By Dan Meadows, The Shooting Channel
Many years ago while researching “Target Fixation” in relationship to marksmanship training sports like archery or firearms, I came across numerous writings and articles describing target fixation. Most of the articles related to cycling sports, road races, aircraft pilots, and even law enforcement (to name a few). Seldom though did one ever read about how to overcome target fixation as it relates to archery skills development, or while practicing on an archery range or in our own backyards.
And then there are those times that you would either hear or read about horrific crashes involving cyclists, race car drivers, fighter pilots and even more recently, crashes involving motorists striking police vehicles, as they were out on traffic stop violations, wrecks, or even road blocks. Even more recently, stories about target fixation have been revealed by our newspapers and our news channels. Of course, many of you have heard about people texting on their cell phones while they are walking or even driving, resulting in people walking into walls or barriers, or by crashing their vehicles into the back end of other vehicles?
Target fixation you might ask? You might just be right!
So now let’s clear up the mud about this topic. Let me define what “Target Fixation” is in the first place:
“Target Fixation is a process by which the brain is focused so intently on an observed object that awareness of other obstacles or hazards can diminish. Also, in an avoidance scenario, the observer can become so fixated on the target that they will forget to take the necessary action to avoid it, thus colliding with the object.”
“But how is it that an archer can be so drawn to “Target Fixation” in the first place?” OK, that’s a good question, so let’s set the stage for our discussion here today!
Archery Shooting Steps or Sequence of Events
The following sequences or steps are this author’s own method of teaching a new shooter on how to shoot a bow. For some of you, this “Art of Bow Training” may or may not be all inclusive or even be complete. However as an archer, you will find that there are some teaching methods out there that are much more detailed in structure than others. And yet there are some methods out there that are even less detailed than the ones we have listed below. In some cases the end results may or may not be the same, or possibly could even be different in nature than that of your own. Like many of you, I have heard of the “(10) Step Method”, or the (8) Step method, or even the (6) Step method (just to name a few). This particular article is not necessarily designed to correct what works for you. However its sole purpose is to merely communicate another practiced method, another way, or another archer’s sequence of events, which are used to shoot their respective bows!
So with that disclaimer aside, let me take you on a journey here for just a moment. For this exercise, I ask for you to become a traditional archery student for me, and for our shooting practice session here today.
Ok everyone, so here we go!
Practicing multiple shots with the Longbow.
Here’s your first bow training scenario: You are out at on archery range. Indoors, outdoors, it makes no difference (unless it’s cold outside, right?). Being that you are a new archery student, you will now be going through a series of instructions for archery shooting techniques. These are known as “steps” or “sequence of events” and will be explained to you further, and in greater detail on the next page.
Next, the point-by-point instructions