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Strange and Weird Archery Stabilizers

Lots of weird archery stabilizers out there on the market. Lets look at a few for fun.


The NAP Apache Stabilizer

  • Despite its weird design, this stabilizer boasts 4.5 star reviews on Amazon, and ranks as one of the best stabilizers on the market.
  • Comes in black or camo. Or course it is does. It would be weird if it did NOT come in camouflage.
  • Note - I own an older and shorter version of the one shown above that is on one of my compound bows. I bought it because, at the time, the Apache Stabilizer had the best reviews on the market, and because I liked its weird shape. These days I usually use a Trophy Ridge stabilizer instead which has even better reviews (4.9), but looks boring in comparison.



The Axion Stabilizer / Carrying Handle

  • This 2-in-1 model looks weird because it is both a lower center of gravity stabilizer, and it acts as a handle for carrying of your compound bow. (As if the regular handle wasn't enough of a handle.)
  • Bonus - It is very short, making it easier to get around foliage.


The Beestinger Pro Hunter MAXX

  • It has two Xs in its name. You know, to be different from all the other companies which stick XX or XXX in its name.
  • It looks like a toilet plunger.
  • Nothing says "weirdo" like the guy walking around with a toilet plunger stuck to his bow.
  • The brand typically has 4 or 4.5 star reviews, despite most of their stabilizers looking like they were designed to unplug a plugged toilet.
  • The design is an attempt to add more weight to the end of the stabilizer to maximize the shift in the center of gravity for the bow.


The Trophy Taker Quiver Stabilizer

  • Oh look, another 2-in-1 stabilizer. Like that hasn't been done before.
  • They stuck the arrows on the left side... For a right handed shooter the arrows should be on the right side so they can reach it easier.
  • How is the weight going to be evenly balanced? Especially since the balance of weight will change each time you (awkwardly) remove an arrow from the quiver.
  • The company "Option Archery" makes a near identical quiver stabilizer they call the "Quivalizer". Proof that more than one company thought this was a great idea.


The Golf Club Stabilizer

  • Just kidding. Not a real stabilizer.
  • Allows you to play golf while you hunt. Yeah...?

And somewhat off topic...

I came across the "Shoot Tech Systems Raptor Advance" compound bow while researching weird stabilizers. It looks like it belongs in a futuristic sci fi movie. Also, in keeping with the 2-in-1 idiocy, this bow also doubles as a slingshot... Because clearly what sci fi movie doesn't need a person carrying a giant and impractical slingshot that looks like it was designed by someone in the Aliens franchise. #Insanity!




Looking for archery lessons in Toronto? Cardio Trek offers weekday and weekend archery lessons.

Archery Competition Rescheduled to July 29th

So the archery competition that was supposed to be on June 23rd got rained out. And on the 24th (the rainday replacement day) it also rained plus thunderstorms. So that whole weekend was rescheduled for July.

So the new date for the competition is Sunday July 29th 2018.

Here are some details:

Registration starts at 10:00 AM and cuts off at 11:00 AM no exceptions.

Location:

The Toronto Archery Range located at E. T. Seton Park.

Free admission to enter. Prizes.

Three categories:
  • Olympic Recurve
  • Compound
  • Barebow (Traditional Recurve, Longbow, etc)

New Rain Date: Saturday, July 28th. The people organizing the competition will decide on Friday whether the weather looks good for Sunday or not, and whether Saturday is the better option.

For those people not competing come anyway for the Raffle, Potluck BBQ and general fun times.

Personal Note

I will be judging / adjudicating this competition. Which mostly means I will be explaining rules to people, doing math, and checking to see if an arrow is touching a line or not.

A Lesson in Adaptive Archery, Archery Focus Magazine


My 2nd article for Archery Focus Magazine has been published in the July 2018 issue. Titled "A Lesson in Adaptive Archery".

The article is about my first experience coaching a very brave student with no fingers. Not many coaches will take on the challenge of teaching students with a disability, but for its challenges it is also a rewarding experience.

Adaptive Archery is the term used for teaching people who have disabilities when it comes to doing archery and have to adapt their methodology so that they can still shoot (and even compete) in the sport.

There is a whole industry of products available for people with various problems to overcome, so for every disability there is usually one or more items available for the Adaptive Archer to use to beat the problem they are facing.

Some people also make their own solutions and/or adaptive equipment. It really comes down to problem solving.

So in my case as the student's coach I needed to do some problem solving so that a student with no fingers would be able to hold the bow, and also to be able to draw the bowstring.

And if you want to read about how we solved this problem, you will need to buy a copy of the magazine. I am not going to spill the beans here.

Subscriptions to Archery Focus Magazine are available by visiting archeryfocusmagazine.com. You can even use the following discount code to get 20% off your subscription: 20afm2018.



You may have noticed I said this was my 2nd article to be published in Archery Focus Magazine.

My first article was about how to market/advertise an archery coaching business, and titled "Marketing Strategies for Archery Coaches" and was published in the July 2017 issue.


So clearly I need to keep up a tradition and publish another one in July 2019. I have no idea what the topic will be...

