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.

Arrows Series – Part 7: Center Shot and Archer’s Paradox

Now that you have determined the arrows you should use you need to fine-tune your bow to maximize your arrows consistency. Most people think that once you set up a plunger and a nocking point it is all good to go, however that is not the case. The center shot of your arrow is one of the most over looked things when setting up a bow.

The center shot is where the arrow rests on the bow when looking behind it.  When setting up your center shot the arrow needs to be completely behind the string. Most traditional bows do not have a cut-away in the riser and the arrow has to deflect around the handle with something called archer’s paradox.

Archer’s Paradox: The term was coined by Robert P. Elmer in the 1930s. The paradox refers to the phenomenon that in order to strike the center of the target, the arrow must be pointed slightly to the side of the target. Modern use of the term has caused the interpretation of it to be corrupted and the bending of the arrow is often considered incorrectly to be archer’s paradox.

In order to be accurate, an arrow must have the correct stiffness, or “spine”, to flex out of the way of the bow and return back to the correct path as it leaves the bow. Incorrect spine results in unpredictable contact between the arrow and the bow, therefore unpredictable forces on the arrow as it leaves the bow, and therefore reduced accuracy.[1] Additionally, if an archer shoots several arrows with different spine, even if they clear the bow they will be deflected on launch by different amounts and so will strike in different places. Competition archers therefore strive not only for arrows that have a spine within a suitable range for their bow, but also for highly consistent spine within sets of arrows. (Wikipedia)

For an Olympic archer, ideally your set up should be 100% behind the string. Some people actually require the arrow lean a little to the opposite side of your riser so that the arrow can get past the bow without hitting it. You can reduce the effects of “Archers Paradox” by adding spin to the arrow by fletching your vanes or feathers with an offset or helical. It is critical that the arrow must have the correct spine so it can bend around the bow, so the fletchings do not touch anything for consistent arrow flight.

Therefore, once again I stress, for proper safety and best performance, arrows need to match your entire bow setup.

Olympic Gold for Jin Hyek OH

Jin Hyek OH of South Korea captured the men’s individual gold medal today after defeating Takaharu FURUKAWA of Japan 7-1. Jin Hyek OH adds the gold medal to the bronze the men’s team won earlier in the week.

In the Bronze medal match, Xiaoxiang DAI of China forced a shoot off against Rick van der VEN of the Netherlands after trailing 4-0. Rick van der VEN earlier in the day defeated number one seed and world record holder Im Dong-hyun of South Korea. In the single shot playoff, Xiaoxiang DAI captured the bronze with a perfect 10.

Read More : http://www.ctpost.com/sports/article/Oh-gives-South-Korea-another-archery-gold-3760188.php

South Korea, Mexico and Mexico

Top-seeded Bo Bae KI of South Korea captured her second Gold of these 2012 Olympics in the Women’s Indivdual Recurve today. Mexico’s Aida ROMAN and Mariana AVITIA captured the Silver and Bronze respectively.

The gold medal match was a seesaw battle that saw Bo Bae KI narrowly beat Aida Roman in a shoot-off.

Read More about here : http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/archery/korea/olympics/result/result-ki-grabs-gold-in-archery-final_37821.html

Italy – 2012 Men’s Team Olympic Gold

Michele Frangilli shot a bull’s-eye with the final arrow, giving his Italian team a one-point win over the United States in the gold medal match of the men’s archery team competition.

Italy earned its first gold medal in the event with the 219-218 decision, having taken silver behind South Korea in 2000 and ’08. The U.S. knocked off the heavily favored Koreans in the semifinals.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/07/28/italy-edges-us-men-for-archery-gold-on-final-arrow/?test=olymp#ixzz21wjI6OFd

Training Vacation

Athletic training is a full-time job, I train a lot, 6 days a week, 2-3 hours per day and as a full-time student, a coach, and with a part-time job my schedule is full.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell

Besides regular competitions locally, provincially, nationally and internationally, along with the unique opportunities of Canada Winter Games and World Indoor Championships, I have been without any break for over two straight years. Personally, I never realized just how tired and exhausted I was, however my coach did. Therefore, I am on a two-week vacation from shooting and training.

There are many benefits for taking a vacation including…

  • Recharge & Avoid Burnout – Taking regular time to relax helps avoid burn-out and get us back to feeling our best.
  • Overall Well-being – Lower stress, better sleep and better mood will improve your overall energy levels.
  • Friends and Family – Reconnect and strengthen relationships with loved ones and reaffirm the support you have behind you.
  • Performance – Better focus and re-energizing will influence your performance in a positive manner in the end.

The key is taking a good amount of time off from the stresses of training and competing will recharge your batteries and help you reach those long-term goals. Personally, I recommend at least one to two week break between indoor and outdoor seasons and easing back into to your full-time training programs.

A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work.  – Morris Fishbein

Remember to stay active to during a vacation like swimming, taking a walk, going for a bike ride, going to the batting cages, or playing laser tag. Remaining active will make it easier to re-start your training program after the vacation is over.

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vincent Lombardi

Silver at the Pan Am Games

Congratulations to Canada’s Crispin Duenas for capturing a Silver medal at this year’s Pan Am Games in Guadalajara Mexico.

