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Shooting in the Indian Context - As a sport and a career

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TenX
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Shooting in the Indian Context - As a sport and a career

Postby TenX » Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:21 pm

Glad to know that you plan to make a career in Shooting.

Shooting in the Indian Context - As a sport and a career
A short introduction to the ladder, in the Indian shooting sports scenario, with a brief on required inputs into the game, the path to glory and the rewards.

Firstly, watching shooting and shooting are two different things entirely. So, if watching has made you a big fan, that’s great. But you should go about 'doing' it, and check out how your love and ability sustains through the process. Don’t take me wrong, but it would be best, like others have commented, to get along with an IHP Air Rifle, and spend some time on it. In a nut shell, what you will experience with the IHP is a fraction of the thrill and challenge that advanced shooting sports have to offer. If you live that, like that, and decide to go ahead in making a career, then great :)

I will now brief you on some aspects of how shooting sports and a career can be related. I assume career means a livelihood giving you an income, substantial enough to lead a life. A career would also mean growth opportunities, challenges, work-life balance, satisfaction, and most importantly recognition as in status. In that regard, I can say that shooting, in the top ranks (Rathore, Rana, Bindra, Anjali, etc) all the above is satisfied well and beyond.

Shooting requires some bit, rather, a good amount of time & effort, mind-frame, money and amenities to take it up as a professional pursuit. Success comes later, and in some cases, much later or maybe never - it all depends on how much sweat you are willing to put in. These words may seem a little derogatory for your enthusiasm, but we don’t want any wrong guidance either. The scene of Shooting Sports in India is not that good, and even though it may pick up towing to the new momentum that Rathore and Bindra have begun please do not think this is an easy path. I know examples of fellow shooters who wanted to make a career in shooting and joined the army (some joined the Navy). They are part of the Army marksmanship unit in Mhow, and regularly practice shooting, have a decent career and assured pay. Most importantly, they don’t pay to shoot any more :) :) - which is probably the biggest thorn for most Indian talent... Sad but true.

I know of National Squad members who occasionally represent the nation in International events, have made reasonable money and have a decent job with various supporting organizations like Railways, CRPF, and Indian Airlines etc. The list is not huge, but can just about support a few hundred quality shooters nation-wide. Being based in Delhi, it should be a little easier for you. Believe me; I once tried and found out that Southern Railways don’t take in people in the Shooting Sports quota, while North-Eastern/Western railways do. Same with Indian Airlines; being in the north has its advantages.

But getting there, and to be able to apply for these career postings can be tough. But as any career guidance person would say, where there is will, hard work and ability, recognition will follow.

So go ahead with shooting and see how you would rate yourself 5 or 10 years from now. If you think you have it in you to become a top notch shooter, if you are prepared face the hardships and to climb all the way up the ladder, no one's stopping you :)

I will now give a brief of how shooting sports is in India, how much of career you can expect and how your inputs are related.

1. Join a club, get a gun if possible, and practice hard at your cost (bullets/pellets/kit/etc). This input is pretty much required if you would want to go up to top class. Anything conservative in quality will hamper your chances of climbing the podium that much.

2. You will have to shoot well, match qualifying scores, learn a lot in great detail about shooting, understand yourself in complete depth, and keep on improving. You have to feel that shooting 600/600 is not enough. Your mind frame should challenge you to shoot 600/600 ten times in a row! Then go beyond... that is the way to challenge yourself, motivate yourself and keep improving. You will hit several obstacles like concentration, disturbance, domestic distractions, good-looking girls :) and more. There will be changes in quality of ammunition. Sometimes, for days, you will not know what you are doing wrong. You may blindly follow some parts of some habits/stances of someone else who is shooting well, and realize it’s no good. Suddenly your scores may drop or go stagnant with no improvement at all. But.... you have to keep remembering to rise, and come up. You have to keep trying, breaking yourself and bringing out a new you. Remember... all this takes up a lot of your time, energy and Vitamin 'M'. The biggest disadvantage here is the lacking for a good coach. Some states may have qualified coaches, and some may have older shooters helping out. But the coach is crucial for a shooter and you should be prepared to just go about without him/her. An advice would be for at least two people to join together, and stick along. They can help/guide/compete with one other and this will surely help in the long run.

