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Showing posts with label Competitive Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Competitive Sports. Show all posts

Top 10 Calorie Burning Sports

Guest Post by Alicia Kate.

Previously in ‘12 Tips to Stay Fit with Modern Lifestyle’, one of our recommendations to get into great shape was to take up a new sport. Athletes are some of the fittest and healthiest people on the planet for a reason. In the context of fitness, playing sports is ideal for burning fat because it burns a lot of calories and you enjoy the activity so you strive harder and end up burning more than you would simply exercising. If you are looking for a new sport here are 10 calorie burning sports you should consider.

Many of the exercises below are ideal for Summer, but can also be done other times of the year.

1. Marathon

Running a marathon burns thousands of calories, with a 130 lbs runner burning 2,224 calories during a typical 26.2 mile course. A 165 lbs runner, on the other hand, will burn 2,822 calories, while 210 lbs runner will burn 3,593 calories. Marathons are the perfect way to get fit due to the training involved to be in good enough shape to be able to run one.

2. Basketball

A lot goes on when you play basketball. You run and sprint back and forth between the two hoops on the court frequently. You move constantly both to score and to block shots. For all that constant effort, you will burn upwards of 400 calories per hour depending on your body size. A fun session with friends is enough to get the heart racing and burn a lot of calories.

And there is no age limit for playing many sports. Some people keep playing well into their old age.


3. Soccer

Soccer is one of the best sports for getting into great shape, with some sources claiming that 900 to 1,400 calories per hour are burnt - although it really varies on how much they are running and the size of the individual player. Soccer players are some of the fittest athletes due to the intensity and pace of the game. A match typically lasts for around 96 minutes. While you most likely won’t be playing for that duration of time, a quick soccer game with friends can still provide a very good workout.

4. Football and Rugby

Concussion concerns in football are real, so we are recommending less physical versions of the sport—touch and flag football, and also rugby which requires a less violent method of tackling opponents. While physical contact may be prohibited in touch and flag football, you will still burn 600–900 calories an hour as you will be doing a lot of running, sprinting, pivoting, catching, and throwing.

5. Tennis

Tennis is akin to a full body workout, with your upper and lower body, along with your back and core, getting an intense burn. You will burn a lot of calories simply by moving around the court, and you will burn quite a few more swinging the racket. An hour of a singles tennis match will burn approximately 400–500 calories.

6. Swimming

Swimming, despite being low impact, is an aerobic exercise that is a full body workout. It is also one of the most accessible sports as you can swim in public pools, rivers, lakes and the ocean. The best part of swimming is that you are getting a great workout without stressing your joints. Swimming is perfect for those carrying recurring injuries and want to get back into shape.



7. Rowing

Rowing is a must try if you want to lose weight and get a great upper body workout to boot. Your shoulders, back, and biceps will be tested and that means you will burn 560 calories per hour. As mentioned, a strong back and shoulders is needed to excel in rowing, so before you try out this sport, you might want to fortify your back by performing the exercises Cardio Trek suggested in ‘6 Exercises for a Stronger Back’.

8. Boxing

To be a boxer is to be in the peak of physical condition. Going 12 rounds in the boxing ring is one of the biggest tests of endurance an athlete can go through. Boxers burn upwards of 600 calories an hour. While it may be a step too far to get into the ring in competition, boxing training is a highly effective way to burn calories and build serious strength.

Note - While Cardio Trek does provide boxing lessons for people in Toronto, it should be noted that we favour a more relaxed and jovial approach to teaching boxing wherein we focus on exercise and having fun. People who want to do boxing as a serious sport are recommended to go to a dedicated boxing gym and find a boxing coach who teaches competitive boxing.

9. Martial Arts

Learning a martial art like Tae Kwon Do or Karate can have the same intensity as boxing, but with a different focus. As kicks, elbows, knees, grappling, and even wrestling are all allowed in some martial arts (eg. Judo combines wrestling with throws), martial arts training is a true full-body workout. You will be burning between 400 to 600 calories an hour.

10. Lacrosse

The intensity and pace of Lacrosse, along with carrying and swinging a lacrosse stick, make it a highly effective sport for becoming physically fit. Upper strength along with good cardio levels are required to play this sport, which is why if you are looking to burn calories it is a good place to start.

Lacrosse is one of the potentially more violent sports on this list, and compares to say "ice hockey" and has a reputation of being pretty brutal.

Conclusions

There are many other sports worth trying and plenty of other reasons why you should play sports aside from that fact that doing so burns calories. Playing sports improves all aspects of health such as enhancing heart function, lowering cholesterol levels, improving blood circulation, and decreasing hypertension and stress levels. It also brings forth positive energy, promotes discipline, and builds self-esteem.

So, what are you waiting for? The time to play sports is now!

8 Fun Autumn Sports

Want to try a new sport this Autumn?

Autumn is a great time of year to try a new sport. It doesn't have to be a "competitive sport" per se. It is possible to do a sport just for the fun of it. And Autumn is a great time of year to be trying these new sports. There are a number of benefits to trying a new sport in the Autumn.

#1. The weather. Not too hot, not too cold. And unlike Spring, not too rainy.

#2. Less crowds in public parks and national parks.

#3. The scenery. Is there any more beautiful time of year to go outside and enjoy the wonder of nature?

So lets get started.

Fun Sport #1 - Mountain Biking in Autumn

You don't need a mountain to do it. You also don't need a fancy mountain bike either. A hybrid bicycle will get the job done. And the scenery you see will take your breath away, even in the bicycle trails of Toronto.

Below is 3 real photos taken on Toronto bicycle trails.




Fun Sport #2 - Archery

Am I biased because I happen to teach archery lessons? Yes. Is Autumn my favourite time of year to do the sport? Also yes. Seriously. The weather is wonderful. The scenery is amazing and if you get lucky you will even see some deer and other wildlife at the Toronto Archery Range.

Update, October 11th - Student and myself saw two whitetail stags today who wandered into the archery field and to the south of the target butts. It is currently the pre-rut. In a few weeks these stags will be fighting over the doe we've seeing lately.

The photo below is a screen capture from a video I made of the two stags.
 

But yes, Autumn is truly a special time of year to be doing archery. There is a reason why bowhunters most often hunt during the Autumn.


Fun Sport #3 - Basically Any Outdoor Team Sport

Soccer, field hockey, road hockey, lacrosse, baseball, etc. Pick one.

