There are some who think if it doesn't involve running, jumping, throwing, lifting, or swimming that it can't be called a sport. According to Olympic.org, shooting is definitely a sport; it was one of the original sports brought into the Games of the 1st Olympiad in 1896. Like most sports, in order to excel a shooter must gain nearly perfect control of his or her movements and thoughts. Unlike many of the Olympic sports, an Olympic shooter aims to minimize his or her heart rate during competition. In some cases, the heart rate during competition is half that of the athlete's normal rate. In addition, especially in the rifle competitions, shooters strive to minimize body movement; the most important movement for a shooter is the squeeze of the trigger. So how do these athletes train for their event? Here are some insights from three members of the U.S.A. 2012 Olympic Shooting Team.
1. Kim Rhode was the first American to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games. She is ranked as the No. 1 women's skeet shooter. She is also on track to be the first American to win five individual sport medals in five consecutive Olympic Games. While breathing exercises haven't come up in interviews as being the key to her training regiment, shooting a lot certainly has. According to the LA Times, Kim Rhode trains by shooting 500-1000 rounds per day. She practices at three different locations so that she can have access to different environments like windage, targets, and lighting.
2. Jaime (Beyerle) Gray is ranked No.1 in the world for the women's 50m rifle three position event. She is currently training with the United States Army Marksmanship Unit. So probably, if she told you how she trained she would have to kill you.
3. Matt Emmons was a 2004 Olympic gold medalist and a 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the 50-meter prone event. According to an interview with USA Today, Matt trains for somewhere between four and six hours at a time, straight. And as he said "…That's just a lot of mental demand. It's physically demanding, too, to hold yourself still." On top of the mentally and physically demanding routine associated with training for shooting, according to USA Today, he works out at least five days a week for up to two hours each session.
Satchel Ford and her husband enjoy trap shooting and target shooting in Colorado. Knowing what her shoulder feels like after just 50 rounds of trap, Satchel is especially in awe of Ms. Rhode's ability to do a daily dose of 500 to 1000 rounds. Shooting is a fun and surprisingly relaxing sport and Satchel looks forward to watching these great athletes perform this summer at the London Olympic Games. For more content from Satchel Ford, visit www.satchelford.com.