A lot of people don’t see target shooting of any kind as a sport. That’s just plain crazy.
If your idea of sport only involved balls, running and sweating then you’re missing the point. You’re also missing out on a lot of fun sports that you could be watching, or taking part in. Yes, I know ball sports are by far the most popular spectator games. I have nothing against them either – I love soccer and basketball so seriously appreciate the levels of fitness and skill these athletes must attain.
The thing is though, that target shooting requires a serious level of skill too, just in different areas. Maybe you think fitness isn’t needed to be good? You’d be wrong. If you’re overweight then you are going to find it difficult to control your breathing and heart rate under pressue. These are fundamental to control and accuracy. No, you don’t need marathon running levels of endurance but don’t underestimate the level of fitness required to perform at competition level.
More specific skill is obviously required when it comes to controlling and learning how to use your gun accurately. Think about how often soccer players practice set pieces such as taking a penalty or corner kick. They repeat those specific actions over and over again – because it takes thousands of repetitions to gain reliable accuracy. That’s just the same with shooting.
You can quickly go from missing the target completely to at least getting inside the outer rings just from some basics of how to stand and hold a gun. The more accuracy you want and the better you want to be, the more repetition and practice it takes. To achieve reliable close groupings in the bullseye takes the serious dedication of a true athlete. Next time you get a chance to see target shooting at pro competition level – such as in the Olympics – take a closer look. Just like all sports people, those guys got there through countless hours of practice and real skill.