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MLB Pitcher Kyle Freeland Shoots with Olympian Brady Ellison

Can a major league baseball player outshoot a three-time Olympic medalist? Kyle Freeland, a starting pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, took on Olympic archer Brady Ellison in a fun match.

Kyle Freeland takes on Brady Ellison in an archery challenge. Photo Credit: MLB YouTube

This video is from a series Freeland is doing about various sports. “I’m a competitive guy and love to play sports,” Freeland said. “I just wanted to see how I would do against top athletes in some other sports. Also, I wanted to show how difficult it is to compete at a high level in these sports.”

Freeland found many fun challenges in archery. “I enjoyed learning about the technical aspects of it,” he said. “Learning how to actually shoot a recurve bow, which I’d never done, was interesting and hard!”

Freeland lands arrows on the target at 70 meters with a recurve bow: an impressive showing. Photo Credit: MLB YouTube

The video shows Freeland shooting a compound and recurve bow at 70 meters, which is about 80 yards. It’s a tall task to go from beginning archer to 70-meter shooter in one day. Experienced archers know it’s impressive even to hit targets at that distance. Freeland’s natural athleticism, and the fact pitching and archery both require accuracy under pressure aided his efforts. Freeland said archery and pitching also require focus, repetition and technique.

“With pitching, you have to be able to shut everything else out of your mind, even outside noises, and just focus on ball placement to the hitter,” he said. “Very similar with archery in that you’re staring at a spot where you want to put that arrow. But if there is any flaw in your technique, you’re going to miss your target, and that can get you in a lot of trouble in archery and pitching.”

Freeland enjoys shooting his compound bow and will continue to practice the sport. Photo Credit: MLB YouTube

This isn’t the end of archery for Freeland. “I own a compound bow,” he said. “I bought it after the team competition a couple years ago. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also relaxing. It’s good to know there are some ranges in Phoenix, which I never really knew before, so I’m sure next offseason I’ll head out there a few times.”

If you want to try archery, too, it’s easy to get started with a beginner’s lesson at an archery shop. Find a nearby store here.



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