Maybe something about teaching my son archery? He is barely over 1 now, so by March 2019 I might be showing him how to shoot already. Maybe. Maybe not. Some toddlers even compete in archery competitions for the under 3 category, but I don't think I want to push Richard into archery. It should be something he sees and wants to do. I don't want him to feel pressured he has to do it.

Who knows? We shall have to see.

Last year I also set myself a goal of publishing articles in multiple archery magazines.
  • Traditional Bowhunter Magazine
  • TradArcher's World Magazine
  • Bowhunting World Magazine
  • Petersen's Bowhunting Magazine
And just because it is a local magazine found here in Ontario:
  • Ontario Out of Doors (OOD) Magazine

Also if you noticed, Simon Needham and Steve Ruis seem to have their own July tradition. Writing and publishing "Getting to 600" and "Getting to 650" one year apart.

So clearly some archers really like their traditions. Especially Traditional Archers. 😉

Is it too much to ask clients to remember the day of their lesson?

So imagine you are a personal trainer or some kind of sports trainer (eg. swimming instructor) and clients book specific days and times for their training session. This describes me and my business, as I am both a personal trainer and a sports instructor.

And lets imagine you teach certain sports and activities outdoors, even when it is one of the hottest days of the year. Like it was Saturday with the combined temperature and humidity putting Toronto in a bake you until you die 46 degrees Celsius. So crazy hot.

So you are there in the baking heat, so hot that a friend of yours sticks unbaked cookies inside their car on the dashboard and comes back later and their cookies are baked (and their car smells like freshly baked cookies now). True story.

So you are out there in the heat and you notice your client / student is running late. You check your email and see the following:

"I am so sorry for the last minute.
I am just getting back from Prague..
an I thought this was tomorrow."

And you should be rightfully annoyed. I know I was.

At 7:30 AM that morning I sent them an email warning them about the heat that day. Recommending they bring cold drinks with them.

Did they really get back from Prague? Who knows. Maybe.

Or maybe they just realized it was going to be super hot outside and wanted to reschedule based on the weather conditions. That is normal. Would not be the first time we have rescheduled because of rain, thunderstorms, too hot, too windy, snowing, blizzard, too cold, etc. Except weather was not their excuse. Their excuse was they thought the lesson was Sunday, even though they scheduled it for Saturday.

Not even showing up however and/or last minute cancellations... those are a personal pet peeve for me.

There is a reason why dentists charge patients if you forget your dentist appointment and don't show up. They were there. Their staff was there. Everything ready for the patient to arrive. And then they don't show up. The staff and everyone still needs to get paid, even if the patient forgets they had a dental appointment.

Same goes for me. I am out there in the weather, sometimes very hot weather, with all my equipment ready to go, and if a student / client doesn't show up for their lesson...

Well then that is just a clear forfeiture.

Because I was there. Where was the student?

Relaxing after getting back from Prague supposedly.

Years ago I ended up making a Terms of Service page to remind people what happens when they miss lessons or want to reschedule lessons. Rescheduling a lesson? No problem, I just need 24 hours notice so I don't end up outside in the heat or cold waiting for a student who decided last minute to not show up. Missing a lesson because you forgot? That is a forfeiture.

I am also not your Social Secretary. It is not my job to remind clients of when their lessons are. It is the client's job to remember to show up, just like it is my job to be there on time, ready to instruct.

Not knowing or remembering the day of the lesson (if that was truly the case) is clearly the fault of the client. After all, I am not their Social Secretary. It is not my job to remind them what days and times they have lessons on.

Is it too much to ask clients to remember the day of their lesson?

So after receiving the email I was annoyed. And overheating in the heat/humidity, and being in such a state is never good time to answer emails from people who have annoyed you.

I ended up waiting 24 hours before replying and politely explaining that they had forfeited the lessons because they had failed to give me 24 hour notice. Politely. Like a true Canadian would.

I have also noticed that some clients in the past are "problem clients". The type of people who reschedule lessons frequently, show up late, forget they have lessons, and even make up funny excuses. One such "problem client" years ago claimed she had somehow misplaced her children after a series of similar times when she had failed to show up for lessons on time or at all. She did it so often she ended up forfeiting all of her lessons by supposedly getting lost, claiming to be stuck in traffic for two hours, forgetting what day the lesson was, and finally the "I misplaced my children" excuse.

I eventually Googled her name and discovered she had been fired from her workplace for a serious case of office politics coupled with being accused of fraud. So her reputation was that of a person not to be trusted, and myself and others should probably avoid having any dealings with such an untrustworthy person who clearly makes up excuses and lies all the time.

So what should a person do with problem clients?

  1. Fulfill any remaining obligations.
  2. Issue a refund or partial refund if absolutely necessary.
  3. Once 1 and 2 have been accomplished, stop answering their emails.

I once had a client whom I was teaching his son archery, and he basically treated me like a babysitter - which I am not. His son also had behavioural issues which made him unsafe to be teaching a sport like archery. Somehow (long story) I gained the impression that the client was in the mafia and was not used to being told "no". So when he asked for more archery lessons for his son, after his lessons had been exhausted and my obligations had been met, I asked him to send me an email regarding booking more lessons. I then simply never replied to his email. I also later changed my policy regarding minimum age for archery lessons to 16.

