Shortly before heading to Texas, I noticed my grip had gotten severely out of whack. I’m sure it was something that slowly moved over time, and I just didn’t notice it, but it was now REALLY bad and needed fixed right away. Literally the same day I noticed this, I was contacted by an individual asking if I’d like to try out the True Shot Coach.
There are currently three versions available, but before I get into the differences of each one, I want to mention, if you use a finger sling (vs a wrist sling) your only option will be the True Shot Deluxe model. With that here is a quick rundown on each model. Also, all three models are available in a variety of sizes and colors.
This model is the same as the standard version, with one exception. The holes where you place your fingers are adjustable and only go around 2 of your fingers (ring and pointer) with the middle finger left exposed. I think this is a great option for someone who might have very small (or large) fingers in comparison to their palm size OR someone who doesn’t like to feel constricted on their fingers.
True Shot Deluxe w/Sling
This model takes the standard TSC and adds a finger sling to it. I want to again remind you, this is THE only model that will allow you to shoot without a wrist sling! The finger holes are identical to the standard (not adjustable).
Because I use a finger sling when shooting, I decided to test the deluxe version, as this would give me the closest approximation of my own personal shooting style. I will say, however, that if I used a wrist sling on my bow I would have chosen the standard version. Personally, I did not see an advantage to the adjustable version, with the standard fitting my fingers just fine. I tried (for feel) both the small and medium sizes, and I ended up with the small. It seemed to fit best with the size of my palm (which is small), while still having no issues with the finger holes (even though I have very fat fingers).
Now before getting into my actual thoughts on the product, I do want to add another word of caution here (putting my coaching hat on for a second). I see this product as a training aide, nothing more. What do I mean by this? Let me use another sport as an example. In swimming, we regularly used kick birds, fins, hand paddles, etc as training aids. These were things that helped us work on one specific aspect of our stroke, or they allowed us to simulate certain scenarios easier, but they were not something we would ALWAYS use or every even think of using in a competition. I see the TSC much in the same way. It is not a crutch for archers to rely on, but merely something to help them gain the feel of a particular aspect of their form. It can be used on a regular basis, but I do not think it should be used for the majority of shots taken daily. Feel free to disagree, but I felt it was necessary to give you my opinion.
Ok, so back to the product itself. The first time I used the TSC, I used it for an entire session of shooting (about 2 hours). At first I found it difficult to use, but this was primarily due to how I hold the bow and nock the arrow before drawing the bow. I found I wasn’t able to “hold” the bow like I wanted to bc it wanted my hand in the drawing position from the start. After some practice, I began to get the hang of a work around, so I was still able to keep my shot process relatively the same, but I was still able to use the TSC when it came time to draw the bow.
Because my grip had been so far off (I actually had the pressure to the right of my life line prior to Texas), drawing a bow with the TSC felt WEIRD. I didn’t like it, not because the product didn’t work, but because it did work and it was forcing me to do things different. The more I used it that session, the more normal it felt and I steadily gained confidence that I was getting my grip fixed.
After this initial session, I have only used the TSC in my first two ends each time I shoot. Much a recurve shooter might draw their bow with no arrow X number of times before shooting each time, I decided to use the TSC in the same manner. I wanted to warm up my muscle memory to remember where my hand should be each time I shoot. After two ends, I would take it off and go back to shooting normally. The second day, I found myself slowly moving my grip again, so I took it back out and made myself do another two ends with it on.
From my third day of using it on, I have found I do not need to “pull it back out,” after warming up, but I still start every session with it. Will I continue to do this long term, probably not. I think once I know the problem has completely corrected itself, then I will go back to not using it. However, I think it will be a great product to have around in the future, in case, I notice my grip changing slightly. This way I can hopefully catch it early and fix the problem before it gets as bad as it got for me.
One question you may have is, what about beginners. Should they start with this right away? I think their are probably different opinions on this, but I would suggest beginners not be introduced to this product initially. I think it can be a great tool, once they get started and you discover they have a grip issue, but it isn’t something I would set them up with without first going through the initial steps of teaching someone proper form. Otherwise, I think it can become very easy for the beginner to latch on to the product as something they NEED in order to shoot properly vs training them so they can do it without the TSC.
As you can see overall, I think there are a lot of advantages to this product. However, this would not be a thorough review if I didn’t take a minute to highlight what I saw as downsides of the product. First, one of the tags on the TSC sticks straight up, so depending on your arrow height in relation to your grip, you could actually end up with some contact. This is especially apparent with the deluxe version, as the finger sling leather hole is also in the same area, so there is even MORE stuff to get in the way. There are obvious ways around this, but in my mind its a small design flaw that could be easily fixed when
The only other negative I saw was this product is great for correcting grip problems related to 1)actually gripping or holding on to the bow or 2)placing the bow too far right in your palm, however, I don’t think it would effectively help with other grip related issues such as being too far left in your palm or an an incorrect up/down pressure. So much like any other training aid out there, this one has its limitations, and I don’t think that is a bad thing, as long as you are aware of that in advance.
Overall, I would give this product B+. It definitely works to correct certain problems, but it is not a tool for every archer. It is something that will definitely come in handy for people who tend to have grip issues, but if you’ve never struggled with this, then its probably not for you. I definitely think the material is sturdy and will hold up to a lot of use. The quality is there, so you know the TSC will last for years to come.
Do you have any specific questions related to the True Shot Coach? Feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll be happy to answer.