Q: I shoot compound but tend to pull the string hard up against my nose. I have read and heard that this can interfere with the arrow flight on release – is this habit really that bad for my shooting?
A: This is an interesting query, because it seems logical to suggest that if the string is coming off solid contact with the nose it might well manifest as inconsistency on release. A number of top shooters, including my Aussie compatriot Pat Coghlan, have made a form change to ensure that there is no string contact with the nose at full draw, and leading coach Jim Park has previously written in detail about this contingency.
Most professionals however, do have some degree of nose contact with the string as an anchor reference without any apparent negative outcome at the target. To cloud the waters further, Italian shooter Sergio Pagni, nicknamed the ‘Sultan of Smooth’ for his clean and apparently effortless style, draws the string so aggressively into his nose at anchor that it looks as if it’s distorting his face. He’s not the only one to make it a prominent feature of his anchor either.
So the answer may come down to that old archery adage, that you don’t have to do it perfectly every time, you just have to do it the same. If the nose contact is a duplicated and comfortable part of your form, then the degree to which that contact occurs will not be critical to repetitive accuracy. My advice would be to experiment with both, and whichever provides you with the best mental assurance and comfort at full draw should be the one to go with.