Archery Mistakes Common for Beginners

[Updated 1 January 2024] While practicing on the archery range a few days ago I noticed a group of beginner archers with their trainer, probably on their first trip on the range. Seeing them reminded me that I was once like them, and I started to reminisce on what it was like when I was still learning and understanding the ups and downs of shooting a bow. In this article, I have tried to explain some of the Archery Mistakes which are common for beginners and how to correct them.

Though it was hard for me to overcome the bad habits when I was still learning, I thought it could help other beginners to know a few of the mistakes I made before I shot my bow as confidently as I do now.

The Archery Mistakes Common for Beginners


Beginners see the bowstring as something that can break easily. They somehow think of the string as an elastic band and are afraid of the string scraping their face-off once they let loose.

StringDraw 900x400px

  • Don’t be afraid of your string breaking. Practice drawing the string towards your face. Your thumb or the string itself should be able to touch the corner of your mouth.
  • The placement of your hand next to your face is your anchor point. Note the position and reference it at every shot.


On some cases for first-time shooters, the bow can be too heavy or too light. They tend to draw the string with either with 2 or 4 fingers.

ThreeFigerDraw 900x400px

  • Use 3 fingers. Pointer and middle finger for strength to pull the string and ring finger for control.
  • Bring your pinky and your thumb clear behind the string.
  • Remember the nocking points on the string recess the knuckles to keep the hand straight.


Mastery of aiming the bow or the arrow is one of the basic lessons when learning archery. Aiming the tip of the arrow directly at the center of the target is an instinctive misconception for beginners which results to have the trajectory of the arrow too high off-target.

Archery Mistakes_AimingHigh

  • Aim through the bow sight instead of the arrow.
  • Mind the position of your hands in relation to the target.
  • Note the distance of your target and compensate for the arrow drop.


Drawing the string at full before aiming may seem most logical when shooting at the range. But the longer time it takes for you to let go of the string the more tense your muscles become. This results in your arms shaking and bobbing at the draw.Aim2Long 900x400px


  • Visualize the target before raising the bow itself.
  • See and feel the position of the bow in your hands before you draw the string.
  • Practice shortening the time of every shot you make.


Your shooting stance is one of the factors that makes your shots accurate. Moving back and forth in your stance after every shot resets a different stance every time you make the shot.

Archery Mistakes_DancingStance

  • Plant your feet apart firmly on the ground. Stand with your body straight.
  • Take a deep breath and tense your hips as you draw.
  • Make the first shot and pick up an arrow for the next without moving your feet.
  • Make adjustments based on the first shot you made.


Shooting the bow as a firearm and anticipating recoil. Beginners also tend to somewhat avoid the string or close their eyes as soon as they let go of the draw.

Archery Mistakes_FollowThrough

  • Avoid pushing the riser with your bow arm. Instead, gently hold its position by keeping your elbow straight and stable.
  • Pull the string with an opposite hand towards your face with the elbow completely bent to maximize your draw strength.
  • Your draw hand should end up near the back of your head on each shot.


Your grip is crucial as the only connection between you and your bow, yet novices frequently neglect it. To be as precise as possible, you will want your hand placement to be as consistent as possible.7 InconsistentGrip

  • The lifeline in your palm is the simplest method to spot proper hand placement. This is the crease in your hand that forms your thumb muscle diagonally through the middle of your palm.
  • Most professional archers and instructors advocate shooting with the grip in this location, toward the middle of your hand, where you have the least amount of muscular strength to work the bow.
  • Ideally, your bow grip should be parallel to your lifeline, with the middle of your palm positioned off to the thumb side of your hand. If the bow jumps to the left or right when you shoot, you are most likely applying too much force to one side of the riser and creating unwanted torque.
  • Make changes in your palm according to this.


Professional archers highly recommend a hinge release instead of a caliper-style trigger release, whether you’re learning to shoot a bow and arrow for the first time or have been shooting all your life.8 ImproperReleaseTechnique

  • It’s also critical to producing a repeatable release, just as it is important to have the proper bow grip.
  • A hinge-style release rather than a trigger partially remove the shooter from the equation for a more consistent shot. Hand placement and pressure are important for achieving a consistent release.
  • “Let the release shot your bow, not the other way around,” Bauserman advised. “Trust your process, trust the pin float, and let the release take care of itself.”

When the target is sufficiently far away, many shooters miss it because they are so concerned with hitting a bullseye. This is another of the simplest methods to cure target panic, which typically involves punching the trigger when the pin reaches the bullseye. A back-tension release takes away the fear that causes hurried shots and stray arrows for many archers.


Many archers, on the other hand, do not practice enough. The goal of practicing is to develop a complete shot sequence that is second nature, so that muscle memory kicks in when it counts. This isn’t something you can accomplish in a few weekend sessions before your official opening.

  • Many archers want to practice long bombs at distances of 40, 50, and 60 yards, but not enough time is spent on the range inside 20.
  • Practicing at greater distances is beneficial for highlighting flaws. But shooting from a distance of under 25 yards is something that all archers should master.

9 NotEnoughPractice

However, there is such a thing as too much practice. It’s time to call it a day as soon as your form begins to deteriorate and you become shakier with each shot. Shooting too much may do more damage than good. Instead of attempting to do it all in a 45-minute session, break it down into two 20-minute sessions or three 15-minute sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Ques: What should I know before starting archery?

Ans: Archery Tips for Beginners: What You Should Know Before Taking Up Archery

  • Step 1: Follow the Archery Rules
  • Step 2: Find Your Dominant Eye
  • Step 3: Take Your Proper Position
  • Step 4: Ready, Aim, and Fire
  • Step 5: Now Try to Hit the Target

Ques: What are the archery safety guidelines to follow?

Ans: The archery safety tips for beginners to follow:

  • Point the arrow in a safe direction only.
  • Nock an arrow when it is safe to shoot.
  • Determine where you want to hit, what’s in front of it, and everything behind that.
  • Do not shoot over a ridge.
  • Shoot only when you have a secure range or shooting area and a safe background or backstop.

Ques: What type of bow is best for beginners?

Ans: A recurve bow is the ideal type of bow for a beginner. With the most adaptable and cost-effective kind of bow, you may learn the fundamentals of archery before investing in a more expensive compound.

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  2. Henry Killingsworth Reply

    It was informative when you talked about how it is important to have your hand placement on a bow to be as consistent as possible. I would think that having a bow be the right size would be important for having the proper hand placement. If you are wanting to purchase a bow for archery, it seems like it would be important to make sure that it is the right size.

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