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Bourjaily: Some Gold-Medal Shooting Advice

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October 21, 2009

Bourjaily: Some Gold-Medal Shooting Advice

By Phil Bourjaily

That’s me with skeet shooter Chiara Cainero at dinner in Brescia, Italy. She is holding her gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which she won in a three-way shootoff in the rain.

Cainero shoots way better than she speaks English, and I shoot better than I speak Italian (which is not saying much), but we were still able to talk about how she trained to deal with Olympic pressure.

She shoots only 100-300 rounds a day, which is low for an elite shooter. But, she told me she does lots of visualization. Visualization lets you practice without ever picking up a gun. You picture yourself at the range, and imagine setting up for the target, going through your pre-shot routine, calling for the bird, seeing it, and making a good move and crushing it. The more detail you can work into your mental images, the more effective your mental training becomes.  Visualization conditions your mind and body to perform, even in the heat of a three way shootoff on your sport’s biggest stage.

Visualization is an important training method and top athletes like Carineo take it very seriously. It’s much more than merely daydreaming about hearing your national anthem with a medal around your neck.

 “When I visualize, I think about shooting in the Olympics. But I don’t think about winning,” she said. “I think about breaking targets in the Oympics.”
Evidently  it works.

Comments (23)

Top Rated
All Comments
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

A good looking dinner companion. Guns, beauty, and a fine italian meal. I'm jealous!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

It truly warms the cockles of my heart to see someone achieving great challenges like Mrs. Chiara Cainero!

She shoots only 100-300 rounds a day and winning the three-way shootoff in the rain? GREAT GOBS OF GOOSE GREESE, She should be part of the Duck Commander Team!

Listen, I found teaching Females to shoot is a lot easier than the guys, NO JOKE!

From Clays archives of bookmarks, places, information and things to read,

Back in 85, I remember the Colonels teenage daughter Mrs. Sandra Warmon wanted to shoot high power. NO WAY! I had better plans for this young teenager so I immediately contacted my friend and hunting partner MSgt Mike Woodruff NRA Shooting Coach and Team Captain for the Air Force Small Bore Team. He also ran a small bore junior shooting program downtown Alamogordo NM. Within a month, Mike and I realized we had a real shooter on our hands. Mike contacted one of the NRA Olympic Coaches in Albuquerque. All this started around April or May of 85 and in June of 86 Sandra was at the Whittington Center in Raton New Mexico for the Olympic tryouts! Later on at the at the1995 NRA convention in Phoenix Arizona, I ran into a friend while stationed at Eielson AFB Alaska 86-90, Mr. Randy Pitney was director of athletics and recreation at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I found out thru him Sandra became a mega hit with the NRA shooting community and wanted Sandra so bad that the University was offering a free scholarship and wanted to know if I could twist her arm. I haven’t had any contact with Sandra since May of 86.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

I'm in agreement w/Clay 100%.

In my limited experiences of teaching ladies to shoot (my wife, daughter), I found that both had no bad habits to break and were willing to listen to instruction. On the other hand, my son was a bit more hard headed.

To Phil,

Great article.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Great tip Phil. I will add that it's a good technique for archery to.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

My problem is whenever I visualize....the wrong gun goes off!

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

so Buckstopper ,. what the H yall visualizin ??

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

By the way you forgot to mention her marital status. Visualization sounds like torture to me. I am not going to fixate on breaking clays when I can enjoy what buckstopper is visualizing...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Gentlemen...Gentlemen...

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Hey, her theory works for her, but I need to be looking down the barrel of my shotgun for "real time" experience...AND 100-300 rounds a day is not a "walk in park" in my mind; that's a lotta-BOOM-BOOM. I think it's mainly getting to know your gun is the key here for success.
I wonder how long she has been shooting, did she have "formal" training, and anyone else in her family been given the "gift" of shooting this well?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Visualization is a funny thing only the pros seem to be familiar with it?
SBW

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from straightshooter wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Most people don't realize the mental discipline that is required to become a successful competitive shooter. I have seen competitors fall apart after one bad shot. The really good shooters are able to concentrate only on the very next shot. Not the one that they just made and not the one after the shot that they are getting ready to take.
It sounds a whole lot easier to do than it is.
I suspect that Ms Cainero's winning an Olympic shootoff in the rain had just as much to do with her mental discipline as her shooting ability.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from straightshooter wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Here is another example of visualization:

Pianist Liu Chi Kung was imprisoned for seven years during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During that time he had no access to a piano. After his release he returned to giving concerts. His playing was better than ever. When asked how it was possible for him to play even better than before after not having practiced for seven years, he replied: "I did practice, every day. I rehearsed every piece I had ever played, note by note, in my mind."