3. After the hard work is done, and you are ready you go to the Mavlankar Championships, which is a qualification round, for you to entitle yourself a berth for shooting in the NSCC (National Shooting Championship Competitions). Now don’t ask me why the 'Championship Competitions'.... No one knows, actually :) Here too, all your expenses from ammunition to travel to boarding are borne by you. Some lucky states may have sponsors, but don’t just bet on it yet :) You may also enjoy the 'trip' depending on your company.
4. After qualifying in the Mavlankar, you know what a match is like. It is mostly never close to what you had in practice. But it’s a great experience and teacher. You would have come across so many new hurdles like psychology between teams from different states; some others using brand new world-class kits; some people having quality ammo.. Several things that will distract you and sometimes make you shoot better, sometimes worse. But you will bear all this and still show flying colors. You will climb the first rink. You will qualify for the NSCC. And if you have won something, you may be rewarded in full or partial, as may the case be in your state. Some states make you smile, some make you sulk. But this is nowhere near the end... and you have a long way to go. It’s not even the 'c' in career yet...

5. Now comes the National Shooting Championship Competitions, usually held soon after the Mavlankar. Here, you will see the National Squad in action. They will also be participating right along side, and this will also be a great place to see a lot of stuff, meet new people, and find out more about guns and shooting. You will now be with a creamer part of the fraternity, and you would have so much more to learn. You will, by now, know which gun/ammo combination is good; how to gauge wind; what is your best time of the day for a stable body & mind; so so many nitty-gritty’s that is so very crucial to make your shooting better. Sometimes, adaptation to different climates or shooting mat, for that 'mat'ter, becomes a big hurdle for your performance. Sometimes, match fear will kill your shots. But you will know all these nuances and the tricks of the trade. You will decide to climb a step higher and start to visualize the bigger picture. Again, all expenses are mostly borne by you. Sometimes the ammo costs could itself make you shoot badly :) The only return you may get is your neighbor giving you an appreciative smile because your dad mentioned about you representing the state in NSCC, during his morning walk. Your girlfriend may give you a kiss too :)

6. At the NSCC, you will shoot well and win a place on the podium. People cheering you and newspapers mentions et al. This is the first bit of worthwhile glory that you may see. But then come the deeper aspects and the attached strings are so much more visible. If you match or exceed the 'cut-off' score, you will be termed as a 'Renowned Shot', which means you will have customs exemption to import guns. If you shoot a score equal to or higher than the National Squad selection score, you may now be able to attend the National Squad Selections (more about this below). Either way, if you have shot well and/or won a medal, your state may do you some good, and you will now be qualified to apply for the small list of organizations that may give you a posting based on your sports quota. Some of these running around may take a good amount of your time. There will be lobbying, running around, interviews et al. If and when you get into one of these, say the 'Railways Team', you now have started your career :) Congrats. You will now have a job under the sports quota, which will not only support your shooting, but will also, give you monthly salary. In some aspects, your shooting and your career meets to bear fruits. Some of these postings may be on a temporary basis; some expect you to work; some may also be based on your other academic qualifications; some require you to punch your cards everyday.. So on and so forth.

7. You are now in a level to match the existing National Squad. You will now compete with them and all those who have scored the National Squad selection qualification. The National Squad Selections (NSS) will be held around 4 times in a year in different venues. You will have to attend all these rounds, and fare your best. Sometimes, if you have had a posting sanctioned from the earlier round, they may help in supporting you; else, you manage everything on your own. From travel to lodge to ammo... And all the four NSS's will have strict competitions, wherein National Coaches will be observing. This is a true battle and the best of the list is not ready for the National Squad. Its tiresome, takes all your time and energy. It’s challenging, and if you be in the top set of the list, it has paid well. :)
8. Congrats...
You are now part of the National Squad (NS). This is probably the first time that the National selection committee has acknowledged your presence. They have gauged your shooting scores in all the four NSS and have seen considerable talent - talent that is good enough to represent the country. They have put a stamp of National quality on your fore head. You will now have access to much more information on International Events, deeper training techniques, and most importantly, a Coach :) You will now be part of the NS training camps, held at various parts of India, and you will be guided and mentored by the coach and fellow shooters. You would have also seen a lot of politicking and lobbying. You will play your cards well, and will shine. Remember, your ambition is to shoot 600/600 ten times in a row!