For the purposes of choosing a photograph, I am going to go with road hockey because it is pretty popular in Toronto and thus easy for people to find others who are also interested in road hockey.



Fun Sport #4 - Nature Hikes or Fell Running

Someone should turn nature hikes into a competitive sport. Oh wait, someone already has. It is called Fell Running and it even has its own marathon, known as the Barkley Marathon, and is a 100 mile hike that must be completed in less than 60 hours. The competitors have 2 and a half days to do a 100 mile hike over difficult terrain. Not for the faint hearted either. People have been known to die during the Barkley. It is a cold wet affair done in late March / early April, but the athletes who compete in it train all year long. So Autumn is a good time to train.

But if you would rather have fun doing this activity, maybe stick to bringing your camera along and enjoying the scenery. There is no need to make it a competitive sport.



Fun Sport #5 - Canoeing and Kayaking

Remember to take your camera!



Fun Sport #6 - Sandyachting

Yes, that is a real thing. See the photo below. A bit expensive to get into, but certainly a fun way to spend your Autumn. Or Spring. Or Summer. Stick skis on it instead of wheels, and you could do it in the winter too.



Fun Sport #7 - Horseriding

I wrote a post awhile back about horseback archery where to get horse riding lessons in/near Toronto. If you skip the archery stuff, just read the section about where to get horse riding lessons in/near Toronto and that will help you on your journey to finally taking up horsemanship as a skill.

Scratch that off your bucket list during the Autumn and you will get some great Autumn trail rides in the process.


Or better yet, learn how to ride a horse AND do archery, and then you will be able to do both at the same time!

Fun Sport #8 - Spelunking

The Niagara Escarpment in Ontario has various caves, caverns, crevices and chasms that a person can explore. True, you can explore caves any time of the year, but the crevices that dot the landscape along the Niagara Escarpment are best explored during the Autumn because you typically have to hike quite a bit just to get to the crevices. Summer? Too many mosquitoes and too hot. Winter? Too cold and slippery. Potentially dangerous too. But Autumn is a great time of year to explore as the weather is perfect for it.

Take a friend with you who likes to do photography and you will have a fun time.


 If caves and crevices are not your thing, the Niagara Escarpment is also home to many waterfalls. Like Inglis Falls or Hilton Falls. The photo below is of Hilton Falls, near Milton Ontario.




Steroids, HGH, SARMS and Peptides = :(

Earlier today I got an email (spam???) from a company trying to sell steroid pills / etc.

It said the following (edited so I am not accidentally advertising their company):

"Hi friend,

Good day! This is Vera from NAME OF COMPANY REMOVED, which has engaged in R&D, production and marketing steroid powders, HGH, peptides and Sarms for more than 10 years, our products are exported well into U.S. , Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy, Australia and many other areas. Our company gains high reputation among our old and new clients through the highest quality, best price, fast and safe delivery as well as the excellent customer service, many of them are famous labs.

What we can serve for our customers:
◊ 100% legit steroid powders with top purity
◊ Competitive price with frequent discount
◊ Mature logistic system to assure the delivery time
◊ Discreet package for worldwide shipping
◊ One to one on&after-sales customer service to support

If you have interests, small trial order for first cooperation to test our quality and shipping efficiency is welcomed. I'll try my best to satisfy you on your request. Looking forward to your kind reply.

Regards,
Vera
COMPANY WEBSITE REMOVED"

Getting this email disgusted me.

It is bad enough when professional athletes are induced into taking steroids because they really want to win and they manage to find someone willing to sell them a steroid or illicit drug that will allow them to cheat.

But it is even worse to be trying to sell this crap to a personal trainer / sports coach, who would then effectively become drug dealers trying to sell the drugs to their clients / athletes. That to me is much worse, as it tarnishes the sacred role of a teacher (which is what I consider myself to be) and turns the teacher into a drug dealer who can effect multiple students / clients. So not just one person is effected in such a scenario, but multiple people.



No reputable person should be dealing in steroids.

Not an athlete. Not a coach. Not an instructor. Not a personal trainer. Not a doctor. Not a nutritionist. Nobody.

Anyone who is encouraging cheating / drugging yourself to bulk up should be ashamed of themselves, and when caught banished from the industry.

Vitamins, minerals, calcium supplements, whey protein powders, creatine - these I don't have a problem with because they are all natural things we get in our diets, they are just being used as supplements to make certain the athlete is getting enough of what they need.

Whey protein is just a protein found in milk, which is separated during the process of making cheese, and is sold in powder form so people can take mix with water / milk for a protein drink. Creatine is just a chemical found in red meat that regulates energy to muscle tissue, and thus is handy for losing weight / building muscle.

As such they are used by people who know they aren't eating enough red meat or not enough protein, so that they can maximize their body's natural ability to regulate energy / build new muscle tissue.

Man-made Steroids however...

All sorts of bad side effects.

Decades of research into the topic has revealed while steroids do give a temporary advantage to athletes, they cause long term permanent side effects which I am not going to bother listing as there are so many of them. The most notable and common side effect is liver damage leading to terminal liver cancer, as steroids are also toxins and the liver will try to filter the toxins out - but doing so puts so much stress on the organ that it effectively kills the person's liver.

HGH is technically a natural hormone, human growth hormone, but humans usually only have large amounts of it when they are children or pregnant. Adults taking HGH pills is effectively unnatural and allows the person to build muscle at a faster than normal rate. It is heavily regulated too, and numerous celebrities and athletes have been arrested trying to smuggle HGH across international borders. So if it has to be smuggled into Canada by criminals, then it is definitely not something I am interested in.

SARMs, are various chemicals categorized as selective androgen receptor modulator are a type of androgenic drugs. They can be used legitimately for people who suffer from low testosterone, but for people who do not they are used to increase testosterone production. Various athletes in the NFL and NBA have been banned due to alleged use of SARMs.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids connected by peptide bonds, hence the name. They block and/or control sugar, and thus they can be used as anti-obesity medication, but are also used in the bodybuilding industry to increase energy levels to muscle tissue. Taking in combination with steroids, they give a person an unnatural edge over the competition. Some peptides can also effect the body's HGH production levels, can be used to increase testosterone levels, etc. As such an athlete who tests positive for certain peptides used to effect HGH, testosterone, and anything else that gives them a competitive edge is considered to have cheated.


