September Update

With the official start of autumn, I thought I would take some time to write to all my followers to let them know what is going on with me.

???????????????????????????????A quick recap, August 7th – 10th was the Ontario Summer Games , which was  held in Windsor Ontario.  Since I am no longer eligible to compete at the Ontario Summer Games, because I have competed at the Canada Games, I decided to coach the Eastern Zone team.  This year was supposed to be Niagara Falls but there was a change in plans and the city of Windsor was kind enough to take over. They did a very good job with such sort short notice.

???????????????????????????????Being the coach at an event like this was a very different experience for me. At times I forgot that I was not shooting and other times various people forgot I was the coach.  One great experience was coaching my little brother Joshua, at 14 years old, in a very competitive field in his very first summer games.  The other athletes seemed to tower over him and yet he was able to capture the Men’s cadet recurve silver medal.  This year delivered the best results for the eastern zone archers since I have started participating, with almost half our athletes going home with medals.   I would like to believe in some small way my coaching assisted our athletes, probably not since they are all amazing athletes without my help, but it is nice to think about.

Recently, I had a couple of questions posted to my website and thought I would take time to answer them now….

My 3X10 arrows for 18M/40cm score is ~ 175 for a long time (both indoor and outdoor). I feel hard to improve the score/consistency. How can I make a breakthrough? I am a 12 years girl. Maybe I should buy more expensive arrows?

Having had been 12 at one point of my archery life, I can understand the frustration you are feeling. Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about your set up, or form, or even how much you practice. However, that being said this would be my advice to you. (Assuming form is fine) I would try to see if there is a better arrow spine that would work better for you and maybe try to see if you can increase your draw weight a little (do NOT jump too much if you can’t handle it). The draw weight should help you get some more speed off the arrow making it more forgiving. The arrow spine/type sounds like it could be the main issue, you may not have enough or you may have too much flexibility in your arrows for your draw weight so it is causing it to fly crazy. Keep in mind given your age you may have to change a lot because you are at a point in your life where your body is making a lot of changes too, like your height. Remember when you are making changes it is just like a science experiment, where you change only ONE factor at a time otherwise you don’t know if you are making it better or worse, and you won’t know what is causing it.  Also make sure you remember where everything was before you make changes so that you can go back to it if worse comes to worse.

How to avoid bow arm (and shoulder) drop right after release? My understanding is that the bow arm should be strong and straight, and only drop the bow hand (dog sit) with the help of sling. My bow is very heavy; I have a tendency not to hold the bow strong after release. Maybe my bow is too heavy. I also shoot very fast because of not to holding bow long enough. How can I overcome these bad habits?

If you are finding it hard to hold the weight you have, then yes you should take off enough weight so that you can hold and control the bow.  Periodically I take off the weight, so I can make sure I have the basics of archery correct. Don’t worry, practicing and training will allow you to reintroduce the weight back in no time whatsoever, but listen to your body first and foremost.

It is important to stay strong and straight throughout the shot however remember not to be tense. When you see other archers “dropping” their wrist, this is result of the stabilizer when it moves with ease, out of your hand and swings itself down. So it looks like your wrist is bending but it really isn’t, your wrist is just tagging along for the ride.

Concerning shooting too fast, if you are finding you don’t have enough energy between shots as you practice or compete, you should practice waiting a little bit of time between shots. This is the 10th step in the 10 steps of archery.  It is important to take your time as well as be fluid with your form, so that you are building up the power to shoot the shot.

I hope this helps, :)

redeemerunivThis summer was very nice, it was a much-needed break from the university grind and an opportunity to shoot, work and enjoy life. I’m kind of sad to see the summer ending and having to leave all my friends and family behind once more, but on the bright side I get to see all my new school friends again. This school year should be a lot of fun looking forward to it, and I’m really looking forward to diving deeper into my chosen field of study (Kinesiology) after completing most of my mandatory subjects.  This year will be special as my younger sister has also chosen Redeemer University to study and I will always have someone around who gets me and is ready to give me a hug if I need it.  She has chosen to study International Development in hopes that she can work for a NGO and change the world for the better.

I know I should be blogging more however my first priority is university, and if there is time for anything else I will do it.

