Find Your Anchor Point In Archery – Most Vital For Your Success - My Archery Corner

Find Your Anchor Point In Archery – Most Vital For Your Success

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Find Your Anchor Point In Archery

After you have fully drawn your bow, it is time to find your anchor point.
Let me explain to you what an anchor is and how you find it:

The Definition of Anchor Point

I taught you in the previous lesson how to draw a bow correctly. I told you that you are finished with drawing the bow when your hand reaches your face.

If you now would just let the arrow fly your hand would be very shaky because it isn’t anchored.
To be anchored means that your hand has a place to cling to, to avoid shaking, and to be steady.

It also means that your hand will always be at the same spot before you let your arrow fly.
This is great for improving your shooting, as you can correct mistakes more easily when you always follow the exact same routine.

There are a few different types of anchors and I want to talk about the two most used anchors.
I am not planning to talk about the mechanical release in this lesson, because most beginners usually don’t use one of those.

The Side Of Face Anchor and The Under Chin Anchor

The names of the anchors already let you guess what the main differences are between them, and I am going to explain them to you as detailed as possible, while still easy to understand.

The Side Of Face Anchor

Find Your Anchor Point In Archery

Side of face anchor. Used under creative commons from: Hans Splinter

Like the name suggest this anchor uses the side of your face as its anchor point.
Draw the bow back until you can touch the corner of you mouth with the tip of your index finger.
Your thumb should be tucked under your jaw to grant some extra stability and your whole hand touches the side of your face.
When you have done everything right, the bowstring will touch your nose.
While using this anchor, always keep your hand as flat as possible!
Remember that the hand and wrist have to stay as relaxed as possible, only the fingers that hold the string should be tensed.

This anchor gives you several touchpoints in your face.
Your fingers touch the corner of your mouth and your jaw, the bowstring touches your nose, while your hand touches the side of your face.
Those touchpoints are very important because when you get used to them, you can always draw and anchor the exact same way and this will improve your accuracy a lot.

Like I said before, archery is all about getting a routine to wipe out mistakes and become a decent archer.

There are a few mistakes you can make while using this anchor:

  • Pluck the string
  • Dead Release

Plucking the string means that you move your hand away from your face before you release the arrow. This will undo everything you tried to achieve with your anchor and make your shots very inaccurate.
Don’t move your hand away from your face!

A dead release means that you let your arrow fly too early, by opening your fingers actively and let the bowstring shoot forward. This is not how you release the bowstring!
I will explain how to release the string properly later in my training.

The Under Chin Anchor

Find Your Anchor Point In Archery

Under chin anchor. Used under creative commons from: Fritsvanderven

I personally like and use this anchor, but this is a bit like the archery stances. You have to try and find out which suits you the best.
Don’t let anyone tell you that one anchor is better than the other. It is up to you!

While we pulled the string to the side of our face for the side of face anchor, we now pull it straight to our face until the string touches our nose and chin.
Alternatively, you can pull the string to the side of your nose so that it touches your chin and the corner of your mouth.

Either way, you will place your draw hand under the chin and press it firmly against the jaw.
This is a very stable anchor and offers many touchpoints, too
An additional touchpoint can be gained by using a “kisser button”. A kisser button is a small button that gets attached to the bowstring and touches your mouth when your bow is fully drawn.

It can take a bit longer to set this anchor up, compared to the side of face anchor, but it offers a lot of stability.

Possible mistakes of this anchor are:

  • Move your head forward to meet the string

  • Draw the bowstring with the tips of your fingers

  • Have a cupped hand

Avoiding these mistakes is rather easy:
You have to concentrate on what you are doing. Always check that you are doing everything correctly.
It helps to have a checklist in your mind to make sure everything is as it should be.

Things to remember!

You have come to the end of one of the most important steps in my training.
You need to find your anchor point in archery to become a good archer. It will help you get a routine and by doing so improve your accuracy.

Remember that your body has to look like a T.
I know that I said this a few times now, but it is so important.
It is the easiest way to find the correct body posture for archery.

Also, remember how to hook the bowstring correctly and keep your hand flat.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below if you have any questions or want to discuss anchor points or archery in general with me.

In the next lesson you will learn how to transfer the draw weight to your back muscles.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.



>> Next Step: Transfer The Draw Weight To Your Back Muscles

<< Previous Step: How To Draw A Bow Correctly

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(12) comments


This is a cool website. There’s not enough archery in the world! I have only tried it a few times, but I really enjoy it. I always find the arrow just drops down. I think I need a few lessons. It looks a little scary to have it resting on your face. Is it dangerous?


    Hello Todd,

    I agree with you that there is not enough archery in the world. 😉

    If the arrow just drops down you might have nocked it in a wrong way.
    When you follow all the steps of my training, it should already work better. Practice is important, too, of course.

