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Athlete Advisory Council USA Shooting is Your Organization


Shooting must do a great deal of fundraising to pay for this mission. While at fi rst glance, this

What is it about USA

Shooting as an organiza- tion? USA Shooting is obvi- ously the governing body for Olympic Shooting Sports and is comprised of the paid staff at the Olympic Training Center (OTC), a board of di- rectors, volunteers, athletes and members. The USA Shooting Board tracks and contributes to the changes and trends within the Inter- national Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF), the Unit- ed States Olympic Commit- tee and others issues that affect our sport. As athletes, we tend to

think that once we make one of the National Teams, USA Shooting is solely in existence to help us reach our Olympic goals. In reality, focus on the individual ath- lete is just one part of USA Shooting’s mission. Besides preparing athletes to win Olympic medals, the orga- nization is tasked with pro- moting the shooting sports and managing international shooting events in the Unit- ed States. In addition, USA

mission may not seem too diffi cult, the reality is that it is becoming very diffi cult to promote our sport. Shoot- ing sports suffer every time someone uses a gun as a weapon and the tools of our sport are caught up in mis- understanding and new re- strictive gun laws. Many of the grassroots programs we learned to shoot in no lon- ger exist, because fear and liability have replaced com- mon sense and responsibil- ity when it comes to these introductory programs. That means USA Shooting has to fi nd ways to generate in- terest and new athletes, of- ten from the athlete’s very fi rst introduction to shoot- ing. Consider other Olympic sports - soccer has AYSO, basketball, track, swimming and many other sports grow out of school athletic pro- grams. The National Govern- ing Bodies for these sports do not have to work as hard to generate athletes; they are readily available. With that said, the media staff at USA Shooting does an out- standing job of promoting our sport by providing posi- tive information about our sport and individual athlete stories.

When it comes to manag-

ing international shooting in the U.S., isn’t it cool to look

12 USA Shooting News | May 2014

at the National Ranking list on the USA Shooting website and fi nd your name? Just remember, local clubs coor- dinate with USA Shooting to host those training opportu- nities and those results must be verifi ed and entered into the database. This occurs while the competitions staff is also coordinating other events such as World Cups, National Championships, the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships and selection matches. As an athlete, I’ve heard

(and expressed) frustration because we felt we were not getting enough time and at- tention from the national coach or the organization. I personally had to step back and take a look at everything that goes on the organiza- tion. I’ve looked at the na- tional coach positions and think their title is misleading. In my opinion, the national coaches probably spend less than 25 percent of their time actually coaching. The rest of the time involves management; paperwork, team travel arrangements, logistics, technical issues, meetings and coordinating matches. I honestly be- lieve the title for their posi- tion should be expanded or changed to coordinator or manager so athletes un- derstand the magnitude of the position.

The reality is

that each coach oversees a minimum of 30 shooters

in their discipline, and the majority of these athletes are not OTC residents. Ob- viously this makes it diffi cult for the national coach to as- sist an athlete they only see at training camps and actual competitions. This situation has to be as frustrating for the coaches as it is for the athletes. I’ve come to realize the USA Shooting organization is comprised of truly dedicated staff, coaches and volun- teers who do a remarkable job with the resources avail- able to them. USA Shooting hosts more competitions each year, including world cups where they manage foreign visitors, gun permits, issues with fees, logistics and an amazing number of unexpected problems with the very few people. During these events, they work long days without complaint. USA Shooting is your organization.

I’m hoping

this article provides some perspective about the USA Shooting organization. As with any organization, there may be processes, policies and decisions that members question.

There is nothing

wrong with that and in many cases, the organization will become stronger with clari- fi cation and more participa- tion. As an athlete, if your questions are not resolved, your AAC representatives are available to assist you.

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