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!