WHAT IS A CLICKER AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
A clicker is a piece of archery equipment used on a recurve bow and gives an audible "click" when the arrow point is drawn through the clicker.
The archer trains to use this “click” as the signal to shoot the arrow. New and intermediate experienced archers do not use the clicker as they develop the basis skills but as the archer develops and becomes more consistent and wants to achieve any sort of success in recurve archery the clicker is a must use device.
For a recurve archer the clicker serves a number of roles,
1. The clicker ensures consistent draw length, which equates to using the same amount of stored energy for each shot. Variations in draw length from shot to shot will store different amounts of energy in the bow and this will result in high/low and left to right variations from shot to shot. High/low shots due to variation in the amount of stored energy from shot to shot and this variation in stored energy will have an effect on how the arrow reacts when shot causing left /right
2. Although many may consider variation in stored energy a major factor when shooting the most important aspect of a clicker is to provide an audible signal “click” that the archer’s uses as an external stimuli to release. Using this audible signal to release directly leads to repeatable and consistent results. Ideally the release should be an auto response to learned stimuli such as the audible “click” of the clicker.
Without a clicker the archer must rely upon feel and visual inputs to indicate when to shoot, this will lead to 'flinching, freezing, and creeping' as the archer is never quite sure when to shoot.
Not using a clicker has a major effect on an archer’s ability to shoot repeatable and consistent scores from shot to shot.
The clicker is usually a flat piece of spring metal or recently introduced carbon fiber or a piece of wire activated by a magnet. The clicker generally mounts to the inside of the bow window, most modern bows have pre-drilled holes designed to accept the clicker or in some cases may mount under the sight mounting block or onto the sight extension.
HOW TO USE A CLICKER
In use, the arrow is placed under the clicker, all arrows must be cut to exactly the same length, if not this will lead to inconsistency as variation in arrow length, which will lead to variation in stored energy at full draw.
· As the bow is drawn the arrow moves back under the clicker so at full draw no more than 1mm to 2 mm of the point remains under the clicker.
· The archer sets their anchor and aims while maintaining tension and their position under the clicker. As part of the drawing action when ready the archer simply exerts additional backward tension (back muscles) and the arrow is drawn through the clicker.
· Where the clicker falls away from the arrow point its makes an audible clicking sound and the archer activates the release upon hearing this sound. It is important that the archer learns to release immediately they hear the sound.
The clicker is used as a trigger to shot.
DETERMINING CORRECT DRAW LENGTH
It is imperative before an archer starts to use a clicker that must ensure they are using the correct length arrows and that all arrows are cut to the same length.
An archer’s draw length will vary from the initial draw length they had when they commenced learning the skill of shooting and settles down after a few weeks as they develop a consistent bio-mechanical technique.
It is important that a coach access the archer and assists them with determining their correct draw length.
SETTING UP THE CLICKER
Attach the clicker to the bow and have the coach roughly set the clicker in the position that suits the arrows to be used.
Initially the archer should be taught to watch the point of the arrow. As they draw they watch the clicker blade move onto the arrow point, as this happens they look away toward the target and aim, while maintaining the tension of the draw.
Watching the arrow point must never become a habit. In time watching the clicker is not necessary as it does interfere with concentration. As the archer develops the correct technique, posture and body alignment and becomes consistent with the drawing process they start to draw within a couple of mm of the clicker going off each shot, at this point they should stop watching the arrow point and only focus on the target when drawing.
If the archer’s draw technique, posture and body alignment is not consistent from shot to shot the process of moving the last couple of mm to make the clicker “go off” can’t be achieved in a smooth flowing movement but will require the use of excessive muscular effort or force.
If muscular effort or force is used make the clicker go off it will not be a smooth consistent process from shot to shot.