Tools for Solo Archery Practice
While it would be great to have a coach present at every practice, the reality for many archers is that most of our practice time is spent alone or with others who aren’t in a position to offer feedback or coaching. Fortunately, the availability of mobile phones and tablets means that a variety of video analysis and tracking tools are available to make self-coaching easier than ever.
Any mobile phone or tablet use will require a tripod of some kind. The Joby GorillaPod is a great choice if you need something ultraportable, but for most people a fullsize tripod will be more useful. There are many models to choose from with a range of prices and weights. Almost anything will do indoors, but practicing outdoors with the possibility of a wind gust tipping over your expensive mobile device, make sure to get something stable. Some tripod models have a small hook below the head from which you can hang some extra weight for added stability. The best models will collapse to a surprisingly compact size and feature carbon fiber construction for the lightest possible weight.
There are many phone and tablet mounting options, but I’ve come to rely on the Square Jellyfish mount for my iPhone and the iShot G7 Pro tablet mount for my iPad. Both are size adjustable and will work equally well with devices from any manufacturer.
For simulating competitions I like to use a shot clock during some of my practices. The Archery Clock app works on an iPhone or iPad and does exactly what the title says. You can set the time for each end and use the large buttons to start or stop the clock. The app produces the familier double or single tones and tracks the total number of ends. It can also be configured as a timer for a two-person match.
It is easy enough to set a phone or tablet to record a single shot, end, or practice session for review later, but I find it more useful to review my progress more frequently. The Video Delay Instant Replay Pro app does exactly that by displaying a time-delayed video on the screen. Ater starting the app, the user sets a delay of some number of seconds and lets the app start recording. Once the camera is positioned, the archer simply looks at the screen to see a replay of what the camera captured previously. A delay of 15–20 seconds seems to work well for reviewing details of my shot process.
Finally, for tracking scores and logging arrow counts across many training sessions, my favorite archery scoring app is Rise because of its excellent analytics and ease of use.
The tools for video analysis and analytics have never been better. All of us are walking around with high-resolution and high-framerate cameras in our pockets. It would be a shame not to use them to improve our archery performance.