Dallas – Texas, USA (Anna EisenriederJulia Eisenrieder started shooting Olympic Trap in 2009, at 20 years old. She is one of a few newcomer women in Germany who made it up quickly into the National Team of Lady Clay Shooters. While she pursues a degree in Sport Science, her daily routine revolves around training, not narrowly as a shooter but as an all-around athlete.

I thought she would be a great source for looking at the shooting sports in Germany at the top level. Julia has a busy routine and not much time for interviews, but I have the advantage of being her sister!


Anna Eisenrieder: Why are a lot of people of the National Team talking about you as the silent fighter?

20141221-02-nra-eisenriederJuila Eisenrieder: When I started athletic shooting I really had a bumpy start: All the male shooters sneered at me for performing this sport because I am a woman. They just didn’t take me seriously. I had potential, so I think they were secretly a bit intimidated, too. After they recognized that I really had a passion for it, they started to brainwash me with their own philosophies of shooting. This made it really tough for me to find my own shooting style.

Having eventually convinced them of my talent, I now see a lot of support from my peers. It’s great, but I think my first experiences as a shooter shaped my behavior at the range quite a bit. So I still have that approach of being intense and not putting on a big display. “He who laughs last, laughs best.” That’s where the “silent fighter” image comes from. 

20141221-03-nra-eisenriederA: How do you manage to stay comfortable at a competition and focus on your performance?

J: Your social environment plays a really big role. It’s a scientific fact that negative thoughts can minimize your performance. I moved to a small town called Benediktbeuern – it’s the perfect place to relax from all the pressure to perform. I’m surrounded by the Alps and idyllic lake scenery. My partner is Michael Goldbrunner, who is one of the best double trap shooters in Germany and in the Top Team for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. You could say we are running a household of crazy athletes.  

Generally sport is like a comfort zone for my mind and soul. I’m absolutely addicted to all forms of activity, and living in this area offers me a huge variety that I can do throughout all seasons. I can easily reach five great skiing regions, and the mountains offer some challenging hiking trails.

The most important aspect that allows you to perform at a top level is to trust your gun 100 percent. I got a Z-Gun from Zoli. Paolo Zoli won me over with his great philosophy of how a gun should operate with the human body. It’s biomechanics. Zoli invented a gun with almost zero recoil, so all the energy can be discharged on the shot. The Z-Gun is extremely well balanced, and you have it under control every single second while shooting. 

20141221-04-nra-eisenriederA: What is the hardest part of being a competitive shooter in Germany?

J: The sport is extremely hard to finance. You could join the German armed forces or the federal police. As a competitive shooter they’ll provide you with a huge amount of time and money. But I had operations on both knees, so this wasn’t an option for me. It is twice as hard to find all the time and the money for training and competition while studying. It is also very difficult to get a sponsorship because most of the companies in Germany are afraid of investing in a sport with such a bad image like sport shooting. Without the support of my parents, there would be no chance for me to do it. 

The strict gun control laws don’t make it better either. It is so difficult to get a gun, and there are all kinds of restrictions; as a result, not many talented young people are willing and able to take up shooting.

A: Are there times when you get tired of Olympic Trap?

J: Oh yes, you bet there are! But on such days my trainer takes my mind off things by shooting skeet or seeking out locations to practice parkour. This helps me to change up my movements and perceptions, and it’s a lot of fun, too. But most of the time I’m really thankful that I can live this sport with all its ups and downs, so I stop complaining and get ready to go out there and kick some ass! 

20141221-05-nra-eisenriederA: How do you keep up your fitness level and focus through the season and the off-season? 

J: During the season I keep myself fit by practicing a lot of hand-eye coordination training. It is absolutely necessary to get good endurance so you can stay focused and concentrated during the whole competition. When the season is over, I prefer doing all different kinds of activities to keep my body trained – TRX, squash, weight training, CrossFit, hiking, skiing, jogging, swimming or mountain-biking. During off-season you should not forget to push yourself regularly to your own limits.

A: You started pretty late with shooting sports, but made it within four years into the National Team. What is the secret of your success?

J: The key to success is to set realistic goals for yourself. But most importantly: Don’t overestimate yourself or fall prey to this strange kind of God complex a lot of athletes are infected with. Hard work and discipline will pay off sooner or later. Keep that in mind, but don’t forget about all the fun!

Anna Eisenrieder is a guest columnist to NRA SHARP Daily from Germany. Her sister shoots for the German National Team (Olympic Trap), inspiring Anna to champion the shooting sports in a country where they are underserved and underappreciated. She is currently working on an image campaign in cooperation with Krieghoff and the Support Group for the National Team of Clay Target Shooting Sports.

Quelle: NRA Sharp Daily