This week in our series on young sporting talent we speak to Sophie Herrmann about the world of Clay Pigeon Shooting and what the future holds for her.
What is your sport and why did you choose it?
Clay pigeon shooting but I compete in a discipline called Olympic Skeet.
Which team are you in?
I’m in the Marlborough College Senior A team and have just been selected to shoot for GB in the Junior World Cup in Porpetto, Italy in April.
At what age did you start?
I was fascinated by a simulated shooting game from around four and moved onto the real thing aged ten.
Does school play a role in your sporting career path?
Marlborough College have been brilliant. They bravely chose me for the senior team in my first team and allow me to train and compete both in and out of school.
How do you combine school work with training?
I’m allowed to leave school on a Mon, Tues and Sat afternoon and often get to compete on Sundays too.
Where do you train and who is your coach?
I mainly train at Barbury but get out to Bisley and EJ Churchill’s as well. My coach is David Dale and I try to see him weekly in not more!
How do you manage pre-competition nerves?
I perform best when I worry less, so I make a point of not watching other people shoot. Sometimes it also helps to have a song in my head. Finally, walk onto the stand with a positive mental attitude.
How do you deal with defeat and with victory?
By taking something positive out of every competition. When I win, I’m happy but I try and stay humble and make sure it doesn’t go to my head. When I lose I put it behind me and make mental notes to learn from my mistakes.
What advice can you give to others wanting to excel within the world of sport?
Do what you love because you need to enjoy all the hours of practice. Also work on your mental game as any top level sport is 90% mental.
What one thing have you learnt along the way?
Focus your practice on what you are bad at instead of showing off what you are good at.
Are your parents involved and if so how?
Both of my parents are really supportive and my mum got me into competing in the first place.