Nationals are coming up!

Written By: admin - Jun• 02•12

Since my last post two weeks ago I have been pretty sick with something. Temperatures and conjestion and lots of tissues.

I was able to shoot twice in the prone position. I shot a 596 and 598. It was terrible and I was getting really upset with myself. Dad said I cannot expect a 599 or better if I am not shooting on a regular basis. He said 596 and 598 are pretty good considering the amount of practice I have put into it for the last month – which is very little. At the same time, there was a five week period where I did not shoot but then shot a 599 so that’s why I was pretty upset. I understand now that the 599 was the exception and can’t happen all the time.

Day before yesterday, I felt good enough to start shooting again and focus on the standing position – which I am generally weak at. Dad said I have to be patient and not put too much pressure on myself. He redid my whole positioning: stand position and height, rear site, posture, butt on seat, foot placement. He said that we have to re-approach how we do standing because I am fighting myself with every shot. It felt a bit different but it felt right. I took 60 shots for a pace of 575. But alot of the session was blocken up with us talking about what I was doing and how different things felt.

On Friday (yesterday) I was planning to shoot but I donated blood earlier int he day and the person putting the needle in me missed the vein and poked around the whole area. My arm really hurt last night so I decided to not shoot.

This morning and tomorrow morning we are doing double sessions in standing, working on the new technique. I just finished up and I have to say I am less fatigued than in my old stance. Over 60 shots I got better and better. Even though I started to get tired a little bit near the end I shot a 98 out of 100 in the 41-50 frame and 99 in the 51-60 frame. I have not shot that high in standing frames in a long, long time.

I am feeling good about this mornings shoot – shooting a 582. It’s not uncomfortable, I can keep fine-tuning my technique this afternoon and we’ll see what happens. My Dad pointed out that I did not have any practice shots this morning – just started shooting and that the final 30 shots put my on pace for a 586 and on the final 20 shots I was on pace for a 591.

I am looking forward to shooting later today. Double sessions today and tomorrow will help me get used to double sessions at the Nationals. I’ll post the result of tonight.

It’s not that easy!

Written By: admin - May• 21•12

Well, I have been pretty busy! School is crazy with tests and I am working with the Varsity baseball team as their scorekeeper for digital scores and stats for each game.

I have not been shooting as much as I should. It just seems hard!!!!!!

I have been trying to get my first 600. Two weeks ago I shot a 599, with the one 9 coming on the 59th frame! I shot a 596 a couple of days ago and it just was not good enough. Today I shot again and got all 10′s up to the 53rd frame and shot a 9. I ended up with a 597 – shooting 3 nines in the final 10 shots. Today was very frustrating for me.

I have asked my Dad to help me some more. He has been pretty quiet towards me and I have not been patient enough.

I plan to shoot every day this week. I have been focusing on prone – my strength – but I know my Dad is going to make me shoot standing – which I really don’t like.

We fly down to Fort Benning in two weeks and will be there for several days. It will be hot and not as many shooters will be there for disabled as last year. I hope to do well and we will see what we can do. We also plan to meet and talk to the head USA shooting coach about my direction and future in shooting.

My posts will come more often now so keep a look out.
Thanks for reading,


Almost Perfect! Almost!

Written By: admin - Mar• 03•12

Today I got a chance to shoot prone. Prone seems very easy to me compared to standing. I have spent most of my time training for standing as that is my weakness. I only sat down to shoot prone in practice twice in the last month and the scores were 597 and 599 so I knew I had a good chance of doing well today.

I “coached” my Dad on what I wanted him to do so that we did not have time issues this time around. I told him that he should load the rifle while the new target was on its way out to the wall.

They assigned us to lane 70. After shooting for just a short time my Dad raised his hand for a range officer because the light had a tendency to flicker. The RO agreed and with everone already started we moved all of our stuff over to – yep- lane 71 – the same lane we practiced on and shot standing on.

I settled in pretty quickly and they gave us an extra 5 minutes of time in case we needed it – which we didn’t. I was feeling pretty good going in. I started hitting tens during the siting portion and felt good to go after a few more shots. After 50 shots we felt that we probably had a couple of 9′s so we were looking at maybe mid 590′s. The 51st shot clearly missed the mark – I figured it was a 9.8 or 9.9. I think I finished well after that.

Now we had to wait about 1/2 an hour for them to scan the targets and post the results so I hung out while Dad ran around packing and putting everything in the car. Dad said the schedule was get going right after I shot becasue we had a long trip back and also wanted to sto[ in Buffalo to visit my Dad’s parents who are buried there.

When they finally came out with the scores and stapled them to the bulletin board everyone cheered and I was really surprised myself. I had scored a 599 out of a possible 600 points. I think that tied a match record for a individual high score but a 599 was also a personal best in match and tied for personal best at home practice.

I am really proud of what I accomplished. I got a real nice message from the head coach from USA Shooting and alot of congrats from many people at the match.

