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Lydia Paterson

Late last year we talked to Lydia Paterson – the youngest member of the National Team about how she got started in pistol. With two World Cups under her belt, another Women’s Air Pistol National Junior Olympic Shooting Championship title and a lot more experience and memories, we wanted to fi nd out how she got where she is today.

Q: How did you get into shooting? A: My dad and my brother shot. My brother shot in 4H and I asked if I could tag along sometimes and I became interested in it and that’s how I got into shooting more competitively. I started Air Pistol three years ago – I had never shot Air Pistol before that. I had been introduced to it by Cody Owsley – he was on the Development Team and he doesn’t live too far from here and he let me try it. He told me about the Junior Olympics matches and it just kind of went from there. I’ve only been to two Junior Olympics. In 2012, it was my fi rst big match ever and I don’t remember how I did but I made the fi nal and that was huge to me to just make the fi nal.

Q: Why pistol? A: I started shooting BB guns when I was seven, moved to Air Rifl e and then to Air Pistol. I switched because I have scoliosis in my back and it hurts to shoot standing in rifl e so they suggested Air Pistol might be better for me. It gives me no pain at all so it’s a lot easier for me to compete.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you? A: A day starts getting ready for school, and I get done at about 3:00 p.m. Then I’ll either stay home and train or go over to the local range and train on .22. Not currently doing that every day but I’ll go over there at least three to four times a week. Now I have homework to do while I try to train, and now I even have camps coming up so there’s really no typical day. It’s pretty busy.

Q: Tell us about winning a silver at National Championships? A: That was awesome! I wasn’t expecting it, I had trained but I hadn’t thought to be competing with that kind of caliber of shooters. I was defi nitely excited and kind of shocked – had to keep it together for the second day. That’s the hardest part – keeping your mental game. You can’t do fantastic one day and bad the next day – you have to be good both days.

Q: What is your best tip to deal with nerves? A: Don’t think about the prize. Don’t think about who you want to beat, who’s there, concentrate on your plan, shoot your best and have fun doing it.

Q: What advice would you give a new shooter? A: Have the internal drive – want to do it. Don’t have to be told to train. Enjoy what you’re doing – if you make it a job or career, it won’t be fun anymore. Put your own spin on things. Try playing a shooting game while practicing or shoot against your buddies. It’s a lot more fun than just train- ing alone. For example, I like to shoot against somebody – like HORSE. I also like to cut a hole in the target and shoot through that, if I don’t have any shots outside of that you win - it’s so you’re not focused on shooting a 10.9 all the time- it’s a training plan to shoot good shots and work it.

36 USA Shooting News | May 2014

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