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Target panic cure
This has never happened to me but I have a young friend who is having an issue with it.Any help and ideas would be greatly appreciated .Thanks Lewis
I switch releases from a wrist to handheld from time to time.
If possible, the earlier a person can get used to trying and using, at least for practice, a hinge release the better. I bought a tru-fire sear about 4 weeks ago and wish I had done it 10 years ago. Has really helped me with not getting stuck below the target and feeling what a good release is really supposed to feel like. Groups have gotten tighter also.
Each case is different. I had a brutal case that started when I was about 14 and lasted a few years.
Switching from a finger tab to a Winn free flight release cured it 90%. That release just feels so comfortable to me. The rest is mental.
It occassionally crops back up again and what I do when I feel it coming on is first, I put the bow down immediately and don't shoot for a week or two. Trying to nip it in the bud at that point only seems to make it worse. The hole in my jeep soft top can attest to that. Then after a break I pick it back up with a clearer head and I just focus extremely hard on correcting it. That's what works for me but the brain works in crazy ways.
The one thing that helped a buddy of mine was a huge target. 4 by 4 polyfoam target with a dot in the middle. Mentally knowing he wasn't going to panic and loose an arrow if he screwed up seemed to fix his issue and shooting with confidence. Now he is back to shooting his block. Just a thought.
Get a Carter Evolution. Makes you pull through the shot. John Dudley has some great Youtube videos on how to use it and lots of information on his podcasts.
Have some fun. Hang a Lifesaver from a string in front of the target. Everyone throws a buck in the pool until someone breaks it. Is it a cure? Yes, no, maybe, who knows? But, its a mental thing and generally I think lightening up the situation and keeping the brain busy with stuff besides the panic is helpful.
Start by sacrificing a rooster and wear some women's underwear when shooting and breathe through tour eyelids!
Seriously, a lil bit of alcohol to calm the nerves helps me out when I get anxious. Also, I don't experience it when shooting 3Ds but dots...oh boy. So, I shoot my 3D deer alot! I have no issues with live animals, just dots sometimes.
I have had good luck with going to blank bale shooting. Just a big white square. It lets me think about my release mechanics and only my release. Minimal focus on aiming. Just trying to practice the release technique over and over. I also switch from hinge to thumb to index finger release, although I try and pull through with all of them. My thumb release scares the crap out of me if i haven't shot it in a while.
What helped me is to get away from a release that requires a trigger of any kind. I'm using a back tension release, which was the best choice I made, I tried everything prior to this and nothing worked or nothing worked for very long.
I fought target panic for years . The Scott Longhorn Hex has 99% cured mine . Should have switched to something like this release years ago . I would freeze near where I was supposed to be shooting and just could not get my pin to move . TP is bad stuff
When I was heavy into the coaching, I had different training for different shooters depending on what their "panic" was.
I categorized them as one of three basic "panics". The Flincher, the Drive-By Shooter, and the Locked-Up Low.
The easiest to fix for me is the Flincher. I gave them my True Fire "can't fire" wrist strap release. The one that is just a machined hook without a sear and a solid trigger that doesn't move. I would make them draw, aim and hold on the target. I would have them shoot a dozen imaginary shots, going through the whole sequence every time. Taking the arrow off, and then back on between each shot. Eventually they will stop trying to snap off the fixed trigger and contorting the instant the pin hits the target center. step two is using their release, keeping their finger behind the trigger at all times, not releasing the arrow-ever. Step three is the tricky one. Index finger firmly wrapped around the trigger while aiming WITHOUT releasing the arrow. Learn to "feel" the trigger with a relaxed index finger. Touching three sides of the trigger without squeezing it. Keeping all muscle tension in the release hand as low as possible. Then I teach them to keep in full contact with the trigger, then relax the rest of the release hand to the point of letting it try to slip through the wrist strap. BOOM, the arrow is released and it scares the ever living crap out of them. At that point I congratulate them on their first surprise release.
I switched releases to a Scott Longhorn Hex. Helped me out a lot.
Keith in colorado's Link
What is target panic exactly??
I have fought it for years, nothing helped! I finally bought a bow training aid and mounted a site to it, would walk around all the time focusing on iitems and holding the pin steady and shooting, this simulates the shooting with out the worry of missing. Retrains the brain. I still use it all the time, am I cured, NO, but I can control it. I see Lancaster makes a training aid for $25 with a site now. Have him try it.
Thanks everyone for the input Lewis
As mentioned earlier, get a tension activated release and listen to John Dudley's podcasts...
Target panic is the fear of missing, and it'll never be completely cured, only controlled. And it can come back at any time. I was advised by Tim Strickland and Randy Ulmer to use a back tension release to help control TP, and using different releases, wrist and thumb set at different trigger pressures help cause you never know when the release will go off. Even putting a spring in place of the stud on a wrist release will help cause you can't punch a spring like you can the stud.
back tension release, and don't look back
I had a fairly minor case but for one week I drew my bow , held on the bullseye as long as I could before my form would break down, then instead of shooting I'd let down, wait a moment and do it again. The next full week I put tape over my sight, stood right in front of the target and would worry only about executing the shot without worrying about aiming. By the end of the second week I slowly went back to normal shooting and wow!!!! Problem solved!!! I think as shooters/hunters, we put way too much pressure on ourselves to hit the very spot we're aiming and this becomes a side effect. This was advice given to me and by no way am I taking credit for the idea but it worked a miracle on me!!!
I've been a member of the "locked-up low" group. I just started using a back tension for practice and it's helped tremendously.
Two techniques. Finger and eyes .
1. Stand very close to the target , make sure you are on target and a safe environment (maybe have a friend with eyes open) , then close your eyes , wait for a several seconds, focus on the release and not the target . Get your eyes out of the equation.
