Kiboh Uchida at the National Shooting Competition 2011

Kiboh attended the 4-H National Shooting Sports Invitational this summer in June. He shot smallbore rifle for Pennsylvania along with three other shooters from the same club. He describes his experience in his essay.

I attended the 4-H National Shooting Sports Invitational this summer in June.  I shot smallbore rifle for Pennsylvania along with three other shooters from the very same club as me.  This experience introduced me to many new people, taught me how much a person depends on their teammates in rifle, and aided me in finding my weaker areas to improve upon.
 First of all, I met many people from all around the country.  Each person told me of the different qualifications required by their state to get to the 4-H National Shooting Sports Invitational and how strong the competition for the four coveted spots on the team is.  Some states would only have one of the three events of cmp, silhouettes, or precision as a requirement and not the other two.  A few select states did however require the individuals to be very apt at all three events in order to go to the 4-H National Shooting Sports Invitational.  Also, I was told of the different styles and ways of training that each person had.  Some were forced to practice indoors at all times do to the lack of outdoor facilities at their disposal while others had never shot indoor and had only shot outdoor.  In addition, the climate that each team trained in was unsurprisingly varied.  Some teams trained in rather cold weather with very strong winds while others trained in scorching hot weather with minimal or no wind.  This led to each shooter’s ability to adapt to the conditions to be put to the limit.  Also, each person was very friendly to the rest of the competitors in a fashion that is unbeknownst to nearly every person in most other sports in the world.
 Next, I learned how critical it is to be able to depend on your teammates in a sport that is significantly an individual sport.  Even though someone can’t help their teammate take a shot, get into position, or help them in any physical way to improve their performance in a physical way like in most sports, teammates still can help each other keep their scores very high. They are able to give each other morale support and help ensure that each one of them takes care of themselves to be able to perform at their optimum capacity.  In addition, shooters place not only as individuals, but as teams as well.  For instance, my team placed all four times even though I myself never placed individually.  That is due to the fact that my teammates were able to keep their scores high enough to make up for my lack of skill and discipline to properly do my team justice.
 As previously stated, shooting in the 4-H National Shooting Sports Invitational aided me in finding faults in my technique.  These faults all varied from my position to the way my gun was adjusted per position.  With the new knowledge of areas where there is a great potential of improvement will aid me in slowly growing into a better shooter and person.  With time these faults will hopefully be fixed and my potential in shooting will be reached instead of wasted.