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Official newsletter of the National Association of Shooting Sports Athletes
July 1999

Monthly Thought: "The quality of a persons life is directly related to his/her commitment to excellence." - Unknown


E.C. "Coach" Wong


EC "Coach" Wong
Assistant National Pistol Coach


(Nationals) have just been completed and most of you are wondering, what could I have done to shoot better. Here’s 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 you’ve 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 better.

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 you’ve 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. You’ve 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 I’ve said and I hope this help bring your shooting together.

The NASSA Annual Oct.’99 Dues program is a go~! Please consider making your payment plans accordingly.

Arnie Vitarbo


Arnie Vitarbo
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 meet".

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.


"C" Notes

Jim & Cathy Hagen
Dirs. of Awards & Classifications


As reported in last month’s “COMPASS,” NASSA’s 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 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 we’ve 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 doesn’t 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 There is something about a winning a chocolate fish that wasn’t 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 Warren’s website for more information at It was a very good evening and we enjoyed meeting and visiting with Warren and learning about shooting “down under”!

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