Crossbow Shooting Tips: Analyze Your Weakness
Why Do I Need to Paractice My Weakness?
When you are bow hunting out in woods you have to make sure that whatever shot you take, counts. This means that you have to be as prepared for the shot as possible. There are many ways that hunters can prepare for the shot and I believe that many of you have various different methods, but the method that I feel is the most effective is fixing yourself from the bottom up. What I mean by this is that you should not practice taking the shots that you know you could hit with your eyes closed. You should practice on improving your weaknesses day in and day out so that when the moment of truth comes, there will be no doubt in your mind that you can stick the shot.
If you are familiar with the different major league sports that are out there (MLB, NBA, NFL) you know that there are many athletes who do this on a continual basis. Shaquille O'Neal realized that he was an exceptionally poor free throw shooter. Once he started working on his free throws, the hack-a-shaq stopped. Being great at anything is not easy. It requires dedication, and the realization that you are going to have to work on the weakest part of your game if you ever plan on getting to the next level.
I believe that it is a given, that any bow hunter who has claimed a tag, made sure to practice before they took their fateful shot. I have personally been notorious for just taking ten shots from point A, ten from point B, and so on. This made it so that I only practiced the same shots every time, so much so that it became monotonous. In my many years of shooting, I have come to realize that there is a better method to practice, and that is by analyzing your specific weaknesses. You cannot just focus on the good and hope for your shot to get better. I have always been a big fan of writing everything down, but I realize that with the advances in technology, most everyone has a camera phone.
How Can I Improve?
While you a practicing with your crossbow, I recommend that you set up your cell phone so that you can capture your form when you are shooting. Fixing your form can usually solve more that 90 percent of the issues that you might face. Shooters tend to blame their equipment, but that is hardly ever the issue. To start, I would recommend that you take the shots that you know you have trouble with. Then, take the shots that you feel more comfortable taking. you can shoot from elevated angles to simulate shooting from a tree stand. You can shoot from an area that will be similar to shooting from a ground blind. Generally, just try to get as many different scenario type shots as possible. For an added challenge, I would recommend trying to shoot over obstacles because many times you will have to shoot through brush when you are in the middle of a hunt.
Once you have had your fill for the day, the real work is set to begin. I always recommend that you make note of your form when you feel the most comfortable/successful shooting. I would then recommend that you compare it to the film of how your form looks when you do not feel 100% sure about your shots. Doing this will help you to see what it is that might be throwing off your form and causing you to miss the shot.
If you are having a tough time figuring out when you feel the most successful, just think back to your last few hunting trips. Were you able to get the buck that you wanted on the last excursion? Did you miss any shots? If you play out the scene in your head, you might be able to catch on to grouping patterns and other issues. One thing that I learned from recording myself was that I was not shooting nearly as well as I once had. I had developed many bad habits over time that were taking a toll on my shot placement.
After analyzing the video that I had just taken, I could figure out what needed to be worked out. I realized that I had been resting the stock on my crossbow higher than I normally would because I had developed a bit of tendinitis in my shoulder. I did not feel that I was holding the crossbow any differently, but when I recorded myself, I could clearly see that I was holding it a few inches off. Once I realized that my form was off, I was able to recall a few times where I had missed my target because my shots were a little high. I learned that it was due to an old shoulder injury that had come back to nag me. Had it not been for the camera, I would have never known my weakness. Since figuring it out, I realized that i needed to do some stretching before I hit the field. I figured out that if I stretched for 10-15 minutes before my hunt/practice, I would be able to hold the crossbow where I originally had when i first started. Since then my success rate has climbed back up! I would recommend that you test out this method. You can thank my by sending your venison steaks! As always, If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to leave me a comment.