As soon as I decided to take archery outside, an archery friend offered only one piece of advice. “Start saving now”. I travel by car for just under 2 hours each way to train with my coach Kathy Millar of South Nation Archery in Winchester Ontario. Between regular training sessions, private sessions and competitions, I visit an average of twice week all year long in every type of weather including snow and sleet.
Travelling is a big part of competitive archery, and the higher the level of competition, the further you need to travel. Canadian’s have to travel for archery, since Canada is the world’s second largest country by total area and stretches about 5000 KM (3000 Miles) from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. Even the province of Ontario is larger than Egypt, Spain and France and therefore even for Provincial competitions I have to travel a lot.
Travelling can take a toll on your body, especially at the national, international and the world level, since most of the time you are either driving for days or flying from one location to another. You are in a different time zone, with strange food, and completely different schedules.
I recently drove to Saskatchewan from Ontario, about 3000 KM (1900 Miles) and it took three 12-hour days. It was difficult to spend that much time in the car, I found it very difficult to eat properly, when driving you have to make quick stops and keep going so it is difficult to eat as well as you would at home. My muscles were starting to tense up from lack of stretching and practice. It also took it’s toll with my sleep schedule since we travelled through different time zones.
It is now my understanding, that to compete at the next level, there a several things that you should do to increase your chances for success when travelling.
- Employ some discipline to eat healthy and according to your regular schedule
- Setup a good sleeping schedule to make sure you are well rested for competition days
- Arrive early, two days if possible, to become accustomed and acquainted with your new surroundings
- Practice, whether shooting of just stretching, to get your body ready to compete after your trip.