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The Shot Cycle, sometimes called the Shot Routine or Shot Sequence, is the steps an archer takes and tries to follow as they shoot each arrow. There are generally 5 basic steps to the Shot Cycle but each individual step can be divided in to several "sub steps". As the archer progresses, the shot cycle will become more and more natural and automatic but it is worth revisiting the cycle if your shooting is not quite going to expectation.


The following shot cycle is a typical example but as an archer you should develop your own cycle to suit you. Your personal shot cycle may have greater or fewer steps.


  • Position the feet, approximately equal width to the shoulders.

  • Relax the knees.

  • Relax the shoulders.

  • Straight body.


  • Knock the arrow.

  • Place arrow on rest and under clicker (if used).

  • Position bow hand.

  • Head position.

  • Hook the bow string (avoid pinching the arrow).

  • Pre-tension the bow.

  • Two breaths.


  • Raise the bow with the arrow parallel to the ground to around eye level.

  • Adjust posture.

  • Stay relaxed.

  • Breath in.


  • Draw the bowstring back to anchor, use back muscles.

  • Ensure heel of the bow hand is firm in the riser handle.

  • Relax bow fingers away from the riser handle and point the bow hand thumb towards the target.

  • Quick check that the arrow is still on the rest and not jumped over the pressure button.

  • Check anchor (feel your reference – knuckle/tab shelf to chin/neck).

  • Sight the sight pin on the target.

  • Set string picture.

  • Slowly exhale to approx. 70% lung capacity.

Release & Follow through

  • Expand the body while concentrating on the target gold and pushing the bow towards the target. Don’t worry if the sight pin floats around the gold.

  • Expand until the clicker "clicks".

  • To loose the arrow, relax the string hand fingers while maintaining back tension.

  • Keep the string hand in to the chin/neck and keep a straight backward motion.

  • Keep the bow arm to the target until the arrow hits.

  • Relax the bow hand and allow the bow to fall into the finger sling.

  • Review the shot. – Why did it go where it went?


The release and follow through should be one smooth continuous action.


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