(Editor’s note: Jamie Beyerle Gray Corkish, a native of Lebanon and a graduate of Cedar Crest, won the Olympic gold medal in the women’s 50-meter, three-position rifle competition at the 2012 Summer Games in London.)
BY JAMIE CORKISH
Being committed to something can be one of the most difficult things to do in life. It is easy for people to give up or not put their all into what they are doing. So how can you avoid getting caught in this trap? There is never an easy answer, but having distinct goals and following a plan will certainly help. Throughout this article I will use shooting as an example, but this can be related to any part of life.
One of the most important things to do is realize why you are involved in the shooting sports; is it because your parents want you to, because you are good at it, because you enjoy the sport, there are any number of reasons why you chose this path. Be honest with yourself, without first answering this question it can be difficult to be committed.
Now that you have decided why you are involved in the shooting sports you can start to develop goals that will help you continue to enjoy and work in the sport. Goal setting is constantly discussed and I will not go into great detail about how to set goals, however it can’t be overlooked. You must have long-term, intermediate, and short-term goals set, and they should be written down. I like to write my goals down where I see them quite often throughout the day, for example the bathroom mirror. When you have positive SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals set you have something every day you are working towards. When you feel unmotivated take a look at those goals and remember why you are putting so much time and energy into training and competing.
Commitment is all about you; you make the decision to be committed. Your friends ask you to go to the movies, but you were going to practice tonight, what do you do? The committed athlete sticks to their plan. This isn’t to say you can’t have a life, your life bubbles need to be equal to be successful. What it does mean is you should spend about the same amount of time on all aspects of life (family and friends, work/school/extracurricular activities and sport); one should not be left out, but they may overlap. Without balance in life it becomes very difficult to be successful.
Make a choice to be fully committed to shooting; this means mentally, physically and emotionally. Put your all into what you want to accomplish. This is a huge sacrifice, but to be the best and achieve your goals it is necessary to keep that commitment. You may have to give things up in the short-term that you really want to do to gain things for the long-term. Keep your goals in mind at all times so everything you do can be related back to those goals.
There will be tough times through committing to something that is important to you. These can be the most difficult times you face, but also the most rewarding. It is extremely important to push through adversity to accomplish your goals. I can promise you, at some point things will be difficult, and it is how you approach adversity and how you combat that adversity that makes you a better athlete and competitor.
It takes time to become a champion, but it also takes hard work. No one has reached the top on talent alone. Set goals, follow your plan to reach those goals, and put the time and energy in to achieve those goals and you will be much more successful. Now go out there and start working hard and obtaining those goals.