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

So Phil, does she prefer 2 1/2", 3", 3 1/2" or something bigger?

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Now Now Mr. Smith..

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Beauty, brains, (obviously) and outstanding shooting ability; what more could you ask for? I wish more American women had her attitude towards the shooting sports.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

RALPH ( doc Ralph )

Go to infalable shoulder shot last page

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

I'm not promoting any religion here, but the practice of Zen-style Buddhism is similar to her "visualizations". I believe it begins with the elimination of distractions in one's life. They take it to extremes but I can see where it would help you with your shooting.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

i think she just has a natural talent and she enjoys the sport. that's what makes her good.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Italian Women prefer to the company of Gentlemen don’t they Sir Phil Bourjaily.

How do I know this?

I’m married to one!
__________________________________

It would be gut busting humorous to have her invited to a duck or dove hunt with a known group without letting them know who she was. Imagine the reaction from someone like Sir Jeff Foxworthy!! LOL!!!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Setting all the jokes aside, one of the most enjoyable High Power Competitions I’ve been to when I was shooting alongside of a Lady from Tucson Arizona. She was shooting the Civilian Class while I was shooting the Military Class and we had enjoyable time learning from each other. She was giving me pointers and while I was shooting, she learned from me how to instantly correct problems like picking up your magazine backwards and upside down. Tossing it up with a flip and twist of the wrist and reaching it perfectly in the air was amazing to her. After the match, my Team Captain walked up and said, how was it? How was what? Shooting with the one of the Women’s NRA National High Power Champions?

As with other National Champions with their nose in the air, this one you would never would have known it and she was so involved helping other shooters especially new to the sport. I also found out, she prefers to shoot amongst the new shooters rather than to be down on targets 2, 3 & 4 with the High Masters.

What an experience!

A Lady, a Scholar and true Sportswoman she is, no joke!

A word from the “BEEN DAR AND DUN DAT!”

Be careful on the range, in the field and wherever you are. You will never know who you will meet until after the fact!

During Team Matches the High Master Teams from Tucson and El Paso Texas always invited me to be on their Team. So why is that? Yes it was partly because of my shooting ability but most of all? You will just have to figure the rest out by yourself!

Above all I say to you Sir Phil Bourjaily,

A HEART FILLED THANK YOU!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jmiles wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

I just want to know if she is single? I can teach her english and she can teach me to shoot better. I match made in heaven! :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clem Snide wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Sorry, but the young lady is married.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Want to improve the gummit?
Limit MOST US politicians to two terms.

One in office

One in prison

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

You fellas with the ungentlemanly comments might find a source for your entertainment on other blogs. I hear there are plenty of them around. Just Google "pervert" and see what you might come up with....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

10-4 WAM

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Moishe,
EXCELLENT Idea!
The Majority of politicians after the first term sorely deserve the second term!

WA Mtnhunter,
I am not a pervert, I'm a dirty old man, there is a difference, thank you.
(can't remember what it is at the moment though.....)

;-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Gentlemen...Gentlemen...

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from straightshooter wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Here is another example of visualization:

Pianist Liu Chi Kung was imprisoned for seven years during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During that time he had no access to a piano. After his release he returned to giving concerts. His playing was better than ever. When asked how it was possible for him to play even better than before after not having practiced for seven years, he replied: "I did practice, every day. I rehearsed every piece I had ever played, note by note, in my mind."

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

It truly warms the cockles of my heart to see someone achieving great challenges like Mrs. Chiara Cainero!

She shoots only 100-300 rounds a day and winning the three-way shootoff in the rain? GREAT GOBS OF GOOSE GREESE, She should be part of the Duck Commander Team!

Listen, I found teaching Females to shoot is a lot easier than the guys, NO JOKE!

From Clays archives of bookmarks, places, information and things to read,

Back in 85, I remember the Colonels teenage daughter Mrs. Sandra Warmon wanted to shoot high power. NO WAY! I had better plans for this young teenager so I immediately contacted my friend and hunting partner MSgt Mike Woodruff NRA Shooting Coach and Team Captain for the Air Force Small Bore Team. He also ran a small bore junior shooting program downtown Alamogordo NM. Within a month, Mike and I realized we had a real shooter on our hands. Mike contacted one of the NRA Olympic Coaches in Albuquerque. All this started around April or May of 85 and in June of 86 Sandra was at the Whittington Center in Raton New Mexico for the Olympic tryouts! Later on at the at the1995 NRA convention in Phoenix Arizona, I ran into a friend while stationed at Eielson AFB Alaska 86-90, Mr. Randy Pitney was director of athletics and recreation at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I found out thru him Sandra became a mega hit with the NRA shooting community and wanted Sandra so bad that the University was offering a free scholarship and wanted to know if I could twist her arm. I haven’t had any contact with Sandra since May of 86.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

I'm in agreement w/Clay 100%.

