Yes, I do think there are a handful of people out there that can literally shoot well (high score) with any bow, from any manufacturer, with any setup. I do not claim to be one of those people, and I’m assuming most, if not all, of you reading this aren’t in that category either.
We all know that bow setup is important. In fact, I think there are people who put too much stock in finding the “magic” setup vs learning how to shoot properly. I, however, had a recent experience which reminded me of why basic bow setup/tuning is important (even for beginners).
Having just made some major changes to my bow, I headed to a local tournament without checking nock height, etc. I figured there would be some minor tweaks to make in terms of fine tuning, but boy was I in for a surprise.
The entire tournament was a test of my patience. I would shoot a shot expecting it to be high and it would be low or left. I’d shoot another one that I KNEW was an X and it would be a big 9. I was so frustrated at the half, I wanted to give up. I decided it couldn’t get any worse, so I would try moving my rest a hair to see if the second half got better…it never did.
In fact, I ended up shooting 16 points lower at this tournament then I did the month before, and that’s out of only 45 arrows! I was ready to throw in the towel. After all the work I had put in working on my form this fall, how could things have gotten so bad I wondered.
I came home from the tournament and as much as I didn’t want to look at my bow I knew I had to. I checked the nocking point first and to my surprise it wasn’t off a little, it was in the wrong ballpark. I took the time to do the initial check/setup I would do with a bow, and I headed back to the range the next day.
And guess what? My arrows actually went where I was expecting them to go. My shot actually didn’t feel quite as good, but I scored back in my normal range. For me this was a big light bulb moment. Imagine if I was someone learning to shoot or trying to advance to the next level, instead of one of the top in the World. Poor equipment setup could easily cause someone to get frustrated and leave the sport.
My suggestions for everyone out there? I don’t think everyone needs a perfectly dialed bow, but I do think a basic good tune does wonders for people at all levels. So, if you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to ask for help (heck I still ask people constantly for their advice and feedback). And for those who do have knowledge, don’t be afraid to help someone out, however, don’t share unless you are confident you know what you are talking about (we have all seen those that offer suggestions that are just plain bad advice).