Target panic is a psychological disorder where an archer will freeze off target or flinch upon release of an arrow, causing a huge target miss or wounded game. If you have experienced target panic at some point in your archery training, know that you are not alone. In fact, over 90 percent of archers will experience target panic at some point in their lives. The best, most comforting thing you should know is that overcoming target panic is completely doable.
You do not have to give up the sport you love because of target panic. Overcoming target panic can be a long process, but if you stick with it you will be able to push through.
One of the best things you can do when you first start the process of overcoming target panic is to put down the bow and arrow and pick up your bow trainers. Being able to rebuild your shot from the ground up will help you take control of your target panic. By working with bow trainers and moving onto a practice rope, you’ll be able to make the first steps in gaining your confidence back
After working with a few archery rehab devices for a few weeks you might be feeling like it’s time to get your archery equipment back in your hands. Remember that target panic effects everyone differently so some people might take longer getting back to the bow than others. If you are ready to get back to the bow, it’s time to start shooting bales. Take off the sight on your bow and any target off your bales so your brain won’t automatically start thinking about aiming for the target and set you back. Stand close to the bale and close your eyes, just work on the shot process with your muscle memory until you feel more and more comfortable. Once you feel developed enough you can put your sight back on the bow. Continue this process slowly until you feel comfortable shooting once again.
If you want someone to walk alongside you and offer you target panic strategies, consider hiring a trainer or coach. They can give you archery strength training techniques that will help you establish a good core and help push you when you need it. Your journey to overcoming target panic doesn’t have to be done alone.