Ever since I began archery, barring a brief flirtation with the wheels, I have shot split finger or Mediterranean Loose. An exception to this is for a short period of a couple of months in 2013 when I switched to 3 under with very favourable results. I switched back for reasons of pure stubbornness and how a perceived I should shoot, being that all my shooting “idols” shot that way, so that’s the way it must be done!
So a carried on shooting split, all the way through the 2014 3D shoots that we attended and did very well, finishing top of my respective groups in all of the competitive shoots we entered, doing that and shooting “instinctive” (more on that hornets nest later!) so I was relatively happy with my own shooting apart from a few minor details……..
1. Shooting form is very important to me and I work hard at it to try and get it right. Looking at my 2014 photos, I had developed a bad habit, my string hand had become almost a fist at anchor and seemingly no amount of blind bailing was going to shift it and that was frustrating. When I had previously gone 3under my anchor was sweet and the clenched hand was a non issue could that be down to a sub-conscious problem with…….
2. Finger pinch! Reverting back from dipping my toes into the 3 Under waters, the inevitable finger pinch was way more noticeable and to be honest, that awareness of it never left me and that’s never good on the shooting line. It was made even worse when shooting my shorter bows like my 60″ Bodnik Hawk and Hoyt Dorado given my almost 30″ draw. 3 Under solves this and also gives me a much sweeter release.
3. Sight picture. With the 3 under release, it gets tighter, obviously as the nock is closer to your eye where, consciously or not the ability to barrel down your arrow shaft is more apparent and your point on distance (should you care about that) is brought in considerably. When, like I do, you adopt various aiming techniques, it is very helpful indeed with my point on distance (POD) brought down from +45ds to typically around 30yds or just under. Given that traditional pegs on 3D shoots are supposed to be under 30 yds – and this would also be ethical distances for hunting scenarios – then I’m good with that!
4. Successful shooters blazing the trail. It seems to me that if you look up all the major tournaments competed by the very best, like in the IBO Worlds etc, they are usually won, where allowed by 3 Under archers. Perhaps you can turn up at a little fringe tourney and do OK doing whatever but where the big boys walk the walk and the coverage I have scoured online of the best of the best there is a common theme regarding finger on string placement……..yup!
Not that I am comparing myself to your Rick Welchs, Jimmy Blackmons, Rod Jenkins’, not at all but my quest to be better, as good as I can be has led me back to switching to 3under, and doing it for a year at least.
I am very careful, as ever to say there is no right or wrong way, as there are far better archers around than I am ever likely to be. And they are shooting all ways and doing it well, so who am I to pour scorn?
Seems to be working for me though, tighter groups…….and I don’t shoot groups! And an altogether better feel to my form and frame with a much improved release for good measure.
I have also been studying the teachings of prominent archers and coaches via various DVD’s, books and online, working on various techniques that this switch will help and further breaking down my narrow, bloodimindedness!
Conscious aiming methods? whatever next!?
But there is no right or wrong way, far better shots than I contradict everything I have come to the conclusion is best for me. Narrow minds will always say otherwise, especially the online gurus & armchair archers.
My advice? Not that I am qualified to give it, but experiment. Not everyone is the same. Needs, expectations, natural abilities & goals all play a part. Me? I am very ambitious in my shooting now and want to be the best I can, I enjoy competing and I won’t lie, I enjoy winning and I want to make perfect shots when it counts the most……on a 3D, target face or that big ol’ buck.