Sports Shooting Psychology – confidence

Confidence  - how to believe in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Written by ELEY shooter Nicco Campriani


I would first like to start with this citation that describes my idea of the purpose of sport:

“It’s not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong”.

When I started my career I wanted to win a Gold medal at the Olympics. That was my ultimate goal and the only way I thought I could prove to everyone that I was the best.

I was young and I was wrong.

Somehow I confused cause with effect: it’s not what you do that defines who you are, it’s exactly the opposite. I learned that at my first Olympics in Beijing. At the time an Olympic medal was just too much to handle and it was more than a dream, it was almost a need.


After the lessons I learned in Beijing I drastically changed my approach. First of all I tried to become the best shooter I could be, regardless of what rankings and scores were saying. I did not care anymore about world rankings and I did not need any “evidence” of how good I was. The most important thing for me was to have no regrets, to know that I gave my very best at every match and at every training session.

I started to think like a “champion” and then only as a consequence, I won two Olympic medals in London.

This way of thinking was the best gift that shooting could give me. It’s something that I will take with me for the rest of my life, both inside and outside of the shooting range.

My message to the young shooters is to not try to be somebody else or, even worse, try to be a “star”. Just be yourself and believe in it.

There are no real finish lines: World Championships or Olympics are just stages. This is a pursuit of perfection and it will last for your entire life.  I wish you a great journey.

SPECIAL THANKS to Dr. Edward Etzel that helped me to find my path.


Nicco Campriani


Catch up on our previous sports shooting psychology post on Concentration written by Matt Emmons here.