2. (No bow) Look with both eyes open and try to focus each eye on separate objects that are at your outer peripheral limits .Further away may be easier than close up. Concentrate on those two outer spots/objects for a few minuets. You may be pleasantly surprised at your more clear focus when you return to normal viewing .
Now take a few target shots . Retrain the finger to feel and the eye to see.
As described by a few others I can hold steady and long about 6" below the bull but try and get that pin on target and its like I have 500# on my bow arm and cant bring it up to the bull if my life depended on it or if it starts to move bam slap the trigger and lose an arrow. So mental is ridiculous. Its been about 5 years and slow recovery. So disappointing. I did kill a bull elk while in the midst of TP big time and had no problem holding and releasing on him.
Which back tension release do you all recommend Lewis
huntp- Perhaps lowering down from a higher spot will help. It is easier to drop than to rise. Stop at the spine and slowly lower to your kill spot.
Long term : I think it is a shoulder muscle issue . Do some extended arm raises (bow holding arm) with 20 lbs or so. lots of arm circles or bag work.(jabs) A can of paint or bucket of water will work. Add a rope to anything and lift and hold beyond level . Work up to your max and strengthen that lift. The combination of pull back and lift up has you frozen you must strengthen that lifting arm from the shoulder.
Pi. The holding low has nothing to do with physical strength, it's a mental issue. Target panic is a form of anxiety. One of the best ways to treat it, is to admit it, then begin retraining your muscle memory, through blind baling. Stop using trigger activated releases and get a tension activated release which forces you to concentrate on pulling through your shot rather than aiming. Great releases for this are the... Carter Evolution and Silverback or a Stan Element John Dudley has done extensive work in this area, and is an archery guru...his podcasts are fantastic. He's been an inspiration to thousands, including me. Good luck to you.
Levi Morgan owes me some arrows..........I had it (have it) bad. Don't know if it ever really goes away but I have it under control right now. I saw a video clip of a tip from Levi, he sad to nock an arrow and draw back, but don't put your finger on the release, and practice holding your pin on the target. Let down, and do it again, and again, and again.......... It's helped me greatly. So much so I've had 2 robin hoods in the past month. So if anyone knows Levi.............Ha Ha
Ever seen a blind archer with target panic ??
Exactly, and why blank bale shooting is a worthless endeavor for a target panic "cure". Until you retrain your brain, to allow you to aim and execute, you're spinning your wheels. Unless you can shoot with your eyes closed...
I don't want to recover as well as you too expensive. Nice shooting!
"Long term : I think it is a shoulder muscle issue . Do some extended arm raises (bow holding arm) with 20 lbs or so. lots of arm circles or bag work.(jabs) A can of paint or bucket of water will work. Add a rope to anything and lift and hold beyond level . Work up to your max and strengthen that lift. The combination of pull back and lift up has you frozen you must strengthen that lifting arm from the shoulder."
LOL, No it has nothing to do with strengthening the shoulders or any other muscle group.
I had the same thing, I settled in low and couldn't raise the pin on the target. I tried coming down from the top, I couldn't stop at the spot I wanted to aim at, I had to continue low. I couldn't get the pin on the spot if you held a gun to my head. If I took my finger off the trigger I could hold the pin on the dot all day. As soon as I started to reach for the trigger the pin would come off the dot. Strictly mental. As soon as I removed the trigger from the process, I'm fine, I can shoot with the back tension release and no issue holding the pin on target.
Go to John Dudleys You tube channel, he has the best advice I have heard yet on curing the problem, He also has a release that was made by Carter for his specs called silverback. That's what I went to and it works great
Most "cures" are merely doing something else to the point you distract yourself enough away from status quo to where you're able to shoot, and then that becomes status quo...
Unless you've experienced target panic, you have no idea what it's like or how to "cure".
Kinda like telling someone you know how they feel at the loss of a parent when both of yours are alive and well.
Eaxacy, and neither are much fun to go thru. TP takes determination and an understanding of why it's happening.
Trying to hold your pin on the target can CAUSE the panic as you feel the need to pull the trigger. The pin is allowed to move...mine actually makes a circle when I shoot. When you can`t get the pin to the target you force it then pluck the trigger and you get a errant shot. Relax and let the pin drift. I have used the "eyes closed" theory and it helps with releasing on the back pressure.
I fought it too. I think for a young shooter you can't beat the T.R.U. Ball Sweet Spot II back tension (hinge) release. It has a safety that is taken off at full draw. It's all I shoot anymore.
I've always struggled with it while target shooting. I come down from the top, can never settle, usually shoot on the drive by. When I can get on the spot, I try to count to 3, usually shoot at 2, etc. Horrible deal, BUT- I have no issues with live targets! I can put the pin right where I want it, and have had pretty good success in the field so I don't sweat the range sessions too much. I get frustrated with myself and just end the session. I do always try to end with 3 "good" shots....
This is funny. No wonder it's such a problem. Who the heck do you listen to on this thread? The ideas are all over the place from people you have no idea how qualified they are, gotta love the internet! So here is my 2 cents:
First listen to Dudleys podcasts and youtube videos, then get a tension activated or hinge release and shoot it how he says to do it. Then listen and watch them again because the first go round you won't know what the hell he is talking about and you'll think you are smarter than him, and it won't work for hunting, blah, blah, blah. Said it myself. It's the only way to beat it if you have a serious case and you need to be willing to put in lots of time.
Exactly Mike...thank u. TP is a serious deal...
I went to coaches, read every book, and tried everything, the only thing that worked for me was going to a back tension pull thru release. I use a carter evolution.
If Dudley had an issue with target panic, then he is on to something. Again, changing status quo...