The anchor point, a crucial aspect of archery technique, refers to the consistent position on the face or jaw where an archer draws and anchors the bowstring before releasing it.
This stable point of contact serves as a foundation for proper alignment and accuracy when shooting an arrow.
The importance of the anchor point cannot be overstated, as it ensures that the archer maintains a repeatable and stable shooting platform for each shot, thus increasing the likelihood of consistent accuracy.
The ideal anchor point varies from archer to archer, as each person’s facial structure, hand size, and shooting style are different.
Nevertheless, there are several general guidelines that can help archers establish a consistent and effective anchor point.
- String-hand position: The string hand, which is the hand that pulls the bowstring back, should sit comfortably and naturally against the archer’s face. The position of the string hand can be adjusted according to personal preference and comfort. Some common anchor points include the corner of the mouth, the cheekbone, or the jawline. For example, traditional recurve archers often anchor at the corner of the mouth, while compound archers may use a release aid and anchor below the jaw.
- Finger placement: The fingers used to pull the bowstring back should have a consistent placement on the string. A common method is to use the index finger above the arrow nock and the middle and ring fingers below it, creating a solid, three-finger grip. In the case of a mechanical release aid, the trigger should be placed consistently between the index and middle fingers.
- Bowstring contact: The bowstring should make consistent contact with the archer’s face when drawn to the anchor point. This contact can be on the nose, cheek, or chin, depending on the archer’s preferred anchor point. It is essential to ensure that the bowstring is not being pressed into the face, as this can create torque and lead to inconsistent shots.
- Head position: The archer’s head should remain in a neutral, upright position when drawing the bowstring back to the anchor point. It is essential not to tilt or turn the head to meet the string, as this can lead to poor form and inconsistent shots. By maintaining a consistent head position, the archer can ensure that their eye alignment with the target remains constant.
- Bow-arm alignment: The bow arm (the arm holding the bow) should remain extended and straight, in line with the arrow and target, throughout the shot process. Maintaining proper bow-arm alignment ensures that the arrow’s energy is transferred efficiently, leading to increased accuracy and consistency.
- Repeatability: The anchor point should be easily replicable for each shot, allowing the archer to maintain a consistent shooting platform. An archer may choose to use physical reference points on their face or jaw to ensure that they are reaching the same anchor point each time they draw the bowstring back. Some archers use kisser buttons, small devices attached to the bowstring, to provide a tactile reference point for a consistent anchor.
A well-established anchor point is vital for achieving accurate and consistent shots in archery. By adhering to the guidelines above and practicing regularly, archers can find an anchor point that works best for their individual shooting style and preferences.
As with any aspect of archery, developing a consistent anchor point takes time, patience, and dedicated practice. However, the payoff in improved accuracy and consistency will be well worth the effort.