Honestly... are people so obsessed with winning that they have to damage their liver and ruin the reputations just for a shiny trophy or gold medal to hang on a mantle?

Clearly some people are.

Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones, etc.

Thankfully there are some sports where doping doesn't really help. Figure skating for example is more about finesse than bulk muscle.

Tonya Harding already had the physique of an amazon that gave her a physical edge to perform triple axels - making her the first woman to complete a triple axel in a competition. But her fear of losing resulted in her conspiring with several men to put out a hit on rival Nancy Kerrigan's leg.

So there are always more ways than one to cheat in sports, but when you consider that Tonya Harding was banned from figure skating and later took up a brief career in boxing because of her financial problems.

Clearly cheating doesn't pay.

And selling the drugs to do so clearly means that a sports trainer is in it for the money, not because they actually enjoy teaching and guiding athletes.

Speaking for myself, I enjoy what I teach. It allows me to go outside and exercise regularly, and to get paid to do it. I cannot ask for anything better.

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.

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 Barkley Marathon

The Barkley Marathon is effectively a super marathon (also known as an ultra-marathon). It is over 100 miles long, on rough hiking terrain, and must be completed in less than 60 hours. Depending on the precise route, the distance is said to be closer to 120 miles - making it roughly 4 times the distance of a normal marathon (a normal marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards or 42.195 km).


The Barkley isn't so much a speed race. It is a race of endurance, determination, sacrifice, careful preparation, and orienteering skills. Most people never even finish the race. They quit because they are lost, starving, dehydrated, lost their will to finish, lacked the endurance to finish, didn't prepare enough.

Participants get a map and a compass. The route of the course is unmarked.

The Barkley Marathon Factoids
  • Takes place in late March / early April.
  • The Barkley course was designed by Gary "Lazarus Lake" Cantrell.
  • The Barkley is named after Gary's running buddy Barry Barkley.
  • Only 40 runners are allowed to run the Barkley each year.
  • Potential entrants must complete an essay on "Why I Should be Allowed to Run in the Barkley".
  • Potential entrants are expected to be experienced at running endurance races / marathons. It is not for amateurs.
  • The entrance fee is a mere $1.60.
  • First time runners are required to bring a license plate from their state/country as part of the entrance fee.
  • If accepted, an entrant receives a "letter of condolence".
  • The course is a 20 mile unmarked loop. Each runner must complete the loop 5 times to finish.
  • There are no aid stations except water at two points along the route.
  • The combined hill climb involved during the race includes 54,200 feet of accumulated vertical climb.
  • The race officially begins when a cigarette is lit by the race director, Gary Cantrell.
  • Between 1995 and 2017 only 18 people have ever finished the Barkley. The vast majority fail to even finish.
  • The current record is held by Brett Maune who in 2012 finished the race in 52 hours, 3 minutes and 8 seconds.
In 2012 a documentary about the Barkley was made, titled "The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young". The documentary film is currently available on Netflix.



What do Competitive Archers eat before a Competition?

What Fuels Archery Professionals?

Guest Post by Robert Gate - February 2017.

When preparing for a tournament each archery professional has a different way to train and to prepare for the contest. This extends to the meal they eat before the match to prepare their bodies for the strain ahead. Each member of Team USA champion has a different way to use nutrition to feed their body and to calm their mind, and the following gives insight into the food groups and dining choices these archery athletes choose and why they choose them.

Notes
  • To gain extra energy many athletes will consume sugar, salt and electrolytes moments before a competition. This isn't limited to archery, but is found across many sports.
  • With archery what they eat can be tricky, as they don't want to consume anything that might make them jittery (like caffeine), which could spoil a shot by ruining their ability to remain calm and focused.
  • Archers also want to stay well hydrated. Dehydration (and over-hydration) can cause an archer to lose focus, become forgetful, and consequently ruin shots.

Photo: World Archery
Sarah Lance
  • Breakfast: fruit, bowl of cereal or bagel
  • Snacks: Crackers and carrots
  • Drinks: Gatorade or water
Sarah Lance prefers to maintain a similar diet on a shooting day as she does on a normal average day. Making large changes in her diet alters her ability to be able to control her movement and to steady her aim. Most often she chooses the healthy option of fruit for breakfast, or sometimes the more filling option of cereal or a bagel. She likes to snack throughout the day to maintain her strength and stamina and to keep hydrated she drinks water, Gatorade and sips some soda.

Photo: World Archery
Braden Gellenthien
  • Breakfast: Salad
  • Lunch: Steak or grilled chicken
  • Snacks: Almonds, dried fruit, and Clif Bars
Braden Gellenthien likes to prepare for a tournament a week in advance. This includes making healthier food choices that will give his body the edge that it needs. During this period, he prepares all of his meals at home and grills his meat instead of frying it. This way his body is adjusted to his healthier life choices when the time comes for the archery contest. He makes sure all his nutrition is covered by including meats, fruits, and greens in his daily diet. The snacks are also natural, healthy and allow his body to feel light and agile.

Photo: World Archery
Erika Jones
  • Snacks: Subway, Pringles, and Oreos
Erika Jones prefers to take a more casual approach to meals at a tournament and eats what she wishes. This can be a healthy option or give in to her cravings and bring a snack higher in sugar and salt content.

Photo: World Archery
Lee Ford-Faherty
  • Snacks: Veggies and Carbs
  • Drinks: Powerade Zero
Lee Ford-Faherty bases her diet on the components that will give her the most energy. This includes a diet high in carbohydrates and protein which as an athlete she needs. She believes that it is possible to eat healthily wherever you are for the same cost as it would purchase a nutritionally deficient meal. She makes sure she gives her body the fuel it needs to perform and to give it the right balance of nutrients to maintain her endurance. She also gives her body a lot of fluid because it is quickly lost when standing in the heat of the sun. For this, she drinks Powerade Zero, which as well as hydrating her replaces vital electrolytes.

Photo: World Archery
Crystal Gauvin
  • Drink: Water
Crystal Gauvin’s main focus is to drink a lot of water to keep herself hydrated over long periods of standing. Nuun tablets can be placed in the water to replace electrolytes sweated out while shooting and also provides a sweeter taste to the drink. It is healthier than other sports drink options and still provides the hydration and energy that an athlete needs. She brings her cool water to a tournament to ensure she has a constant supply and as much as she feels she needs.

