hit not on some part of your Sequence. Cardinale called it Immersed in Aiming .

From: Hico
Date: 16-May-18




al snow is number one of the ten!

From: Draven
Date: 16-May-18




Concentration in archery -for me- is less the process of picking a point but more about timming the Will and the Skills with the Opportunity created by the “target”. I don’t have lasers in my eyes and if I am doing exercises I mentally shoot a virtual arrow. Hearing a watch on your body or moving points on the wall is good, but is not for action training.

From: Will tell
Date: 16-May-18




I've had ADD all my life, I can tell you what it's like not being able to concentrate. I really have a hard time staying focused.

From: DanaC
Date: 16-May-18




I've found that maintaining focus through the entire shot process is impossible for me, so I pick the spot early, go through my draw and anchor, and then *re*-focus on the spot before releasing. Timing my 'peak' focus, in other words.

From: Woods Walker
Date: 16-May-18




"What your missing is in order to concentrate your form must be ingrained meaning the front & back end running subconsciously so your free to concentrate a 1000%. All your focus should be on what you want to hit not on some part of your Sequence. Cardinale called it Immersed in Aiming ."

This is what works for me also. It's definitely "one of the ten".

From: crookedstix
Date: 16-May-18




Phil's post about the brain's energy demands makes a ton of sense to me, and it reminded me of something Fred Bear said in a video...to the effect that the hardest thing about tournament archery was not the physical act of all that shooting, but rather the fatigue of concentrating on shot after shot.

From: Draven
Date: 16-May-18




Phil is right. The myth of “burning a hole” for a long period before shooting is what fatigues an archer. Target archers know this and they don’t “aim” before they are ready in shooting position. Based on the last informations the archer can’t be out of his “shooting process reality” for more than 3 seconds. KSL has this theory that korean archers are shooting quick once at full draw because of this 3 seconds limit - info they got from centuries of using the bow. Concentration is hard to train when you don’t know why is needed. HH was training his “pick a point” ability but not “burn a hole” ability. Wondering why ... actually not.

From: Friend
Date: 16-May-18




No one technique is a remedy for all.

For me...I pick my spot early and when in the field, I may start tracking my spot many yards before the quarry is in range.

My focus is keen until at anchor and back tension is fully engaged, then relax focus and admire the target picture and release on autopilot once satisfied.

From: jk
Date: 16-May-18




I'm training my Blue Heeler. She's an Olympic athlete when it comes to chasing balls...astounding energy...if I let her/told her she'd kill herself chasing tennis balls. On the other hand, she's exhausted after a few minutes of formal training exercises.

A very successful (competition) trainer says the dog's brain can burn far more energy more quickly than her body. Wish I had my dog's athleticism and glad nobody's telling me I have to grit my teeth and learn concentration.

From: Longbow Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 16-May-18




One thing I do to drill the shot is I draw full, then hinge back my brace arm just a bit,by bending the elbow and hinging the wrist, then on a tear through release, I push the riser at the spot I am looking at, as a process, it make the concentration on the spot intenser at the last stroke of things.. Works first me..

From: monkeyball
Date: 16-May-18




con·cen·tra·tion ?käns?n?tr?SH(?)n/Submit noun 1. the action or power of focusing one's attention or mental effort.

Here is a quick read that may help some, and it works. Copy and paste.

http://tradbow.com/pick-a-spot/?mc_cid=6dce3ef1ac&mc_eid=a70e2b6042

Woods Walker hit it on the head......total concentration (focus) on the target can not be achieved if there is anything else going on in your head.

Good Shooting->->->->Craig

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 16-May-18




Al Snow, what I said alludes to the ambiguity of definitions as applied to different terms here on the Leatherwall. After twenty years here, it still amazes me that simple things are looked at completely differently from folks who post here. I can't elaborate on ambiguity, it just happens. Focus, concentration, bore a hole, aim small, pick a spot; they all can mean the same thing, or they may not, depending on who you ask.

