How to Fix Target Panic in Archery

For archers, target panic is an all-too-familiar nemesis that strikes at the very heart of their precision and confidence. 

As they draw their bows, anxiety sets in, leading to erratic shots and diminished performance. 

So, how to fix target panic in Archery?

To fix target panic in archery, follow practical steps for improved accuracy. Begin with aiming drills, holding your pin on the target, and periodically letting down to build composure. Master your shot process, focusing on grip, draw, anchor, aim, and trigger squeeze. Start shooting at close distances, gradually moving back to boost confidence. Consistent repetition reinforces muscle memory and mental focus. 

Additionally, consider removing the dot from your sight pin, allowing an unobstructed view of the target’s center for better shot execution. 

We’re going to explore the different avenues of target panic in archery and help you figure out the ways to cure it in this guide. 

What is Target Panic in Archery

Target panic in archery is a psychological and neurological condition, impacting both competitive and recreational archers. From subconsciously slowing down shot routines to struggling with aiming and drawing, the symptoms can vary. 

Originally linked to anxiety and fear of failure, it is now understood to be associated with how the brain learns neurologically. Addressing target panic can significantly enhance an archer’s confidence and accuracy. 

Practicing archery target from a distance.

Over the years, effective treatments have emerged, proving beneficial even for Olympic-level archers. 

Without further ado, let me introduce you guys to 5 effective tips to cure target panic in archery. Once and for all!

5 Tips to Cure Target Panic in Archery

1. Aiming Drills

I’ll start by recommending aiming drills. 

Practicing aiming drills are a great way to build focus and concentration in archery. It also works to improve your composure and decision-making during release. 

Begin with aiming drills to steady your focus. Maintain your pin on the target, and if you notice any wavering, gently let down, and rest for 15 to 30 seconds. Try aiming at the target again.

Repeating this exercise consistently helps you develop composure and control. As a result, you’ll see huge progress in your drawing time and feel more calm.

2. Go Through Shot Process

One of the most fundamental elements to success in archery is a clearly defined shot process. 

The shot process in archery refers to the sequence of steps that an archer follows when executing a shot. 

It is a technique that helps maintain consistency and accuracy in archery. A well-defined shot process includes specific actions and movements that an archer takes from the moment they draw their bow until the arrow is released.

Such a sequence of movements builds an automatic mental reflex. It also benefits the physical side of archery.  

Once you get accustomed to the shot process, you’ll find it easier to deal with target panic. 

Focus on your grip, draw, anchor, aim, and trigger squeeze with unwavering confidence and precision. 

Emphasize each step to maintain mental clarity and eliminate distractions.

3. Stay Close

If you’re a beginner, this can work as a great confidence booster!

Initiate your practice sessions at close distances to rebuild your shooting confidence. 

The goal is to hit the target as much as possible, ensuring each shot is executed with utmost focus. Pretty basic stuff if you ask me!

The gradual advancement will strengthen your archery skills and boost your confidence.

4. Move Back

Once you get comfortable with close-range archery practice, it’s time to turn the difficulty up a notch. 

Step by step, move backward from your initial shooting distance. 

Each step further builds your shooting confidence and solidifies your technique.

5. Repeat

Consistent repetition is essential to overcoming target panic. 

Incorporate the above tips into your practice routine and stick with them. Regular training reinforces muscle memory, enhances mental fortitude, and leads to tangible improvements.

21-Day Target Panic Cure Routine

Following a set routine is your best bet to cure target panic. To help you with that, we present you with a 21-day target panic cure routine. 

Let’s break down the routine in 3 different segments:

Day 1-7: Practicing Aiming Drills

Spend the first week on aiming drills to steady your focus. 

Start by doing the basics. Hold your pin on target, let down, and repeat. Once you get used to it, repeat this process multiple times each session, gradually increasing the duration of your holds. 

As your progress through the week, focus on your breathing technique and control to maximize your focus and composure. 

Lastly, start practicing visualization techniques while also focusing on improving your hold and grip for better control. 

Day 8-14:  Mastering the Shot Process

During the second week, we’ll be focusing on mastering your shot process. 