Photo: Sarah Bernstein
Ariel Gibilaro
  • Breakfast: Bagel with cream cheese or egg
  • Snacks: Chewy Bars and Crackers
  • Drink: Water
Ariel Gibilaro finds it difficult to keep to her usual eating routine when attending a tournament due to the traveling and the extended training involved. Long days at the tournament means most of her meals are snack sized and easy to carry. Chewy Bars and crackers can easily be carried with her and quickly eaten when she has a spare moment. One meal she tries to take regularly is her breakfast, which is a bagel spread with cream cheese or served with eggs for protein. To keep hydrated, she chooses water as the healthiest and most natural option.

Photo: archery.tv
Christie Colin
  • Dinner: Restaurant food
Christie Colin believes she deserves to have some fun after a hard day at a tournament. She likes to take her friends to The Olive Garden and restaurants and binge on carbohydrates.

Mackenzie Brown
Photo: Mackenzie Brown
  • Snacks: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Dinner: Italian
Mackenzie Brown brings pre-prepared snacks to tournaments with her, so she doesn’t have to worry while busy with the competition. These snacks on an international trip remind her of home and include the traditional American peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She treats herself before a ranking match to dinner at an Italian restaurant with pasta as the main course.

Photo: Dean Alberga
Reo Wilde
  • Dinner: McDonalds
Some less professional and unconventional athletes prefer a quick and easy alternative. Reo Wilde prefers to grab fast food before the tournament and he always relies on McDonalds to be there, wherever he is in the world.



Robert Gate is the founder of Archerytopic.com. He was enthusiastic about hunting from the first shot, from then he decided to become a pro hunter. If you find something helpful in his blog, he would be proud to hear from you.

Canadian women's hockey - why is it not televised more often???

Canada's Women's Olympic Hockey Team took the gold two years ago in February 2014 in a nail biting game against Team USA. The USA was winning most of the game 2 to nothing, and then the Canadian women tied it up during the last 5 minutes of the 3rd period - followed by winning in overtime.

It was a truly memorable and entertaining game.

But it made us think:

Why does the CBC not broadcast women's hockey games more often?

I mean once every 4 years at the Olympics seems like showing a lot of favouritism towards men's hockey, especially when the NHL is basically all year round when you are living in Canada.

And what is more, the broadcasting rights for Hockey Night in Canada was lost. The CBC lost the rights back in November 2013 when Rogers Telecommunications outbid them in a huge 12-year landmark deal worth $5.2 billion CDN.

A sub-licensing agreement with CBC allows the public broadcaster to continue airing "Hockey Night in Canada" on Saturday nights for four years - and then they will lose the rights to air after that.

Which to me means it is now time for Canadian women's hockey to shine.

Think of this as an opportunity for the CBC to finally - after decades of waiting - to finally broadcast women's hockey on a regular basis.


The CWHL (Canadian Women's Hockey League) was founded in 2007 and has 5 teams:

Boston Blades
Brampton Thunder
Calgary Inferno
Montreal Stars
Toronto Furies


The members of many of those teams represented Canada in the Olympics. So we know they are really good at what they do.

If the CBC started broadcasting their games we would see a huge rise in attendance, more people becoming fans of CWHL, more support for women's hockey in general.

Hockey Night in Canada? I say it is past time for Women's Hockey Night in Canada.

See also: Women's Hockey in Canada at a Crossroads

Women's Hockey in Canada at a Crossroads

The post below is regarding the 2010 Winter Olympics, during which Canadian women hockey players took the gold. The post below was originally written in 2010, but has since been reposted here.

See also our 2nd post on this topic: Canadian women's hockey - why is it not televised more often???

Not a lot of women around the world play hockey. Heck, not a lot of men do either. As a sport its really only popular in Canada, the USA, northern Europe and Russia. There are other countries who send women's hockey teams to the Olympics, but its really only a token effort because they don't really spend much on their teams beyond buying all the women on the team a custom hockey jersey and paying for their transportation to the Olympics. Just a hunch, but the women on the poorer country teams probably have to pay for their hockey equipment.

The future of women's hockey has become problematic as far as the Olympics is concerned. Since becoming an Olympic sport Canada has won 3 of the 4 Olympic golds and the USA has won the other 1 remaining. No other nation has either come close. (In 2014 Canada won gold again, bringing the total to 4 golds for Canada, 1 for the USA.)

The problem doesn't end there however. There is no professional Women's Hockey League televised on TV or broadcast on the internet. Women hockey players are basically unpaid amateurs.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is thinking of dumping women's hockey as a sport because nobody else has been able to beat Canada or the USA in hockey. Not even the Russians or the Swedes, or any other Scandinavian country which is usually pretty good at hockey.

This lack of competition has the IOC thinking about dropping the puck on women's hockey and ditching it altogether.

At the IIHF World Championships Canada won 9 of the 12 available gold medals. Team USA won the other 3. At the Olympics Sweden is the only one to get a silver (by beating Team USA in 2006) and Sweden and Finland have managed to take home bronzes during other years and at the World Championships Sweden, Finland and Russia have gained medals, but likewise have been shut out of the gold.

Part of the problem is that Canada has a lot more minor/amateur hockey competitions for women to do / join. Other countries don't have the teams and tournaments available for young women to join, strengthen their skill in the sport and get better at it.

Its a bit like those poor North Korean soccer players who sucked so bad at the World Cup because they had diddly squat for experience.

Just look at the scores: The Canadian women's hockey team has scored an astonishing 140 times and only been scored on 9 times. The USA trails with 107-12. When our teams are that good it becomes evident the other teams are just amateurs trying as best as they can.

The good news is that many people in North America take hockey as a sport seriously. There is a market and support for a professional women's hockey league, but the question of getting it started is the real issue. Canada has 77,000+ women's hockey players. The USA has 60,000+. Import the best players from Russia and northern Europe (just like we do for the NHL) and while the games are hosted in North America it really becomes an international sport.

In theory it doesn't have to be hosted/limited to North America. An International Women's Hockey League (IWHL) would work just as well.

The hope then is that women's hockey will become a permanent thing with other countries gaining more experienced players... but at the same time women's hockey will finally be getting the respect it deserves.

In the photos above Team Canada celebrates the gold with beer and cigars. The behaviour caused a bit of an uproar at the time but it was all in good fun. (Six years later it seems ridiculous as most people probably don't even remember that incident.)

