Downtime essential to a successful upcoming shooting season
Las Vegas, Nevada - Just like like football, baseball and golf, there is a season for the sport of shooting. A time when amauters and professionals alike gather to test their skills in hopes of winning a title or two. But what happens during the off season? How do you handle it? Run laps? Lift weights? Donate an inordinate amount of brass to the local gun range?
We asked Smith & Wesson shooter Julie Golob about the most important component of her down time.
"I like to take a good mental break from competition for at least a couple of months."
Golob, winner of more than 50 national and international titles, started shooting as young girl with dad. From there she went on to earn a spot on the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and become one of the top competitive shooters in the world. She reached these heights by allowing for a break once the season is done.
"When November and December roll around, during the holidays, and I like to completely not think about competition. But by the end of December and beginning of January, it's the resolution time, the goal setting time, the dates are rolling out for next year's matches and that's when I start to get into it as much as possible. If it's just a matter of dry firing then there's that and if the temperature rises above 30 degrees then I go out and shoot."
A resident of Montana, the remoteness and temperatures out there certainly helps when it comes to tuning out the shooting world. But that would probably be her routine whether she lived in shadow of Bear Paws Mountain or the Empire State building.
"There is the principle of the break, the need to take time off. You can not be a peak performance all the time. Look at olympic athletes. You can not maintain that level, you have to relax, refresh, renew and that way you can come back even harder."
Once the season kicks off, however, it's not just about the tournaments. While we're certain to see Golob at the Bianchi Cup and the world shoots later this year, a sponsored shooter like her has other obligations that require her time.
"When it comes to Smith & Wesson, for example, I am always at their premiere events. The Smith & Wesson IDPA Nations, the Back up Gun Nationals, as well as representing them at industry trade shows like SHOT Show or the NRA convention. If something comes up then that's what you're there for. It's all about meeting potential clients and talking to fans so there's a face on the product. You have to be accessible to the people."
Some events, however, are a little more exciting than others.
"When I was with the Marksmanship Unit we would fill balloons with a variety of gases. Then you release the balloons, fire and they went boom. Sometimes more boom than others as we were always coming up with ways to make it bigger and flashier. It got a little crazy out there."
Now the booms are reserved for the range. And that's just fine with Julie G.
For more on NRA's Competitive Shooting Programs, visit their website at compete.nra.org
Find out more about Julie Golob on her website or follow her on twitter at @JulieG1.