I had a very bad night during one of my league evenings. I started the night with a perfect score on my first end and it all went downhill from there. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. My arrows were hitting center on the left and right, but my vertical was everywhere. All night long, I would try to remedy the problem unsuccessfully.
I was lucky enough to have a video of myself from a few days earlier. I was breaking in my new string and I was experiencing the same problem. At that time, I thought that it was just the new string as I was trying to break it in or my lazy shooting .
Upon review of that video, I noticed that the position of my drawing arm’s elbow was never in the same place twice. Where there is a variant, you will find inconsistency. Here is that video:
This find caused me to pay more attention to my elbow during my practice. It was confirmed, the variant in my elbow was the culprit causing the inconsistency of my arrow grouping.
The problem was that my drawing elbow did not consistently follow the path defined by the most basic of the archery form guidelines, the Archers “T”. By not pulling my elbow back to conform to the Archers “T”, I was shortening my draw length inconsistently by up to an inch. This resulted in my arrows hitting the target with a vertical variance.
If you are unfamiliar with the Archers “T”, you can watch the video in a previous blog post here. The Archer’s “T” (Video Tutorial)