It should be noted that one of the objections to women's hockey is the fistfights that sometimes happen. Its considered normal for hockey, but not normal for women (hence why women's boxing has had troubles being accepted in the past).

"Its not a sport until a fight breaks out."

Five Tips for Winning an Archery Competition

Yesterday (Saturday, June 25th) I took part in an archery competition. The events in question included three categories of archery: Olympic, Compound and Barebow. Unfortunately they were short on competitors for the Compound and Olympic categories, and while I don't normally compete in such things, I agreed to take part so that they would have more competitors.

Drawing upon the experience, I have constructed a list of five tips for people looking to take part in archery competitions.

Tip #1. Understand the system being used for the particular competition you are in.

For example, the competition yesterday involved 3 ranking rounds, 3 shots per round. The results from those 9 shots (3 rounds x 3 shots per round) then determined your rank for the duels.

The rankings then determined the order of the duels, the highest ranking people facing off initially against the lowest ranking people. The winners of those duels progress to the next level, the losers duel it out to stay in the competition, if they lose round two then they are eliminated. As the duels continue, they eventually reach 4 semi-finalists, who are narrowed down to two people - the finalists.

Understanding how the competition system works will give you a better idea of how you are expected to win the competition. A dueling system like above could knock people out of the competition just by having 1 or 2 bad rounds.

In my case, there was only 3 people competing in the compound competition. So I was ranked against Randy, and then after I won that duel I faced Luis. Below are the scores during the rounds:

Charles Vs Randy

Round 1
Charles 10x 9 8 = 27 with one bullseye
Randy 5 3 3 = 11


Round 2
Charles 7 7 1 = 15
Randy 9 8 4 = 21


Round 3
8 6 5 = 19
7 6 5 = 18


Total Charles 61 vs Randy 50

Charles Vs Luis

Round 1
8 7 5 = 20
8 8 8 = 24

Round 2
4 3 2 = 9
10 9 8 = 27

Round 3
9 7 7 = 23
9 8 5 = 22

Total Charles 52 vs Luis 73

Round 3 Vs Luis. Green Fletch = My Arrows, Orange Fletch = Luis Arrows.

Tip #2. Keep track of everything you did during the rounds of the competition.

This isn't just useful for the current competition, but will help you to analyze what you did well and what you did wrong, that way you can use that information for future competitions as well.

So for example I know Round 1 vs Randy I took my time and did very well. Round 2, I rushed the shots when I should have took more time. Round 3, I narrowly beat Randy by 1 point by forcing myself to be more patient.

Versus Luis, I did okay during the first round, but during round 2 I encountered two problems. The first problem was mental, I had calculated that I needed to improve my score by at least 4 points just to catch up to Luis. This caused me to stress more about my shot and tense up. The second problem was wind, which caused me to stress more. After the first shot did so poorly I felt like I was already defeated and it didn't matter any more. By the second shot, it was clear my score was going to be dismal, thus by the third shot I had basically given up. Round 3 I recouped some of losses and even beat Luis by 1 point, but by then it was too late.

Analyzing this after the fact, you realize that what I really did wrong during the first duel was that I rushed the 2nd round when I should have been more patient, I could have got a score in the 20s had I not rushed it. And the second duel was mostly mental, and a dose of patience could have helped versus the second round when the wind was messing with my head.

Tip #3. Practice, Warmup and Tune before a Competition

I joined that competition last minute and had only practiced shooting compound once during the previous two weeks. I had hoped to arrive at the competition an hour early to do some "last minute practicing" but ended up arriving about 30 minutes before the event instead.

Had I known I was going to be taking part in the competition further in advance, I should have been practicing compound 3 times per week, tuning the bow for more accuracy, and I should have made more of an effort to arrive earlier and give myself ample time to "warm up" before the event.

In comparison Luis, the winner, regularly shoots compound and was amply prepared. I divide my practice time between traditional recurve, longbow, Olympic recurve and compound.

Thus anyone wishing to do better during a competition should be practicing the archery style in question more regularly so that they will well-practiced and well-tuned before the event. Showing up early to warmup is also handy.

Tip #4. Pace what you eat and drink.

Having a BBQ on a hot day and cold drinks may sound like a great idea for a party, but for an archery competition you would be better off eating healthier and trying to pace your consumption of both food and liquids. Obviously you want to avoid dehydration on a hot day, but you should also try to avoid over-hydration, eating too much and feeling bloated.

Since the competition yesterday was just for fun, it didn't really matter what I ate or drank during the event, but during any serious event people should try to be more cautious about their eating habits.

Tip #5. Mentally prepare yourself to prevent competition anxiety.

During the 30 minutes that I warmed up before the event I focused mostly on shooting a longer distance, so that when I was shooting at the distance at the shorter competition distance it would feel comparatively easy. I feel this did actually help.

There are other ways to mentally prepare yourself, including regular practice so you feel more confident in your skills.

Other Ways to Mentally Prepare Yourself:
  1. Choose and maintain a positive attitude - basic skill.
  2. Maintain a high level of self-motivation - basic skill.
  3. Set high, realistic goals - basic skill.
  4. Deal effectively with people using social skills - basic skill.
  5. Use positive self-talk - intermediate skill.
  6. Use positive mental imagery - intermediate skill.
  7. Manage anxiety effectively - advanced skill.
  8. Manage their emotions effectively - advanced skill.
  9. Maintain concentration - advanced skill.
Mental Skills Pyramid for Competitive Athletes

Some of the above mental skills come with taking part in competitions regularly, as experience will allow an athlete to draw upon past experiences with competition anxiety and they will be able to better cope with that anxiety.

You will also note that the above skills are useful for other kinds of competitions. Or public speaking.

Final Notes

I also won an arrow case as a door prize just for showing up, which was actually the primary reason I took part in the competition. I just wanted the arrow case right from the beginning. I had zero use for a trophy to collect dust.

Happy Competing!

Stringwalking vs Facewalking at Traditional Archery Competitions

Awhile back a friend on Facebook showed me the following document for a competition he is taking part in. On it the organization has clearly laid out that Stringwalking and Facewalking will not be allowed during the competition and will basically be considered cheating.


I will never understand why some people like Stringwalking and making their arrows slower, less accurate and more unstable during flight. Sure it allows them to be lazy about how they aim, but the negatives to their accuracy far outweigh any benefits due to laziness.

