FROM THE TOP
EC "Coach" Wong
Assistant National Pistol Coach
USAS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Nationals) have just been completed and most of you are
wondering, what could I have done to shoot better. Heres what to do now
the dust has cleared and you can see what happened or did not happen. Get to
somewhere quiet and where you can think, analyze and critique your performance.
Bear in mind this will be painful, but how are you going to know where you are
going, not knowing where youve been?
Now, close your eyes and visualize each shot as best you
can. As each of your shots comes into view, analyze each shot from a
3rd party perspective or Out Of Body Experience. Re-live
each shot and determine what you should have done if anything, to make the shot
All of you have the technical knowledge in mechanics to do
the right thing when it comes to your shooting, or you would not have been
invited to attend the Nationals. Most of you have heard me say, shooting is 10%
physical & 90% mental. Therefore, enhancement of concentration &
consistency (mental) must be at a premium.
As each shot unfolds or is replayed in your mind, focus on
the positive things you did correctly. Discard the negative things you did or
was thinking about during the shot.By the way (BTW) how many of you were
thinking about something else other than shooting during the match/s? NOTE:
The winner of any given situation will be the one that is most able to keep
his/her eye on the ball (Concentration). At the Olympic level of shooting
youve got to maintain the sharpest of edges while performing your skill.
Reason: Your competitors are not going to give you an inch, because they
are there to Take your lunch. Luck in not a part of this scenario.
Always debrief yourself after each match with the following
correct thought in mind, to do better your next time out. You do this by not
allowing Stinkin Thinkin to control your
actions/reactions. Youve got to force yourself to debrief yourself at
first, but if you will allow your shooting discipline to take root, the
situation will become easier and easier, each time you use it.
Many of you are already at the third plateau in your
shooting career and need a kicker to get you over the hump or to break the ice.
Please, consider what Ive said and I hope this help bring your shooting
The NASSA Annual Oct.99 Dues program is a go~!
Please consider making your payment plans accordingly.
National Pistol Coach (Retired)
The Nationals and the World Cup
I just returned from working as a volunteer for both the USA
Shooting National Championships and the Atlanta World Cup, where I worked as a
range officer and a member of the Jury of Appeals. While working, I was able to
observe all of the events in detail because I was only 10 feet away from the
best shooters in the USA and in the World. I was able to observe these shooters
long enough, to make the following remarks. Before making my points, Becky
Snyder Gold Medaled in the Women's Sport Pistol event and won a quota place for
the USA. Her 585 score placed her in fifth place going into the finals. I was
able to observe her determination during the last five Finals
shots, where she really shot well. About 10 women shot over 580 in this match,
which should show our women shooters 580 should be their minimum goal setting
objective. Becky also place third in Women's Air Pistol with a score above 380
which as in the other event many women shot over 380.
My first point is while observing many of the top shooters,
one item of commonality was noted which was a constant, striving to employ the
basics in shot preparation and technique. I noticed the high finishers and
eventual winners would arrive on the range almost an hour early. They did not
go through any "Yoga Like" trances, but just prepared their
equipment, sat down and mentally prepared for the match. During the match they
paced themselves and went through the same shot preparation routine before and
during each shot or series of shots. The mentioning of Becky Snyders
perseverance during the finals proves once again, a good technique once learned
has got to be forcibly employed in your mind, for each and every shot.
You cannot afford to waste shots by not aborting a "bad" looking shot
and shooting it anyway , hoping you will "luck out" and get a ten. I
always adhere to the saying "Luck is when preparation and opportunity
My next point is, it is not a good thing to read during a
match. I watched two shooters doing this on a regular basis and noted their
scores fluctuated from day to day. I know people who read during a match do so
thinking, it may help to dispel nervous tension. It may very well be so for the
moment, but what they are really doing is breaking up their concentration. Once
the book is put down to resume shooting, they fail to realize some of the
material just read will still linger in their minds. We all know it takes
tremendous mental control to fire a well placed shot and it only takes a small
amount of distraction to hamper this concentration. In addition when the book
is put down it takes a certain amount of time to get our minds back in focus.
