If you followed the National Junior Olympics Shooting Championship in April 2019, you’ve probably already heard of Macey Way, who decisively won the Women’s Air Rifle competition for the year.
“It’s been such a long journey and I’ve worked really hard, so achieving that Junior Olympic win was amazing,” Macey told America’s 1st Freedom. “It’s great when hard work pays off.”
Now, Macey shoots for the University of Nebraska Rifle Team. She continues to compete both for the team and internationally.
Macey has worked hard to get to this point. “You have to get all the layers: physical, mental, even nutrition,” she said. “It takes a lot to get to really high levels. There’s a huge mental component, so it’s different that way from other sports. It takes a lot of training to keep your focus on something so detailed, and being able to do that for every shot—60 shots in a row—for over an hour.”
Such focus has not come easily for Macey. “When she was younger, she just couldn’t find her niche,” her mother, Kim, said. “But when we heard about the National Training Center Shooting Club [part of USA Shooting] when she was about 11, we thought it might help with focus and attention. When she’s shooting, she’s like a different person. It gave her direction, gave her focus—blazing focus.”
When she started, Macey didn’t feel like she had a lot of natural talent, but she loved shooting, so she worked hard at it, and she still does. She said she practices every morning and exercises. She’s majoring in psychology and also reads books on mental management. Macey said she may eventually add in animal management so she can apply all this knowledge to helping others through therapeutic riding programs.