Target panic to me, is a mental issue that is just a fear of failure. It basically is just the inability to put your sight pin on the target and execute a shot without anticipation of missing. Some people start shooting a bow with target panic and some archers develop it over time - either way, it's extremely common and most archers will face it at one time or another.
Is it the same for everyone?
There are different levels of target panic and people deal with it in their own way. Some archers get their sight pin up to their spot and struggle to get it directly in the middle or over the target. Others can barely get their pin on the paper or 3D target before their brain is telling their hand to let the arrow fly. You can seek help from a coach. You can seek help from a professional. The only way you can defeat this mental issue is to prove to yourself you have the capabilities of conquering it. If your brain were a computer, you would need to completely wipe out your existing programs and start over with new software. Panic CAN be cured! Each person is different in how they handle it and the time it takes to execute without anticipation.
Does everyone struggle with target panic?
If you haven’t had it, it is very likely you will get it and have to deal with it. If you have a strong mental game and focus on the shot execution you may never encounter “TP”.
The best archers in the world have had it, conquered it, got it again and have to deal with it all the time depending on the environment.
I am often asked which Scott releases would be best to overcome target panic, and my go-to response is always the back tension or hinge style releases. The Scott Babyhorn or Mini Advantage for small hands or kids, the Scott Advantage for a great release that won’t break the bank, the Scott Ascent for the most adjustability in a back tension release and the Scott Hex for someone that wants to learn what tension releases are all about without the fear of mis-firing one.
The real key here is to pick something that doesn’t have a trigger to set the release off.
Don’t get me wrong, you can punch or fire ANY release aid. You have to be committed and disciplined enough to want to cure your issues. A back tension or hinge allows an archer to have a lot of travel in their release before it fires and shot correctly (see this video of Tommy Gomez adjusting the Ascent release), it will decrease the anxiety in your shot and help you cure the anticipation of the arrow impact.