    Those anchors are not dangerous at all as long as you nock the arrow correctly and release it correctly.
    The lesson after the next lesson will talk about how to release the arrow.
    The arrow itself doesn’t touch your face, only the bowstring and sometimes the nock a bit.




I watched archery on the tv and thought it would be great to have a go but have never seen any training before.
What you say about the anchors seems so commonsense but I wouldn’t have even thought about the need to know these things.
I used to like air rifle target practice occasionally but this is banned here now so archery looks like a good way of trying out something similar.
How do I find out if there are any clubs or groups who do training around where I live, are there any association websites?


    Hello Mark.

    Archery and air rifle shooting are quite different.
    If you haven’t already, please go through my whole archery training, so you don’t miss a vital step.

    If you would like to try something that is more similar to air rifle shooting, I would consider trying a crossbow.
    Read my crossbows for beginners guide and check out which crossbow I recommend for beginners.

    I have quite many projects planned for my website.
    One of them is a directory of archery clubs, but until then the best way to find one in your area would be to use google.
    Just type your city or state + archery and you should find something.

    Hope to see you around.
    Let me know how it goes.



Hi Moritz,

Great article, I really enjoyed reading it!

I never tried archery in my whole life , I am a bit scared of this sport. It seems to be fun and I suppose you need to be seriously concentrated, which is a big problem for me 🙂

I have a question though. Isn’t it better to try first with plastic arrows?

Thank you very much for this awesome blog



    Hello Daniella.

    Archery is only dangerous if people don’t take care of their own and others safety.
    I talk about this in my protective archery gear guide and safety guide.

    Plastic is not really a good material for arrows.
    They would be too light and break to easily.

    There are safety points, though, that are soft to make them safer.

    People who shoot with a bow have to be responsible and never underestimate their bow.
    But I don’t think that people have to be scared of archery.
    The chance of getting hurt is small, when the rules in my articles above are being followed.

    Archery is a fantastic sport.
    I hope you will try it one day.



Hello there,

I enjoyed your “how to draw a bow correctly” post and now this one is a lot of help as well. I think I am in the camp that prefers the side of the face anchor point and you are totally correct that practicing the same way every time will help to improve accuracy and also for when I need to make corrections. I will keep all of that in mind. How do you prefer to shoot?

Take care,



    welcome back. 🙂
    I have come to use the under chin anchor.
    I tried both but the under chin anchor just felt better to me and now I stick to it of course.
    So glad I could help you with my posts.

    All the best.



Very nice website, most of my friends here in Northern California are very much into hunting and fishing, some use crossbows. I am not sure if I am totally into the hunting part but there is a range in town that has archery I may be trying my hand with a couple friends,and from what I remember the last time I shot a bow, the sudden pain on the inside of my arm kind of hurt ( a lot ). I am sure this is caused by something I did wrong, and i’m sure the arm guard is not there for looks. Is there a common mistake that causes the bow string to glide along the arm ?. When I go out and try again I would like to not revisit that.

Thank you,


    Hi Paul.

    I think everybody who tries archery for the first time experiences those bruises. 😉
    That’s why, just like you said, everybody should wear an arm guard.

    With the right technique you can minimize the pain, though.
    The thing that most beginners do wrong is, that they don’t rotate the arm out of harms way.
    Depending on the bow, you can even avoid the bow string touching your arm completely.

    I would still recommend to always wear an armguard, though.
    Better save than sorry.

    I hope you will try archery again.
    It is such a great sport.

    Let me know when you need any help.



Hi, Moritz,
I am 67, and have been learning on a youth bow for about a year, due to lack of strength drawing the bow. Just now have ordered a new bow (17 lbs.). Been practicing a lot, but very inconsistent. Just read/heard about anchors. It makes so much sense. Practicong in a few minutes. Can’t wait to go back and read all the things you have to say. I enjoyed your explanations of the anchors. I started out with a trigger release, but didn’t like it. Now using nothing, but fingers get so sore and blistered. I need to find something else. Thanks for the article.



    Hallo Cathie,

    thank you for your kind words.
    I always recommend trying the different anchors and then decide which feels more natural to you.
    Once you have found “your” anchor, stick to it.
    Having an anchor will make your shooting much more consistent.
    In archery, you have to try to always do exactly the same. It has to become a routine.

    Take a look at my complete archery training here.
    Or subscribe to my newsletter. I will send you my e-book then. It is a compact guide that explains everything you need to know about archery.

    I also recommend shooting with your fingers and not with a trigger/mechanical release if you are still a beginner.
    Using just your fingers will make sure that you don’t form bad habits that could come with a release.
    I recommend getting a finger tab or a shooting glove.
    Either of them will protect your fingers and you won’t have to deal with blisters.
    But if you keep shooting without finger protection, your skin will harden and get calloused. Then you wouldn’t need a tab or glove anymore.
    I am always wearing a glove or tab!
    You don’t need to go through the pain and discomfort.

    I hope you keep enjoying archery!
    It is a fantastic sport.

    If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.
    I’d love to help you.


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