WHAT MAKES A CHAMPION SHOOTER - MR. KEIFER
On the verge of victory, many falter and fail to demonstrate the courage and greatness that separates the participants, really merely a matter of degree...from the winner, for there is only one winner and he is called the champion.
In spite of the thousands of words on the subject of champions, like an iceberg with only 10% visible, probably more remains to be learned about their development than is presently known.
The list of traits must remain forever incomplete since we must consider each as an individual. What may make one person a winner does not necessarily apply to another champion.
Two traits, ATTITUDE and CONTROL play a most important part in the makeup and personality of any champion. Without these two basic ingredients, he will never be one.
Being a champion is an attitude in itself...a winning frame of mind. In competition, his will to win is greater than that of all others competing. A passionate overwhelming desire forced him to pay the price, make the sacrifices. endure the monotony, pain and drudgery along the road to the pinnacle. He knows loneliness as well as exultation for he has experienced them to a greater degree than you or
Many fine competitors drop out because they did not have this singleness of purpose that was greater than all else in life. To win IS LIFE for the champion. It is not unrealistic to call a champion a fanatic. To him winning is not the most important thing. Winning is the ONLY thing.
The will to win, since it is an attitude, is more important than ability. Ability can improve with work, practice and coaching, but the attitude must be there as part of the body, soul, and brain since it is the motivating drive that forces him onward and upward. Attitude makes the work and practice worthwhile and meaningful. He is WIN oriented and blind to distractions.
Included in this attitude of the champion is confidence gained by careful, meticulous preparation of himself and equipment. He is a true professional. He makes fewer mistakes. He remembers. He knows what he has to do and does it because it is important to make not even one mistake.
The champion has control, physical and even more so, mental. He can stand the heat of pressure. He is emotionally conditioned to win. He will not let a moment of carelessness or loss of concentration occur.
Most shooters know how to shoot a good shot. The higher the level of competition, the more it becomes a battle of nerves between the top contenders. The champion will be the one who maintained control of himself to the highest degree.
The perfect score fired in practice may be important for it instills confidence, but it does not count for record. Practice for the champion is a compass to point to areas of improvement and to give him an equipment status check. The champion strives to control his training so as to be at his strongest during competition. Many do not become champions because they fire their best scores in practice. They cannot stand the strain of competition.
Many traits are found in champions. The list is unlimited. All are important but in varying degrees according to their personalities. The man with the resolute ATTITUDE and CONTROL, actually WILLS himself to be the winner and CHAMPION. He refuses to settle for less.
...and there he will remain until someone with greater will, greater control, more resolute attitude, wills otherwise.