When I arrived in Alexandria for my first ever trapshooting tournament, I was very nervous. I didn’t exactly know how I was going to do. Throughout the season I was all over the place, getting twelves, sixteens, then back up to nineteens out of 25 total each round. I never wanted to practice, even when my dad would ask me every single day after school. I didn’t believe it helped. However, I knew that even if I did do terrible, it’s not the end of the world. Later that day I ended up not doing as good as I aspired for. I knew after that day that something had to change for the next season. I started to practice and practice, even if I didn’t want to. I pushed myself to be better.
Heading to my second year of the trapshooting tournament, I felt confident. I had shot a lot more and I was overall more prepared for the shoot. It was the day before, and my dad thought it would be helpful to have fun that night so we I wasn’t so stressed. We went out to eat and then we went bowling. I got to bed early because I knew I needed sleep to function. When I woke up in the hotel room, I felt a bit more nervous than before. Even though I was feeling less confident than earlier, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from achieving my goal of doing somewhat good. I got out of bed, got dressed and left for the tournament.
When we arrived I looked around and saw that it was even bigger than before. Lemonade stands, climbing walls, gun sellers, clothing sellers, and much more. It made me even more stressed than before because of all the people. Even though I was nervous it was nothing like the year before. I realized the goal of the sport is to have fun, even if I take it more seriously than I should. I had about a half hour until I had to shoot so I decided to watch some of the other teams and their shooters. Some of the shooters were really good which made me even more anxious. I kept on saying to myself in my head, “ It’s just for fun, it’s just for fun”.
The shooters before me were done and I had to get ready to shoot. I got my pouch, clicked it around my waist, grabbed my shells, and grabbed my gun. I stood there waiting for the coach to tell us to go to our stations. I started on station 2, the one I thought of as my “lucky” station. When we got to our spots I took a deep breath and slowly put a shell in my over-under. “Boom!”, the first shot from the person on station 1. It was quickly my turn. I closed my gun, put it on my shoulder, lined my head up and took it off safety. I tried to clear everything from my mind and only think about the clay in front of me. I yelled “pull” and then shot. Hit. It soon came my turn again, and again, and again. Hit. Hit. Hit. Loss. Hit. Hit…….
After that round my confidence level went up a bit more. I had three rounds to go and I was not tired. The second and third round went by fast. So far I had hit 65 out of 75 clays. I felt a lot of pressure going into the third round because of the scores I had before. It was the same routine as the other three times, get my pouch, get my shells, and so on. I went up to station 2 for the fourth time. I shot and shot and shot until my 25th shot. I had missed one so far and I knew that if I hit the last one I could get an 88 out of 100. I was thinking too much and I shot too much to the left. Loss. I figured that one shot would cost me.
I was done shooting for the day and I was pretty happy with my scores. I looked at the rankings and I was number one so far. I kept looking throughout the day hoping that I don’t fall out of top three. The rankings weren’t updated all the way when it came to awards so I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I sat down and waited for the awards ceremony praying that I placed. They called off varsity first and then jv. Since I didn’t average 19 during the season, I was on jv. They called boys first, and then finally last, they called the junior varsity girls. The announcer said three people had tied for first and one of them was me. However, I didn’t get first. I ended up third because I missed my last shot. The shot that could’ve put me in first. I didn’t think about it too much. I was happy that I placed overall.
When I went into my first Alexandria tournament I was not prepared whatsoever and I didn’t expect to do good. I didn’t shoot enough and it took me a year to finally realize practice does pay off. In my first year I should have listened to my dad when he said practice would make me much better. I shot a lot the next year and it was proven that it helped me. I still shoot off season and practice more and more and my average keeps getting higher. With anything I do now I try to push myself to practice more because it does help and I don’t doubt it anymore.