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In addition to the tremen- dous mental demands, the physical demands of shoot- ing are real. For a small demonstration, Reinkemeier suggests that those who’ve never tried shooting take a book between your thumb DQG À QJHUV DQG KROG LW ZLWK your arm outstretched for 30 seconds. Try that, remaining perfectly still and repeat it for 40 to 60 times. ´)RU ULÁ H DWKOHWHV ,·G VD\

they have to have the most Á H[LELOLW\ RI DQ\RQH LQ RUGHU to get into the positions they get into and maintain them for hours at a time,” Arnot said. “It’s not uncommon for WKHP WR WUDLQ XS WR À YH KRXUV a day. For shotgun and pis- tol, the big thing is strength DQG HQGXUDQFH )RU ULÁ H LW·V SUREDEO\ Á H[LELOLW\ HQGXU ance – they’re all endurance sports – and they’re sort of D FRPELQDWLRQ ,Q ULÁ H WKHLU goal is to have the least amount of muscular activa- tion as possible, and then in shotgun, they’re using their strength to lift the gun and control the gun while they shoot. They’re utilizing their shoulders, back muscles, core and glutes to be able to consistently pick up a 12 or 14-lb gun without hurt- ing themselves. And then there’s the effect of all that

recoil. In pistol, they have to be able to relax into their standing position while they once again lift the gun to the exact spot that they need it, 40 or 60 times. Their whole upper extremity strength and core strength is so im- portant,

primarily in that

shooting arm. It’s a very individualized sport and the slightest change in your position or technique can greatly alter your outcome.” “There’s a level of disci-

pline required in shooting on a couple levels,” McCann said. “For one, the discipline to quiet your mind — to not just let any random thought to come through. There’s the discipline to follow a rou- tine, because you need to do whatever you can to reduce the amount of variability that could cause an error. There’s also the discipline of the endurance of focus — to stay through an entire match with the plan, and not to just Á RDW DORQJ ZLWKRXW WKLQNLQJ There’s pretty much active thinking throughout an en- tire Olympic shooting match in every single discipline.” And this discipline re-

quirement carries over to the non-static shooting disci- plines: Rapid Fire and Sport Pistol, as well as all of the shotgun events.

36 USA Shooting News | March 2016

“From the psychological piece of it, both of them re- quire a lot of special skills in using vision and visual fo- cus, but very different kinds of skills,” McCann said. “Like in Skeet, Trap and Double Trap, it’s picking up as rap- idly as possible a very fast moving target. So it’s pre- paring yourself to see some- thing and preparing yourself to move when you see some- thing without

tensing up,

ZKLFK LV D YHU\ GLIÀ FXOW WKLQJ WR GR ZKHUHDV LQ SURQH ULÁ H it’s being able to focus very intently on the visual piece to get precise enough with your shot, which is a very different visual focus skill. It requires pretty different approaches. Every really top shooter understands at some point that talent isn’t enough. They need a specif- ic plan and process and spe- FLÀ F GLVFLSOLQH WR EH FRQVLV tently great. There are lots of talented people in shooting, but the ones that win consis- tently have a level of disci- pline and work, and they’ve developed a way of shooting that works, and are just bet- ter at repeating it time after time.”

But regardless of their

perspectives, all of these experts agree that talent is important, but perhaps not

as important as an athlete who is disciplined enough to devote the time, work and training required to be a champion. “You don’t have to be a

VSHFLÀ F ERG\ W\SH DV ORQJ DV you have the correct combi- nation of strength, postural VWDELOLW\ Á H[LELOLW\ DQG HQ durance, you can be great,” Arnot said. “And maybe most importantly the men- tal aspect of it – the ability to concentrate so hard on every single shot, to follow your competition or training strategy and actually make yourself follow that, every single time regardless of conditions or time of day. That’s tough to do.” “The hours of work and

building on the talent level is something that you can’t stress too much,” McCann said. “There are some Olym- pic sports where you can’t do it quickly. You can’t just start a sport and within a year or two become an Olympic champion. There are some sports where that is pos- sible, but in shooting, you can’t. You have to work for a really long time to get your skill level, physical, mental, technical to world-class lev- el. If only for the amount of work it takes, I think that’s a strong argument as well.”

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