When muscle memory goes wrong…

It seems this is a recurring theme…

I’m asked at least once a week why I bother with aiming drills (less so) and especially why I waste my time with blank baling (more so). And my simple answer is “muscle memory”

When things go wrong, like adverse weather, or you come under a heavy stress load, you WILL revert back to muscle memory to complete a task, at least 9 times out of ten.

The problem is that muscle memory is fickle, and unless it’s really ingrained, it’s easy to change to something new. So reminding your muscles how they are supposed to function is critical.

Now, you might say that once it’s set, it’s set (like riding a bike) but consider that the bicycle was most probably ridden for years, on a daily basis.

But here’s a little test: take something you use every round without thinking about it, like your kick stand or bowstand. If you clipped it in on one side of your quiver, move it to the other side.

This is an action you do pretty much without thinking, so it’s perfect. Watch how many times you try and put it in its old place before you remember the location shifted, and then pay attention to how long it took to replace the kickstand without thinking about it… I think you will find its shockingly fast!

And that’s why a session in strong wind, where you started snap shooting just to get something close to the centre as you swing past, needs to be managed right away! And the same reason why shooting four or five thousand shots blank bale with a new release to ingrain good technique before going out and shooting comps is not so far fetched…

And that, boys and girls, is why I stand and shoot about 100 arrows a day (if I can make the time) from 2 steps away.

Good shooting and I wish you blessed holidays!

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