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The Olympic Year Blitz

Years of build-up. Hours upon hours of prep. Bullets cast and guns raised. All for a 10-day period of time that GHÀ QHV RXU H[LVWHQFH DV DWK letes and a sport. Welcome to the Olympic & Paralympic year.

There’s really nothing like it. The Olympic year is the PRVW VLJQLÀ FDQW RI WKH TXDG While not the largest com- petition, it is by far the most important to both USAS and our athletes. This is no train- ing event and there is no next time – this is it! USA Shooting’s priority,

therefore, is preparing our top performing athletes for the Olympic Trials or selec- tion matches. As the year un- folds, focus narrows to those athletes earning berths on the Olympic Team with both team and individualized training. Every reasonable effort is made to maximize medal potential. Perhaps surprisingly the

emphasis after Olympic preparation is on the devel- opment of our athlete pool. This group includes not only those of the next perfor- mance tier but juniors as well. The development ef- fort extends beyond those currently on one of our na- tional-level teams to provide opportunities for developing athletes with improving per- formances at national level competitions and demon- strating qualities common

to successful athletes. The emphasis on developing our athlete pool will be strong through 2017. A smaller pool of emerging athletes will continue their development into 2018 when increased priority goes to our elite shooters toward the effort to win participation quotas for the 2020 Games in Tokyo. The Olympic year is also

WKH WLPH ZKHQ VLJQLÀ FDQW planning is done for


next Olympic quadrennial (2017-2020). There are ex- pected changes forthcom- ing to the rules governing our sport and to events that will be included in the Olym- pic program going forward. Longer range budgeting and planning is required if USA Shooting is to experience continued success.

14 USA Shooting News | March 2016 With development and

the future continually on our mind, USA Shooting launched the USA Shooting Coaching Academy on March 1 that will be used to help in- vigorate a coaching pipeline VSHFLÀ FDOO\ DLPHG DW JHWWLQJ more kids on the Olympic shooting pathway. The Acad- emy includes a comprehen- sive library of online courses that provides easy access to a standardized, quality coach education program of proven practices with a network of content experts/ mentors and quality coach instructors. The program is described in detail on page 47.

Important to our effort

to grow the sport and en- sure that we’re giving our community something to

rally behind, we launched a new campaign in January titled MY OLYMPIC SPORT (see page 9). We hope that you’ll re-declare your love of the Olympic shooting sports and ask those in your circle to join with us as well. It’s both a way for us to increase awareness about our sport DQG WR À QG QHZ PHPEHUV WR help lead us in the future. It’s already been a busy

year and there’s really no end in sight as we move for- ward with ensuring success today and push on toward strengthening our future.

By Robert Mitchell Executive Director/CEO

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