In my limited experiences of teaching ladies to shoot (my wife, daughter), I found that both had no bad habits to break and were willing to listen to instruction. On the other hand, my son was a bit more hard headed.

To Phil,

Great article.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Hey, her theory works for her, but I need to be looking down the barrel of my shotgun for "real time" experience...AND 100-300 rounds a day is not a "walk in park" in my mind; that's a lotta-BOOM-BOOM. I think it's mainly getting to know your gun is the key here for success.
I wonder how long she has been shooting, did she have "formal" training, and anyone else in her family been given the "gift" of shooting this well?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Visualization is a funny thing only the pros seem to be familiar with it?
SBW

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from straightshooter wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Most people don't realize the mental discipline that is required to become a successful competitive shooter. I have seen competitors fall apart after one bad shot. The really good shooters are able to concentrate only on the very next shot. Not the one that they just made and not the one after the shot that they are getting ready to take.
It sounds a whole lot easier to do than it is.
I suspect that Ms Cainero's winning an Olympic shootoff in the rain had just as much to do with her mental discipline as her shooting ability.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Now Now Mr. Smith..

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Beauty, brains, (obviously) and outstanding shooting ability; what more could you ask for? I wish more American women had her attitude towards the shooting sports.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Want to improve the gummit?
Limit MOST US politicians to two terms.

One in office

One in prison

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

A good looking dinner companion. Guns, beauty, and a fine italian meal. I'm jealous!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Great tip Phil. I will add that it's a good technique for archery to.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

I'm not promoting any religion here, but the practice of Zen-style Buddhism is similar to her "visualizations". I believe it begins with the elimination of distractions in one's life. They take it to extremes but I can see where it would help you with your shooting.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

i think she just has a natural talent and she enjoys the sport. that's what makes her good.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Italian Women prefer to the company of Gentlemen don’t they Sir Phil Bourjaily.

How do I know this?

I’m married to one!
__________________________________

It would be gut busting humorous to have her invited to a duck or dove hunt with a known group without letting them know who she was. Imagine the reaction from someone like Sir Jeff Foxworthy!! LOL!!!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Setting all the jokes aside, one of the most enjoyable High Power Competitions I’ve been to when I was shooting alongside of a Lady from Tucson Arizona. She was shooting the Civilian Class while I was shooting the Military Class and we had enjoyable time learning from each other. She was giving me pointers and while I was shooting, she learned from me how to instantly correct problems like picking up your magazine backwards and upside down. Tossing it up with a flip and twist of the wrist and reaching it perfectly in the air was amazing to her. After the match, my Team Captain walked up and said, how was it? How was what? Shooting with the one of the Women’s NRA National High Power Champions?

As with other National Champions with their nose in the air, this one you would never would have known it and she was so involved helping other shooters especially new to the sport. I also found out, she prefers to shoot amongst the new shooters rather than to be down on targets 2, 3 & 4 with the High Masters.

What an experience!

A Lady, a Scholar and true Sportswoman she is, no joke!

A word from the “BEEN DAR AND DUN DAT!”

Be careful on the range, in the field and wherever you are. You will never know who you will meet until after the fact!

During Team Matches the High Master Teams from Tucson and El Paso Texas always invited me to be on their Team. So why is that? Yes it was partly because of my shooting ability but most of all? You will just have to figure the rest out by yourself!

Above all I say to you Sir Phil Bourjaily,

A HEART FILLED THANK YOU!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

By the way you forgot to mention her marital status. Visualization sounds like torture to me. I am not going to fixate on breaking clays when I can enjoy what buckstopper is visualizing...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jmiles wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

I just want to know if she is single? I can teach her english and she can teach me to shoot better. I match made in heaven! :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clem Snide wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Sorry, but the young lady is married.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

You fellas with the ungentlemanly comments might find a source for your entertainment on other blogs. I hear there are plenty of them around. Just Google "pervert" and see what you might come up with....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Moishe,
EXCELLENT Idea!
The Majority of politicians after the first term sorely deserve the second term!

WA Mtnhunter,
I am not a pervert, I'm a dirty old man, there is a difference, thank you.
(can't remember what it is at the moment though.....)

;-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

so Buckstopper ,. what the H yall visualizin ??

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

10-4 WAM

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

RALPH ( doc Ralph )

Go to infalable shoulder shot last page

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

My problem is whenever I visualize....the wrong gun goes off!

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

So Phil, does she prefer 2 1/2", 3", 3 1/2" or something bigger?

-3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment