9 top tips for shooting big scores indoors

The outdoor archery season is done and – in the northern hemisphere, at least – the days are getting colder, the nights longer and archery’s moving indoors.

For the next few months, the longer distances will be forgotten and most archery takes place over 18 metres, the standard for the World Archery indoor discipline. (Although there are variations, of course.)

Here are 10 top tips on getting prepared for this indoor season…

1. Prioritise technique

Italy’s Sergio Pagni – the first Lucky Dog to win Vegas, in 2016 – said he changes his technique ahead for the indoor season.

“I try to find the most comfortable position for aiming,” explained Pagni. “I usually shoot a lot more closed indoors. For both the European indoor and world indoor I won, I was shooting very closed.”

2. Every arrow counts

“There’s a long time between the end of one outdoor season and the start of the next,” said Lucas Daniel. “So indoors is essential for competition training during that period.”

Qualification and matches are high-scoring indoors, and Lucas thinks this helps to prepare you for the rigours of the outdoor season, because “every arrow counts”.

3. Focusing on 18

Italian archer Matteo Fissore, known as something of an indoor specialist, has been more active in the winter season than during the outdoors. He said that if you’re one of the few that treats 18 metres with more importance, you’re likely to see yourself climbing the leaderboards.

“You don’t see it so much with compound archers because the indoor season is just as important as the outdoor,” added Peter Elzinga. “Oh, but…”

4. “…buy big arrows”

It’s a rare sight to see a compound archer shooting thin shafts indoors. With recurve archers, it’s a split.

“Linecutters are important,” added Peter.

5. Own your shot

Long-time top international Braden Gellenthien said that being in full control of a well-practised, well-orchestrated technique is what sets you apart over 18 metres. One part preparation, an equal part confidence in your own abilities, the two combined – said Braden – lead to indoor success.

6. Aiming

“Eighteen metres might not be the longest distance, but the centre is the size of a nickel. Having a solid aim is key here. Don’t let that pin float around too much,” said USA coach Mel Nichols.

7. Learn

Indoors is a relaxing time of the year for Mackenzie Brown, but “it is still competition and I like to be competitive.”

She added that it is a good opportunity to test equipment and get meaningful arrows and learn ahead of the next outdoor season.

“Never let defeat define you unless it defines you as someone who becomes a better winner from loss,” she said. Wise words.

8. Keep it snappy

With the target so close indoors, and a lot of focus on aiming right at the spot, it’s easy to get dragged in to adjusting your shot timing, taking too long to execute.

“A good aim and a quick, well-timed release will do the trick,” said Crystal Gauvin.

9. No magic formula

“It’s still all about practice,” said Stephan Hansen. “For compound archers, 18 metres is not that different to 50. If you miss the 10 at the international level, you’re out.

Time to head back to the range, then!