US Olympic shooters Vincent Hancock and Kim Rhode have made us proud with their excellent shooting skills that helped bring home the gold. No doubt they’ve spent countless hours, and rounds of ammo, to become the best in the world. Here’s a few tips posted over at National Skeet Shooting Association website that our Olympians recommend to help you become a better shooter.

Practice in conditions like those you’ll compete in. Kim Rhode knew the rainy London weather would present a challenge to those who weren’t accustomed to shooting in the rain, so she famously traveled from her sunny California range in search of nasty weather for practice.

Set goals. Vincent Hancock talks about 2011, after he had reached his 2008 Olympic goal and no longer knew what he wanted to do next. Without a goal, 2011 was his worst year of competition. Once he again established a goal, he was back on track for another gold.

Practice seriously. Kim’s husband points out that in competition, Kim shoots on autopilot. When she practices, she shoots her best, so in competition, it’s just like another day of practice. She’s relaxed and isn’t impacted by nerves.

Develop focus. Vincent’s focus during a round of skeet is obvious even to casual observers. Nothing distracts him.

Practice. A lot. Even their competitors from other countries are stunned by the amount Kim and Vincent practice. Kim describes shooting 800 to 1000 rounds a day — every day — and Vincent cites a practice schedule of 10 hours a day, seven days a week. It isn’t coincidental that they practice a lot and win gold medals.

Exude confidence. “I expect to win every time I compete,” Vincent says. “You can’t expect anything less.”
Shoot for the joy of it. Kim works hard to be the best at her sport, but she and her husband credit the joy of shooting as the real reason she’s medaled in five Olympics. She’s still having fun shooting.

Shoot for the joy of it. Kim works hard to be the best at her sport, but she and her husband credit the joy of shooting as the real reason she’s medaled in five Olympics. She’s still having fun shooting.

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