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  • Writer's pictureDavid McDowell

How to improve your release

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Archers that are disappointed with their release may be thinking about the wrong thing. I prefer to focus on the finish and not worry about the release. Once you are at full draw and have transferred to engage your back muscles, continue to expand and then finish the shot. This will involve a subconscious relaxation of your hand. Take note of where your hand ends up. If you have expanded and continue to pull through the finish, your hand will end up behind your head. This is a natural reaction (not a conscious action) due to the forces in play from the release of tension on the string. If your hand ends up where it was at anchor (a dead release), then you have not pulled through to "finish" the shot. It your hand ends up away from your face and not behind your head (a pluck), then most likely you did not obtain full alignment.


A great exercise to improve your finish: cup your fingers together with your bow hand's thumb pointed down and your draw hand's thumb pointed up. Go to your anchor position. Pull hard (using back tension) until your hands separate. As mentioned above take note of where your draw hand ends up.

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Thanks Bill for your additional comments!

I would also like to comment on Dave McDowell's free intro to archery class.  Boy I wish I'd had that before I started.  It's an excellent program that needs to be advertised.  However I've had severa

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