So there are more than one way for a client to be considered to be a "problem client" in my opinion. Chronic lateness/not showing up at all is certainly one way. Me becoming worried that the client is a criminal (or hires other people to commit crimes) is certainly another way. Treating me like a babysitter or having a spoiled kid who is a safety hazard, that is also another way.

Most of My Clients are Wonderful

99.7% of my clients show up on time. Or if they are running late, they let me know via text message or email.

They are a joy to teach. They don't make up lies or excuses either.

It is really the few bad eggs out of thousands of clients I have taught over the page 9 years that cause me headaches. I don't lose sleep over these people. I just point to the Terms of Service so they know what happens when they miss lessons and the proper way to reschedule a lesson.

Or at least, the proper way to lie about it. People who are sick or severely injured get a free ride when it comes to rescheduling lessons. Here is how to lie about it:

Contact me BEFORE the lesson begins and just say you are sick and unable to make it. Contacting me after the lesson has begun (or was supposed to have begun), well that still counts as a forfeiture, because you knew you were sick or injured hours before the lesson and there is no reason not to have let me know as soon as possible.

If the lesson start time comes and a client is clearly late I typically contact them after 10-15 minutes with a polite "Running late?" If they then say they are sick, that is unfortunately a forfeiture because they failed to notify me of their illness BEFORE the lesson time began.

Jetlag is not an adequate excuse because the person knew they would have jetlag when they returned from a trip, and it is neither an illness or an injury. There is no reason they should not have been able to email me 24 hours before the lesson and let me know they want to reschedule.

If a client is going to lie and make up an excuse, at least say you are sick. And do try to let me know before the lesson start time. Preferably before 8:30 AM, but definitely before the scheduled time slot.



Happy Canada Day!

On Sunday the wife, son, and I visited my mother-in-law for Canada Day. I never book archery lessons that day (or other holidays) because people have a tendency to reschedule anyway.

Monday (a holiday thanks to Canada Day being on a weekend this year) we went to the beach and it was so crazy hot we got slushies en route to the beach. Slushies are not very healthy, but I said to the wife:

"I would rather have brain-freeze than have heatstroke."


And to paraphrase myself on this true topic of this post:

"I would rather have clients who show up on time and remember their lessons than to have clients who do not."


5 Easy Ways to Stay Active at Work

Guest Post by Cara Benson.

Wellness in the workplace is becoming a trending topic of discussion due to the advancement of research regarding the health risks of sitting all day. Sitting behind a computer screen all day is becoming the modern work-style within most businesses. Sadly, most desk workers are oblivious to the fact that sitting in an office all day can lead to some pretty serious health problems.

To avoid experiencing any sort of desk induced health issue, it is important that we motivate ourselves to move around more often during the day. Doing so will not only improve our overall health, but it can stimulate motivation in others to do so as well. Are you looking for some ways to remain active in your workplace? Check out these ideas:

#1. Stand Up and Stretch

When your muscles and ligaments aren’t moving enough, cramping, aches and sharp pains can occur in different areas of the body. In addition to an improvement in flexibility and better posture, stretching helps the body release tension that is built up from remaining stationary for too long. Taking frequent breaks from your desk to stand and stretch is a simple way to avoid such health problems and to make your work day a less painful one. Check out Cardio Trek's section on stretching where you can find some other great benefits and tips of stretching everyday!

#2. Walk or Bike to Work

Depending on the location of your workplace, walking or riding a bike to work are great options to fit in exercise before starting your day. Walking or biking might already be part of your transportation method on your arrival to work, but if not, park slightly further away from your job site to walk a block beforehand. If walking to work is part of your daily schedule, try extending your commute by strolling an extra block or two. That way, you’re entering your office feeling revitalized and ready to conquer the day! If walking or biking to work isn’t something you think will stick in your itinerary, try finding time during your lunch break for a brisk walk!


#3. Schedule a Group Fitness Event

Remember, as you’re sitting at your desk all day and feeling sluggish, most likely, some of your coworkers are as well. Spread motivation throughout your workplace by scheduling a group fitness event! By using an online event planning platform (eg. Meetup, Facebook or Eventbrite via https://www.eventbrite.com/l/registration-online/), you can establish a time and location for the fitness event, and track your RSVPs with the benefit of staying organized!

Sample Activities you can do with your coworkers on weekends or during the evenings after work:

  1. Archery Lessons (for up to 3 people).
  2. Boxing Lessons or Beach Volleyball.
  3. Cycling Outdoors. Or possibly Spin Class.
  4. Dance Lessons.
  5. Fencing Club. Or even Fishing (most of the exercise is carrying fishing equipment).
  6. Golf or Mini Golf.
  7. Hiking.
  8. Ice Skating.
  9. Jogging.
  10. Kayaking - Because who doesn't want to at least try kayaking?
  11. Laser Tag.
  12. Martial Arts Lessons or Mountain Biking.
  13. Nine Pin Bowling.
  14. Obstacle Course Races.
  15. Pokemon Go, the game is still surprisingly popular and great exercise.
  16. Rock Climbing.
  17. Swimming.
  18. Tennis. Or even various Team Sports.
  19. Volleyball.
  20. Water Polo.
  21. Yoga Classes - The more the merrier.
  22. Zumba Classes.

