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Archery Drills

[10/22/2014] [Quiet]


Archery in Amtgard is a unique style of play wholly different than melee combat, though it requires no less dedication to excel. Archers must practice constantly to maintain their accuracy, while maintaining both arrows and their bow.

I've been doing Amtgard archery for about eight years. Here's some drills I do on slow park days:

"Empty Your Quiver" Prop a shield against a tree or wall. Stand 20' away, shoot the shield. Every time you hit the shield, take a step back. You win if you run out of arrows before you miss. Good for learning the natural arc of your arrows.

"Clay Pigeon" Nock one arrow, fire it straight up into the sky at full draw. Before the arrow hits the ground, attempt to draw another arrow, nock it, and hit the falling arrow. Bonus points if you keep your eyes on the falling arrow, not your nock.

"10 Paces" Similar to old-school pistol duels at dawn, two archers face off against each other. Start about 50' apart, and start firing at each other. Every time you miss your opponent, take a step forward. Winner is the first one to hit the other. Don't dodge too much, or it takes forever.

"Robin Hood" Two opponents, different objective. One archer fires at the other, that archer tries to hit the arrow out of the air with their own arrow. Yeah, it's really hard.

"Tug of War" Designate two endpoints, similar to Ring the Bell fields. Two archers face off against each other. The winner is the first archer to hit their opponent. The catch? Both archers stay on a line between the two endpoints, but may move as they please on that line, moving and firing. Expect lots of dodgeball-style chasing and firing.

These are some basic drills for improving various aspects of archery, such as accuracy, speed and mobility. While useful, the most effective means of improving one's archery is to keep shooting, as often as possible. It takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, and one can fire many, many arrows in even a single hour.


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