Crispin Duenas participated in the men’s Olympic recurve class and was second after the qualification round with 1337 points and breezed through to the quarterfinals with 6-0 victories over Cristobal Antonio Merlos of El Salvador, Jaim Quintana of Cuba and Jake Kaminski of the USA.  In the semi-finals Crispin faced Daniel Pineda of Colombia, the eventual Bronze medal winner, in a very tough match reaching 5 sets which Crispin won 6-4 to advance to the Gold medal match.

In the Gold medal match, Crispin faced number one ranked Brady Ellison of the United States. Crispin fought until the last arrow in a match as it needed to go to a fifth set. The US archer was ahead 4-2, but in the fourth set Crispin shot a perfect 30 to tie the match. Ellison’s 29 was just a single point better than his Crispin’s 28 in the fifth end, and Ellison captured the Gold with a 6-4 win and Crispin captured the Silver medal.

Congratulations to the entire Canadian team for their efforts at the Pan Am games.

Epiphany

This past weekend, I competed in the Provincial Championship in London, Ontario.  Although the competition shot really well, I personally did not shoot anywhere near my personal best and I was extremely surprised and fortunate to capture the Bronze medal.  I want to congratulate Odelia Wong &  Nataliya Mushchenko who shot extremely well and deserved to win Gold and Silver respectively.

Capturing a medal was a huge surprise and an honor since I do not believe I shot well enough to win. However, the medal was not the best thing to happen this weekend; I had an epiphany.

“An epiphany, from the ancient Greek, is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something. The term is used in either a philosophical or literal sense to signify that the claimant has “found the last piece of the puzzle and now sees the whole picture,” or has new information or experience, often insignificant by itself, that illuminates a deeper or numinous foundational frame of reference.” Wikipedia

I have been struggling all outdoor season to understand why my scores have not gained the ground I have expected and I have not reached the heights I wanted. I practice regularly, almost 6 days a week averaging 100 arrows a day.  I shoot well at home and in practice however, this has not translated to higher tournament scores.

At first, I thought it was my late start for the outdoor season, then equipment, then location, then injury, however it was none of these. It was the space between my mental game.

A target is a target is a target. No matter what, I just need to shoot the target.

I was not shooting the target, I was over analyzing every shot. I just need to shoot the target no matter where I am, and not micro-analyze the wind, the location, the whatever. Just shoot the shot strong.

“Mental toughness can take you to the top, and mental weakness straight to the bottom.” John Schiefer

Now I know what the problem is, and I can overcome it.

Gold and Silver at 3D worlds

Congratulations to Canada’s Peter Garrett and Tim Watts for capturing Gold and Silver respectively at this year’s World 3D championships in Austria.

Peter Garrett participating in the men’s instinctive class was 14th after the qualifications rounds, 37 points out of first. After the the first round of eliminations he managed to move into 7th place and finally into first after the second round of elminiations. In the finals Peter first faced off against second ranking Peter Nahoczki of Hungary winning 37 – 31 to move to the Gold medal match to face number one ranked Alexander Parschisek of the host country Austria. Peter outduelled Alexander 26-21 to capture the Gold for Canada.

Tim Watts participating in the compound men class was 9th after the qualifications rounds, only 9 points out of first. Tim moved to 8th after the first round of eliminiations and was fourth after round two. Tim first defeated 7th ranked Christofer Herfindal of Sweden 38-35 to move the Gold medal match to face Herwig Haunschmid of host country Austria. Although it was close match at 41-39 the Austrian captured the Gold with Tim bringing home the Silver.

Congratulations to the entire Canadian team.

Competing while Sick

While at the Canadian National Archery Championship in Delisle, Saskatchewan this past month I got sick with stomach flu. We drove out to Saskatchewan in just three days and I originally thought it was the car ride, however shortly after arriving at the campsite I started to get worse; Dilemma. What do I do? I pressed onward and shot the Field Championships capturing the Silver medal however, I did not shoot well nor did I feel better. Should I stop? No, I kept shooting the Target Championships and the Canadian Open, placing fourth in both.

Did I make the right decision? I am not sure however, I did learn something.

Participating at any level while you are not feeling well is not an easy thing to accomplish.  Your body is weak and your concentration is not at its best, since your focus is on feeling better. Competing while you are sick with a virus such as influenza presents enormous challenges of exhaustion as your body fights the infection and you are unable to eat and provide your body additional fuel.

“Food is your body’s fuel. Without fuel, your body wants to shut down.” Ken Hill

Deciding to press onward is a personal choice and should not be taken lightly. Ask yourself one question “What is on the line with this competition?”  If the answers are World Championship, Olympics, National team, and perhaps future funding maybe you do need to force yourself to participate.

Medicine can help when you are not feeling well; however, not all medicines are approved for sport. All athletes that compete at an elite level will be subject to anti-doping testing and if you choose to take any medicine do so with great caution and consult the NSF website for those approved for sport.

Therefore, in a tournament, it is important to provide your body with some kind of fuel to maintain your strength for strong shooting; shooting weak results in weak inconsistent shots that translate into lower scores.  . You should also rest as often as you can and maintain a regular pace so to not over extend your body and lead to long term damage.

I drank orange juice and beef broth and I sat down as often as I could to maintain my strength. This allowed me to finish the tournament, even if it was not my best performance.