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Finals 10m Air Pistol Women

Spotlight on Youth - A shooter life (Heena Sidhu): the range is just the end!

ISSF World Cup Rifle / Pistol · Munich, GER

“Being a shooter is not just being a shooter”, said India's Sidhu – after her 8th place in Munich – talking about her life. Not many talks: it's all about concentration. “And it's great!”

Heena Sidhu: a last place and not even a hint of sadness. Why? It was not a matter of results: “Let's take one thing at a time, - explains the Indian shooter – one year ago I've changed my sport strategy. Or better, my life strategy. I'm working on this new way of shooting, and it's not time to see the results yet.

But what did she change? Did she choose another Rifle? Or new clothes? No, nothing of the kind. “I didn't modify my equipment, – continues Heena – I just switched to a different approach to the game.” Lots of trainings with her mental coach, where she learned to know her strenghts and weaknesses: “When I play a match – says the 24-year-old Sidhu – I make sure that I always use my qualities. If I feel that I'm not doing well, then I'd think to whatever was told me by my coach. More than the technical one, it concerns the mental aspect of the sport.”

And it works – as Heena makes clear: “My new strategy has incredibly improved my scores during the qualifications. Definitely a positive move.” Even if today's 10m Air Pistol final didn't go really well for her: she came 8th, right at the bottom of the scoreboard. Not a great result – that's true – but Heena sees the glass as half full: “I've learned a few things here in Munich. Now I'll go back home to practise, and then come back stronger.”

Heena's plans are clear and time is on her side: “My student life is over, so I'm just living my life as a shooter. I really like it!” What does that mean? “Being a shooter is not just being a shooter. It's an entirely different lifestyle. We live and do things differently, especially on the psychological point of view. We're not too sociable people. We like to be with ourselves and enjoy our own company.”

The shooting range is just the final part. It all starts inside the
minds of the athletes and finally ends on a target. Heena is right: it's actually a lot more than a sport.

Alessandro Ceschi