By: Joe Warta
Shane Coley, captain of Glock’s professional shooting team, got started in the sport at age 14 and enlisted in the U.S. Army just four years later to be a member of the Army’s Marksmanship Unit.
In the Army, Coley competed across the world, winning two gold medals in the International Practice Shooting Confederation World Championships. He also became the second youngest United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) National Champion at the tender age of 21.
Coley retired from the Army with three national titles, three Team World Championship titles, and many other area and regional titles. Coley has since joined Team Glock as its captain and continues to travel the world and collect titles as a world-renowned marksman.
I had the chance to catch up with Shane and discuss his career:
GPM: How did you get started in the shooting sports?
Coley: My father was a career law-enforcement officer who competed in USPSA. When I got older and expressed an interest, he started bringing me out to the range with him and letting me compete in the local matches. From there, I fell in love with the sport and devoted myself as much as possible.
GPM: What advice would you give to those who want to try to get started in it?
Coley: My advice would be to find a range that hosts local USPSA/IDPA matches and go talk with them. Most ranges and members are very welcoming and will help as much as they can. They will guide you in the right direction and show you what division is probably appropriate for you, and also help you get set up with all the appropriate gear to compete in that division. The first step is getting out there, so don’t wait!
GPM: What would you say are the most common mistakes people make when shooting?
Coley: One of the most common mistakes I see people make is anticipating the shot. That means they are usually trying to tighten their grip right before they shoot to help control the recoil. This, in turn, moves the gun and pushes the gun off target. Because this happens right before the shot breaks, the shooter usually doesn’t see it in his sights or sees a brief glimpse of the sights moving. One thing to keep in mind is the gun is always going to recoil, regardless of any force you put on it. Maintain a consistent grip pressure and squeeze the trigger all the way through.
GPM: How do you train for your sport?
Coley: I try and train smart these days. Fundamentals are always going to be key in everything we do, so I focus on those most of the time. I also train a lot on my mental game, which includes a lot of reading. I focus on handling pressure and being 1 percent better every day.
Fitness is another training point of mine. Fitness isn’t just about being strong or fit, it’s about being healthy, mentally and physically. A healthy mind allows more visual patience and confidence in everything I do. Ultimately, you have to find a way to keep training fun and engaging. If you are dreading a practice session, or beating yourself up on and off the range, you aren’t getting the full value out of your training.
GPM: What’s the best and worst part of your job?
Coley: The best part of my job is having the opportunity to give back as much as I can. I absolutely love competing and having that competitive drive, but I truly love helping others. Working with other shooters and junior shooters at different events throughout my travels will always be one of the best parts of my job. And honestly, there isn’t a worst part of my job. I get to work for the most amazing firearms manufacturer in the world and support all of the people who have supported us over the years.
Joe Warta is a Regional Director with the National Association for Gun Rights writing from Colorado. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.