So, You Want To Start Shooting?

So, You Want To Start Shooting?

Here are six things necessary to start off on the right path!

Shooting is for everyone! Here are a few things necessary to go far!

First off… get a rifle.

Whatever discipline you decide to pick up, small bore and/or air rifle, make sure you invest in a mechanism that has what you need. Not every rifle is meant for every person’s body; if you are a smaller set person, you will want to look for a stock that isn’t too long and makes shooting uncomfortable

Find a place to shoot.

Search the local area for a shooting range or association that allows you to put lead down-range. Here is a link from USA Shooting that allows you to search for a club near you.

Learn the positions.

Researching the basic fundamentals of the sport are necessary! Shooting prone isn’t as easy as just laying down and shooting it. He is a link from USA Shooting that can help with that.


You have a gun and if you have a place to shoot, now start training! Make a consistent schedule and get over to the range to train.

Now set goals.

Throwing lead down range isn’t enough to do well. You have to train with purpose. To do this, you need to set goals. Here a link to help you set goals.

Have a positive attitude.

This speaks for itself! Have a good perspective on what happens when you compete!

Cover Image Credit: Lucas Kozeniesky

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.

I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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We Talk About Separating The Art From The Artist, Maybe We Need To Separate The Game From The Athlete

I thought I knew where I stood on this issue until my favorite team nearly traded for a domestic abuser.


It's summer, 2016, and the Indians are in 1st place. For years, they had flirted with mediocrity: rarely a last place team, even more rarely an above .500 team. They made the playoffs in 2013, only to lose in the one-game Wild Card to the Tampa Bay Rays. Besides that, it had been since 2007 since they'd won the division. Overall, they were looking at just two playoff appearances in 14 years coming into this season. It was unexpected, magical, and intoxicating.

One day, something came across my Twitter feed that left me both excited and nauseated: the Indians were in talks with the Yankees to acquire superstar closer Aroldis Chapman.

A little background: Chapman was among the best relievers in baseball at the time, a 3-time All-Star that held the Major League Baseball record for the fastest pitch ever recorded in a game (105.1 MPH). In October of 2015, allegations surfaced that Chapman, then the closer for the Cincinnati Reds, had choked his then-girlfriend in the garage of their Miami home after she found "something she didn't like" on his cell phone and confronted him about it. Eight gunshots were fired inside the garage, none striking the woman. Charges were not filed due to "inconsistencies" between the physical evidence and the allegations. Shocking, right?

At the time, the Los Angeles Dodgers were finalizing a trade that would have sent them Chapman, but swiftly backed off when the allegations surfaced — apparently believing that the quality of people that they employed, for some foolish reason. The New York Yankees, staying true to their nickname of the "Evil Empire," held no such moral high ground and traded for Chapman at a highly discounted rate.

Chapman, despite doing nothing wrong in the court of law, was suspended 30 games by MLB to start the 2016 season. However, once the dust settled and people remembered that Chapman threw hard (Ball fast! Pitcher good!), he was once again highly coveted on the trade market, just mere months and empty apologies later. The Yankees were in the position to trade him to the highest bidder, his stock rebuilt. It was the equivalent of flipping a house for profit, you know, if the house had choked somebody and fired 8 gunshots at them.

But it's a REALLY nice house! Did you see the brand new marble countertops?

So we're all caught up. The Indians were in desperate need of a reliever and here the Yankees were with one of the most dominating ones in the history of the sport, prepared to sell him off.

I am a diehard Indians fan above and beyond all other things. When most 8-year-old boys wanted to go to Disneyland and meet Mickey Mouse, I wanted to go to Jacobs Field and meet Jim Thome.

I will never not be disgusted at domestic violence among professional athletes. I hate Aroldis Chapman. If it were up to me, players like that would be banned from ever playing professionally again. But I will admit... my first instinct when I saw that the Indians were in talks to acquire him was not his violent past. It was, "What will we have to give up? He's just a rental, I don't want them to have to part with top prospects."

If you are not a baseball fan, this stance may sicken you. I am admitting to placing love of my team over the overall character of the players that play for them.

But where do you draw the line? He was punished by the league and served his time. If it were up to me, he'd be banned from the sport, but he's not. He's pitching against my team.

Fortunately, the Indians instead traded for Andrew Miller, so I was not forced to morally confront myself. But if I had to, I would have rationalized it. It sucks, but it's the truth.

This past October is the 3rd consecutive postseason that the Indians have been eliminated. All 3 times, the opposing team had a domestic abuser on the roster.

I will admit, though, when Rajai Davis hit that home run off Chapman in Game 7 of the World Series, it was that much sweeter because it came off Chapman. Fuck him.

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