Archery Back Pack Bow Case

IMG_2864Last year, I wrote a blog about archery cases to discuss the various types and their uses. One of my subscribers commented “No rucksack-style cases … great for public transport (being a city person). john | theinfinitecurve.com”.

Backpack style bow cases are a relatively new type of soft-shell case, recently Cartel sent me one of their Midas infinity archery “backpack” bow cases, to check out and I have to say, I really like it! I find it different from traditional soft-shell cases, as it is more rigid, rugged, and protective and has more compartments to keep everything organized.

Midas infinity Backpack Case

IMG_2868This bow case has two large pockets, with a side compartment for an arrow tube. The main pocket is divided into two large pockets plus a thinner one (for holding limbs, riser, and stabilizer). There are also straps just above the pocket to limit movement and ensure security. There is extra space for other equipment to fit in the main pocket, if needed. The second pocket which is a little bit smaller than the main pocket has three pockets and a strap. Two of the pockets are fairly small and handy for tools and other small equipment, the other pocket is larger and better for towels or maybe a sight. On the back of the backpack there are thick straps and buckles for you to wear your bow case like a backpack. There are also cushions for lumbar support and it enables airflow to your back. IMG_2872There is also a handle if you want to hang your bow case up right, with a small pocket for your address card just above it. There is also a side handle if you want to carry your bowcase like suit case (or like most other bow case). The Midas infinity archery backpack comes in three colors; blue, red, and grey. In one of my past blogs I talked about the many uses for a case and the reasons why you would buy a certain case.

In this particular “case”, archers that go and shoot in the bush a lot would find this style very useful. I know for me personally this case will be handy, light and easy for me to transport to where I shoot or back home to visit while I am at university.   I look forward to using this new bow case this up and coming school year.

Ontario Spring Classic

Ontario-Spring-ClassicThis past weekend, I attended the Ontario Spring Classic, one of Canada’s premiere archery events usually held in Toronto. This year’s event attracted over 110 archers from Nova Scotia to British Colombia and several international archers including France, Netherlands and the United States.

photo 2The Ontario Spring Classic is a two-day tournament and usually held every year over Father’s day weekend. The tournament starts with a ranking round on Saturday consisting of either double 720 round OR FITA1440 round. On Sunday the tournament finishes with a complete double elimination round.

photo 1This year’s Spring Classic was a double 720 held at Bill Connor Secondary, and doubled as trials for the Youth Olympic Games and the Pan Am games trial run. This year’s competition marked my first outdoor tournament of the 2014 season. Saturday’s weather conditions for the double 720 were crazy. For June, it was very cold at 11°C outside and there were a lot of swirling winds that caused havoc for everyone. The winds were totally unpredictable, they were constantly changing direction and speed, forcing you to really watch closely on each and every shot.

For me, I took the approach to have a good time, talk with friends, continue to embrace it as a new challenge, and a true learning experience. Although the weather finally cleared up for the last two ends, after fighting the winds, I was happy to get back to the hotel, take off my shoes, and sit in the hotel’s hot tub.

photo 3Sunday was a complete reversal of weather conditions, sunny, calm and about 20°C. It was an absolutely beautiful day for shooting. I did manage to last through three rounds of elimination, finally losing to my World Indoor Championships teammate Gayle from Nova Scotia. For me, the best part was getting back to competition, shooting with some of Canada’s top World and Olympic archers, seeing all my friends and spending time with my mom and sister who accompanied me.

High-ho, High-ho…

ArcheryAlmost everyone knows that students need to work during the summer to help pay for school; I am not special. Once school finished I started looking for a summer job to help me pay for my education too, however getting that job has not been very easy so far. Since I am studying Kinesiology, I was hoping to get some work experience in a physiotherapy office or something similar. I have applied at several places but have had no luck yet.

leahurstSince,  I am a certified NCCP Intermediate level archery coach, I thought in the meantime I could continue to coach during the summers or whenever I had free time. So far, I have been doing a lot of advertising like making business cards and posters, to help promote archery lessons. Hopefully I’ll soon have some students sign-up for lessons. I love teaching everybody about the sport of archery, helping students improve and learn to love the sport as much as I do.

