Posted On: 11-10-2019

What It Takes to Be A Shooting Champion

I’m sure most parents desire the best performance for their shooting athletes. Why do some young athletes succeed in any sport? It’s been said that 5% of shooters win 95% of the competitions. Obviously, there are some characteristics that define a champion. The shooter must have a desire to win, dedication to the sport, willingness to work hard, ability to be coached, and be able to accept setbacks or defeat.

One of the Olympic shooting champions said in order to be the best at the game, you must learn to shoot at an early age and possess above average intelligence. The athlete should also have definite goals, plans, and a desire and determination to become the best. The athlete should also train, progress, learn, achieve goals and develop the mental aspects of the game.

I’ve read that in order to attain a skill that involves muscle and hand/eye coordination such as shooting at a target, the skill must be practiced about 10,000 times. Then the brain has established all the connections on the path to mastering that skill. Just like tying your shoelaces, hard when your 5 years old, but not even a thought about tying them 30 or 40 years later.

Some youngsters are just better than others when they are learning the shooting skills. Some are said to be natural born shooters. Maybe so. But with hard work, dedication and some or all of the attributes mentioned above, it’s possible to be a champion.

If parents desire their athlete to be champions, then there is also some responsibility for themselves. Parents should avoid coaching the shooting skills assuming the athlete has a qualified coach. I’ve always advocated parents be enthusiasm coaches. On the way to the competition is not the time to bring up the youngster’s cell phone bill, or any other problems. Encouragement is always appropriate before practice sessions as well as competitions. Sometimes parents just need to step away and let the shooters “do their own thing.” Helicopter and snowplow parents won’t make champions.

Jan Morris

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