July 29th, 2010

Top Shot TV Competitor Kelly Bachand Speaks Out

Top Shot Kelly BachandKelly Bachand, the youngest competitor on the Top Shot TV series, is a regular contributor to AccurateShooter.com. Currently an electrical engineering major at the Univ. of Washington, Kelly is a talented Palma rifle shooter who has managed to hold his own in other shooting disciplines. Kelly is the real deal — a genuine marksman, and we know many readers have been pulling for him through the grueling Top Shot elimination process.

There’s a fascinating full-page interview with Kelly in the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog. The first half of the interview covers Kelly’s background and marksmanship training. In the second half, Kelly discusses his Top Shot experience, revealing secrets about the show and the inter-personal rivalries which have become such a staple of the series. Kelly also explains how he managed to survive three elimination rounds.

Q: During the first elimination challenge you shot rifles and sent Mike Seeklander home. That was a pretty stunning defeat and seemed to surprise everybody. It does seem like your mental attitude has really helped you through all of the elimination challenges you’ve been through.

Kelly: I do have a certain mental ability that I’ve kind of picked up and practiced and begun to get better at over the last year, year and a half, to kind of shut other things out while I’m actually shooting. I’ll be extremely nervous up until the point I’m actually shooting, extremely nervous.

At the Beretta Xtrema [shotgun] challenge I got up to the line, and I’m way outside of my comfort zone holding this Beretta. I’ve fired it all of about 20 times now, and I got up there, I focused on what I need to do, and I make the shot. It all kind of goes away. What I do is I just repeat a mantra in my head. I just ask myself, “OK, what do I need to do to make this a perfect shot?”. Then I tell myself over and over what I need to do. If I continually force feed myself good thoughts — positive thoughts about what I need to do to make it perfect — I typically make very good shots. That’s right out of Lanny R. Bassham’s book With Winning in Mind.

Whether you love the Top Shot show (for the shooting) or hate it (for the Hollywood reality-show nonsense), we recommend reading Kelly Bachand’s interview. Kelly has managed to adapt and learn quickly and that’s why he’s still “in the running” while other, more experienced competitors have been eliminated. Kelly offers many insights that can help any competitive shooter.

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