#4. Take the Stairs

An elevator is an easy ride, and requires a very low level of activity. Usually, individuals take the stairs when the elevator is broken or if it’s the only option to get one floor to the next. Using the stairs everyday can improve heart health, increase activeness, and actually save you time (according to Reuters the stairs are often faster than the elevator). If you have the option to take the stairs in your workplace, do so to get in as many steps as possible, especially if you work at a desk.

#5. Take Frequent Walks Around the Office

Being stagnant all day is the definition of an unhealthy lifestyle. It is extremely important to make a constant effort to remove yourself from your desk chair to get your legs moving. Without motion, you are more prone to the health risks that come with sitting at a desk all day, such as blood clots, fatigue, and chronic pain. Along with the fitness related advantages, taking walks around the office is like pushing a mentality reset button, and can change your negative mindset to a motivated one!

Let’s reduce the amount of sitting at our desks all day by motivating ourselves and other desk workers to pursue a more active lifestyle!

Sample Rules for an Archery Competition

June 22nd, 2018.

There are many ways to run an archery competition.

For example the "300" method is for archers to shoot 30 arrows on targets with scoring 1 to 10 and get a score out of 300. Person with the highest score out of 300 wins. There is also variations of this that call for 600, 1000, etc - to say nothing of other methods of competing.

However watching archers shoot 10 ends of 3 arrows per end is rather boring - or 3 ends of 10 arrows per end, whatever combination they decide to go with, still pretty boring. It is a simple way of conducting a competition, but it is admittedly pretty boring for spectators.

Thus various archery competitions now use a system of "archery duels" in which two archers compete against one another in order to move up the rankings during the rounds and eventually make it to the final round.


For example, the upcoming 2018 Seton Archery Competition on June 23rd (tomorrow, unless it rains) will be using the following rules. Update - Because of rain on both Saturday and Sunday, the competition was rescheduled for Sunday, July 29th.

#1. The Ranking Round ↣

All the competitors (in their separate categories of Olympic recurve, compound and barebow) will do a ranking round where they are not competing against anyone per se, but are simply trying to get a good or decent score which will allow them to be ranked and sorted according to their scores. You cannot fail the Ranking Round. All it determines is who you will be facing first in the Elimination Rounds, as the highest scoring person will be facing the lowest scoring person. The second highest scoring person will face the second lowest scoring person, etc.

Strategy - The better you score during the ranking round, the more likely you are to face an opponent who is not as good as you in the first elimination round.

#2. The Elimination Rounds

Your goal during the elimination rounds is to stay in the competition and not get knocked out via Double Elimination. You can lose one round and still be fine, but lose two rounds and you are out.

During each round the competitors will take turns shooting 3 arrows per end, with a total of 3 ends. So 3 sets of 3 arrows, with scores out of 30 for each of the sets.

The competitor who wins at least 2 of the 3 ends wins the Elimination Round and moves on to the next Elimination Round.

If a competitor loses two Elimination Rounds, they are out. (Yes, in theory they could place 3rd, but this is highly unlikely to matter due to the ranking process, having already sorted archers based on their Ranking Round, as that process quickly knocks out the archers who tend to score lower, and they would need to be beaten by both the first place and second place winners during the Elimination Rounds, which is also unlikely due to the ranking system.)

The Elimination Rounds continue until there is only 4 competitors left at the top of the rankings.

#3. Rules on Scoring Points

Archers should not touch any of the arrows until after the scoring has been recorded. Tampering with the arrows will result in a judge being called to see if the scoring has been effected by possible tampering.

If a judge believes an arrow's position has been tampered with, they will score the arrow the lower amount of points in the records.

If an arrow is touching or breaking a line, it counts as the greater number of points. eg. The arrow is clearly on the 8, but it is touching the line for 9, then it counts as a 9. When in doubt about whether it is touching or not, call a judge to determine whether it is touching or breaking the line. (A common method of cheating is to tamper with an arrow to get 1 extra point so that it is touching a line.)

If an arrow is on the bullseye it doesn't receive any extra points, but it should be marked X in the records. Furthermore, if the end was a tie, the competitor with the most bullseyes wins that end.

Optional - Some competitions also have a rule that ties can be broken by whomever had the most arrows on the target. For example if one archer gets two 9s and a 0 (having missed 1 shot completely), and the other archer gets three 6s, they both have a score of 18. Under this rule, the archer with more of their arrows on the target wins the tie for that set. Since it is rare that someone manages to tie a round, but still missed the target that round, this rule is rarely used.

After 3 ends, if there is somehow still a tie (eg. 1 person won the first round, the other person won the second round, and they tied the third round) then the two archers will do a Shoot Off wherein they each shoot 1 arrow, and the winner is whomever is closest to the bullseye.

Optional - If after 2 rounds one archer has already won the first two ends, the other archer can - at their choosing - concede defeat for the round. There is no pressure to do so, or they can continue to the 3rd end and score it just to see what score they would have got. (With the pressure off, the gracious winner might even score poorly that 3rd round because they are not worried about getting a nice score any more having already won the round.)

#4. The Finals

During the final rounds of the competition there is typically 3 rounds left to shoot.

Losing the first round makes you a contender for 3rd place. Winning the first round makes you a contender for 1st or 2nd place.

