7 tips for winning at field archery

4 August 2017
Wroclaw (POL)
Recurve and barebow athletes competing at the World Games gave advice on shooting field.

Field archers shoot around a multi-target course set in the countryside, across slopes, nature and at both unmarked and marked distances, facing challenges of light and dark, changing elevations and misleading ground.

It’s a special set of skills. Here’s what you need to be good at field archery.

1. fitness

“You need to be physically fit so when you get to the peg, your heart rate slows down quickly before shooting,” said Bryony Pitman. The walking course in Wroclaw was pretty flat – but that’s not always the case.

2. Posture

Finland’s Juuso Huhtala said success is all about your body position: “Good balance helps you to stand in all sort of places and have control of your body as you bend it all the way up or down.”

Rookie field archers often move their arms up and down to aim at sloped targets, but to keep the T-shape needed for a consistent shot, the bend has to come from the torso or waist.

3. Rangefinding

“Being able to figure out the distances correctly when you shoot unmarked distances and not worrying when you have a bad arrow or a low score on a target, because field competition is long and there are plenty of opportunities to recover, is key,” said 2013 World Games Champion Giuseppe Seimandi from Italy.

4. Knowledge

A three-time Olympic medallist, double World Archery Field Champion and four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion, Brady Ellison said that practise makes perfect.

“The more experienced you get, the better it is. When it’s a bit flatter you don’t need to know half as much. You just need to know how to judge and make sure your sight tape is okay,” he said.

“But when you get into mountains and angles, the game changes a lot more. That’s where 90% of your knowledge and experience comes from in the field, from knowing angles and side hills and what’s going to happen there, and that’s when field becomes tough, too.”

5. adapt

“You have to like to shoot in different distances and conditions because in field archery, the weather and the light will probably change from target to target,” said recurve archer Jessica Tomasi from Italy. “You need to be easily adaptable to the environment and you must like nature, too.”

6. Multitask

“You need to be out to think about many things at the same time: work out the distance, measure it in your head, tune in your bow according to each shot,” said Naomi Folkard, the 2017 World Games runner-up who lost the final to Lisa Unruh in a tiebreak.

“You need to be able to shoot in different positions and make a good shot when your body is not in the right place.”

7. Commit

“You’ve got to love shooting field and work hard to reach your goals. You must be perseverant and consistent,” said multiple field medallist David Garcia Fernandez from Spain.

The archery competitions at the 2017 World Games ran 23-30 July in Wroclaw, Poland.

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