What? Huh..? How will I hit the target?
"Shoot with your eyes closed."
In my head, all I am seeing is Star Wars with Luke on the Falcon, light sabre training. Yes, I am that much of a geek. I hear Obi Wan's voice. "Your eyes can deceive you; do not trust them.."
Archery is all about hitting the bulls eye right? Actually, I have come to learn it isn't; in fact, what and where you are aiming is of so little importance that is actually barely matters at all.
I tell you: the "Ahhhh" moment when I actually understood that was..... Well it was epic... And it was in my 2nd year of shooting. I had heard it from day 1 but it didn't make any sense in my head. If you are trying to put an arrow in gold then aiming for gold is part of the process. Right?
I started shooting with my eyes closed and at first it was nerve wracking - arrows were going everywhere. So I gave up. There was this little voice at the back of my head (It might have been in a raspy 800-year-old little green guy's voice) "You must unlearn all that you have learned". So I did it again, and then again. I started paying attention to my breathing, I started feeling the balance of the bow in my hand, feeling the release of the string. I started paying a lot of attention to my body and how it moved from relaxed to draw to anchor to stretch to release and back to relaxed. Suddenly I was back on the target block and the group was closing.
Now, I am no Olympian and I don't shoot every day for hours. I am lucky if I get to shoot twice a week for a few hours at a go but I was seeing change and I understood. Point of aim isn't what is important. Consistency, the feel of the draw and stance, the - keeping with my geeky self here - "force" (Yes, I went there. You'll get over it.) matters more.
So there you have it, a point of interest on point of aim.