Overall, it was a very good experience at the Grand Prix. The people were really nice, I met some nice shooters in Stacey Franklin and her family and performed well for Pop Pop.

Now it is back to practicing and getting ready for our next tournament. I’ll post where we are going soon!

Thanks for visiting!

This was for you Pop Pop

Written By: admin - Mar• 03•12

I got a lucky break on Saturday when they assigned me the same lane we happened to practice on. Pretty lucky out of 71 lanes. I was also feeling pretty good about how I was going to shoot and with the practice at home my goal was a). to score a personal best and b). shoot in the 580′s.

We had a bit of a scare though because we did not factor in the extra time we found we needed to bring the target in after a shot, set a new target and send baack out and also load. My Dad said afterward that he had his hands full with all of the added responsibility.

In the end I shot a 581. It was not my personal best (585 – in practice) but it was my best in competition. Although there were not many disabled competitors for this tournament, the challenge I had was to perform and do my best. So far, I was doing o.k.

Sunday’s schedule called for a 10:15 start and that is perfect for me. I also get to shoot inthe prone position which is my strength. I’m feeling good about Sunday.

Lines and practice

Written By: admin - Feb• 25•12

One of the drawbacks of large events is having to go through equipment check. Fortunately, they had 5 hours of practice time available so we practiced first and then when the line was one 10 people deep we stood in line for another 20 minutes until we could go through.

In practice I started out with standing – took around 30 shots. I was a little shakey early on but when I got into it I shot fairly well. Then I switched over to “prone” position and settled in nicely – shooting almost all 10′s.

When my Dad was packing things up several people approached me and started talking. That is one thing Dad and I have noticed is how nice people seem to be here.

We also had a great conversation with the Tournament Director, Patrick Haynes, who had some great tips for me. All in all, a nice first day to get ready for the match tomorrow.

I will be wearing a NRA pin in honor of my Grandpa (Pop Pop) which Grandma gave to me earlier this week. It belonged to Pop Pop. Pop Pop passed away a week ago this past Thursday. I will miss him and dedicate this match to him.

I will post my results from tomorrow.

We’re here in Toronto

Written By: admin - Feb• 24•12

The trip over was long. We didn’t have any problems at customs. The hotel is nice with a bunch restaurants and a huge pool. There were a bunch of restaurants down the road as well.

We stopped by the Grand Ballroom where the competition will take place. They were setting up the equipment and we noticed that the room seemed to echo. We will have to see how the noise of the rifles will affect me. If I need to, I will double up on ear protection because the excessive noise may throw me off when I’m shooting.

I need a good nights sleep tonight with just a little more UFC first. Tomorrow, we get our equipment checked and also check on flexibility of the start times. Also, in the afternoon we will set up our equipment and sign up for some practice time to get the feel of everything.

Dad is cranky and on edge!

I’ll update tomorrow night – sooner if something happens!

On The Road Again!

Written By: admin - Feb• 23•12

Well we are getting a slow start to the morning and eventually heading out across New York State and into Canada. The bags are packed and laptops put away for the trip. Our destination is Toronto, Canada to participate in the Grand Prix, which is the largest air rifle tournament in Canada.

I have been practicing pretty hard so we’ll see what happens. Most of the practice has been on my weakness – standing position – and have gotten my scores up a little since the World Cup back in October. The format for this tournament is different and that is what we like. We will shoot two different rounds; 60 shots in the standing position and the next day 60 shots in the prone position. Then, they add the two scores together for the total. The highest total score wins.

I don’t like talking about my possible scores before they happen so I will just post them in the evening after dinner. I think the round for standing will be around noon on Friday and prone will be late morning on Saturday. We plan to head back home first thing on Sunday, stopping by my grandparents (on my Dad’s side) resting place in Buffalo before making the long trip across upstate New York.

Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it goes.

What next!

Written By: admin - Nov• 07•11

I usually take a couple of weeks off after a tournament to download, regroup, reflect and redirect as my Dad says. Because of such a big push with the World Cup I took more time off but my Dad and I have had several talks about what we might want to do.

We have talked to other shooters too and they took some time off.

I will not be going to London In 2012 but that does not mean I will not train and compete. I need to continue with practices and enter competitive events to work on handling the pressure and push to keep my scores high. This is not a setback. In fact, it was amazing that I got as far as I did.

My longterm goal now is to make the USA Shooting team and compete in the Paralympics in 2016 to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. If I make the team at some point in the next couple of years I may get a chance to train and live at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

In the mean time, I have alot to do and hope to get into at least 3 major events a year and a couple of smaller events each year. At the level I am capable of shooting, we will have to plan to travel out of the United States to compete.

One of my goals is to shoot a 600 which I had hoped to do leading up to the world Cup but only got as close as 599 in practice. Dad also wants to reevaluate how I shoot standing. He said he got some very good ideas from other shooters while at the World Cup. Dad said someone told him that because everyone has a different way shooting that no one has devised the best way of shooting.

