The archer steps into position, comfortable and grounded. She readies an arrow on the string and takes a deep breath letting it out slowly. Her eyes look up from the ground and she sees the target for the first time.
Twenty yards away, tacked to the white backstop is an “X”. It is surrounded by concentric circles moving away from the X in evenly spaced waves. But, they of no consequence. There is only the X. For the next few seconds, or perhaps a lifetime, there is only the X. While her conscious mind focuses only on the X, the archer’s subconscious performs the routine that has been perfected over years of repetition.
Three fingers of the archer’s right hand curl around the bow-string, while the right hand finds its familiar spot on the bow’s hardwood handle.
Down range, the archer’s vision focuses on the point where the lines intersect. Only the spot where they intersect. Everything else disappears from view.
The bow arm comes up until the arrow is aligned with the point where the lines intersect. In one smooth motion, the bowstring and arrow are drawn back until the fingers touch the bony ridge along the archer’s jaw line.
From this point the tension in the Rhomboid muscles of the back begin to contract. The arms and hands are relaxed with the exception on the finger curl of the string hand. The subconscious runs through an invisible checklist and decides whether or not the shot feels right.
The spot where the lines making the X connect breaks apart until there is only one dot of ink left on the target. No larger that a pin point. It is the only thing the eyes see.
The shot feels right and the back muscles continue to contract until the string fingers simply allow the string to move forward. it is not a conscious thought or action, just the result of the back tension no longer allowing the fingers to hold the string.
As if by magic, the arrow appears on the small dot of ink that the eyes are focused on. Only then does the back release. Only then does the archer realize that the shot has been made.
One perfect shot!