By Shelby Hicks
There are many women in shooting sports today, including Lena Miculek and Gabby Franco. It may sound surprising, but women are quickly entering the shooting sports arena and have been for a while. Are you interested in discovering how you can also get into this world of fun and competition? Let us look at how Lena and Gabby got started and how you can begin or how you can encourage other women to follow their dreams and desires.
If you follow Lena on Instagram, YouTube, or any other social media platform, you will be aware of this twenty something’s success. As an eight-time world shooting champion and has recently received the Gundie’s Most Influential Female Award. This woman is a firecracker, climbing her way up the competition boards and helping others learn how to do the same, all while keeping safety and defense at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Lena began practicing the art of shooting at just 8 years old, but do not worry if you are a bit older than that! Practice always makes you better, and you can begin a regimen at any point in time. Let Lena be an encouragement to you, not a source of comparison.
Even though she started young, Lena Miculek was not a pro from the moment she picked up her first gun. She has said in many interviews that she failed repeatedly in her first competitions, referring to them as “train-wrecks.” She has grown much since then and has learned, especially from her parents, that it is best to never stop learning and redeveloping the way you do something.
From Lena Miculek, you can learn that persistence is key to achieving your dreams and getting into shooting sports, but it is also keeping an open mind that help you improve. There will always be new ways to develop yourself and your skills, and you should always be open to learning those new ways.
Gabriela “Gabby” Franco made the Venezuelan shooting Olympic team when she was just 19, the first female shooter to represent Venezuela in the Olympics. She now is a firearms instructor who writes manuals and helps others improve their game. When Gabby was a child, her father learned that there was a junior shooting team on the range he frequented. He got Gabby involved, and that is where her journey to the world of shooting sports began.
Gabby is a big believer in perseverance and working hard for what you want. She has said in many interviews that she keeps a philosophy of thinking, “you don’t get to be mad or frustrated about something you have done nothing about; get back to work!” It can be easy to let the world tell you that you are not made to participate in shooting sports. However, women like Gabby Franco have proven repeatedly that gender does not matter. If you have a desire to compete, do it!
From Gabby Franco, you can learn that you can compete anywhere—she travels often with her husband who is in the active military, and she is a mom of a young boy. She has a busy lifestyle now, but she does not let that stop her from participating in the activities she enjoys.
How Can I Get Involved?
Are you interested in getting involved in shooting sports? It can feel daunting at first if you have never been involved before. But you can get into a competition in a moment if you put your mind to it. When beginning these competitions, keep in mind that you may fail a few times before you learn the tricks of the trade and begin getting better. Remember, Lena Miculek failed many a time before becoming an eight-time world shooting champion.
Look in Your Area
First thing is first; look and see what is available in your area. There are bound to be at least a couple of competition groups around for you to join. You can start by looking at the Nation Shooting Sports Foundation website. They partner with many organizations to help bring you a sense of camaraderie and a chance to improve your skills no matter where you live. Another idea is to look at what recreational shooting opportunities the National Rifle Association has coming up. They often have women-only getaways to help you improve yourself alongside other women. You can also look at your local gun range and see what they have to offer.
You can make the world of shooting sports feel more accessible and more normal by volunteering in different activities. Volunteering you set up a competition in your area or to spread the word will make it more exciting for you as the day draws near, and it will increase foot traffic on the day of. This opens shooting sports to any area you live, no matter how big or small, young, or old, urban, or rural. Volunteering is always a terrific way to further a cause you care about.
Get Your Family Involved
Getting your spouse and kids involved in the fun will encourage them to continue supporting competitions as they come to your area. It will also help you to have some good family time doing something you love! Spread your passion for shooting sports and have it become a familial passion that will be passed on for generations.
Getting involved in shooting sports as a woman can feel daunting at first. It is a world that has been predominantly male. However, getting yourself into a competition does not have to feel scary. Take your inspiration from women who are already competing, like Lena Miculek and Gabby Franco. They have both worked their way into the competitions and have improved their skills by practicing, even when they were not the best. If we can learn anything from them, it is to not give up! Follow your passions and get yourself into the shooting sports you enjoy.
What are your thoughts on shooting sports?
Do let us know in the comments below. If shooting is really up your alley, looking into the world of hunting might also be of interest to you.