Silver for Canada at World Youth Archery Championship

logo_208Canada finished the 2013 World Youth Archery Championship in Wuxi, China on a high note as the Men’s Team in the Cadet (age class) Compound Bow category won the silver medal. The Canadian Team, comprised of Hunter McGinnis (Winnipeg, MB), Logan Kupchanko (Regina, SK) and Tyler Murphy (Fredericton, NB), faced Turkey in the gold medal match on Saturday. After building an early lead, Turkey prevailed in winning the match by a score of 224-218. Kupchanko followed in the footsteps of his older brother Michael who was a member of the Junior Men’s Compound Team that won the gold medal for Canada at the 2011 World Youth Archery Championship. Read More…

Congratulations Hunter, Logan and Tyler and to the entire Canadian team.

Archery is not all about Winning

victoryaSport should be about participation and physical fitness, not solely about winning. Archery is a sport you can participate in for your entire life. One of the things my coach always told me was there is a real danger of achieving success too earlier in young archers. Young kids sometimes get use to winning, and they start to expect it. They never expect to have to work at it again to win and archery (and sport in general) loses more participants that way than any other.
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As a national level athlete, everyone expects me to win all the time. I sometimes want to yell out “It just doesn’t work that way”. There is very little difference between top level athletes and it is more than a game of inches. As you develop into one of those athletes that are lucky enough to gain sponsorship, there is even more pressure to win. This is why I believe some athletes turn to performance enhancing drugs or cheating.
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The movie “Cool Runnings” has an excellent scene where Derice Bannock ask Irv why he cheated…
CoolRunningsIrv: It’s a fair question. It’s quite simple, really. I had to win. You see, Derice, I had made winning my whole life, and when you make winning your whole life, you have to keep on winning, no matter what. Understand?
Derice Bannock: No, I don’t understand. You won two gold medals. You had it all.
Irv: Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.
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Personally, it really troubles me to hear about athletes that use performance enhancing drugs or cheat, especially successful ones. They have made winning their whole life and they are not enough without it.
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As part of your New Year’s Resolution, why not make sure you are participating in Archery or any other sport for the right reasons. Whether your are participating for the competition, hunting, social aspect, physical fitness or just for pure fun, make sure you set your goals to participate whether you win or not.

Canada Captures the Bronze

Norbert Murphy captured the Bronze yesterday in the Men’s individual Compound -W1 division.

To reach the semi-finals, Norbert first defeated Shinichi Saito of Japan and Peter Kinik of Slovakia.  In the semi-final he faced Jeff Fabry of the United States, the eventual Gold Medalist. After Norbert lost 3-7 he moved into the Bronze medal match to face Osmo Kinnunen of Finland. Norbert shot extremely well tieing only a single end to take home the bronze medal.

Jeff Fabry of the United States went on to capture the Gold defeating David Drahoninsky  of Czech Republic in the Finals 6-2.

Congratulations!!!!

2012 Paralympics Games

Wednesday will mark with start of the 2012 Paralympic Summer Games in London England. The Paralympics are the second largest sporting event in the world, second only to the Olympics. The Paralympic Games are linked directly to the Olympics. They follow the same schedule running every two years and alternating between summer and winter, and since Seoul 1988 (Summer Games) and Albertville 1992 (Winter Games) the games have taken place on the same venues following the Olympic Games. 

The paralympic games were the dream of Dr. Guttmann, a German born British neurologist interested in helping world War II veterans with spinal injuries. Dr. Guttmann was an archer and setup an archery demonstration between two teams of paraplegics that coincided with the 1948 London Olympics.

His dream was of a worldwide sports competition for people with disabilities to be held every four years as “the equivalent of the Olympic Games.” Twelve years later, his dream became a reality.

The first official Paralympic Games were held in Rome, Italy, in 1960 and involved 400 athletes from 23 countries. Originally, only wheelchair athletes were invited to compete. Since that time, the Paralympic Games have grown dramatically. The present-day Paralympic Games include five major classifications of athletes: persons with visual impairments, persons with physical disabilities, amputee athletes, people with cerebral palsy, people with spinal cord injuries and Les Autres – athletes with a physical disability that are not included in the categories mentioned above (e.g., people with Muscular Dystrophy). History of the Paralympics Games

Canada is internationally renowned as a leader of the Paralympic movement and has participated in every Summer and Winter Paralympic Games since Tel Aviv, Israel in 1968. Canada has sent an archery team to every Paralympic games since 1968 with only one exception being the 2004 games in Athens.

