Are You Shooting Enough?

If you follow this website, you may be aware that I practice a lot. Typically, I’ll shoot my bow two times a day, morning and afternoon. Each session ranges from an hour to three hours depending on the training plan. Some days I shoot as few as 60 arrows while other days exceed 200.

I’ve often wondered how many arrows do other top archers shoot? I find that after 5 hours of shooting I need a break even when the shooting is broken up throughout the day. It’s not so much that I need a break physically I need it mentally.

What is really tedious is shooting 20 to 30 arrows over a 4 or 5 hour tournament, like so many of the slow 3D competitions. When the range officials aren’t paying attention it can, occasionally, get bad in the matter of shooting tempo. Fortunately, most of the 20 arrow 3D events I do are finished in 3.5 hours, which is reasonable. Once, I competed in a 30 arrow 3D contest that took 6.5 hours. That was ridiculous. But, back to the original question, how many arrows are enough?

Sitting around during a 3D contest, waiting for a slower group of archers, I overheard the conversation from the group parked near my group. One fellow was bragging, “I shoot 30 arrows a day three times a week.” Not to be outdone a second said, “Well, if I shoot three arrows and they are all good, I stop and head back inside the house.” That may be fine for 3 arrows, but if you are shooting 60 or more, I doubt the accuracy of three will endure. So, what does it take?

Of course, you’ve all heard about the 10,000-hour rule or the 7-year rule or 8-year rule or in some cases the 10-year rule. All rules suggesting there is a time / practice mark that anyone in a sport must to achieve in order to be an elite. All of the ‘rules’ are somewhat true in that it take a lot of practice for a long time to get good. By good in archery I mean hitting the X most of the time.

There is a world champion that shoots pistol and claims to fire off about 24,000 shots a year. That only comes to 65 bullets per day. Allowing for time off, say shooting 260 days per year that come to only 92 bullets per day. By suggestion as related by bullets are 24,000 arrows enough?

In my search for the number of arrows needed to achieve excellence I found an interesting article by a guy that goes by Coach Tom out of Foxboro, MA. (Sure Coach Tom – Foxboro? – Brady. No way) Here’s what Coach Tom wrote in June of 2014:

“How many arrows should you shoot a day? That depends on how badly you want to get better. If you want to be a “good” archer, someone who can put the arrow into the red/yellow all the time, then you need to shoot 4-5 times a week and shoot 80-100 arrows per day. If you want to be a “great” archer, someone that can put the arrow into the yellow all the time, you need to shoot 100-120 arrows per day 5 times a week. If you want to be a “champion” archer, someone who can put the arrow into the 10 most of the time, you need to shoot 5 times a week with at least 120 arrows per day. If you live for being “Olympic” archer, then shooting 120-200 arrows per day 6 days a week is enough to easily make you a State Champion and in the top ten for National Champion.”

Well, if you’ve got ‘em, shoot ‘em!