Bernie Pellerite, left, talks with Norm Paullus of La Grande Sunday while conducting an archery course. The Observer/DICK MASON
, left, talks with Norm Paullus of La Grande Sunday while conducting an archery course.
This is the belief of one of the best, Bernie Pellerite
of Blacklick, Ohio.
Recognized as the best archery coach in the nation by the National Field Archery Association
appeared in La Grande last weekend.
conducted a certification class for archery instructors and shared a quiver full of wisdom.
emphasized that almost all archers shoot better in practice than at tournaments.
A major reason is tournament conditions are far different from one's practice environment.
At tournaments, chaos reigns because of crowds, noise, competitors and numerous other distractions.
Adrenaline-generating elements are not encountered when one shoots in the backyard, and Pellerite
believes these elements should be added to practice sessions.
"Get your adrenaline level up to what it will be at the tournament.
The difference between a tournament and practice is the A word,'' Pellerite
encourages archers while practicing to ...
also encourages archers to log where their shots land and record their efforts with a camera.
"Do it immediately while it is still fresh in your mind,'' Pellerite
says in his
book "Idiot Proof Archery."
Analyzing this "instant feedback'' will help greatly, he
"By recording your practice sessions, you can analyze and discover patterns and flaws,'' Pellerite
"To learn why and when you miss most often.''
also urges archers to put a mirror under their camera, leaning it against the tripod.
This will show a profile view of their form.
Archers should peek at the mirror before firing to see if they are doing something wrong like dropping their elbow.
Archers who detect a flaw should stop and start over.
This prevents them from developing bad form, Pellerite
Archers who do not engage in self-analysis may go years or decades before discovering their flaws.
"You may stumble through for 25 years and then it will fall from the sky, 'That's what I'm doing wrong,' '' Pellerite
said on Sunday.
In addition to self-analysis, archers can also improve their tournament performances by slowing down when competing.
Archers too often feel pressure to shoot quickly at tournaments because they believe everyone is looking at them, Pellerite
Archers should resist the tendency to hurry because when one fires many arrows in rapid succession fatigue sets in, reducing accuracy.
"Don't try to shoot three dozen arrows in three minutes,'' Pellerite
urges people to relax at tournaments and understand that everyone is not glaring at them.
"I don't want people to feel eyes on the back of their neck,'' Pellerite
said NFAA-certified archers carry greater instructional weight.
"If you are not certified, you don't have the opportunity to help someone.
Those (NFAA instructor) patches say, 'I know all the answers, ask the questions.'"
has certified more than 1,000 instructors.
He has also produced, written and directed 37 instructional videotapes, founded the NFAA's Shooters School and much more.
is also an accomplished bow hunter.