Breathing by Coach Jim White
At full draw, does your sight look like a butterfly with hiccups? The culprit could be oxygen deprivation! Have you ever been on the shooting line and just listened to other shooters (and maybe yourself) after the arrow has been sent on its way to the target? If so, you’ve probably heard a loud WHOOSH! of air being released by the shooter. Taking in a big gulp of air during the draw to help get the string back is a common tactic. It resembles a weight lifter raising the weight off the floor. However, holding your breath for the entire shot sequence promotes tension in your whole body and tension promotes movement in your sight picture.
Pistol and rifle shooters use a technique that helps to stabilize the shooting form. They take in a breath during aiming and then release about half of it while settling the sight on the target picture. Then they squeeze off the shot while the sight picture is steady.
Try this technique during your next practice session. As you start your draw, take in a deep breath. Then, as you approach full draw, release about half of the air in your lungs as you continue the draw with your back muscles, never stopping the drawing motion. Your sight should become steadier a little quicker and you won’t have to hold the full draw weight quite so long while acquiring the target.
Practice this until it becomes part of your shooting form and it will improve your scores.
Coach Jim White