Stringwalking follows the principle that if the arrow is angle differently by changing the position of the arrow on the string that is will travel at a different speed and thus land in a different spot. Advocates of Stringwalking use it so they can avoid changing their aim so much and instead just change where the arrow is nocked on the string. However doing so causes the arrow to be off-center on the bowstring, resulting in top and bottom limbs of the bow doing different amounts of work during the shot - which in turn changes the speed and acceleration of the limbs bouncing back to their non-drawn position. That change of speed hurts the speed, stability and accuracy of the arrow and ultimately results in an inferior shot.

Stringwalking Amateur

Facewalking in contrast at least makes some logical sense and doesn't reduce arrow speed or accuracy. The arrow maintains its level of accuracy during flight, the only thing that has changed is the anchor point drawn to on the face of the archer.

eg. A low anchor point for targets further away. A higher anchor point for targets closer to the archer.

The problem with Facewalking is that it involves a lot of guesswork for determining the distance to the target. The archer would have to deliberately train and practice doing Facewalking at many different distances in order to get even a semblance of accuracy.

An Amazing Example of What Not To Do

As opposed to the traditional method of shooting which is to use the same nock point on the string during every shot, the same anchor spot all the time, and the only thing changing is where you aim based on the distance to the target.

Stringwalking and Facewalking are basically old archers tricks for adjusting their aim, but they are problematic because they are not that accurate, and notoriously frowned upon by veteran archers. They are commonly used these days by amateurs who think, mistakenly, that it will somehow improve their accuracy. Amateurs who haven't yet figured out how to gauge distances and adjust their aim accordingly. Which unfortunately is no good for Facewalkers, because they still haven't learned how to gauge distances and are just guessing at the distance or are relying on being told what the range to the target is.

Thus when I saw the above rule for the archery competition above, I laughed.

Why did I laugh?

Because they are basically banning inferior methods of adjusting your aim. Stringwalking is notoriously bad for the accuracy and arrow flight, whereas Facewalking is notoriously problematic because it still requires the archer learn how to gauge distances, a skill they have deliberately avoided learning and have wasted their time trying to learn a way to "cheat" that doesn't actually work.

As an analogy lets ask what would happen if the Summer Olympics banned sprinters from wearing extra weights on them while sprinting.

Extra weight isn't going to help sprinters to go faster. It will make them go slower. It isn't cheating, quite the opposite it is a negative.

It would be like golfers not being allowed to hop on one foot while attempting to whack the golf ball with their favourite driver. Hopping on one foot certainly wouldn't be cheating, it would be a severe disadvantage.

Or it would be like a professional boxer not being allowed to take 10 sleeping pills before going in to the ring. Chances are likely the boxer will either be knocked unconscious, he or she will likely fall asleep mid-fight when the pills kick in.

Now you understand why I find the banning of Stringwalking / Facewalking laughable. The organizers of the event clearly want to discourage such an amateur method of aiming, not because it is cheating but because they know how notoriously bad those two styles are and instead choosing to discourage those styles in an effort to encourage beginner archers to learn how to gauge distances and adjust their aim the traditional way.

What is the difference between Amateur Athletes and Professionals?

What is the difference between Amateur Athletes and Professional Athletes?

Well, for starters lets talk about Food and Nutrition.

One of the things that has annoyed me in the past is when someone contacts me asking for training in a specific competitive sport because they want to become a professional athlete and I start asking them questions about their diet and nutrition - which are extremely important questions when it comes professional sports because of how competitive it is.

And the response, quite often, is that they don't think their nutrition is an important factor in their sports career. Not their exact words, but basically they downplay how important nutrition is. Which I take to be a clue that their level of nutrition isn't very good and they don't want to admit it.

To use a racing car analogy, poor nutrition would be like putting sub-standard fuel into a race car that runs on high performance octane (usually 94 or higher). You don't really expect the car using sub-standard gasoline to win if you know everyone else in the race is using high performance octane, do you?

So to me, the question of the differences between amateur athletes and professional athletes is a case of food. Food equals fuel. And if you want your body to be a high performance machine then it needs to be using high performance fuel.

Amateur athletes often totally ignore the quality of their nutrition.

Professional athletes take their nutrition very seriously.

I have a book on my shelf, one of my favourites, called "High Performance Sports Conditioning", edited by Bill Foran. It was published in 2001, but not much has changed in the world of sports conditioning during the last 15 years. I highly recommend finding a copy of if your goal is to be participating in professional sports. During chapter one it discussed 'Establishing a Solid Fitness Base' and talks about athletes building a Team of Support Staff including:
  • Athletic Trainer or Coach (that is my job)
  • Sport Nutritionist (to advise on nutritional issues)
  • Sport Physical Therapist (for treatment of injuries)
  • Physician (in case of serious injuries)

Acquiring one of each of these is basically a necessity for any professional athlete. The names of the individuals may change over time as an athlete's competitive career changes. They might start with their family doctor as their physician and later gain a Team Physician if they end up on a team of athletes that train together.

Having these people found in advance is an advantage because what if a situation arises and you, for example, break your leg, and you don't even have a family doctor. Instead you are going to walk-in clinics where you get random doctors who are barely out of medical school and have no experience with sports injuries.

Find these people in advance, and then begin training.

Amateur athletes won't think that will need a team of support staff, and thus won't bother to get them. That means no coaching, no nutritional advice, they might have a family doctor but not necessarily a doctor familiar with sports injuries, and they definitely won't have a physical therapist who specializes in sports injuries.

Coaching obviously is going to be a big factor as well. Coaching doesn't necessarily happen every day however. It might be once per week or even once every two weeks. Coaches are usually also available via phone or email to answer questions the athlete might have.

As athletic trainers go coaches fulfill three important roles:

#1. Knowledge Base - to provide the athlete with a plethora of knowledge in their chosen sport with respect to learning how to best achieve results during competition, how to train towards specific goals, what exercises to be doing, any cross-training to be doing, how to create a training schedule, etc.

#2. Motivational Guidance - the coach is there to keep the athlete motivated, to keep trying harder in order to succeed.

