Release Execution

When someone asks me what I feel is the most important part of my shot, my answer is always how I execute with my release. You can have perfect form, your bow set up to shoot the same hole out of a shooting machine, and your arrows spined and set up optimally for your bow, but if your release execution isn’t done smoothly and mirrored from shot to shot you will have a shot pattern that can never be tracked to see what adjustments to be made next.

I use a hybrid of two styles taught and used by two world class archers, George Ryals IV (GRIV) and John Dudley.

GRIV’s method has you build and hold tension in your hand in the palm while drawing the bow back and anchoring. Once you are anchored in and the pin/dot is on the target you relax the palm and let it stretch. This motion, because of the ring finger being shorter, causes the release to rotate and fire if it is a hinge, or causes the thumb to ride against and put pressure on the button of a thumb release, causing the shot to go off.

John Dudley’s method is to come to full draw and anchor in. Aquire the target and very slowly start to pull straight back behind you, inline with the target and arrow, until the shot breaks. This method is the same for him whether he uses a hinge, or a button release, or even a wrist strap release.

Here’s where mine’s a hybrid of both. I will draw back and anchor with a flat hand, fingers wrapped around the release handle between the second and third knuckles, and then once I put my pin on the spot I am aiming at I will release my thumb and very slowly and steadily start to pull straight back while letting my hand stretch. It’s not much movement from my hand stretching and relaxing and it’s not much movement from the pulling because of me using both ways combined.

I found when I used the method of just releasing tension from my palm the bow would tend to creep and my shots would become weak I would get random scattered shots. On the opposite end of this, when I only pulled with a still hand I would have to pull harder than I was comfortable with and I would lose track of my peep being centered with my scope housing and either get left misses from pushing off the bow with my bow hand, or I would get high right misses from pulling back and around too much.

What led me to combining both was because there are parts of each technique I really liked and could shoot very well with. I just wanted more consistency in different conditions. I like pulling through my shot because it will help steady my pin and keep my body lined up correctly. And I also like my hand yielding slightly because it keeps me from torquing the release in my hand and causing me to pull my d-loop at different angles on release.

The part with any technique you use that I find to be very important, is the speed and way you approach the execution. It’s very easy to start sending arrows down range and forget to breathe and slow things back down. Rushing through your shot routine will only make you frustrated. I’ve had countless times I’ll get a bad shot and I’ll want to get another arrow on the target as quick as I can to prove to myself I can get a 10, only to have the next arrow be off course again. Then again, and again, and you get the idea. I’ve got to keep myself slowed down. If I start my pull through and my hand yielding and stretching slowly and not rush through it, my release is much cleaner. I’m not torquing the d-loop because my hand is going in different directions. I’m not pulling my release elbow around in different directions. I’m not losing track of the little things that are actually the big things.

Hopefully all of this makes sense and can help anyone going through similar issues. If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to leave them and I’ll get another entry out as soon as I can on another topic. Thanks again for reading!

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