From: DanaC
Date: 16-May-18




"What your missing is in order to concentrate your form must be ingrained meaning the front & back end running subconsciously so your free to concentrate a 1000%. All your focus should be on what you want to hit not on some part of your Sequence. Cardinale called it Immersed in Aiming."

True, but I've heard a few who think that 'intense focus' is a *substitute* for the boring work of ingraining correct form. Pure focus can only happen when you fully *trust* your form - and all the hard work you put into developing it.

From: 4nolz@work
Date: 16-May-18




any repetitive motion requires concentration-golf,free throws,bowling,archery etc.Its different for every person when you find a successful method use it.And all the best play like they practice.

From: trad47
Date: 16-May-18




I'd like to think of archery as a form of Zen. Sounds ridiculous but having a "quiet mind" makes sense. Get rid of all the mental garbage and self chatter helps in the focusing on what you want to hit. Difficult to do on a consistent basis.. "Quiet Mind" is something I picked from Jaco Wessel/ Timberpoint Archery who builds arguably the Most stunning bows out there.

From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 16-May-18




Look at a door knob right now. Try to focus on the exact center - the spot you'd want to put an arrow in. I can see that spot for about one second before other objects start to come into my peripheral vision.

Because of that, when I'm shooting a target I pick the spot I want to hit before I draw, then I look at my fletching which is a signal to start drawing. My shot is gone like Draven suggest in 3 seconds or less.

Draven's post about burning a hole is good from the first capitol letter to the last period. Contrast that to the TBM article Mr. Asbel just wrote and you can see why his students are so prone to TP.

At a class I was asked to go through my sequence. After a guy came up to me and asked why I looked at the fletch, so I explained it.

He said that it was very interesting. He had just watched something about training fighter pilots on PBS. They had them sitting at a desk with a paper and pencil in front of them. The directions were to put the pencil in the center of the paper and all the lights would be turned out. A lazar dot would appear in the front of the room and they were to follow it's movement on the paper.

After the lights went on the papers were checked. They had lines going out from the center to more than an inch from the center. THE LAZOR NEVER MOVED once it was turned on the center of the room.

Movement and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Bowmania

From: 4nolz@work
Date: 16-May-18




Bowmania-please expound on Asbell's students "are so prone to target panic".

I don't read TBM anymore but is that your opinion or is it based based on facts? Does he have students other than the books and tapes? I haven't heard that before.

From: Draven
Date: 16-May-18




From: okiebones
Date: 16-May-18




Second that, 4nolz. What's the ratio to justify the claim ?

From: 4nolz@work
Date: 16-May-18




Just wondering if it's repeated internet gossip or based on fact not implying either.

From: Glynn
Date: 16-May-18




Liquid Tension, I understand what you are saying about Len's teaching, I tried to follow it myself for a good while. Lot's of bale work learning and ingraining my shot. Good stuff, the best.

That was before my brain started taking a shortcut to conclusion...anticipation, flinching, TP, whatever.

But now I have learned how efficient my brain is at centering small things I want to hit with an arrow and how little concentration that takes to hold there.

I still use the bale and ingraining my shot to subconscious, but now it is to free me up to concentrate on the movement it takes to trip my grip sear, so slowly that I can stop the it at any stage. Exactly like focusing on the tiny movement to pull a trigger on a firearm. It tells me when it trips to go to conclusion and it works very well.

Kisik teaches that your focus should be on your rhomboid muscle, it will signal when to go to conclusion.

I mentioned meditation above, just a way to practice immersing yourself in the present, the moment, aiming, triggers, words,whatever works for you.

From: shade mt
Date: 17-May-18




personally I think many folks are prone to waaay "over thinking"

The modern pro education, pro college degree, mentality we often make simple things much harder than they really are or need to be.

I hate to rain on this parade, but the truth of the matter is. you pick up a bow, you pull the string back, look at what you want to hit and then release the string. Its that simple.

Practice....experience and repeatable good form eventually turn us in to reasonably good shots.

