​Why Competitive Shooting Is More A Team Sport Than You'd Think
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​Why Competitive Shooting Is More A Team Sport Than You'd Think

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​Why Competitive Shooting Is More A Team Sport Than You'd Think
Chris Ong Lekhavanija

I recently ran a training camp in Maryland with 12 high-school age shooters in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area (DMV). The goal of this camp was for me to spread the values and knowledge of my coaching company, Team Winning Solutions LLC. The dozen focused and driven individuals were quick to apply the things they learned and ask questions. It was a great environment for learning and I was happy to be there!

However, as the two-day camp went on, I noticed something happen. Then that certain thing kept happening. It was cool to watch. What was that thing that happened?

They were communicating with each other. Not just talking, but intelligent conversations about what was happening in real time from the two or more points of view! Maybe the best part about this was the relaxed tone that was shared between the pairs. If there was a bad shot and the cause was obvious, the person shooting would look to the partner and there would be a short conversation about it. If the solution wasn’t obvious, the two didn’t ask for help immediately. In fact, they put their heads together and used their understanding of the fundamentals and rules to find a solution. This is really, really cool.

Here are two reasons why this is really cool:

1. There is a mutual trust between the shooters! This is critical for one’s development as an athlete. But why, this is an individual sport?!? WRONG! The single act of pulling the trigger 60 to 120 times a match is the individual. The thousands of rounds that are put in for training envelope the environment you are in. The team is critical for the success of the individual. That constructive, detail focused, and trusting environment makes the flow of information better! As I saw in the small sample size at the clinic, the knowledge sharing was flowing efficiently.

2. This allows shooters to share their passion with the people around them. For most of these athletes, shooting was just another activity in their busy schedules. They have school, other activities and sports, and family life also taking their time. They make time to shoot because they enjoy it. They invest time into it now and build on those experiences that will help them in other aspects of their lives. Through this sport, they get the chance to meet people with the same passion. Not everyone enjoys the “paper-punching” that is our sport. However, being around people who enjoy it as much as they do makes the “pops” and “cracks” much more exciting.

This experience isn’t new to me. I’ve been a member of several teams and had the same experiences as these shooters had. The reason why this camp stood out from many of my own personal experiences is because I was on the other end of the curtain; I was allowed to observe kids figure out problems together using knowledge they had just learned.

So, this Is one of those “Ah-ha” moments that people get when they get older and their perspective shifts. The sport of shooting has the stigma that it is just the individual that is on the line. The reality is, there’s a whole lot of people standing behind them. Supporting them through the ultimate pursuit of perfection.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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