Monday, June 11, 2007

National rifle champion in their midst

Today must be highlight the youth shooting sports day at the blog. This is three for three posts on youth in shooting sports. School is out, the weather good, so shooting sports have their day.

This young lady is from Washington State.

From The Spokesman Review:

By Juan Juan Moses

Shadle Park High School senior Elisha Lafond is an outstanding student whom any parent or any school would be proud of. She has accomplished a lot in a few years and seems to be heading into a busy life of excitement and achievement.

Lafond competes both nationally and internationally in air rifle and .22-caliber rifle. It is not a common sport for a young person to be involved in today, but Lafond has found something that she not only is passionate about but also excels in.

The sport has taken her many places around the world and offered her many lessons she can use throughout life.

When she was 12, her father spotted an advertisement by the Spokane Rifle Club for juniors. He signed her up.

Soon, she was hooked.

In 2002, she competed in England. Last year, she was a member of the world championship team that competed in Croatia. Last year also found her competing in Brazil as a member of the U.S. World Cup team. And she won the title of junior national champion at the 2006 Junior Olympic Games at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs.

So, last year was a busy year for Lafond. But she managed not to miss any schoolwork in between her travels and competitions.

"My teachers are all very supportive. They work with me. Sometimes I take homework with me on the road. And when I come back, I have to work extra hard to catch up," she says.

For 2006-2007, Lafond also is a member of the Bundesleague team that competes in Germany.
She is quite the competitor. Not quite what the anti's would have you believe about what happens when high school kids and guns get together.

What has she learned while training in her marital art?

Asked what she has learned from the sport of shooting, Lafond answers without hesitation: "Patience."

She elaborates that once a shot has been fired, there is nothing you can do but have the patience to learn from your mistakes and practice harder for the next shot.

"You learn to let go and have patience and not be angry with yourself," she says.

Lafond stresses that shooting has taught her to learn from past mistakes and to always strive to do better next time.

Another important lesson she has learned, she says, is the importance of goal-setting, not only for the sport itself but also for life in general...

...Lafond credits her sport for her focus in whatever she pursues. "Shooting is a sport that requires a lot of focus and concentration. I like the challenge of getting the target every time. It has helped me with my concentration."

Elisha Lafond

Hopefully we will see more of Miss Lafond in the 2008 Olympic Games.

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