9. INDIA on your Back.
Your first true reward in kind - will be a good quantity of ammunition, loans to buy a new gun (if required), guidance and tips from coach(es) - and sometimes more. You will have subsidized fare to travel for more training, updates on latest events and happenings... You are now one in plenty. This is a time to celebrate :) But don’t let that carry you away. You have more to accomplish ... much more... You need to wear the Indian National Letters on the back of your shirt. You need to represent India. And most importantly, you need to be consistently improving to ensure your position in this team, every year..... Hopefully, by now, you will have a happy life having marrying 'Shooting' with 'Career'. The supporting Org would give you a salary, shooting expenditure (which may not suffice), and sometimes bonus in cash or kind for due performance in events. Some organizations pay something like 10,000 K for a gold in the NSCC, while some may give you a promotion. But mind you, your performance and consistency is what will help you keep your job. You may very well be fired if you lay back and relax ... But broadly saying, your shooting career has now stabilized and most of your shooting requirements are being met by the tax payers, and your organization, be it the Railways or the CRPF... :)

10. Based on your performance and improvements in the NS training camps, the NRAI selection committee will nominate you to represent the country in one or more of the International events. There are plenty of these, from the commonwealth to the Asiad, to the World Cups to more. You may represent the country and win Now, that’s what you want to do, right. Keep winning, and keep improving. This will gain you the required points and International placing, decided mostly in the World Cups, which will give you eligibility (berth) to go to the Olympics. This is a moment of Glory. Take a minute and look back at where you came from, what all you did, and how much of time and effort you put in. The sacrifices when your friends invited you to a Dhaba, the pain, when you sweat like mad trying to shoot that perfect 10 in crazy heat.... all this has paid off and well. You have income by your side, and are in a position to make the tricolor fly high with respect.

11. The best Gold ever :)
You would have, by now, achieved a good status, both in career as well as in society. You are now eligible for a 'Celebrity Discount' on so many products; you would have gained a lot of friends, and you will be better off than most. But your final acid test is here... the Olympics. The Olympic Gold is the most sought after reward for sportsmen, the world over. It means you are the best in the world, and there is nothing better than having that bit of enterprise dangling around your neck. You will now recall all that you have to, and decide to give your best ever. Go for it.... And if you do.. Well, we all know the crores that pour in; every cough of yours is recorded and printed... You will be a hero..

Simply put, what you have done - is shot 600/600 ten times -
Mavlankar X 1
NSCC X 1
National Squad X4
World Cup X3 and
Olympics X 1

What you have given would be
Around 4-12 years of your time, effort, concentration, discipline and dedication.
A few lakhs of rupees in training, equipment, gun (if required), ammo, etc...
Lots of thoughts, lots of practice and lots of learning

What your may get, mostly in the following order
Recognition at the first level of friends and family.
Recognition at the State level - which may help you get a job.
Recognition at the National Level - which may help you get a job, finance your shooting, coaching, etc. May include monetary benefits.
Recognition at International Level - with good performance at World Cups, Commonwealth Games, etc. May include monetary benefits.
World Class Recognition - with the Olympic Gold, and you are a National Hero.

Now.. Get a gun, ask yourself if you have it from you... and GO FOR IT .. All the Best :)
Last edited by TenX on Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Zafar
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Postby Zafar » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:38 pm

Great write up

Keep it up XXXXXXXXXX

i could not imagine myself writing such a big post even for myself let alone writing it to guide someone, guys like you make us hanging around IFG

Shukriya
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Zafar


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TenX
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Postby TenX » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:46 pm

Most welcome Chief :) Glad I could be of some help. My only regret is that we never had anyone to guide us in any way when we started.. and I know how badly it affects the enthusiasm and interest in a person.
Matter of fact, I have always been wanting to write a book to help/guide shooters in India, and all this input will go into the book. When readers appreciate it, what more can the author ask :)


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Postby Mack The Knife » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:52 pm

TenX\";p=\"55102 wrote:When readers appreciate it, what more can the author ask :)


Royalty, you duffer!



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Shamsher
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Postby Shamsher » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:54 pm

Like I said before

He's the darling of the IFG

I really like your posts TenX

you'r too good.

And fast too - LOL



sitar
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Postby sitar » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:24 pm

ten x

it is the longest post i haveread on IFG

and motivating too

keep it up


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Re: Is it possible to make a Career in Shooting for a civili

Postby MoA » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:27 pm

An alternative is:

1. Move out of India
2. Enter the 100 M bench rest.
3. Shoot 5 shot groups in the .1's
4. Progress to 300 M bench continue to shoot in the .1s
5. Progress to 600 m bench... continue to shoot .1's
6. Start getting some freebies... powders, cases... bullets. At this point you're about $200K down... out of pocket and have invested about 4 years. Assuming you're in the US... if you're not in the US you're wasting your time. Also you need to set up your own shop. Assembling rigs, doing your own barrels et al.
7. Move to 1000 m bench... at this point you need to shoot a consistent 5 shot group of under 3 inches under any conditions. Now you start to recieve free equipment... win a few money shoots. It can pay for its self. But you still need a day job.
8. Set a world record... and you're golden. You could make about 300-600K a year as long as you can place 5 shots under 2.5 inches at 1000 meters. (The yanks shoot in yards... but meters is better)