The ability to see detail, be aware of your surroundings, and still stay focused is something that needs to be cultivated. Most people pollute their minds with way to much clutter, and it effects our ability to concentrate on the task at hand.

The ability to concentrate isn't a zen like skill, its just simply the ability to focus and not be distracted from the task at hand.

Wish I had a dollar for every time I gave a measurement to someone and they turned right around and cut it wrong or came back and said..."what was that measurement again"

I recently watched someone step into fresh concrete, look down, then continue on across. They looked at me and said.."sorry I just stepped in your concrete"...lol...well at what point did it register? the first step?...or after they had walked 25' across it? That same type of brain dead numbness also effects our ability to concentrate properly.

Being able to focus at the task at hand, and have reasonably good motor skills are necessary for shooting a bow, as well as other task.

To "pick a spot" or aim small hit small isn't complicated at all.

Frankly its no more difficult than focusing on the dot above the small I in the word....Complicate. Now see there, that wasn't so hard was it?

From: tecum-tha Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 17-May-18




If you shoot instinctively your brain knows the sport to hit way before you even draw your bow. Naturally, our visual focus is toward the center of a mass. Unfortunately, the center of the mass is not at the same place where the kill is on an animal. That's why there is a tendency to gut shoot. That applies to open sighted guns and to archery as well. For an instinctive archer it is the best practice to shoot at silhouettes of the animals as this trains us not to shoot automatically into the center of the mass. That's why some people "pick a spot" to try to override the natural visual focus. I try to teach myself that on the silhouette the mark is not in the center. Train with silhouettes and you will be able to hit the kill even if you can not see the kill itself anymore, but only the silhouette or part of it standing out (especially in low light conditions). It becomes intuitive shooting.

From: TrapperKayak
Date: 17-May-18




Phil, that is a very valuable piece of information there. Explains away my being easily distracted, and now I have a reason, and can more easily overcome it, knowing it 'biological'.

From: Ken Schwartz
Date: 17-May-18




Thanks for the topic ! Concentration. Great read guys and some good points. Ken

From: 4nolz@work
Date: 17-May-18




I agree with shade Mt as far as my approach but the beauty of archery is you can make it a Zen quasi religion (sometimes to the point of messing with your brain) or you can grip it and rip it.

From: Barebow52
Date: 17-May-18




X2 on shademt's post

From: Nemophilist
Date: 17-May-18




Also agree with shade mt.

From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 17-May-18




4nolz and Okie,

I don't want to go back and read the whole article, but he bases it on the free throw. That would be OK if we were throwing arrows, but we have a mechanical advantage in our bow hand. So the premise of his article is faulty.

That doesn't address TP. My Rod Jenkins class had half the class fighting TP and they had taken Fred's class. We discussed swing draw. The problem with it is that it requires two things to happen at the same time hitting full draw and being on target. If you are off target left, you move right and miss right. Not a problem the first time, but each archer is different. You get the yips and start anticipating. Then you can't get to full draw or on target.

Next his anchor and release. I would describe it as a hit and go. Again OK until you start missing. As long as the conscious, subconscious, and self image are all on the same page we're good to go - no misses. Add a couple of misses and the conscious which thinks of one thing at a time, understands a miss high. And it's not a problem until it comes to lowering the bow hand. But the subconscious which can thing of a 100 things at one time races ahead to lowering the bow hand. It dwells there and waits for the conscious to get there. Now, you add anticipation and nervousness about missing the target - waaaiiiitttting for the conscious to catch up. YOu short draw or try to jerk on target and then your self image says, "THAT'S ME"!!! Once your self image takes over you have TP in all the forms that it takes. No full draw, can't get on target etc.

To compare it to Draven's suggestion/release - KSL's. You have Fred with full draw - release NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That brings in nervousness/anticipation. With KSL you hit anchor and then transfer and can release anytime after that in one to 5 seconds (after 3 odds are not good - nervousness).