#3. Mental Game - some athletes develop problems mentally and lose focus on what they are supposed to be doing. In archery for example professional archers will sometimes develop problems like "Target Panic" which is an anxiety that causes them to become anxious and then shoot too soon when they are not ready yet, or also "Gold Shy" is when an archer starts deliberately missing unconsciously or subconsciously. It is the coaches job to be part psychologist and cure the athlete of any mental problems they might be facing.

Note - My solutions to both of the above two problems is to either take a break from normal shooting and practice doing something different for fun (like shooting at moving targets), or to deliberately make the challenge harder so that the archer is forced to concentrate more.

Lastly, professional athletes Practice and Train 3 to 5 days per week, depending on their sport, and use their off days to rest and recuperate. This process of Training, Resting, Training, Resting, Training, Resting, Training, etc is continuous and allows for peak muscle growth and helps prevent sports injuries like repetitive strain.

People often think that professional athletes Train, Train, Train or Practice, Practice, Practice - however that is a bit of a misunderstanding. It is more of a Train, Rest, Practice, Rest process.

An amateur who doesn't know what they are doing might simply practice every day until they exhausted or hurt themselves. That might make logical sense to them at the time, but once they learn the horrors of the first serious sports injury they will either quit the sport or rethink how they are training.

This means the professional athlete makes a Training Schedule.

Lets say for example you are a competitive compound archer. Using the above order of training, what should your 4 week training schedule be?

Week 1
Sunday Training at Gym, Monday Rest, Tuesday Practice at Archery Range, Wednesday Rest, Thursday Training at Gym, Friday Rest, Saturday Practice at Archery Range.

Week 2
Sunday Rest, Monday Training at Gym, Tuesday Rest, Wednesday Practice at Archery Range, Thursday Rest, Friday Training at Gym, Saturday Rest.

Week 3
Sunday Practice at Archery Range, Monday Rest, Tuesday Training at Gym, Wednesday Rest, Thursday Practice at Archery Range, Friday Rest, Saturday Training at Gym.

Week 4
Sunday Rest, Monday Practice at Archery Range, Tuesday Rest, Wednesday Training at Gym, Thursday Rest, Friday Practice at Archery Range, Saturday Rest.

Week 5 = Start over at 1.

Now the above training schedule is just an example of one way a person could create a training schedule. There are literally thousands of different training schedules for hundreds of different sports online available for free.

Often a training schedule will also have dates set aside for specific events, such as competitions. In the example marathon training schedule below there are dates set aside for specific marathons and events like the "National 1/2 Marathon", or the "Cherry Blossom 10 Mile", or the "Flying Pig Marathon".


Professional Equipment

Depending on the sport it is a good idea to be training with the best equipment you can find. This often means equipment that is more expensive, more durable, less likely to have problems, more adaptable, easier to use, etc.

Having the most expensive / "best" equipment isn't always a necessity however. In the world of competitive weightlifting for example it doesn't matter whether your weights are homemade or made of solid gold, 50 lbs is still 50 lbs regardless of what it is made of.

Thus for people on a budget they should be thinking in terms of the necessities. eg. A marathon runner will want a good pair of shoes and a source of water at intervals during practice runs. (Tip, if you plan your jogging route along Starbucks they give out free water. All you have to do is ask for it.) Nobody cares what the marathon runner is wearing, so any old pair of pants or shorts and a t-shirt will do. Wearing skin tight breathable fashion is not a necessity and if anything you will look silly wearing that when you are not in an actual marathon.

Conclusions

This is just a brief overview of the differences between professional athletes and amateur athletes. The following are just a few of the fundamental differences between those athletes who take seriously what they are doing and those who simply don't care, and thus are really just amateurs. That perhaps is the most fundamental difference of all. Professional athletes take everything seriously. Amateurs do not.
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Team of Support Staff, including Coaching
  • Train, Rest and Practice + Training Schedule
  • Professional Equipment

There is one last thing unfortunately... Money. You may have noticed that buying nutritional food is more expensive than buying sugary and fatty foods. Coaching is likewise expensive, as is having support staff even if you only talk to them once per month. Having all that training time might mean you don't have time for a normal 9 to 5 job either, so having money saved up so you can have time off to train is a necessity too. And of course money for equipment. Some sports are very expensive. Others less so. You might need to buy gym memberships, club memberships, etc to get access to equipment that is too expensive to buy normally, or you might decide you absolutely need that equipment so you can use it all the time - in which case it might be very expensive.

Also please note that most professional athletes (with the exclusion of team sports like baseball, hockey, football, soccer, tennis, golf, cycling, etc) don't actually make a lot of money in their chosen field. Some do because they are well paid members of a team, but most sports don't have a lot of big sponsors and thus the prize money is a lot smaller.

Thus if you manage to win some prize money that money will probably go right back into your budget for food, coaching, equipment, etc. Don't expect to be making a living off the sport.

Note - This is probably why gambling is such a problem in many professional sports. An athlete who deliberately loses can sometimes make more money losing than they can by winning. eg. Boxers taking a dive. Even big name events like the Olympics are rife with gambling, although it isn't often talked about.

Thus if you are getting into a competitive sport you really should be doing it for the right reasons. To try and attain that goal. Trying to do it for lesser reasons like greed isn't going to help you. Greed is only going to hold you back from what should be your real goal: Attaining Perfection.

Sportsmanship and Giving Back to the Community

It is my personal opinion that a true athlete should also at least attempt to be a good sportsman, to be generous and kind to their fellow athletes, and to give back to the sports community by donating their time and effort towards causes that helps the sport.

They should also admonish activities that give the sport a bad reputation, like fighting on the ice in hockey, or dentist bowhunters who poach lions for kicks, or cyclists who resort to using steroids in order to win the Tour de France. Such behaviour needs to be admonished and discouraged so that younger generations of athletes know and understand that the sport should not be defined by a few bad eggs who are violent, immoral and cheat.

Sometimes one of the best things a famed athlete can do is to simply show up, sign autographs and shake the hands of a younger generation.



If you want to read more articles like this please subscribe to CardioTrek.ca or bookmark this page and come back for more. The above post is Part One of a new series of posts about Training for Professional Athletes.

Five Ways to get into Competitive Archery

Looking to get into archery and compete? There are many ways to do so.

#1. Field Archery Competitions

Field Archery was likely invented by people fond of Roving - the traditional act of getting drunk with friends and wandering the countryside with a wineskin and a bow, shooting at things for fun. There are even songs on the topic "A Roving Will We Go" and so forth.

