Club Pistol Team Carries on a Long Tradition
LEXINGTON, Va., Feb. 28, 2022—The VMI Club Pistol Team carries on a long tradition of shooting sports at the Institute. An Olympic sport, VMI has competed in pistol shooting in different forms since 1932. The current iteration of the team was formed in 2011 and is coached by Reece McCormick.
Cadets fire two main types of pistols: air-powered pistols firing a .117 caliber pellet and .22 caliber pistols. The team practices in the shooting ranges on post and competes at numerous institutions.
Excellence in pistol shooting comes down to the details: staying calm, focused, and still.
“As you practice, you learn more about breathing, how to focus in, and all of the little nit-picky things you may need,” member Elena Gutierrez ’25 said. “Sometimes just a little tip or pointer makes all the difference, and Coach and the upperclassmen are good at noticing and helping.”
Nailing the shot is extremely satisfying and teaches cadets more than just good aim.
“The best feeling is when you aim down at the target and you just know it’s gonna be a perfect shot as you pull the trigger,” member Riley Won ’24 said. “A big [lesson] is knowing when to shoot and when to step back for a second instead. The same idea applies to day-to-day life, just in a less literal sense.”
Cadets value the camaraderie and atmosphere of the team.
“It's a big reason I stayed at VMI this year, because it gave me a group to help support me,” member Chris Olsen ’25 said. “I find it enjoyable, and I've gotten really good really fast by committing as much time to practice as I can.”
The team has found success throughout this year’s season and hopes to compete at the national tournament. Their next match will take place this weekend at the Citadel.
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