Shooting Pattern – The Ten Commandments of Archery

The shooting pattern is the set of steps you have to follow to finish one shot. It consists of 10 consecutive parts. Each of these links has its importance and is an indispensable part of the whole. It is essential to do the same thing over and over with every shot. That is why we cover this procedure step by step.

The steps are:

  1. Attitude on a leash
  2. Set up arrow (notches)
  3. Placing the bow hand and cord hand
  4. Concentration
  5. Front pull
  6. Attract
  7. Anchoring
  8. Aim
  9. Pull through and release
  10. Afterward

Note : The shooting pattern is composed for a  right shooter. The left shooter must do everything identically but mirrored.

1. Attitude on a leash

Posture must be maintained throughout the firing pattern. The most efficient stance is the right angle stance, where the target shooter straddles the shooting line (and the sniper behind the shooting line). The feet are best shoulder-width apart. To start, you are standing at right angles to the shooting line. The body weight is distributed on both legs, and the head is turned towards the goal (or seesaw) so that the chin is approximately above the left shoulder. An imaginary line perpendicular to the shooting line goes right along with your toes to the target (or seesaw).

The foot placement

Due to the shooter’s natural foot position, this position may differ from shooter to shooter than the target (or seesaw). Finding this position is of the utmost importance for every shooter. During the shooting turn, it is recommended not to move the feet and always to take the same foot placement with each subsequent turn.

Method to determine the correct foot placement

  • Place the feet perpendicular to the shooting line.
  • Pull in the direction of the disc (or seesaw) and aim.
  • Close the eyes.
  • Wait 3 seconds.
  • Open the eyes.
  • Check the visor grain about the disc (or the seesaw).
  • Repeat the test 3 to 5 times.

If the reticle bead is to the right of the center of the target, the right foot should be 5 cm forward, and if the reticle bead is to the left of the target, the left foot should be placed 5 cm back.

2. Set up arrow (notches)

  • Take the arrow by the keep and place it on the arrow rest with the index spring facing out.
  • Press the notch groove on the cord between or below the mark until the notch snaps into place. However, the best is two marks.
  • Hold the bow towards the target (or seesaw).

Regularly check the condition of the notch point and the span height.

3. Placing the bow hand and cord hand

Bow hand

  • The bow hand is placed against the butt of the bow at the level of the “Y” formed by the thumb and index finger.
  • Thumb and fingers form a loose ring around the handle.
  • Wrist and fingers remain relaxed.
  • The elbow is turned away from the arch.

Cord hand

This is the hardest link to learn. The most used method is the Mediterranean method, i.e., 1 finger above and 2 fingers below the goal point.


  • The fingers should be hooked in the first fold of the finger.

The fingertips should be turned towards the shooter.

  • Place the index finger 3 mm above the notch point, the middle, and ring fingers below the notch point. Those 2 fingers may lightly touch the goal point. The fingers should be perpendicular to the cord.
  • Relax the wrist and keep the back of the hand straight.
  • The hand and forearm must form 1 horizontal line.
  • Distribute the pressure over the 3 fingers on the cord.

Note: When placing the fingers, one must look and feel.

4. Concentration

All physical and mental functions are fully focused on one goal: to shoot a good shot. Each shot must be regarded as a competition shot. By appealing to willpower and trust, concentration allows you to control the physical capacity fully. Eliminate all negative factors and keep the positive ones.

Methods to eliminate the negative factors

  • the Only relaxation is effective against tension.
  • Concentrate on one shot and not several.
  • Try to isolate yourself from the public or other shooters.
  • Never let another shooter’s cadence push you.

Breathing technique

It is not necessary, as so many claims, to inhale for the put-on.

There are 4 different steps in breathing:

  1. Inhale while raising the bow.
  2. Exhale during tensioning and anchoring.
  3. A stop of 5 to 8 seconds while aiming and firing./li>
  4. During the readjustment, inhale and exhale deeper several times

5. Front pull

In the previous links, the focus was mainly on the parts of the bow and arrow.

Now we have to switch the concentration to the target (or the seesaw).


  • Keep the fingers in the correct position on the cord.
  • Increase the pressure on the cord.

