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March 31, 2020

Stretch Band Practice Games & Activities

A loop made out of resistance tubing or stretch band material is one of the safest and most affordable ways to practice shooting archery when you are not able to get to the range or don’t have access to the equipment. Red resistance tubing is a light medium resistance and is recommended for most archers and yellow resistance tubing is light resistance and may be preferred for archers under 10 years of age. Resistance tubing is preferred over bands as the tubing provides a similar feel to the bow string.

To make a resistance tubing practice loop do the following:

  1. Cut some resistance tubing 40-42 inches in length.
  2. Take the two ends and hold them together
  3. Tie a knot approximately 1-2 inches from the ends while holding the ends together.

Stretch Band Practice combined with Imagery at a target

In this exercise, the archer combines practicing their entire shot cycle while using a stretch band and a small target face. The smaller the target face, the more realistic this will be. The archer will simply tape a small target face to the wall in an open area and practice going through their shot cycle just as if they were shooting at a target face. They can imagine they are shooting against their archery idol or shooting for the gold at the Youth World Championships or JOAD National Championships. They can also up the ante and imagine performing in difficult situations and scenarios such as strong wind or rain conditions or with a big crowd watching.

A couple of notes:

  • Be sure to use a finger sling so you don’t shoot your stretch band across the room.
  • Make sure no one is in front of you and that you always point the stretch band in a safe direction.
  •  If you don’t have a target face, print one off from online or draw your own. Try to make the size of the target face similar to how the target will appear at the distance you normally shoot.
  • Add in crowd noise on your smart phone by playing a video of crowd noise on YouTube.
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Stretch Band Golf

In this game, an archer can play by themselves or with a partner. They will need a stretch band and a tennis ball. The archer will venture outside into their yard and toss the tennis ball like a bocce ball 30-60 feet (10- 20 yards) away. They will then take their stretch band and shoot at the tennis ball. The archer will walk to where their stretch band lands, and then shoot from that location at the ball again. The archer will repeat this as many times as it takes to hit the tennis ball. This also serves as great field archery practice if you have hills and trees to shoot around.

A couple of notes:

  • Do NOT use a finger sling in this game.
  • Make sure no one is in front of you and that you always point the stretch band in a safe direction.
  • Always practice safety.
  • Keep track of your shots just like golf and do 9 or 18 rounds. For each round, toss the ball in a different location.
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Stretch Band Holding SPT

In this exercise the archer will use a stretch band and will go through their shot process. After the archer gets to anchor and feels braced, they will hold the position and brace the stretch band for as long as they can between 15-30 seconds. The archer then gets twice the amount of time to rest before going to the next set. For younger athletes this doubles as a focus exercise and math exercise.

A couple of notes:

  • Some national team athletes do this for up to an hour with their actual bow.
  • Mix it up a little and use two stretch band simultaneously to increase the draw poundage. • Perform the process in front of a mirror and be your own coach.
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