Mastering the shot process includes working on your:

  • Stance
  • Posture
  • Set-up
  • Raise
  • Pre-draw
  • Loading
  • Anchor
  • Expansion
  • Release
  • Follow-through

Pay close attention to your grip, draw, anchor, aim, and trigger squeeze. 

Throughout the week, you’ll be practicing each step deliberately to ensure consistent and controlled execution.

Day 15-21: Gradual Distance Progression

In the final week, start your practice sessions at close distances and steadily move backward. 

Take one step back each day and ensure each shot is delivered with utmost focus and composure. 

This gradual progression will enhance your confidence and accuracy.

To help you cure target panic, we’ve built this simple 21-day chart for you to incorporate into your archery practice routine:

DayFocus AreaActivity/Exercise
1Aiming DrillsHold pin on target, let down, and repeat
2Aiming DrillsIncrease hold duration
3Aiming DrillsContinue aiming drills, focus on breath control
4Aiming DrillsIncorporate visualization techniques
5Aiming DrillsPractice aiming under simulated pressure
6Aiming DrillsFine-tune holding technique
7Aiming DrillsMaster holding steady and release
8Master the Shot ProcessFocus on proper grip and draw
9Master the Shot ProcessPractice anchoring consistently
10Master the Shot ProcessEmphasize aiming technique
11Master the Shot ProcessWork on trigger squeeze control
12Master the Shot ProcessIntegrate mental focus and shot execution
13Master the Shot ProcessExecute shots with unwavering precision
14Master the Shot ProcessMaintain shot consistency under pressure
15Gradual Distance ProgressionStart shooting at close distances
16Gradual Distance ProgressionMove one step back in distance
17Gradual Distance ProgressionFocus on form and aim at a new distance
18Gradual Distance ProgressionAdjust for distance, continue consistent shots
19Gradual Distance ProgressionStep back further, maintain confidence
20Gradual Distance ProgressionHit the target with precision at an extended distance
21Gradual Distance ProgressionPerform confidently at various distances

3 Archery Drills for Target Panic

Target panic can be a daunting challenge for archers, affecting their shooting confidence and accuracy. However, with dedicated practice and these three effective archery drills, you can conquer target panic and regain control of your shots.

Steady Focus Drill

To build focus and composure, practice steady aiming on the target. 

Hold your pin on the bullseye for a few seconds, and if you feel any wavering, gently let down and rest. 

Repeat this process multiple times during each practice session, gradually increasing the duration of your holds. 

This drill helps train your mind to stay calm and maintain a steady aim, mitigating target panic.

Breath Control Exercise

Include breath control into your shot process. 

As you draw your bow, take a deep breath, and release it smoothly before executing the shot. 

Focusing on your breathing helps you stay centered and composed during the shot, reducing anxiety and target panic. 

Practice this exercise regularly to enhance your shot consistency and mental composure.

Visualization Technique

Use visualization to overcome target panic and improve your shot execution. 

Before each shot, close your eyes, visualize a successful shot hitting the bullseye, and feel the satisfaction of a perfect release. 

This mental imagery reinforces positive shooting experiences and builds confidence. 

Embrace this technique in your training routine to build mental resilience and combat target panic effectively.

Integrating these three archery drills into your practice regimen will help you overcome target panic and elevate your shooting performance. 

With steady focus, controlled breathing, and positive visualization, you can regain confidence in your shots and hit the bullseye with precision. Remember to practice consistently and maintain patience as you work towards conquering target panic in archery.


Will a hinge release cure target panic?

Hinge release is the best release aid for overcoming target panic. The advantage of this release is its ability to prevent shot anticipation due to the absence of a trigger or button. Instead, the shot is executed through rotational movement.

Do I focus on the pin or the target?

It depends on your preference and shooting style. Some focus on the pin for precise aiming, while others focus on the target for instinctive shooting. Experienced archers prefer focusing on the target while beginners find it easier to focus on the pin. 

Final Words

That concludes our guide on how to fix target panic in archery.

These effective techniques empower archers to cure target panic, achieve better precision, and excel on the range. 

That’s all for today. Have a good day!

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