Stepping into the world of competitive shooting can be intimidating. While becoming a new competitor may seem daunting to many women, the reality is that the sports are readily available, easy to access and, given the benefits, well worth the investment. The goal of this piece is to help you gain insight into not only what these sports have to offer, but also the ways by which beginners can get started in this growing and dynamic area of recreational shooting.

Shooting sports are a great training tool for becoming proficient with your firearm. Becoming skilled with a handgun is essential to using it effectively, whether for self-defense or competition, making this, perhaps, the greatest benefit of handgun competitions.

Competitive shooting is not a game of size and strength, but one of skill, timing and positioning. These can be honed only through practice. Shooting sports promote the development of skills such as timing and control, which contribute to success in competition, but more importantly have a valuable application to self-defense. This is important because studies show that the human body will react under stress in the way in which it has been trained. In a crisis, your body will execute the movements you have programmed into your muscle memory through practice and ingrained into habit. As you compete, you are training yourself mentally to focus, to stay calm under pressure, to manage stress and adrenalin, to overcome, to be strong in your spirit, and to develop mental control and discipline—attributes needed to survive a life-and-death situation.

Read more in the August 2013 Issue of Combat Handguns

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