The other two competitors do the same, and thus you end up with two winners who go on to compete for 1st and 2nd, and the two remaining archers compete for 3rd and 4th.

#5. The Awards Ceremony

Typically this follows soon after the competition is complete, wherein trophies, medals, and awards are given out. Often followed by drinking and food.

The trophies and medals shown below are for the 2018 Seton Archery Competition.


Personal Note ↢

Unless it rains tomorrow, I will have the honour of judging the competition tomorrow. So it will be my responsibility to make sure people are scoring properly, not tampering with arrows, adjudicating any disputes, etc.

If it does rain, the competition will be held Sunday - in which case I will be spending Sunday with family for my son's birthday and someone else will have the honour of judging the competition. Oh well.

Either way, I am bringing watermelon to at least 1 event this weekend.

Update - Because of rain on both Saturday and Sunday, the competition was rescheduled for Sunday, July 29th.

The watermelon was still tasty. Ate it at my son's birthday.

The 2018 Seton Archery Competition

NOTICE - Due to rain/thunderstorms on both the Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th, the competition has been reschedule for Sunday, July 29th.

The 2018 Seton Archery Competition is coming up this Saturday, June 23rd Sunday, July 29th, and I shall be adjudicating and judging the competition this year. Which is basically a fancy way of saying I will be doing lots of math and making sure people follow the rules.


Note that the deadline for taking part is 11 AM. Meaning if you show up late, you won't be able to ranked and take part. So it is very important that people show up early or on time. SHOW UP ON TIME.

You do not need to register to take part, but you do need to show up on time.

Location: The Toronto Archery Range located at E. T. Seton Park.

This annual (usually) event is free to take part in and includes a Potluck BBQ for everyone who attends. So if you want to show up and just watch the competition, absolutely. Bring some food to share, a picnic blanket or a lawn chair, and have a fun time watching the competition.

Myself, as a judge, I will be bringing a lawn chair so I can enjoy watching and eating (and adjudicating / doing math).

In the event of rain on Saturday the competition will be moved to Sunday (in which case I will not be the person judging, as I will be busy with my son's birthday party that day). Or rescheduled for July evidently.


The Best Ways to Avoid Sunburns when Exercising Outdoors

So it is Summer and you are exercising outdoors regularly and you keep getting sunburns. How do you stop that from happening?

Prevention.

So what are the best ways of thinking ahead to prevent sunburns?

#1. Understanding how Sunscreen Works

You might think SPF 30 is twice as good as SPF 15 and blocks out twice as much of the sun's UV radiation, but you would sadly be wrong. That isn't actually how it works. It seems logical that 30 should be twice as good as 15, and likewise 45 and 60 should be three and four times as good, but that isn't how it works.

According to scientists:

SPF 15 blocks approx. 94% of UV radiation.

SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 45 blocks 98%, and SPF 60 blocks 99%.

So with numbers in the low to high 90s, this sounds pretty good, right? Sadly this assumes that the person applies the sunscreen liberally on their skin. There are other factors too:
  • Some places on the skin might get less sunscreen.
  • Sweat from exercising or extreme heat can cause the sunscreen to become diluted and less effective.
  • How often you reapply sunscreen.
  • The brand of sunscreen also varies in efficacy*.

* Some brands of sunscreen contain chemicals that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have a watch-list for being potential carcinogens like titanium dioxide and octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC).

Because people often forget to reapply sunscreen, I recommend setting an alarm clock on your phone to remind you to reapply. Most companies recommend applying every 2 hours, but if you are worried you might forget then maybe aim for every 100 minutes or so.

If you are exercising and sweating a lot, you might even reapply once per hour.

If you are especially worried about getting a sunburn then you should always apply sunscreen liberally, as if you are a vampire who will die if you don't.

Do not use sun tanning oil. The SPF in that is so low it is basically non-existent.


#2. Limit your Exposure Time

The first half hour or hour, most people will be pretty safe from UV radiation depending on how vulnerable a person is. Some people are more pale and get sunburned easily, so they need to limit their exposure more.

So if you are exercising outdoors you might want to set a time limit for how long you are exercising, like 45 or 60 minutes, and then go someplace in the shade to cool off. Combined with sunscreen this is a very safe strategy.

You could even take a break for awhile, and later reapply sunscreen and resume exercising for another 45 to 60 minutes.

#3. Deliberately get a Tan

So your skin is actually pretty good at blocking out UV rays, but to do so it needs to be tanned. The darker shade of skin blocks more harmful rays from the sun and protects you. The more you tan, the more protected your skin becomes from UV rays.

The trick here is to get the tan, without getting the sunburns... and that means sunscreen and possibly limiting your exposure time. So you would need to be setting specific times to "go to the beach or park and get a tan" or whatever it is you are doing, and set a specific amount of time you will be spending at the beach, park, etc tanning. That or reapply sunscreen using an alarm clock on your phone to remind you.

#4. Tightly Woven / Loose Fit Clothing

Fabric that is too thin and not tightly woven can still let through lots of UV radiation, causing you to get a sunburn right through your shirt.

You should also bring something extra to wear in case your sunscreen wears off or runs out.

Try to pick clothing that is also comfortable to exercise in.

