Way back when, before I picked up a gun for anything other than hunting, I received some advice that would shape the way I look at anything competitive.
In 1997 I was a whopping 125lbs, so I had to make a decision whether or not to keep getting smashed on the football field or move on to other less invasive sports. A friend talked me into going to the golf course and after just one round, I was hooked. Fast forward to 2001 and I was a Senior on the Varsity team. My coach at the time was a pretty laid back guy who didn’t force any knowledge on you that you didn’t ask for. I remember a particularly bad round that I was having at an out of town tournament, in which I had pretty much given up. At the turn, I knew my team would not use my score, so I was content on losing as many balls as I had in my bag and pretty much jacking around the rest of the day.
My coach asked me what was going on and I told him, I had given up on the round. For a guy who never was very serious, he suddenly became extra serious. Knowing that I wanted to play golf in college, Coach looked right at me and said, “We may not use your score, but you gotta save some face”. Coach shook his head and walked back to his cart. It took a few days, but advice sank in. I realized that he was right. If you want people to take you seriously in anything, you can’t just give up.
How does that relate to shooting? Well, outside the obvious, if you are trying to make it to the big time of the shooting sports, you need to save face, even when you are having your worst day. Now, I understand that bad range days happen, equipment goes down and you get the occasional awful call by an RO….but, even if there isn’t anything you can do to improve your score, you can still be out there having a good time and letting other people know you are enjoying it.
I will be the first to admit, I get pretty pissed when the bad luck string hits. If you are going to be out there representing a sponsor or you WANT to be out there representing sponsors, in one way or another…save some face.