Tina Martin-Nims didn’t grow up shooting. Her first time ever handling a gun was her first date with her husband back in 2003. Next thing she new she was a certified instructor, then running a chapter of A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League. Tina is now a pro shooter, with many sponsors. She will be attending this year’s very popular A Girl & A Gun Brownells Ladies’ Multigun Fall Festival, where she will be teaching a section of Guided Stage Strategies, the Know Your DOPE course, as well as two sessions on “Gear Tips & Tricks.”
Now, with the experience Tina has, she has some great tips to pass on to competitors to help prepare for Fall Fest as well as any other competition:
- Take 15 minutes a day and just handle the firearms you are going to use. Pick one gun, put some time in on that gun that day. Rotate them in and out. Do simple stuff, like just manipulate the gun or work on mag changes for your pistol and for your rifle.
- For shotgun, if you don’t have steel to work with, buy shooting clays. Put them side by side on a berm, and when the timer goes off shoot one round, load two, shoot another round, then load two more. That way you are practicing reloading, shooting clays, and transitioning. “If you have a match saver (and I highly recommend you get one), practice sliding that shell in,” advises Tina.
- Shoulder your rifle and shotgun, find that spot in your shoulder where you always bring up your gun, so you do it automatically and can just take the shot.
- Dry fire all of those guns. “The goal is to very comfortable with your guns. The more comfortable you are with them, the less nervous you are,” she says. Tina has little targets simulating plate racks on her fence so she can practice transitioning between targets, both with pistol and with rifle.“You need a lot of upper body strength to shoot plate racks with a rifle,” says Tina. “Doing this you can practice what it is like to shoot one after the other and feel the weight of your rifle.”
- If you can get some time to go to the range, practice live fire. You don’t have to use a lot of ammo, just do simple drills. Put up two paper or steel targets and again practice transitioning from one to the other.
- Get a shot timer or download a free app on your phone. Use it for everything you do, so that you get used to hearing that beep. “Then the timer is no longer a scary thing. When you hear it, it just means it’s time to go, not “Oh, my gosh!” and your plan goes out of your head,” laughs Tina. “We tend to psych ourselves out before we even get in the game, we have to work past that.”
- “I would love it if every woman had a chance to sit down and read with “Winning in Mind” by Lanny Basham. Read it and take to heart, it hits home. Just like we as women jump into firearms and it starts to empower us in other parts of our life, this book helps mentally empower us and helps focus us,” Tina says. “It helps women just push out the mental trash that so many of us have. Pros read from it every year right, and they log their performance. A Girl & A Gun has a journal that can help you facilitate tracking your performance as well.”
“Shooting is a passion in every sense, I love being able to help other women achieve their goals, and it’s important for me to understand and improve myself for my own goals and achievement. If anyone has any questions or needs any help with anything, I am more than happy to help,” smiles Tina.Two of Tina’s sponsors, Red Stitch Targets and Defender Ammunition, are proud sponsors the Brownells Ladies’ Multigun Fall Festival.