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Impact 0415: Lessons from an Olympian shooter and coach

Teo Shun Xie · 3 March 2022
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Teo Shun Xie, 33, is a national pistol shooter and coach. She has been in the shooting scene for 16 years and has medalled in various major competitions such as the Southeast Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and shooting world cups. Today, she shares some of the lessons she has learnt throughout her journey.

1.
Time management is key

Having to juggle between a full-time job and shooting training was never easy. Both my weekends are always spent in the range. After work on weekdays, I will be at the range from 7pm to 9pm. 

However, with proper time management, you will find that things are actually not as overwhelming as they seem. Remember to plan your daily, weekly and monthly schedule accordingly, as it helps you to manage your time more effectively.

2.
Dare to dream

Having dreams and goals you want to achieve are important in life. As you make a conscious effort to achieve these goals and dreams, you will learn to realise that you are stronger than you think you are. 

Ever since I joined the national team at 18 years old, I told myself that I wanted to win at the Olympics. 11 years later, I was a step closer as I qualified for the Rio Olympics 2016.

3.
Mind over matter

Many times during competitions, I will have thoughts like: “Other shooters are full-time shooters, how am I, a part-time shooter, going to compete and win them?” But what I have come to realise over the years is that it is all in the head. Manage your thoughts and mental well-being properly. Keep good and positive thoughts only and nothing will be able to push you down.

4.
The power of accountability

You are accountable for your own effort and actions. Always give it your all during competitions, practices or whatever you are doing because you never know when the next opportunity is going to arise.

5.
If you want to win, do not be afraid to lose

Often, we want to win, yet, we are also afraid to lose. The fear of failure will hinder the ability to push yourself. If you want to win, you must be willing to take risks. Give it your best shot and do not hold back. Step out of your comfort zone and be in the present moment.

6.
Do not settle. Keep pushing ahead!

After winning at the Commonwealth Games (CG) and setting a new final record, I knew more work needed to be done and that winning at CG was not enough. Subsequently, I went ahead to compete in other major games and world cups before eventually qualifying for the Rio Olympics in 2016. Never settle, always look to improve and challenge yourself in life.

7.
Teamwork makes the dream work

The successes that I have achieved in shooting was only made possible with the support and help from my family, friends and the Singapore Shooting Association. When you work together as a team, everyone benefits as knowledge and experiences are shared. It can help in shortening the learning curve and the team will be able to progress together.

8.
You never really lose until you stop trying

It took me seven years to win my first medal at a major game, and 10 years to win my first gold medal and set a new final record. Before that, I had nothing but failure to qualify for any major games. The point is, do not give up, if you fall, dust it off and pick yourself up. Yes, it will hurt the moment you fall, but do not lose sight of the road ahead of you as it is filled with opportunities waiting for you to experience.

9.
Be grateful every single day

My daily life can be pretty hectic and packed, especially when I have to prepare for an upcoming competition. But I always remember that every day is a brand new day to start anew. Always be grateful for the new opportunities. With more mindfulness and gratitude, you will observe that regardless of how hectic your daily schedule might be, you will be less stressed out, and be able to handle every single task and training effectively and efficiently.

10.
No one is you and that is your power

During the CG finals, the fellow finalists were very high profile shooters, including the former world number one and Olympic medalist. The odds of winning were definitely not on my side. However, I told myself to just focus on myself and do my process shot by shot. Do not let what others are or have affect what you think of yourself. Focus on yourself and your own strengths, that is the greatest power you will ever have.

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