#5. Hat and Scarf

A good hat or scarf can protect you face and/or neck from sunburns. eg. A bandanna tied around the neck like a scarf also works well to prevent sunburns on the back and sides of the neck.

A big floppy hat is not ideal for exercising in, but a baseball cap and a bandanna would work nicely.

#6. Avoid 12 PM to 4 PM

The worst times of the day to be outside in the sun is approx. from 12 PM to 4 PM. So if you want to exercise and avoid those times, try to exercise in the morning or late afternoon / evening.

#7. Plan your Route / Day

Lets say you are going jogging. Plan a route that takes you under lots of shade trees so you are limiting your exposure to sunlight.

Or if you are doing an activity where you know you will be in direct sunlight, plan out specific times during the day to take breaks, drink water, eat snacks, and reapply sunscreen. (Recommend eating first before applying sunscreen. Nobody likes tasting sunscreen in their food.)

#8. Vitamin Supplements = Minor Benefit

There are some benefits to taking a vitamin D3 supplement, in that sunburns won't be as severe, but it doesn't prevent sunburns. So you can take it if you want to, but bear in mind it doesn't prevent the sunburn itself. Anyone who claims it prevents sunburns is basically perpetuating a myth.

Some people have deficiencies in zinc and magnesium (likely due to a shortage in their diet or a genetic disorder), and as a result have more photosensitive skin. Taking vitamin supplements or eating foods that are higher in zinc and magnesium are helpful for people with those conditions, but will not benefit the average person.

Health claims by 3rd party websites and the supplement industry should be treated as biased and suspect. In researching this post I determined a lot of websites were advertising vitamin D3 and other supplements, and that they were exaggerating the benefits of taking the supplements.






Happy Exercising!

Archery Lesson Plan for Olympic Archery Students

Q


"I’ve read that you like to teach traditional recurves bows before the Olympic recurve bow, does this mean that we won’t get a chance to learn the Olympic bows in this session, and that this will be taught in another session?"

- Cassandra T.

A

Hello Cassandra!

Yes, over the years I have determined it is easier for the beginner archery student to learn to shoot traditional recurves first and then switch to Olympic later on, which is stylistically different despite being very similar. Preferably after the 2nd lesson, so if that is something you want to learn it would be best to do it during the 3rd lesson and following that.

The stylistic challenges of shooting Olympic style is such a student shooting that style for the first time is more likely to be missing completely and losing arrows, because they have to learn everything a Traditional Recurve archer has to learn, plus they need to learn the following topics:

  1. How to use and tune a sight - a practice which is hampered if the student has not already learned good form. It is better to learn the form aspects first, then learn how to use a sight later.
  2. How to use a stabilizer, and how to determine if a stabilizer is too light or too heavy.
  3. How to do a Live Release with South Anchor (as opposed to a Dead Release with North Anchor), which is harder to learn to do properly.
  4. How to keep your bow hand relaxed during the Follow Through.
  5. How to control your breathing (into the belly, not the chest) in order to get more accuracy.
  6. How to handle mental stress, fatigue, and issues like "Gold Shy" + "Target Anxiety".
  7. How to use a Clicker to tell you when to release.
  8. And more.
And frankly it is a lot to learn in a single lesson. It makes more sense to learn good form during lessons 1 and 2, and then learn the additional things an Olympic archer is expected to learn in the lessons that follow.

Lesson Plan for Olympic Recurve

For my regular lesson plan, see Archery Lesson Plan.

Lesson One - Safety Lecture, Eye Test, Aiming Lecture, Form Lecture, Field Archery with Traditional Recurve.

Note - Field Archery involves shooting at a target at random (often unknown) distances and is especially handy for teaching students how to aim at different distances and how to adjust their aim, which is an import skill for beginner archers to learn.

Lesson Two - Target Archery with Traditional Recurve, with a break in the middle for a Lecture on Arrrowheads

Note - Target Archery is your standard stationary target at the same distance, which is better for learning how to fine tune your aim at that one specific distance.

Lesson Three - Olympic Style Form Lecture + Target Archery, with a break in the middle for a Lecture on Arrow Spine. The lesson would focus on gradually teaching the student how to use a Olympic sight and stabilizer, and how to perform a "live release".

Note - Not all Olympic archers prefer live releases. Some prefer to use a dead release, although most do prefer a live release. I leave it up to the student to decide which they prefer.

South Korean archer Chang Hye-Jin

Lesson Four - Fine Tuning with the Olympic Recurve + possibly going to a further distance if the student is ready. Demo on how to wax a bowstring. The lesson may focus on aspects like keeping the bow hand relaxed during the Follow Through, how to control breathing, etc.

