What it isn't !!!!!!!!!
The ability for you to suck and your arrows to hit the 12 ring.
The ability for your arrows to magically decide when your pin is a inch off to the left of the 12 ring to just change direction and still hit the 12 ring.
What it is !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Forgiveness is the ability for your bow to send arrows directly behind the sight pin and hit exactly where your sight pin was when the bow fired. Period !!!!!
So to achieve forgiveness these are the things that can drastically improve how well your bow can send the arrows directly behind the pin every single time.
1. Learning how to sight in a bow really really good, this is a process and not to be taken lightly. Many many archers have no idea how to really sight in a bow.
2. Group tuning your arrows, I group tune my arrows to hit the same hole at 20 yards with a hooter shooter. I have taken away the human and allow myself to know that my arrows can and will hit the same no matter which one I shoot the next shot with.
3. Nock sets, I have learned with the hooter shooter the nock area is beyond important. If you have some nock pinch you are good to go, but if you have some slight gap between the nock and the nock sets or knots you are totally screwed.
4. Creep tuning part 1. If I am shooting indoor I like to creep tune my bow with the hooter shooter so that it shoots dead on same hole accuracy weather I pull hard or creep forward or execute perfectly.
5. Creep tuning part 2. If I am shooting 3d which means low back 12's I like to not creep tune my bow because when I am a little weak in the wall a non creep tuned bow will hit a little high which is nice and safe 10 just out the top of a 12. Non creep tuned bows shoot out the bottom if you pull hard and they shoot out the top if you are weak or creep forward. Since I never pull extra hard this allows me to hit dead on or slightly high. So forgiving on my score card.
6. My sight tape: I have shot with poor sight tapes many times and it overloads your course management, so I have learned how to make perfect sight tapes that take care of me from 20 to 80 yards.
7. Sight needle: Learning how to set a sight needle is why I have shot tons of clean 3d rounds locally and I believe I have shot 7 days of asa nationals as a unknown shooter clean over the years. If you do not know how to set a sight needle to survive a asa course you are freaking screwed.
8. Torque indicator: Right now I do not have a torque indicator on my bow, I make mine and attach them with duck tape to my bow riser and I can see it through my peep. So when I come to anchor and settle into the shot I can see my indicator and know if I am twisting the riser or not. This is huge to forgiveness. When I use one I simply do not hit left or right when on a 3d course.
9. Picking a good bow: I have shot a bowtech specialist, pse supra, matthews apex 8, pse evolve, prime ct9 and bowtech cpxl. The only one of these bows that will hold a sight pin for up to 3 or so months without needing a single windage click is the specialist. The other bows all needed clicks on a regular basis.
10 The Indian: When I do all of the things above it is now up to me to have a smooth execution and strong follow through right at the target and my arrows will hit behind the pin because I have covered all of the bases out there.