Field Archery is very similar, but without the drunkenness. Field archery combines shooting a bow with a hike in the woods, enjoying a wide variety of outdoor terrain, weather conditions, and shooting in varying lighting conditions. Field Archers usually shoot in groups of four, and then hike a course to shoot targets at varying distances. It is a bit like playing golf as you have to wait until the next target is clear of the previous archer(s) before you can go out there and start shooting.

In World Archery field tournaments, the course is "unmarked" on the first day of competition. Archers are expected to judge the distance and take their shots in three-arrow ends; that is, each archer shoots three times before walking to the target to score their shots. During FITA Field events archers often develop a system for estimating distances and practice it while honing their form on different types of terrain to prepare for tournaments. In comparison the National Field Archery Association tournaments the distances are marked.

Some Field Archers feel that field archery is special because archers connect with each other while they are waiting for a target to open up, and that's when they talk, share snacks and discuss how they felt about that last target, thus building new friendships amongst competitors.

Shooting through the woods like that also has a definite Robin Hood feel to it, compared to shooting in a 70 meter field at a 122 cm FITA target. Doing that all the time eventually gets boring.

In contrast Field Archery is never the same twice. Always a different course to run, different spots to stand, etc. The big trick is learning how to gauge distances, control your form on rough uneven terrain and learning how to adjust shots on upwards or downward angles. Thus if you have never done any of those things before it helps to have an archery instructor.

The other good news is that Field Archery is a sport that is friendly to all kinds of bows - longbows, compounds, recurves, shortbows. Everyone is welcome. Some competitions may be limited to only one kind of bow, but it is a sport that can be done with any kind of bow.

#2. Flight Archery Competitions

Flight Archery is all about seeing who is shooting the further, often using the most powerful / fastest bow you can shoot (within your chosen weight category) and using the lightest weight arrows you can find. The goal essentially is to shoot a super light weight arrow using a very fast bow and aim it at the correct height in order to maximize the distance the arrow will travel - possibly paying attention to wind conditions so you can have the wind in your favour.

A big factor in Flight Archery is the weight categories. It is arguably easier to win a competition (or even set a new record) using a lighter bow than it is to win a competition or set a new world record using a really heavy bow. According to legend the world record for the world's longest shot with a longbow was about 1500 yards, however it was likely done with a 200+ lb longbow, which makes it far out of the reach of normal archers.

In contrast the current male recurve flight archery champion for the under 18 kg (39.7 lbs) category boasts only approx. 650 yards. Thus someone wishing to set a new record doesn't necessarily need to be super strong to do it.

Below I have included an Arrow Trajectory Chart so you get an idea of the importance of aiming at the correct height when doing Flight Archery. Aiming too high or too low will hurt the overall distance traveled. As you can see below the correct height to aim is approximately 40 to 45 degrees.



#3. Longbow Competitions

I decided to list Longbow separately because there are many different kinds of Longbow Competitions, which include:

Clout Archery - shooting at a flag at either 180 or 140 yards away. Points are awarded by how close you get to the flag.

Beuersault - shooting at two 50 yard targets in two different directions with different wind conditions.

Cherokee Cornstalk Shooting - See Wand Shoot below, the two are very similar.

Popinjay - shooting at a wooden bird on top of a pole that is 30 yards almost straight up. Archers stand within 12 feet of the pole and try to shoot the wooden bird with a blunt tipped arrow.

Wand Shoot - trying to hit a tiny strip of wood or a ribbon at a random distance. Points are awarded for arrows landing near or hitting the strip of wood or ribbon. This is very similar to Cherokee Cornstalk shooting, except that in that sport you only score points by hitting the cornstalk.

#4. Target Archery Competitions

A. Indoor

There are many types of target archery competitions, for all types of bows. Ignoring the types of bows used one major difference is whether they are shot indoor or outdoor. A common competitive distance for teenagers to shoot during high-school for example is to shoot at 18 meters, indoors, usually in a gymnasium.

Note - I personally enjoy shooting in my garage when the weather is really cold. It isn't a long distance, but it is a lot of fun with friends, music and drinks.

B. Outdoor

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are probably the best-known example of outdoor target archery, but archers compete outdoors at everything from local to national events using every kind of equipment you can think of: Compounds, crossbows, longbows, shortbows, horsebows, traditional recurves, Olympic recurves, footbows, and a large variety of ethnic styles of archery.

Olympic archery, the kind you are most likely familiar with, involves shooting at a 122 cm FITA target at a distance of 70 meters and using every gadget you can think of - stabilizers, sights, clickers, etc.

Compound competition distances vary, but are commonly between 50 meters and 150 meters. Some competitors are so good at this they could probably shoot bulls-eyes further than that, but there are a shortage of competitions that bother to go for really long distances. Targets for compounds are usually 80 cm, and again they use lots of gadgets to help their accuracy.

Ontario hosts over 200 outdoor target competitions every year, for a wide variety of different bows, and many of these competitions are within a short drive of Toronto. So there is no excuse not to try it if that is what you are interested in.

#5. 3D Competitions

Like field archery, 3D archery involves wooded ranges and challenging terrain, but this sport also features three-dimensional animal targets on marked and unmarked courses. You don't know the distance to the target and the target might be as small as a rabbit or as big as a moose, it really depends on who designed the course and what they had handy for targets.

3D archers hike to shooting stations, where they then estimate distances to the animal target. However, most 3D tournaments only allow one shot per target. Even if you are not into hunting, 3D archery provides a fun, challenging test. 3D competition distances are much shorter than those for target or field archery, so it's accessible to beginners, with ranges typically being less than 30 yards.

To practice for 3D archery, you must practice judging distances, develop stamina to carry your equipment, and learn the scoring rings for different animal targets. Carrying binoculars is handy if you need to verify where you want to aim.

Like Field Archery above, 3D archery feels special because you're shooting in a natural setting at an animal target, even if it is a fake animal. The varied terrain adds an extra challenge and you will often make new friends while doing it. Tip - Hang out with the veterans and old archers who know what they are doing, you will learn lots from them.

BONUS - Archery Tag League Play

Archery Tag is such a new sport, but it already has evolved into a team sport with leagues where teams can compete against one another. Toronto has over half a dozen archery tag locations now and several of them offer the option of League events (eg. Battle Sports). So if you are in favour of shooting at moving human targets, that is certainly an option.
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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