6. Attract

This link takes place over several phases:


  • Lift the bow towards the target/seesaw. Keep the bow arm straight and the elbow out.
  • Check the location of the bow and string hand.
  • With a smooth movement, pull the cord back through the back and shoulder muscles’ action. The elbow remains at shoulder height.
  • Keep pulling until you hit the reference points of the anchor points.


  • Avoid bringing the head towards the cord and pulling the cord with the arm muscles only.
  • The bow arm and hand should remain relaxed while donning.

7. Anchoring

Anchoring is bringing the rope hand to a fixed point. Also, at this stage, it is essential that it is always done in the same way. The most obvious anchor points are parts of the face. It is best to use the tip of the nose and the chin for this. Anchoring replaces the target notch when aiming, and since only 1 target point is allowed on the bow, these reference points serve as a means always to obtain the same target line.


  • Keep the teeth together.
  • Place the index finger of the cord hand under the chin and ensure firm contact.
  • The cord should touch the tip of the nose and possibly the lips.
  • The entire cord hand remains relaxed, and the non-pulling fingers remain loose.
  • The thumb of the cord hand is tucked slightly inward.


  • During anchoring, the tension in the shoulder blades must be maintained.
  • The problem with anchoring is that there is a strong tension in the back and shoulder muscles simultaneously, while the bow arm and hand, the cord arm, and hand must remain relaxed as much as possible. This requires a great degree of coordination and concentration.

8. Aim

You have to accept in advance that it is impossible to stand still completely. The heartbeat, muscle tension, and nerve function always cause a slight movement. Aiming should take a maximum of 7 seconds because after 8 seconds, the first symptoms of fatigue will already appear. When the 10-second limit is reached, it is desirable to restart the firing pattern completely. The most commonly used aiming method is with the help of a visor. That is why we limit ourselves to this method.


  • Keep the visor grain on the center of the yellow. (Or the block of the bird to be shot).
  • Pay attention to focus the eyes on the yellow (or the bird) and not on the grain.
  • Align the cord with the center of the inside of the bow.
  • Most experienced shooters start aiming slightly above the bullseye or the bird.
  • It is not enough to place the grain on the bird or on the yellow, you also have to keep it there.
  • Keep back and shoulder muscles tense.


  • Don’t aim hastily.
  • Constantly check the visor grain on the yellow or the block.
  • Hold on ‘stubborn’!


Keeping the bow cocked gets more and more uncomfortable the longer you aim. You want to fire the shot as soon as possible. This, of course, hurts aiming. Therefore, the shooter must practice releasing the arrow only when the target grain is exactly on the yellow (or the targeted bird). Many shooters do the first 7 phases of the shooting pattern correctly, but at the eighth phase (aiming), they lose all concentration, and the arrow is released before the aim is finished. This is the beginning of the aiming problem. However, it is very difficult to solve such a problem.

Basically, we have 3 variations:

  1. Snapshot: The arrow is released before the shooter has reached his anchor point.
  2. Freezing: This is the inability or the mental block to bring the yellow (or the block) the sighting point.
  3. Release block: You cannot release the arrow, even though the sight grain is yellow (or the block).

A possible solution is to use a pull length indicator or “clicker”. You may not use it to obscure other errors in the firing pattern. That way, you can increase the errors even more.

9. Pull through and release

This is the main link in the entire shooting pattern. This is the culmination of all previous stages. It is not a conscious movement but a reaction to the loosening of the cord.


  • Gradually relax the fingers of the cord hand, avoiding consciously stretching the fingers.
  • By maintaining the tension in the shoulder blades, the cord arm and hand automatically move back along the face.
  • The bow hand remains relaxed during the release.
  • During the release, one must keep aiming.


Unloading is caused by a double effect.

  1. The increase of tension in the back.
  2. The progressive relaxation of the fingers of the cord hand. This double action requires a high degree of coordination and concentration. The release must be an unconscious reaction to the sudden disappearance of the resistance of the cord.
  3. Afterward

After the actual release, one must remain in the release position until the arrow hits the target (or the seesaw). This is called the release confirmation. This is closely linked to good offloading.


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