My coach Kathy Millar of South Nation Archery was interviewed last Friday by CTV Morning Live to discuss Paralympic Archery ahead of the Paralympic Summer Games. She explains Paralympic archery and how Paralympic archers use different muscle sets when competing depending on the disability or limitation of the archer. You can check out the entire interview here.

For these games Canada is sending a team of 5 archers including Kevin EVANS (Jaffray, BC), Bob HUDSON (Leoville, SK), Karen VAN NEST (Wiarton, ON), Lyne TREMBLAY (Magog, QC), Norbert MURPHY (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC), and Rob COX (Winnipeg, MB). Good luck to all the athletes and GO CANADA GO!

Canada’s wait continues

Canada’s wait for it’s first Olympic medal will unfortunately be extended four more years. Both Crispin Duenas of Ontario and Marie-Pier Beaudet of Quebec were eliminated in their opening match in London.

Crispin Duenas : http://www.tsn.ca/story/?id=402049

Marie-Pier Beaudet : http://www.tsn.ca/story/?id=401855

Nonetheless, I am very proud of them. While watching these games, I can empathize with the pressure that they are experiencing. After participating in the World Championship in Las Vegas this past winter, I have a new appreciation of the pressure that is cast-upon athletes at these competitions.

At large competitions like the Olympics and World Championships they try to make archery more viewer friendly for the spectators through the addition of commentators. This can be very nerve racking for the archers as they announce each shot and various competitors’ scores, sometimes right at the very moment of your release. In my team bronze medal match, the commentators were already declaring victory for the other team before we had finished shooting. It is almost impossible to block it out, at this level it is about who can manage their nerves and the pressure since they are all excellent shooters.

I have also read comments of news stories, blogs and twitter asking “Why is archery an Olympic sport?”.  For those people, I challenge you to pull 50 pounds, hold for 7 seconds with enough calm composure to hit an apple 70 meters away, adjusting on the fly for all the elements. Now repeat 72 times, consistently. It takes strength, endurance, and composure, just like any other sport.

All of these archers are amazing athletes and deserve to represent their respective countries at these games. For Canada, eighth and twenty-ninth in the world are awesome!

Congratulations, Team Canada on a job well done.

2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies

On Friday, London, England will host the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games. Over the years, there have been some awesome opening ceremonies including the last Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. For me, last year’s ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia was amazing and has a special place in the heart of every Canadian. However, recently I watched the 1992 Barcelona Olympic opening on YouTube, and I think I have found a new favourite, as should every archer.

Check it out the entire 1992 opening ceremonies in HD.

Good luck to all athletes and a special cheer to both Crispin Duenas of Ontario and Marie-Pier Beaudet of Quebec as they compete in archery and attempt to bring home the first Olympic archery medal in Canadian history. All of Canada is pulling for you.

GO CANADA GO.

Simple Archery Exercises

One misconception about archery training is you need to do a lot of heavy weight training to reach the next level, and this is simply not true. In fact, heavy weight training can actually hinder you archery career. If you develop very large biceps it can hamper your form since you may have problem creating straight lines from the arrow through your anchor point and the back of your elbow.  Since long, lean, strong muscles are preferred over large muscle mass, it is important to do exercises with less weight and more repetitions rather than heavier  weights.

For younger archers, that are still growing, you do not want to hurt yourself or get ahead of your natural body development. Any type of weight training before your body is ready to accept it can do more damage than good long term.

Below are a couple of simple exercises to help increase you upper body strength for archery.

Open Door Push-outs

Anyone can develop some muscle and endurance without heavy weights, by using your body weight. Open Door Push-outs are a safe and easy way to train your back shoulder muscles for archery.

  • Using an open doorway, standing with your feet flat on the floor and slightly less than arm-length away, place your hands on either side of the door frame
  • In a very controlled manner, lean towards the door, similar to a push-up
  • Once your arms are at least 90 degrees, push yourself back out again.
  • Repeat several times.

Once you have mastered the above without any problems, you can vary it by standing further back or doing deeper push-ups.

Ball Exercise

Since it is almost impossible to be completely still for any amount of time, it is important to develop a fine controlled approach with shooting. One simple training exercise that will help develop a strong and controlled bow arm is the simple ball exercise.

  • Standing perpendicular to a wall and using a volley or soccer ball
  • Hold ball at shoulder height at arm length against the wall with a flat hand.
  • Using only your arm move the ball in a figure eight motion
  • Set a timer for 30 seconds.
  • Turn around and repeat with the other arm

Once you have mastered the above without any difficulties, you can increase the time by 30 second intervals to help build control.

Although, these exercises should be safe for just about everyone, it is important, especially for young archers, to consult a qualified archery coach before you add any type of training to their regular program.