Half of the battle can be above the shoulders for Werribee Victorian Clay Target Club star Charlie Hudson-Czerniecki.
When Hudson-Czerniecki is calm and focused, she can deliver world-class results, as evidenced by her first international event earlier this year, when she reached the final at a Junior World Cup event in Sydney.
“It is a tough sport,” she said. “My heart rate goes through the roof in competitions.
“I see a sports psychologist and he’s helped me learn to control the mental side of things.”
In the days leading up to the Sydney event, Hudson-Czerniecki said she was racked with nerves.
It is the same for her at most competitions because the anticipation builds and she wants to shoot well.
Once the Sydney competition arrived, Hudson-Czerniecki was amazingly composed.
She was the surprise packet on day one of the two-day event, finishing the first day in pole position. In the final, she only missed out on a medal by one place, but it was a big thrill for her just to feature in the final.
“I had the time of my life, it was such an experience,” Hudson-Czerniecki said. “I was just consistent and ended up being one point ahead by the end of the qualification rounds.
“I went in first in the final and that was an experience I’ve never had before.
“I was struggling a bit [in the final], but I ended up coming through and finishing fourth, just missing out on a medal, which is upsetting, but I didn’t expect anything more.
“It’s my greatest accomplishment yet, I just hope there’s many more to come.”
Now Hudson-Czerniecki has shown what she can do in a big-time event against international competition, the bar has been raised.
The 19-year-old has been invited to the next Junior World Cup event in Germany later this month.
It will be the first time that she has travelled overseas, let alone for a competition.
She is comforted by the fact she will be travelling with an Australian team that gets along well with one another.
Her Werribee teammate Alexis Preston will also be in action.
“We always train together and travel,” Hudson-Czerniecki said.
“I’m glad I’ve got her coming over with me.”
Hudson-Czerniecki will fly to Germany with confidence.
“There were some great shooters in Sydney, but this is going to be another notch up, so I don’t know how I’ll go,” she said.
“I hope everything comes together – the physical and mental side.
“I want to compete at my best and be consistent.”
Hudson-Czerniecki has been shooting since she was introduced to the sport at the age of 14 by her dad.
Her shooting career has kicked on since her arrival at the Werribee Victorian club.
“They’re really supportive of me,” she said.
“All the committee members are great and … they’re like family to me.”