Scenario 2:

1. Consistently shoot under 1 MOA at any given or unkown range.
2. Move to the US.
3. Spend about 30K USD (excluding guns, ammo and living costs) in "tactical training". Stuff that has you running around from dawn to dawn firing off 300-1000 cartrdges a day and consistently hitting targets et al. In what is one of the approved 'schools'.
4. Join a US contractor firm. (preferably some Law/Security/SpecOps/Other experience as well)
5. Get deployed to one of the hot spots and make 80-300K a year.

I wouldnt reccomend either, even though I have friends in both lines of work. Me I spend about 5 days a week in front of a computer to pay for my shooting.

Those are your non-Olympics/ISSF routes.



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nagarifle
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Postby nagarifle » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:28 pm

nice one TEnx

what about the clothing etc, one need to have if any? or can one shoot in jeans and t shirt?


Nagarifle

if you say it can not be done, then you are right, for you, it can not be done.

TenX
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Postby TenX » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:59 pm

nagarifle\";p=\"59923 wrote:nice one TEnx

what about the clothing etc, one need to have if any? or can one shoot in jeans and t shirt?

Hi
I have mentioned "Join a club, get a gun if possible, and practice hard at your cost (bullets/pellets/kit/etc). , and by kit I mean the clothing, rifle slings, shoes, etc...
You can shoot without them, but the accuracy is largely compromised without the proper equipment :)


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nagarifle
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Postby nagarifle » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:53 pm

thank Tenx

don't want to be an old fart, any tips on type of recommended clothing to be used?


Nagarifle

if you say it can not be done, then you are right, for you, it can not be done.

TenX
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Postby TenX » Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:05 pm

Ideally, a set of jacket/trouser/shoes (for rifle shooting) should cost anywhere between 4.5K to 22K in the Indian-make division. Imported stuff is easily threefold (German) and around twice that (Chinese/Korean)...
The way rules change about jacket stiffness, thickness, etc, it would be ideal to invest on the lesser ones (even borrow, if available) to understand just what is needed. A few months before a comp, one could get a new set, so that the stiffness is maintained for the comp.
Some of the shooters I know, in the National Squad, have two sets of similar size and make; one for training and one during the competition season.

So, to begin, start off one a borrowed or an Indian make, and as one feels his capacity is being narrowed by the quality of the equipment, they should go in for imported stuff... :)


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nagarifle
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Postby nagarifle » Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:16 pm

good advice Tenx, thanks

now my next question would be where to get the Indian made jackets etc? any ideas?


Nagarifle

if you say it can not be done, then you are right, for you, it can not be done.

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archer
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Postby archer » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:34 am

you can contach capapie sports at

http://www.capapiesports.com

they are based in mumbai.

regards,
Parag


Yeh dil maange more.....!!!

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nagarifle
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Postby nagarifle » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:23 am

thanks Parag

one more question,

when taking part in the shooting event can one use aids ie when firing from prone position can one use a sand bag etc to support the rifle barrel?


Nagarifle

if you say it can not be done, then you are right, for you, it can not be done.

TenX
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Postby TenX » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:06 am

archer\";p=\"59963 wrote:you can contach capapie sports at

http://www.capapiesports.com

they are based in mumbai.

regards,
Parag


The contact person is Neelesh Rane, and I will PM his number to you. However, since he probably has huge orders, he is not faithful to old customers (like me) and new small scale customers, like another member on this forum (IcemanV).
After taking Neelesh's number from me, IcemanV contact him over phone and email several times, and even agreed to meet him in Mumbai. After he flew down there, Neelesh did a no show and did not seem enthusiastic at all, in continuing with the order. However, there are a few other sourcs in Calcutta and elsewhere, whose contacts I am trying to source. If anyone ha any other contacts, please share.

nagarifle\";p=\"59966 wrote:when taking part in the shooting event can one use aids ie when firing from prone position can one use a sand bag etc to support the rifle barrel?

Nope... :)
What you will have is a rifle held with a particular angle held with a gloved hand, cnnected to the jacket with a sling, and the gun touches nothign else but your hands, jacket, cheek and sling hook...
There is even a minimum angle for the left had supported the gun, to be held with respect to the ground (for a right handed shooter).
.. C'mon now, what 'competition' would a sandbag encourage :)


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