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The other day I was out getting some target practice in with my bow.  I hadn’t shot it since last fall, so I wanted to dial in on my marksmanship.

Shooting consistently is all about the summation of little habits- If I position my body the same way every time, my arrow goes in more or less the same place.  The focus is on getting my wrist at the same angle every time, and finding “anchor points” on my face.  That is, as I draw the string back, I place my thumb to my face and the string to my nose in exactly the same place each time.  By having the anchor points, I know that I’m holding my bow  the exact same way each time.

As I shot my first 5 or 6 groupings of shots, my arrows were pretty inconsistent.  Even though I knew where my anchor points were, I couldn’t seem to line them all up at the same time.  As I put my thumb just under my jaw, my wrist would turn to a funny angle.  Or, as I put my nose to my string, my hand would drift to a different spot on my face.

I was getting a little frustrated, and couldn’t seem to figure out why I couldn’t get all these little habits to fall into place at the same time.

Luckily, I’ve got a partner in crime, Terry, who happens to be an excellent shot.  As an outside observer, Terry was able to see something that I couldn’t- my weight was shifted back over my rear leg. This shift in base of my lower body had changed everything going on in my upper body, thus I couldn’t shoot well.

On my next grouping, I made sure to keep my weight centered as I shot, and, as a result, all of my anchor points clicked into place.  And then BOOM!- probably the best grouping I’ve ever shot.

The summation of little habits will lead to excellence- but sometimes we have to realign our foundation in order to allow the habits to stick.