Dad is looking closely at entiring me in the Canadian Grand Prix to be held in Toronto, Canada in late February, 2012. The Canadians claim the Canadian Grand Prix is the largest tournament in North America (I think the Nationals and the World Cup are now considered the biggest).

They have a handful of disabled shooters there. The format would be 60 shots standing and 60 shots prone. This is a different format so I would need to shoot well in both standing and prone for a chance.

We are also looking into other tournaments – many have not been posted yet for 2012 so the schedule is still open.

I’ll keep you posted as we choose.

Day 4: I shot like a National Champion!

Written By: admin - Oct• 08•11

I was nervous since I woke up. I felt like I had to prove something to everyone because I was a National Champion but I hadn’t shot a MQS score yet to back it up.

Today I was shooting in the “prone” position – my strength. I was pretty nervous going in because I knew that there were going to be MANY perfect scores – possibly all eight finals positions would be filled with shooters scoring a perfect score.

For me, my personal best (in practice) is a 599, but if you’ve read my posts leading up this week I have been shooting mid to high 590′s for a couple of weeks now. So, there is the chance of a perfect score – but with all the pressure and tension from a event like this – it sometimes feels impossible to even hold the rifle!

So if I tied a personal best today (599) – I would have been in a eight person tie for the final 4 spots in the final (the other four were perfect 600′s).

Today I shot a 597. Not too bad! It showed that I can shoot scores in big competitions the same way as I practice. That is really good. Many shooters drop down in their scores during matches. It is only natural to feel the pressure. I seem to do personal bests. This was my personal best during competition – previously, my personal best in competition was 592 this past July at nationals and last February in Colorado Springs.

I think a big part of my success today was due in part to the training at home with the megalink “electronic scoring system” my Dad purchased for home use. It is “brutaly honest” in telling me, down to the 1/10 of a point how I shot. Also, my Dad is my coach most of the time. He sets up the equipment for practice shooting sessions while I stretch and get mentally ready and he loads my rifle for me like in competition. WE try to simulate as much as possible the conditions of a match.

We sit down after shooting and look at how everything went and try to put it into perspective. The Megalink system allows us to print out a results summary of every shot with details of each shot. We look at the results. Dad may point out different trends in my shots or ask me questions of what happened on particular shots. He also tries to highlight something positive – even when the session doesn’t go as well as I would like.

This helps me to gain a better picture of what I need to do going into a shot, taking a shot and following through each shot. Plus, we look at how we can use the clock to our advantage to pace ourselves for better results.

Today we worked the clock. The Head coach was a little worried that we were cutting it close but we ended up with 5 minutes to spare out of the 1 hour and fifteen minute time allotted for 60 shots.

What was also cool was beating highly experience shooters from so many parts of the world. I enjoyed beating one guy near me who was kind of annoying. He was trying to give me lessons yesterday during practice!

It is also special to be representing the United states. I think that we gave a good show (Dad’s words) today and Americans can be proud of what we accomplished today.

Now that I have scored my first MQS score (needed at least a 594) I am not sure where to go from here. We will need to meet and talk with the head coach, Bob Foth, and see what he thinks. If anything, maybe another World Cup in the beginning of 2012?

The bottom line is with my score today I helped the United States chances of sending an athlete to the Paralympic games. It is so cool to be able to say that!

Thanks for reading my posts and visiting my site. Please check out the other tabs on the home page. Dad plans to get a column for all of those who helped us get to this point.

I am really tired, a long day! Hope you come back soon!

Day 3: not too bad – considering . . .

Written By: admin - Oct• 07•11

Well, figuring out what to do yesterday carried into today. The shooter next to me was from Great Britain and he was very good. I came out strong with nine 10′s on the first ten shots but stumbled a little on the next ten shots. I averaged 96 out of 100 points.

We had a couple of hours to relax so we went back to the hotel for a nap and then back to the shooting range for practice in the “prone” position. All the “standing” position shooting really makes “prone” feel easy.

After taking “sighters” to fine tune the rifle I decided to shoot 40 shots (normal match is 60) to see how it felt. After 40 shots I shot 1 – 9 for a total of 399 points out of a possible 400. This is just practice though but I’m feeling pretty good going into tomorrow.

As much as I want to do as well as possible, I should shoot well enough for a MQS – which is a 594 out of 600. If I shoot the same way I did in practice I should make it. Icing on the cake would be shooting well enough to make the finals.

There will probably be around 5 athletes shooting a perfect score tomorrow so if they are choosing the top 8 scores I will have to be a 599 or maybe a 598.

The experience is amazing and we are learning so much!

I shoot tomorrow around 12 noon. This could be big!!!

I’ll update you tomorrow night.

good night

Overall, today was a success and a great experience.