Warrior Games Army Archery coach trains with passion
May 9, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 9, 2012) -- Seven of the 50 Army athletes selected to compete in the 2012 Warrior Games represented the Army in the archery competition May 2.
Sgt. Fred Prince won silver in the compound competition and Veteran Kinga Kiss-Johnson took home silver in the recurve competition. The Army team won silver medals in both the recurve and compound team competitions. In the end, all seven athletes on the Army archery team took home silver individual medals and/or a team medal.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Steven Coleman is returning for his second year as the WTC archery coach for the Warrior Games 2012 Army team. Coleman, a Sumter, S.C. native, has been coaching since 2004, is a National Field Archery and USA Archer Certified Community coach and is a competitive archer in both compound and recurve.
"Give me a few minutes on the range and you'll be hooked for life and you'll see and understand my passion for archery," said Coleman.
Coleman first became involved with Warrior Games two years ago while stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He taught archery skills and techniques to wounded, ill and injured Soldiers assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion, other service members, and members of the community with disabilities.
He said the sport of archery provides many lessons; such as the ability to control ones nerves, focus, concentration, breathing methods, and some physical training such as light stretching and flexing methods.
"With archery one learns many lessons that will carry them through life and enable anyone to handle anything that may come their way," said Coleman. "All of these will allow anyone to be successful in life and archery."
Archery training took place at the Bill Pellegrino's Archery Hut, LLC and the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Last year, two Army athletes took home silver medals in the compound and recurve competitions during the Warrior Games 2011 archery finals held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colo.
In late March, after months of intense training clinics, the Warrior Transition Command announced the Army team for the third annual Warrior Games.
During the second clinic, Paralympian Lee Ford trained and shared her experience and expertise with the archery team. Ford was recently named to the U.S. Paralympic Archery Team and will be competing in Standing Recurve in London.
More than six years ago, Ford was in a speed-skating accident resulting in damage to her back, along with a subsequent diagnosis revealing she also had Crohn's Disease, an autoimmune disease that contributed to further spinal damage. As a result her injury and illness has left her in and out of a wheelchair.
"We were honored to have Lee Ford spend time with us during the second clinic," said Coleman. "She showed us that even with her disabilities, anything is possible. She was an inspiration to the team."
During Warrior Games, Coleman had his own coach Ed Eliason, a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic archery team who competed in the Munich Olympic Games, and a member of the U.S. National team from 1972 through 2007.
"I was very excited that my mentor and coach was with me during Warrior Games," said Coleman. "He is the driving force in my physical game. He keeps me true and honest to myself and the sport."
Coleman continued, "These Soldiers and Veterans have had to overcome many obstacles, injuries and personal sacrifices. They make me proud to be involved with them and of course, with the sport of archery," said Coleman.