Olympic Archery Clicker
Lesson Five and Beyond

I find this really depends on the student's needs, as each student will have different problems they need to address. Topics would include:

  • How to shoot at longer distances.
  • How to compensate for wind conditions.
  • How to handle Mental Stress/Fatigue.
  • How to cure Gold Shy and Target Anxiety.
  • How to use a Clicker.
  • How to shoot in the rain (as competitions are sometimes rain or shine).
  • Other factors that are usually unique to Olympic archers. eg. Competition Anxiety.
Things Not Being Taught

There are certain topics that I don't teach Olympic students, because they are essentially useless to someone who only wants to shoot Olympic style competitively at 70 meters. For example:
  • How to shoot at a moving target.
  • How to shoot downhill or uphill.
  • How to shoot while in motion.
  • Stylistic differences between traditional recurve and longbows / flatbows / horsebows.
  • How to adjust your aim based on changing distances.
  • Advanced Field Archery.
  • Clout Archery.
  • Archery Games/Activities such as Popinjay or Roving.
  • Skywalking (style of aiming for extreme long distance shooting).
  • How to Overdraw on purpose.
  • How to Stringwalk on purpose.
  • How to Facewalk on purpose.
  • How to shoot around obstacles.
  • How to shoot while kneeling or sitting.
  • How to shoot faster.
  • How to shoot instinctively (which sadly many people misunderstand what counts as instinctive).
  • How to adjust and micro-adjust sights on a compound bow*.
  • Tricks for getting extra accuracy on a compound bow*.
  • How to synchronize the cams on a compound bow*.
  • How to change the poundage on a compound bow*.
  • Etc.
* I decided to include a few examples that are specifically just for compound shooters. Maybe someday I will post a lesson plan for compound archers.


Equipping the Olympic Archer

Around lesson five the student should be ready to buy their own archery equipment, if they have not done so already. I figured since I am writing about the lesson plan, I should also warn students about the financial costs of getting into Olympic Archery.

Expect to be spending about $700 + the cost of the arrows, which might cost an additional $180 or more depending on the quality of the arrows (the professionals use arrows that cost $600 for a dozen). Plus taxes. I didn't bother to even include 13% HST.

It is possible to get a cheaper Olympic bow (used maybe???) or a cheap counterfeit (no warranty!!!), or a poor / mediocre Olympic bow that does not even live up to the word "decent". To get a decent bow, expect to be spending $500 or more on the bow alone. Anything less than that and I question the quality and authenticity of the manufacturer.

And that is just for a decent Olympic bow. For a high end one you could be spending $750 USD (approx. $975 CDN) on just the riser, and another $750 USD on the limbs. No bowstring included, everything sold separately. (Plus the cost of shipping from the USA or South Korea, where the best Olympic bows are made.)

They will want to find the following.
  • A decent Olympic-style recurve bow, with bow limbs in a suitable poundage for their experience and strength.
  • Olympic stabilizer, preferably one that is not too heavy or light.
  • Shooting Tab
  • Clicker
  • Nock Bead
  • Sight
  • Arrow Rest
  • Bowstring Wax
  • Spare Bowstring (in case the first one breaks)
  • A dozen Olympic-style arrows, which are typically more expensive than regular arrows. The arrows need to be cut to the archer's precise draw length for their clicker.
Optional Items
  • Bracer / Arm Guard
  • Quiver
  • Archery Gear Backpack for transporting gear.
  • Chest Guard


Archery Chest Guards

    The Endangered Tiger Archery Target

    The wife of one of my students likes to make things out of Papier-mâché. She made the tiger head shown below. It isn't very big as you can see.



    Even at close range the tiger head looks quite small.

    According to my student, his wife makes all sorts of Papier-mâché animals. Owls, deer, bears, critters big and small.

    So for fun today he brought a Papier-mâché tiger head for us to shoot at. It seemed appropriate seeing his wife didn't want it anymore - it was a failed attempt.

    And she has many more failed attempts that she throws out regularly, into the recycling.

    Reducing her Papier-mâché is not an option, but Reusing them for archery certainly is.

    • Reduce
    • Reuse
    • Repair
    • Recycle

    And reusing old things as archery targets is something archers enjoy. Coffee lids, coffee cups, old photographs, old broken guitars...


    Each time my student hit the tiger head we moved it back three paces. By the end of the lesson it was a good distance out. Sometimes he would hit it so hard the head rolled over or spun around. Also the impacts would break chunks off, so the head was slowly shrinking as it got further away due to lost bits that had broken off.

    DISCLAIMER - I do not endorse the shooting of real tigers. Only fake ones. Or were-tigers. Are were-tigers real or fake? If you get bit by a were-tiger and become one, please let me know whether were-tigers are a real thing or not. Otherwise, yeah. Please do not shoot real tigers. They're endangered. Don't be a jerk.

    There are many other things you might consider using as an archery target. The following video below is of a group of archers shooting at a broken Walmart guitar. According to the owner it costs $50 for a new Walmart guitar, but a lot more than that to repair one. So what do you do with a broken Walmart guitar that is not worth repairing?

    Shoot at it of course!






    Job offer to teach archery in Japan

    Last week I received a job offer to teach archery in Japan at a resort. They are looking for an experienced instructor who can teach a variety of different kinds of archery to complete beginners. Woot? Or maybe not woot... keep reading!

    They were offering an annual salary of 2 million yen (roughly $23,000 CDN) plus free room and board at the resort.

    Sounds like a sweet offer, yes?

    Think again.

    #1. I am married and my wife just graduated law school, which means she is currently articling as a lawyer. Articling is sort of like an apprenticeship. So we are not going anywhere until she finishes articling.

