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records are not perfect and make lots of mistakes.” He worked intensively with Coach Luzov, looking at his performances at World Cup events and the 2014 World Championship. With his typical pragmatic outlook, he said “we both came up with mistakes I’ve made and I think I’m zeroed in more on the mistakes I didn’t catch until just a little while ago. Physical ones. Things that were holding me back physically. I can deal with them – I can still shoot world-class levels with my arm the way that is, I just need to respect it. I need to train a certain way, work out a certain way and if I don’t do that, then I suffer.” Sanderson is refi ning

his approach to take into account his physical limita- tions, experimenting with exercises for the muscles in the area. With input from physical therapists and ath- letic trainers at the Olympic Training Center, he said he’s fi nding out what is the minimum (and maximum) amount of exercise and training he can do prior to competition to compete at his best. Now on the USA Shoot- ing National Team and a Sergeant First Class in the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, some of the big- gest “teachers” for Sander- son now are his teammates; particularly his World Cup Changwon roommate Matt Emmons. “I’ve learned a lot from

the way he [Emmons] ap- proaches things, just even his perspectives” he said. “He recovered from cancer! He had cancer, his back has been jacked and he still

comes back fi ghting every time. And the way he tries to fi guratively dissect his body I use to fi gure out how to make my body, what I have now, perform at its best. That’s motivated me and helped me out a lot…If you look at him, Vinny Hancock, they’re remarkably similar. Their discipline is the same. They’re both very disci- plined. They’re both stu- dents of the game. They’re both very smart, they study, they train right, it’s a priority in their lives, so there’s a number of things they do that are the same. Kim Rhode, same thing, maybe even at a higher level. She’s probably the best shooter in history of any discipline, except maybe for [Five-time Olympic medalist German Rapid Fire Pistol shooter] Ralf Schumann. I can look at them, study them, and see what I can apply to myself…I have to distill that down to what I can take off of them to be better. Most of it is his [Emmons’] perspective, his attitude, the way he studies things, his feelings on training; the way he deals with success and the way he deals with failure because everybody makes mistakes. He’s a smart dude. He has incred- ible will and determination. Whatever he applies it to, he’ll be successful, and he applies it to shooting right now.” “As much as we’d like to

lie to ourselves and say ‘Oh we’re just shooting a score, we’re shooting against a course,’ like if it was golf. We’re competitors. We didn’t get into this game to shoot a score, we got into this game because we want

to beat people. And I think that the people who don’t realize that, don’t stick around all that long be- cause you’ll get confronted with it. Like in World Cups – I’m here to beat somebody. It’s in your face, scores are up there and it’s not about the score, it’s about beat- ing someone else. You can have a bad score, but if it’s the highest score on the line, you’re going to win. It’s pretty simple.”

With Rio in Sight, Sand-

erson eyes a third opportu- nity to seek the success he longs for. Through care- ful study and exhaustive dedication, he’s become good. Really good, but good isn’t, well, good enough. “I realize that every year doors close. I don’t know what I’ll do when I grow up…I’m attracted to being around people like [Emmons, Han- cock and Rhode] because they’re the best. I could be one of the best or I could be the best at shooting… I can’t be the best at any- thing else. I can be the best at Rapid Fire Pistol. That’s

why I don’t shoot Free Pistol anymore. I can be good at it, but I can’t be the best at it. I can’t beat Jin Jongoh [of South Korea]. Saying that is really hard for me because I want to be like ‘Dude, let’s see what happens.’ I want to train, I’m not putting it past myself. If given the ability to train I could, but it’s too late. He’s already got too much for me to catch up to him. I’m not young enough to catch up to him. Schumann - I can’t beat him in Rapid Fire. I can’t get fi ve Olympic medals in Rapid Fire. I’ll be too old. I’ll be like 80, because he was so good. But I can be the best in the world right now, in this era, and that’s what I’m trying to do. That’s what I’m trying to be. I know not everyone is trying to do that, but I know Emmons is trying to do that. Jamie [Corkish] was trying to do that. I know Vinny is trying to do that. Kim is doing that. So I want to be like them because they have what I want – Olympic success.”

May 2015 | USA Shooting News 43

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