• Stand one foot either side of the shooting line, as close to an imaginary line drawn to the centre of the target as your neighbouring archer will allow.
  • Stand with your feet about shoulders' width apart.
  • Stand to attention but without tension.

Holding the string and the bow

  • Take hold of the string with the index finger above the knock of the arrow and the middle and ring finger under the knock, without pinching the arrow.
  • Hook the string in the crease of the first joint of your fingers.
  • The bow hand should hold the bow comfortably so that the back of your hand is at an angle of 45 degrees. Relax the fingers
  • DO NOT GRIP the bow.
  • Take up a little tension of the string so that you have a 'pre-draw' stance that comprises a straight line from the point of the arrow (currently pointing at the ground) along the arrow and up your arm to the elbow.

Addressing the target

  • Only now should you turn to look at the target.
  • Keep your head erect.
  • Raise the bow arm to shoulder height.
  • Don't hunch your shoulders - keep them low and relaxed.
  • The elbow of the bow arm should be turned away from the string.

Drawing the bow

  • Draw the string back steadily with your back muscles, moving your shoulder blades towards each other.
  • Keep your elbow up level with your hand.
  • Draw the string back to your face.
  • Do not move your face to the string.
  • Locate your draw hand so that the index finger is against the lower edge of your jaw.
  • Keep your teeth together so the face location is consistent.
  • The string should touch the middle of your nose and chin.
  • Bow hand, draw hand and elbow should form a straight line.


  • Aiming is done with the eye nearest to the bow.
  • Try to ensure the string is lined up vertically down the centre of the bow riser.
  • Centre the sight on the gold, keeping the back muscles under tension.


Release and follow through

  • Keep pulling the shoulder blades towards each other whilst relaxing the fingers drawing the string.
  • Keep the bow arm aiming at the gold (even pushing it towards the target very slightly as you release).
  • Do not lower it until the arrow hits the target.  If wearing a bow sling, relax your bow hand and let the bow drop.
  • The draw hand should be relaxed and end up near or behnd your ear.