I also have been tossing the idea around about doing private lessons online (via Skype, or video chat). I remember getting comments from a couple of followers that they do not have a lot of coaching options. Although, I can only offer lessons in English, if anyone is interested in trying coaching over the web, please let me know. We can setup a lessons and handle payment through Paypal.

Cheap Bow Storage

As I mentioned in my last blog, there were about seven students in total, which is the most amount of students that I have personally coached at once. Introducing archery to Leahurst College students was a lot of fun. To teach that many students with only one hour for a lesson, I needed to make sure everyone had their own bow. Luckily, I had several bows, so the number was not a problem. The challenge I experienced was where to store them until the lessons and where to store them during lessons as I did not want lying in the grass. Solutions: Basement Ceiling Storage – Two T-Bars Storage from Dollarama ($3 each)   Roof T (Medium)Roof T front(Medium) Old Hockey Net Bow Stand – Removed Net hockey net(Medium)bow stand(Medium)     These are not ideal storage ideas for an official archery shop but if you have a lot of bows or give lessons they are good solutions for minimal investment.

Leahurst College

Leahurst College - Archery V2 - CopyLeahurst College is a new Kingston high-school that just opened it doors in September 2013. As a new private high-school they started up with only grade 9 and have plans expand adding grades each year until they can accommodate grade 7 through grade 12 by 2017. The school is taking a very unique approach teaching advanced placement with very high academic standards while introducing hands-on learning through practical application and experience. My younger brother Joshua was given a unique opportunity to attend and is enjoying it very much.

leahurstAs part of their practical application, they visit universities, research facilities, try different sports like rowing, rock climbing, slack line etc…. With this in mind, on Wednesday, I was given the opportunity to introduce archery to all of Josh’s classmates. One of the reasons, they wanted to introduce Archery was because Josh became the school’s first competing athlete, when he attended Ontario OFSAA championships in Toronto.  The school wanted all his classmates to understand and appreciate what it takes to not only shoot archery but to compete.

josh-leahurstWe covered the basic 10 steps of archery, safety, basic tournament rules, and some physics of archery. The students had a lot of fun in the sun shooting arrows in to the target. They all started at 5m working their way to 15m for about an hour.  At the end of class, they sat back and admired as Josh shot from 45m.  I believe they all now have an appreciation for the level of skill and consistency Joshua has developed in the sport. Little did they know, this was all with his indoor setup and feathers vanes.

There were about seven students in total, which is the most amount of students that I have personally coached at once but, it was a lot of fun. They even talked to me about doing another group lesson in the future and the possibility a Leahurst Archery club that could attend OFSAA in the future. Leahurst’s students are currently doing exams, and I want to wish them all the best of luck and I look forward to teaching them in the future.

If you would to learn more about Leahurst College check out their website or facebook page.

MICA 2014

IMG_1785This past Wednesday, South nation archery supply held an awards ceremony; everyone did extremely well this past indoor season.  Sydney, Josh and Cole all did very well this year winning several club and provincial medals. This past year, I was able to participate in a couple of tournament, however for me it was nice to see everyone again after being away for school.  My highlight from this past indoor season was the MICA team event.

The Multi-Indoor Championships of the Americas OR MICA for short. MICA is only one of very few indoor International Championships that is open to all archers that you do not have to travel for. Designated host archery clubs throughout North and South America host tournaments for both individuals and teams to submit scores from January 1 – April 30. Male or female archers can compete individually in cadet, junior, senior or master categories in either compound or recurve. Additionally clubs can also host junior or senior male or female teams in either compound or recurve, provided they are all from the same club.

Since it is a FITA sanctioned event, individuals submit their score from a double indoor FITA (60 arrows) and the team event submit a FITA team score (24 arrows) where each archer shoots 2 arrows alternating for four ends. This is one of my favorite events and one of the few times you can practice the team event.

IMG_1891This year, I shot with my sister Sydney, and our friend Lindsay and we captured the Silver this year behind the Brazilian team. On other exciting, my brother Joshua shot with his two friends, Josh and Kaleb Parker, participating in as a Junior team [all who are not Juniors] and shot new Canadian record for Junior Men Recurve Team division with a score of 211, however finished in fifth place overall.

Congratulations to everyone at South nation for another successful year. A special thanks to our coach Kathleen Miller and Larry Smith for all their hard work this year.