The madness of Italian Olympic champion archer Michele Frangilli

The Olympics brought a host of new foreign archers to the attention of US archery enthusiasts. One of these was Michele Frangilli, who was part of the three man team that won the Gold in Team Men’s Archery. (The US took Silver, and the South Koreans improbably took Bronze).

As a novice archer who is still working on mastery of the shot, the thing I find so amazing about Frangilli is how he anchors. Remember that to be a consistent archer, you have to be able to do everything the same every time you shoot. Tiny differences in your skeleton, muscles, and their position and alignment will result in inconsistent shooting.  Look at these three stills of Frangilli moving to his anchor point.

Step 1: He’s not yet anchored, but pretty close. Look at his mouth and head position.

Step 2: This is pretty close to fully anchored. He’s still adjusting his mouth and his lips have moved to the other side of the string.

Step 3: fully anchored, mouth on the extra string nock.


Frangilli’s results are not in doubt.   He and his two teammates just won the Team Mens competition at the 2012 Olympics in London.  But as a novice archer watching him, it seems unfathomable that so much motion at the end of the draw could possibly be executed perfectly the same every time and result in a consistent shot.  And yet it does.

If you want to see a live videotape of Frangilli’s face and anchor while shooting, we’ve pulled this clip from  YouTube.  The segment you want starts at 4:34.


  1. David Chan on August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    While Frangilli is not new to the archery arena, Watching so many amazing international archers is new to many American and new archers.

    What we doesn’t see is how Frangilli actually anchors. The few angles we get to see of Frangilli does not show it well either.

    Frangilli actually draws to “almost anchored” and hooks his thumb behind his neck, Then adjusts his face, hands and anchor before pulling through the clicker. If you watch his bow arm, he actually has to flex it a little as he sets up his anchor, just so he doesn’t pull through the clicker before settling in to his shot.

    Shabbir’s observation of how much movement happens during the setup of the shot is spot on.. We try to teach our new students to try to stay set so there is a lot less to re-adjust during the shot but the scores don’t lie. Frangilli is an amazing and consistent archer. His shot cycle works for him but any one want to take a guess at how many arrows he has had to shoot to get that shot cycle down?

    • Gerard on August 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      “Frangilli is an amazing and consistent archer. His shot cycle works for him but any one want to take a guess at how many arrows he has had to shoot to get that shot cycle down?”

      And Frangilli is holding back around 55 pounds of draw-weight while he is going through his complex contortions. He uses a great deal of time and strength using his technique. Definitely not something most archers should attempt.

  2. Katherine on August 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I would think that pouting like that results in an inconsistent anchor…but he got gold so he must be right (not really) 😀