Book review: The Archer’s Reflex

Tackling target panic one page at a time

Up here at Bow Towers, we were excited to receive another book that tackled that trickiest of subjects: target panic. Author Jes Lysgaard is a trad archer from Denmark. While forms of target panic can strike any archer in any discipline, it is well known that target panic disproportionately affects unsighted bows, and this is the focus of the book. 

Lysgaard is a long-time Danish international in longbow, but here applies a background in psychology and hypnotherapy to uncover what our minds are actually doing when we are afflicted with this frustrating experience. The first thing he does is rename it as ‘the archer’s reflex’, as a more neutral and descriptive term, removing the word ‘panic’ – which is rarely a literal description of the problem. 

The book goes deep into the background around said reflex and the processes and triggers in the brain that can cause it. Unfortunately, the human subconscious ability to recognise patterns, so useful in so many other contexts, can get us stuck in a frustrating loop.

Lysgaard, through the usual medium of experience, analogy and diagrams, guides you through a method to deprogram your ‘stuck’ routine and build in its place a new, positive neural program with which you can regain control over your shot cycle, and hopefully, a brand new start with your shooting. 

The English edition runs at 90 pages. It’s short and mostly very readable – though the narrative occasionally wanders, there are more than a few distracting typos in the text, and certain sections such as ‘The Lavender Oil Experiment’ are a little more spicy than the average archery textbook. But if you are buying this book to solve a problem, you should get what you are looking for, and that’s easily the most important thing.

The Archer’s Reflex: at a glance

Published: Verlag Angelika Hörnig
Pages: 90
From: £11
Available from:                 
Also available on Amazon in print or as an eBook

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