    #2. My wife and I have a son now. I spend most of my weekdays looking after him and I usually only teach archery on weekends (although I can sometimes teach on Thursdays and Fridays). When in doubt, ask.

    #3. I happen to like my current routine of looking after my son and teaching archery when available.

    The resort wanted me to be available to teach 7 days per week, from 9 AM to 7 PM. With breaks whenever there was a lack of students. And I would be expected to work on holidays. So that is 10 hour days, 70 hour weeks. Practically sweatshop hours.

    Now I can do math.

    70 hour weeks... x 52 weeks. 3,640 hours per year. At $23,000 per year...

    Is $6.32 per hour.

    Which is less than Japan's minimum wage, but since I get free room and board, and breaks whenever there is *supposedly* a lack of students... apparently it circumvents Japan's minimum wage laws. Seems awfully fishy.

    Somehow I doubt there would be a lack of students and many breaks.

    So I would probably be working sweatshop hours and rarely get to see my son.

    #4. I used to teach English in South Korea many years ago. That whole experience made me distrustful of the corrupt "hagwon" system in Korea. Is the resorts in Japan similar to Korean hagwons? Maybe. I don't see any point in finding out.

    #5. I checked... the starting rate for teaching English in Japan is about 3 million yen per year. So it would actually make more sense for me to teach English instead of archery. Better pay.

    True, I love teaching archery - but teaching it 70 hours per week would take some of the fun out of it. My current system of less hours, better pay suits me just fine.

    #6. No pay for the first 3 months. Afterwards they would pay me 222,222 yen per month. This is to deter people who aren't serious about sticking around, so they claim. Makes me wonder what the turnover rate of new employees is.

    #7. This offer started to sound more and more like a scam. Trick foreigners into working in horrible conditions, pay them peanuts... most of them quit before 3 months.

    #8. Cost of living in Japan is very high. Korea and China are cheap in comparison.

    Would my wife and son be expected or welcome to just hang out at the resort all the time? Most likely they would get bored of it. Which means they are going out, taking taxis, eating out, etc. Such things add up and Japan is notoriously expensive to live in.

    #9. Free plane ticket for me, but what about my wife's and son's tickets? Who pays for that? Plus how big is this room? Is it big enough for a small family?

    #10. Why would I leave a successful business here in Canada, close to friends and family, for a job offer that is dubious?

    So yes. The offer sounds like a scam. Which is why I am recommending other archery instructors to be wary of such an offer. This is also why I am not mentioning the name of the resort, where it was located, etc. I don't want other archery instructors to get sucked in to this scam. If anything, I am now doing a public service by trying to warn other people.

    So even if I didn't have a wife and son, I still wouldn't be interested in this scam. There is too many IFs and irregularities in the offer.

    Would teaching archery in Japan be fun and interesting? Sure, but I would rather not have such a risky sounding offer.

    And I would rather do it on my own terms.

    8 hour days, 5 days per week, holidays off, 4 weeks of vacation time, 3,500 yen per hour (roughly $40 CDN per hour)... 10 paid sick days, health/dental insurance benefits for myself and my family.

    So that is 40 hours per week for 48 weeks, 3,500 yen per hour is... 6.72 million yen annually. ($76,800 CDN annually.) That is enough for a family of 3 to live on.

    But even then I still wouldn't take it, because my wife's earning potential as a lawyer is greater than mine.

    I would much rather stay here. Buy a house in Toronto, practice my woodworking skills, look after my son, teach archery because I enjoy it. Maybe eventually get that horse farm and teach equestrian archery.

    Japanese Yabusame (equestrian archery) would be interesting to see... but there are other ways to see that kind of archery don't involve so many risks, what ifs and poor pay.


    The 2018 Seton Archery Tournament at the Toronto Archery Range

    I will be judging / adjudicating an archery competition on June 23rd, namely the "E. T. Seton Archery Tournament" mentioned in the image further below. As an adjudicator I will basically be called upon for my math skills and to settle any disputes about whether an arrow is touching a line (in competitions if the arrow is touching the line, it counts as the higher amount of points).

    The location is at the Toronto Archery Range within E. T. Seton Park. If you have never been there before I recommend using a map.

    The tournament is free to join and there will be prizes, and a Potluck BBQ Lunch.

    People who want to take part in the tournament should be EARLY or ON TIME. If you are the type of person who is always running late, then you should really aim to be early. People need to be there on time in order to do their Ranking Rounds and then later enter the elimination rounds.




    Three Tips for Archery Competitions
    1. Eat, drink and be merry! Food, drink and laughter reduce stress. Hunger, dehydration and melancholy are a mental distraction.
    2. Relax during your shots and focus on the quality of your form and aim. Forget everything else.
    3. Ignore your rivals, instead focus on defeating the part of yourself that is holding you back.
    And Bonus! Pay attention to the wind conditions, but don't let the wind mess you up mentally either. Two years ago I took 2nd place in a compound competition because the wind started gusting during the final rounds and it was blowing me sideways while I was shooting. The frustration made me anxious and I messed up the final round, costing me 1st place. So my primary problem wasn't my rivals, it was myself getting frustrated by the wind conditions and allowing my anxiety to win. So I failed to follow my own tip in that scenario. Part of me was also tired and just wanted the competition to be over.

    Happy shooting!

    Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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