When I was shooting World level scores I went to the range with nothing else on
my mind but to do the job at hand and would not accept anything less than first
place. Going to the range to enjoy myself and with the attitude it would be
great if I won but if not, well I had a good time, was totally foreign to my
way of thinking.
Jim & Cathy Hagen
Dirs. of Awards & Classifications
As reported in last months COMPASS, NASSAs Shooter
Classification Program will be officially starting with the completion of the
July Postal Match. This new and exciting program will allow each shooter to
chart his/her shooting progress with the Classification Awards
Program. Each month the shooters score will be added to their running
average and a certificate awarded if a new higher level of shooting achievement
has been obtained. Hence the importance of shooting regularly and submitting
monthly scores becomes a key issue in making this program work for you.
Especially when discipline, and the mental & physical training aspects are
factored into the equation. Who really knows how far you can go up the ladder
of success, unless each rung of the ladder is properly identified and prepared
for. It is very important to push or challenge yourselves up the ladder and to
see how far you can really go.
Many shooters have already completed at least four postal matches since the
beginning of the year. When the NASSA May and June postal scores are received,
entered and documented, by the Classification Department, the first NASSA
classification certificates will be awarded to those shooters having a minimum
of six recorded scores. The names and classification of those shooters will
also be published in the August issue of the COMPASS. Each month,
as shooters who complete and record a minimum of six postal scores, will
establish their initial classification. Also, each NASSA Member will have their
names and results posted in the COMPASS & on the NASSA Web Site
www.nassa.org. Each time a shooter progresses to the next higher shooting
level, that achievement will also be published in the COMPASS.
By the end of this year, we hope that all shooters involved with NASSA will
have the initial six score average established and on record. We then can begin
to award classification certificates, for each winner of classification, three
or more times per year. This program will allow each shooter to chart their
progress and give each shooter the encouragement to keep working toward the
goal of a top score. Initially, there may be a few bugs in the program, but
weve tried to work everything out as best we could. Please be patient and
work with us to achieve a better NASSA.
Jim & Cathy Hagen
Dirs. of Awards & Classifications
Ranfurly / Naseby Pistol Club of New Zealand
We had a chance not too long ago to spend an evening visiting with Warren
Potter from the Ranfurly / Naseby Pistol Club. Warren is in the U.S. and has
been visiting air pistol shooters and is on his way to Camp Perry this week to
see the shooting events. Warren lives in Australia now but still shoots with
the New Zealand club. We swapped shooting experiences and stories for several
hours. In talking to Warren it made us really appreciate living in a country
that doesnt have the firearm restrictions that Australia has. Many of the
shooting disciplines are almost nonexistent due to the tight restrictions on
the guns, and this can include air guns especially air rifles.
We of course joined the Ranfurly / Naseby Pistol Club which will allow us to
shot the monthly postal matches they hold on the Internet. The club dues are
$5.00 for a year and scores can be submitted to the following email address
www.potfire.com.au There is something
about a winning a chocolate fish that wasnt fully explained so we will
have to see what happens. In Australia, Warren is a Licensed Gun Dealer who
specializes in UIT Firearms and accessories. He showed both Jim and I a
spotting scope that he is carrying from China. The size of the scope is
incredibly small and compact and it is also incredibly sharp! He had two sizes,
one a 20x33 and a 30x50 power scope. Both come with a sturdy small collapsible
tripod and well padded travel case. What we really liked was the eyepiece
swivelled so you could position the scope on either side of you and turn the
eyepiece towards you to make viewing your target easier. Jim and I sat on the
deck and scoped out the neighborhood and were very impressed with
both scopes. Warren said the little 20 power outsells the 30 power by 5 to 1
and I can see why. It is less than half the size, (about 2/3 the length of an
air pistol) and for air pistol it would fit very handily in your gun case. It
can focus down to just under 3 meters and at 10 meters it was great. Jim and I
were so impressed we bought the extra one he had. They come in different colors
and the one we got is baby blue. Warren has then on his website and the price
is $150.00 for the complete kit. (Note:The price can fluctuate due to the
exchange rate) You can check out Warrens website for more information at
www.potfire.com.au It was a very good evening and we enjoyed meeting and
visiting with Warren and learning about shooting down under!