Keeping His Cool: Army's Commonwealth Games Shooter On Mental Strength

British Army shooter Sam Gowin has spoken about the mental strength he'll need to display when he makes his Commonwealth Games debut on Australia's Gold Coast.

The Royal Artillery sergeant has been selected to compete for England in the rapid fire pistol event, with his call-up coming after he impressed national selectors in recent months.

Sgt Gowin told Forces Network about the unique mental challenges he'll be facing Down Under, saying:

"This is one of those sports where, although it can be frustrating at times, you really can't afford to get angry.

"Some other sports, if you're getting angry or uptight you can run faster or punch harder. This one you can't."

"You have to be able to control those emotions, try and ignore them in a way... It's all about [the] process."

The Army shooting sensation has enjoyed a rise within the ranks of the sport that's been as rapid as his trigger finger.

Although Sgt Gowin enjoyed competition shooting within the military he's only been part of the Army's 'Troops To Target' programme since March last year.

The service has invested in athletes who they hope will feature at the 2020 Olympics - and he's now making significant strides towards that goal.

Army Commonwealth Games shooter Sam Gowin

Originally overlooked for Commonwealth Games inclusion, the soldier impressed England selectors with his performance at a Commonwealth Games test event late last year.

The tournament in Brisbane saw him finish just outside of the medals but his efforts booked his place at this year's Games. He said:

"It was a great experience. There was quite a large amount of high-level shooters there, from India [to] Russia, Australia and New Zealand - and I finished fourth, which was great."

The British Army man will get to experience the potential highs and possible lows of shooting at the Commonwealth Games in April.

He'll be joined by fellow soldier Corporal Alanna Nihell, who spoke of her pride last week after being named captain of Northern Ireland's ladies' boxing team for the Games.

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