ELEY Spotlight - USA shooter Amy Sowash

This month we are focusing on shooters from Team USA before we launch a special competition... Today's spotlight is on World Champion Shooter Amy Sowash.

Like all the good ones, rifle athlete Amy Sowash has it. It’s called edge.  With it, the expectation is Rio and the 2016 Olympic Games.  Without it, well, she’s no different than anyone else.

“I think it’s important to work super hard and be super intense,” she admits when asked about the fiery disposition she shows on the range. “These are skills I value.  Sometimes when you look at competitors, they lose sight of the fact that there is that intensity or edge, but that you’re not like that away from it all. I think that there’s that misperception about me in that way.  I'm on a mission when I'm on the range, but off it, I'm normal.”

Team-USA-Shooter-Amy-Sowash-ELEY-tenex-ELEY-sponsored-ShooterPhoto credit: USA shooting.

The Olympics have been a lifelong pursuit for Amy.  For a lot of athletes in shooting, they got into the sport only to learn there was an Olympic path. For Amy, she chose shooting specifically because she knew it was a way to get to the Olympics.

One thing though, you still have to know how to shoot.  With that, she’s come a long way since plinking cans off her family’s back porch growing up in Richmond, Kentucky.  But an Olympic dream surely would have died had it not been for University of Kentucky Rifle head coach Harry Mullins taking a flyer on a junior club shooter occupying his Wildcat range.  Mullins and his Kentucky Wildcat program, then ranked No. 2 in the country, risked a lot when they decided to let Sowash walk-on in 2003.

That was the break she needed.  After that, the rest was in Sowash’s hands and has relished every opportunity since.  She made the National Team during Fall Selection in 2006 and has been a consistent presence since. She’s just missed making the Olympic Team each of the last two quads but she’s got a feeling this time could be different. Time away from her gun in 2012 helped convince her that she’s comfortable with whatever happens going forward.

“I’m going to work my butt off and try super hard to make that team but I can’t control anyone else,” she acknowledges. “Other people have the ability to shoot better than you on any given day.  I needed to be comfortable with that. I really came back because I really hadn’t peaked out.  I’m pretty good a lot of the time.  I also felt like there was a whole other level inside me that I hadn’t even come close to finding and if that puts me on the team, that would be awesome.  If I peak and give everything there is to give and push myself as far as I can and that doesn’t put me on the team, then that’s okay too.  It can’t be do or die.”

Few athletes within the USA Shooting ranks can break down her sport and teach better than Sowash. When asked what the biggest key to executing better shots was, she replies with the familiar adage of squeezing the trigger.

“I think you have to squeeze the trigger.  It sounds really simple.  But what that really means, is that if you can’t really squeeze the trigger and squeeze through that hold, then you’ve set something up wrong.  If you can’t squeeze the trigger without jerking on it, then you need to work on your emotional feelings whether at the range or in the field. If you can truly just let it sit there and squeeze the trigger, you’ve done enough things right that it’s going to make a lot happen for you.”


Many thanks to Kevin Neuendorf from USA shooting for this news post.

Read our previous post on Michael Tagliapietra here.