The Archery Association of Tamil Nadu (TAAT)

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MISSION: Project AMMA (All-out Medal Mission in Archery)

TAAT

THE ARCHERY ASSOCIATION OF TAMIL NADU

"The official state body of Tamil Nadu Archery!"


HOW HEAVY SHOULD A BOW BE?

Many of my Archers keep asking me if they can increase the poundage of their bow for better results. Some go around with the feeling that heavy poundage increases the velocity of their arrows so will be less affected by wind and so want to jump many pounds above their current limbs. The result is they have less control on their shooting and erratic scores and suffer from injuries that take time to heal and set their preparations many months backwards.

Increasing poundage without sufficient preparation of muscles by weight training is a grave error one must avoid. My coach Pascal Colmaire always says "why will you need an elephant to kill an ant?"

A good test will be to check if you can hold a bow at full draw at anchor for 25 seconds x 36 times without getting tired. If the answer is yes then you can increase 2 pounds.

Please remember that the poundage of a bow is not what the limbs say. The limb weights are set at the draw of 27 inches. With every additional increase of 1 inch the bow weight increases 2 pounds and the same way it decreases for every inch lesser than 27 inches. It also varies with the size of your handle.

I am hereby attaching excerpts of a recent article on the world archery site for your reference.

- Shihan Hussaini
Chief State Archery Coach - Tamilnadu

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Shooting heavy draw-weights requires an archer to have adapted their physical training. It is essential that poundage is not increased beyond physical capability to prevent injury. One of the most common questions that people unfamiliar with archery ask is, whether you have to be really strong to shoot and if a heavier bow can give better scores.

The universal advice is to start shooting at a low poundage and work your way up in weight as your strength and technique improves. For shooting outdoors at 70 metres, a more powerful bow will push the arrow faster, meaning it will be less affected by wind, but being able to control the bow and execute a shot accurately is more important than raw power.

After shooting 55 pounds for the last two years, Steve's teammate Sjef van den Berg has come down to 50, too. He said that if you shoot too high a poundage, it's difficult to execute technique properly.

None of the top archers started shooting such hefty weights without working up to it. It's a mistake that many improving archers fall into, sacrificing progress in form for an expected quick-fix in arrow speed that accompanies a poundage increase. It rarely, if ever, works out - and can cause serious injury.

"I see a lot of young people who go up way too fast in terms of poundage, and I would definitely recommend taking it very slow," said Steve Wijler. The ability to pull back a heavier bow shouldn't come from shooting arrows either. Archers should weight train, even with the bow itself, to build the strength - so that there's not the damaging effect on routine. And there's practically no need to hit the heavy heights that some archers shoot.

Chang Hye Jin became Olympic Champion in Rio shooting a bow that weighed just 39 pounds on her fingers. Korean archery concentrates on high training volumes, repetition and - unsurprisingly - consistency. High bow weights just wouldn't be as sustainable.

"There's a physical difference between Asian and Western archers. The height and muscle of Asian athletes do not fit so well with heavier bows," said coach Kim Seonghoon.

"It's always about getting the tune absolutely right. We try to get the perfect combination between the athlete and the equipment."

So how heavy is a bow? Exactly as heavy as it needs to be for an archer to have absolute control, perfect tune and prevent injury. After all, it's better to shoot a slow 10 than a fast eight.

- John Stanley
World Archery article.



Tamil Nadu Olympic Association (TNOA)
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Archery Association of India (AAI)
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Indian Olympic Association (IOA)
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World Archery (WA)
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