Q: Would you recommend getting a target to practise with at home? I have a safe backstop in my back garden, but it won’t fit a full-length range! Is it still worth getting one?
A: Definitely YES! Once you have your technique sorted out the key thing to see improvement is practising it, building consistency into your shot. The more you practise your technique the more it will begin to feel easier and more natural. It’s not always practical to get to an archery club six days a week, but in order to gain that fine control and perfection in your shot that’s the number of days a week you will need to shoot. If you have a practice range in your garden, or even a shorter one in your garage, you can shoot a lot of arrows in just one hour and this practice is almost as good as being out there at 50 metres. If you are working purely on building technique, then blank boss is a useful tool for gaining that feeling, and can easily be done at a short range. However, incorporating aiming into the shot creates a whole new challenge so don’t spend all of your time at blank boss. I would recommend getting a scaled-down face. For me, I know that my dot covers the 10-ring at 50 metres, so I want to keep shrinking a face down until it looks the same at my home practice distance. If you can shrink a face to look the same at whatever distance you practise as it normally does at your main competition distance, this will give you the most realistic feel.
You will be amazed at just how much shooting you can get done in a short space of time on a home practise target, when there is nobody around talking or looking for arrows. Even just one hour per night will make a huge difference.