The 2016 NRA World Shooting Champion title went to Doug Koenig at this year's event. This being his first time at the competition, Koenig accomplished an amazing feat having won all 12 stages, a first in event history, earning a perfect score of 3000. I catch up with him to learn more about his experience at the event and what this new title means to him.
What does winning the NRA 2016 World Shooting Championship mean to you? Winning the NRA 2016 World Championship was exciting because it was fun to shoot all the different disciplines the match encompassed.
What did you enjoy the most about WSC? It was a combination of many things, the range facility was really awesome for long range shooting, and the match was only a 3 hour drive from my home. I also liked the new format in Open Pro to shoot your own guns, it gave me the opportunity to shoot disciplines I normally don’t get to shoot.
Did you enjoy one stage in particular? Actually there were two stages; I really enjoyed shooting stage #10 DMR Challenge and stage #11 PRS Long Range Challenge because I’ve never shot long range targets that far away. It was impressive.
What motivated you to participate at this year’s event? There was a change in the format this year, which afforded me the option to bring all my equipment and demonstrate why my sponsor’s equipment is what I depend on when performance counts.
What about WSC is different from other shooting competitions you’ve competed in that you appreciated? Having all of the shooting disciplines represented was a challenge since I typically shoot Action Pistol, Steel Matches, USPSA and 3-Gun matches. I enjoyed the variety of the stages and that each one required a different gun.
How do you typically train for a competition and what did you do specifically for this event? Throughout the year, I work with a sports science trainer, go to the gym regularly, maintain a customized diet, and put the time in at the range. It's the prepping that drives me. I try to embrace the grind. This event was no different. The last few weeks leading up to the competition were spent putting hours in at the range and setting up my equipment.
What shooting discipline do you like the most? Why? It’s difficult to choose just one because I like them all. Preparing for them at different times keeps it fresh.
When you win all 12 stages with a perfect score of 3,000, how do you come out of a competition like thismentally? Knowing I trained hard and I’ve prepared physically and technically, the mental aspect for me is to stay focused on my game plan, make adjustments as needed, and perform the best I can. Executing all those elements by themselves can be mentally draining afterwards, but when the scores are in I’m relieved and pleased that I gave it everything I could.
Will you be back to defend your title as World Shooting Champion next year? I’m hoping to return because it was a lot of fun. In a few months I’ll begin scheduling my 2017 competition schedule, so I’m planning on it.
What do you hope to see, maybe improve upon as a personal goal at next year’s event? Knowing how I enjoy challenging myself, I’ll probably adjust my training schedule on the range and at the gym and make a few modifications to my equipment and hopefully, those improvements will deliver optimum results again next year.