I have fought target panic most of my life in different forms. My shooting life is just like you described. I change things up and go through the cognitive learning stage and things improve but then when it becomes comfortable the target panic creeps back in. I’ve learned backtension for the last two years and I really have the process down. I shoot a ton better than I used too but things still catch up to me.
I still find myself switching releases or looking for a different feeling in my release activation to keep me shooting well. When I watched your first you tube video and you spoke of the “central issue”. It made me curious so I watched some more videos and finally it peeked my interest enough to buy the online course. I have to say it’s probably (so far) the best money I’ve ever spent on archery. Everything in the video makes perfect sense and explains a lot of the issues that crop up.
My goal when I started shooting backtension was to learn to use my release subconsciously and just focus on aiming. This is backwards to what you are teaching and although it has improved my shooting I still have moments or a few days at a time when everything breaks down. I’m aiming and aiming and it doesn’t go off especially when there is some pressure so what do I do? I give my thumb that little twitch to finish the shot off. It happens under pressure in 3D shoots and it happened last year as I tried to take my backtension method to the tree stand while hunting. I still make pretty good shots this way MOST of the time but it’s just a mental breakdown and I know it.
When I heard you say that consentrating effort on aiming is a waste of time and you showed how naturally your mind and eye will bring things back to center I trusted it. The recoil reflex stuff so much sense. I really bought into this system! So knowing that I already know backtension I just went out and started off using the exact mantra you talk about in the videos. Instantly it clicked with me. All my thoughts are focus on the first step and the second step and every shot has surprised me and by passed my natural recoil reflex. I’m shooting my best arrow everytime. I’ve let down one time in about 100 shots or so because my mind wandered off of “keep pulling” but I noticed it I stopped my shot and started over and the next arrow was perfect. I’m working on adding some stress to my shooting and again this system hold up. I like to draw back anchor and then just shake my knees lightly to open my float up a little on purpose because if I get excited in a high stress situation that’s what happens. I’m a little shaky and that’s another time things like to break down. But now I just go through the steps…. I’ve aimed.., that part is done now I just watch it to keep it and keep pulling keep pulling keep pulling….shot goes and hits my spot even though I know my pin was dancing.
This is so simple but so effective and I know it’s going to stick with me, work under stress and take me to another level of shooting. I drew a dot about the size a skittle on a piece of paper and shot it 5 times at 15 yards. This is a stress for me because you can’t keep a pin on something that small. But I worked with the system and after 5 arrows there was one hole in that piece of paper. Every single arrow hit the same hole!! It was about the size of a penny and 1/2 right of my dot with perfect hieght. Sorry this is a long message and I probably haven’t gotten everything out that I’ve wanted to say but I’m a pretty solid archer by most people’s standards and you have just given me the mental tools and shot process that can take me from solid to excellent. Can’t wait to continue working and improving !!
Thank you shooting is absolutely stress free and fun right now!