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of the target (depending if he’s shooting Air or Free Pistol, of course) and feeling for just that perfect spot that makes his unortho- dox stance work for him. He practices it so often at home that he says the feel- ing of the perfect position is burned into his head. Even at the recent World Cup in Rio de Janeiro – on the same range where he’ll shoot in the Olympic Games — Shi studiously took notes and pictures of the range, the setup and his experi- ence on the line to perfect that feeling. Every match is an inten-


sive learning experience for Shi. At the Rio World Cup, he learned the tables aren’t lined up with the center of WKH À ULQJ SRLQWV $W WKH 3DQ American Games in Toronto last summer, Shi said he learned from his “lucky” VLOYHU PHGDO À QLVK WKDW KH needed to a lot more mental training. “I wasn’t zeroed in, I


wasn’t focused, I just had a lot of doubts going around,” he said. “From that point on, I really focused on what makes me nervous. Why can’t I control my thoughts? So I constantly read and I search on the internet almost daily for things that FRXOG KHOS PH WR À JXUH out what the top athletes do that is so different that make them succeed. I asked Matt [Emmons] about it. I just asked him one day if I could ask him some questions and he was very helpful. We email back and forth. I ask him about what goes through his head. We all have different personalities. My personal- ity is not the kind that is


like ‘I want to compete, I know I can beat you’ or so FRQÀ GHQW WKDW ,·P WKH EHVW in the world and that there’s nothing that can take that away. I’m not that kind of personality, just because of the way I was raised. I’m the person who is always pretty modest. I don’t think my personality is the top-elite athlete personality. I know I enjoy shooting, but some- times I don’t enjoy compet- ing. I enjoy the process. And that’s what I use. I just want to enjoy this entire process. Every time I go to the range, it’s very enjoyable. If I’m at a match, I’m going to enjoy this match as well. I’m not going to look at it as a match, I’m going to look at it as a process that I enjoy, and that works for me.” Off the line, Shi has a full-time job, building custom web applications for the state of Arizona. Though Shi crams training in to any spare time available during WKH GD\ ² GU\ À ULQJ DQG shooting for 2.5 hours every day before work, mental training over lunch and dry À ULQJ DQ KRXU DIWHU GLQQHU each night – Shi’s job has luckily allowed him to take Fridays off to intensify his training leading into Rio.


54 USA Shooting News | May 2016


“Basically I think I can


DOZD\V À QG WLPH ,W MXVW depends how much you want it,” Shi said. “For example, I haven’t watched TV in something like eight years – we don’t even own a TV. My wife helps out a lot. When I get frustrated or in a slump I talk to her, and all of sudden I realize it isn’t that bad. She is basically my counselor. But I couldn’t do any of what I have done without my wife or the sup- port of my family. My mom is my physician and my dad is basically my operations manager and they’ve been paramount to my success. I never thought this could


happen, that I’d be going to the Olympics. I hoped it could happen, but I never let the thought distract me. [National Pistol Coach] Ser- gey Luzov is always telling me to stay in the now, stay in the present. I think that works because our fear is all about the future. I just try to think about what’s the process I need to do to make the shot, to feel that perfect shot, to enjoy this shot, to enjoy this whole thing. I can’t think about what’s going to happen or could happen, and I think that’s the best way. It’s worked pretty well for me.”


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