Athletes Corner

Athletes Corner

Some information that you might find useful as an athlete!



Therapeutic Use Exemptions

As you may or not know there are times we the athletes have to take prescribed or over the counter medicines for illness, pain, etc. A lot of these 'medications' are on a prohibited list that is updated from time to time by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ... READ MORE


Dietary Supplements


Dear Colleagues

WADA, World Archery, Drug Free Sport New Zealand and Archery New Zealand all remind athletes that some supplements can cause anti-doping rule violations through contamination.
We remind all athletes that you are personally responsible for what you put into your body, Archery New Zealand takes no responsibility for what any supplements may contain.

Carole A Hicks
National Secretary

Extract from Stuff NZ July 2013
Asafa Powell, the former 100-metre record holder, and Sherone Simpson, a three-time Olympic medalist, tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican championships last month. Their agent, Paul Doyle, contends something in the new supplements the sprinters were taking caused it."
"Asafa and Sherone have been tested more than 100 times each through their career ... and never turned in a positive test," Doyle told the AP in a phone interview. "Now they change their supplements and the first time they get tested, they have a positive test? It has to be something in those new supplements that has caused it. 
While the sprinters had been led to believe everything they were taking was untainted, --- the athletes should have been more responsible about which supplements they used.
"In hindsight, we should've been given a list, made sure we got a list - we didn't have the ingredient list."




February 2012

Here we are again, so soon and being asked for another article for our archers.
Since the outdoor season has kicked off and we are entering into what is shaping up to be a long hot summer, I thought covering some of the basics as a reminder to those seasoned archers and also information for new and junior archers may be useful.

Firstly the subject of Hydration.
If we are doing FITA's (now known as WA's – not used to that yet!) many of us are out there for a long day, perhaps 6 hours, maybe longer. Fluids are extremely important!
Hypo-hydration or dehydration (total body water below normal) impairs the body's ability to regulate heat (through sweating) resulting in increased body temperature and an elevated heart rate. Heart rate is something we need to control during archery. Perceived exertion from this faster heart rate causes the archer to feel more fatigued than usual. Mental function is also reduced which can have negative implications for our motor control, decision making and concentration, again all of these aspects are vital to archery. Negative effects have been detected when fluid deficits are as low as 2%, this is not a lot.
When we talk about fluids we are not talking about the coffee or tea you may have had or the other drinks containing caffeine, the beer or wine or soft drinks you may have consumed the night before, we are talking water or electrolyte/isotonic drinks (sports drinks).
The good news is that by drinking regularly during any type of exercise, athletes, and in this case archers can prevent the declines in concentration and skill level, improve perceived exertion, prevent excessive elevations in heart rate and body temperature and improve their performance.
So, how much do we need to drink? This can vary widely. Bigger people need more than smaller people, fitter people tend to sweat earlier and more, some people just sweat more than other, humidity causes more fluid loss, higher air temperature will cause more fluid loss and so on. The we add in how much in the way of fluid filled foods you have eaten (fruits & vegetables) and how many dehydrating beverages you have consumed. So it is not as easy as saying “8 Glasses of water a day”.
I would suggest that the first thing you do on the morning of a shoot is drink some water, 1-2 glasses do this before you have your coffee or tea so you rehydrate the body from the night before. Drink before shooting and then take regular sips of water or sports drinks during the competition rather than trying to load up again during lunch. If you start to feel headachy, tired, get cramps, your urine is darker in colour or your stop sweating then you need to drink more.
Electrolyte drinks or sports drinks are also beneficial if it is hot as they will provide you with some essential sodium and potassium which you will be loosing, just avoid the very sweet ones that are high in sugars. If you don't want to spend lots of money on electrolyte drinks then you can make your own. 1 litre of filtered water, ¼ tsp sea salt and ½ tsp of raw honey. Let is dissolve and Voilà! You have an electrolyte drink. Don't forget to continue to re-hydrate at the end of the day – especially if you have another day of shooting coming up.

Don't forget your sunscreen! Even if it is overcast or the day starts out as wet – make sure you have your sunscreen on or at least with you. Weather can change over the course of the day and we should all know by now just how harsh our sun is. I find the gel based ones good as they do not leave your hands slippery compromising your grip. You can also look at some of the brands of “Compression Clothing”. These can keep you warm or cool depending on the weather, help with circulation and getting oxygen to the muscles and they can also keep the sun off your arms which are hanging out there in it all day! The other bonus is that they don't get in the way of your bow string. Most brands come in white which is better for reflecting the heat.

Food is a very individual thing and very dependant on an individuals metabolism, activity levels, genetics etc. Keeping it simple, think about having a good breakfast in the morning which includes some complex carbohydrates for quicker acting energy and some protein for longer lasting energy. Eggs on toast, beans on toast, omelette, protein shake, cereal fruit and yogurt etc, but not the big fry up or big breakfast you may be attracted to especially if you have travelled to a tournament. 
Take some snacks with you like dried fruit and nuts (trail mix) muslie bars that don't contain too much sugar or fat (something like the “One Square Meal” ones are good), fruit that is easy to eat (banana's, berries, stone fruit, apples etc). Try to avoid getting into the high sugar snacks early in the day as you energy will spike up and run out quickly and you will feel tired and grumpy even, keep these for the afternoon if you are starting to fade. I find before 30m is a good time for me – some jet planes, snakes or some dark chocolate to lift me until the end.
Take lunch. Doesn't sound hard, but rather than race around at lunchtime trying to find somewhere that has what you feel like, make you own the night before or in the morning. Again a mix of complex carbohydrates and a little protein will suit most, but also make sure it is not a BIG lunch otherwise all your energy goes into digesting it after lunch leaving you feeling tired and sluggish. Snacking during the shooting helps keep lunch to a moderate size that will be digested efficiently. And don't eat things you don't normally eat when you are training or shooting at your home range. Food your body is familiar with is the safest bet.
These are very general guidelines that should suit most of you, and for those who want more help or information, let me know.
Finally the most important thing – HAVE FUN!