It's a very complicated matter. I'm not saying if you shoot Fred's style you'll get TP, but the odds are much better that you will. How long will it take???? Wish I had asked everyone in the Rod Jenkins class. The one guy I know pretty well said one year. Took me 10-12 and I didn't get it bad. The best shot I ever saw in person took 30 plus, and I wouldn't wish that on any one. I can out shoot his 15 yard groups at 30 easily.

I believe it's just hard to (maybe impossible) to get TP if you don't know exactly when you're going to release.

Bowmania

From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 17-May-18




Here's something funny. Last week I got a text asking me how I cure TP.

IN A TEXT!!!

Bowmania

From: 4nolz@work
Date: 17-May-18




Thanks

From: larryhatfield
Date: 17-May-18

larryhatfield's embedded Photo



My friend, Zulu Zeto, of the Mongolian stunt/action crew, showing how to rest your brain after concentrating on driving high speed trucks. Should work well for archery also.

From: Draven
Date: 17-May-18




Bowmania, if you introduced "swing-draw" in the equation I would say my opinion. From my understanding "bore the hole" was a command given to the new archers with the intent to make them to keep the eyes on the target when the arrow is starting to be "in their face" due to the last 8" of almost horizontal arrow nock travel before full draw on the way the swing-draw is setting your body - bow - arrow. JS was talking about a training rhythm 1 2 3 4 in his video if I am remembering correct. An archer with perfect form using swing-draw can execute all the shooting in max 3 seconds without even thinking how to do the shooting and will fall in the same max 3 seconds "out of shooting sequence reality" KSL is talking about. Nothing is actually different, but it requires years of rigorous training to achieve correct shooting form and speed necessary for multiple and accurate shooting endurance. All this is not for everybody IMO.

From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 18-May-18




Draven, Have no idea what your referring to??? I would never introduce the swing draw to anyone. Much less 'bore a hole'. And no new archer is taking Fred's class. I'm referring to Fred Asbel and TP.

The 3 seconds that I was referring to is from anchor to release. If that's not what you were referring to I take back what I said about your comment.

Bowmania

From: twostrings
Date: 18-May-18




Now I've got TP. Thread Panic.

From: Draven
Date: 18-May-18




Bowmania KSL reference is valid. The part you and I are in somewhat parallel realities is how much mental factor is actually influencing the shooting sequence.

From: ground hunter
Date: 18-May-18




I agree with Trad47,,,, also too much mind...... after my heart surgery my surgeon visited with me,,,, he said, you know as much as you work out, do not forget, that the best work out, is plenty of sleep......

He said, also, take a nap, during the day,,,, he says it is better than anything I can prescribe,,,, it is how, I, relax my mind, to concentrate on the heart, at a critical time, while I perform my surgery

A more relaxed mind will increase your life,,,,,,,,,

From: unhinged
Date: 18-May-18




I only practice to build strength for shooting. Can't shoot worth a damn without the necessary muscles to do everything right. Once thats in order, everything else is automatic. If you are thinking about being in the "zone", your not in the "zone"

From: Aerofish Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 18-May-18




I’ve been working hard on Joel Turners Iron Mind concept. It is very taxing when trying to concentrate on the Psycho Trigger execution. I’m using a grip sear. I can honestly say when I can execute a controlled shot I get a perfect arrow. The concentration involved actually took the fun out of shooting till I got the system ingrained. Now it’s fun again.

~ Mike

From: RonG
Date: 18-May-18




That's good Mr. Hatfield flushing your brain with blood, but you need a flat head to stay that way.

You guys are way too technical, read Al Snows description of what Dean Torges said and you have it, if you try to explain it any further then you are over confusing.

I have had a lot on my mind lately and it shows in my shooting, I can't get any closer than two inches at any distance. Some days it's better.

Someone mentioned that if you look at a point in a second or two the images in your peripheral vision will come into play, I shot a varmint in my yard three weeks ago and when I got within range and drew on it I saw nothing but the spot I was aiming at, I think your ability to concentrate differs considerably between people.

I still can't hold my left arm (bow arm) solid after release due to a very serious motorcycle accident 28 years ago. Thinking about putting a cast on it...Ha!Ha!





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