Clickers – My progress with the Olympic bow

I recently decided to try out Olympic style archery, having come from the barebow world.

I had been using a heavy barebow riser so I purchased an appropriate riser and the gear involved.

One of the items I purchased is a clicker. For those that don’t know, it is a metal strip that rides against the outside edge of your arrow as it is drawn, when the arrow is pulled beyond the clicker, the clicker springs to the riser, striking it and making a sound, which indicates to the archer that they’ve reached their pre-determined draw and can release the arrow.

Clicker - front view

Sounds simple but for it to work well means that your draw and form have to be consistent.

What I’ve found is that this little strip of metal is quite the taskmaster and if you’re paying attention it will point out your form errors.

Getting your errors pointed out to you is often two sided. When I’m struggling to pull through the clicker and I’m feeling frustrated it can very much be a pain in the patookie.

When I take the time to analyze why I’m struggling, allow it to sink through, figure out what the issues are and then see arrows striking gold, I feel uplifted and happy about the challenge.  What have the issues been, you ask?

The easy one to catch for me was not locking my bow shoulder down and letting it ride up which makes going through the clicker near impossible.

Clicker - side view

I also caught inconsistent finger grip on the string. This one has absolutely forced me to pay close attention at how I hook the string and what happens to this hook once under tension at full draw.

More insidious though are things like stance and I am now suspecting head position.

I realize now that all these little problems have existed all along but I was mostly unaware of them. I’ve had my suspicions but nothing like the clicker to make you stop and figure it out.

One of the things that I’ve come to appreciate about this little strip of metal is that aside from it’s intended function it is a good training aid, a bit of the yellow canary of archery, it gives a warning that something is not as it should.

I’m excited about learning the ways of Olympic archery and although frustrating at times the knowledge that I’m improving pushes me along. More to come..