Sport Shooter Profile: Hein Dance

Sport Shooter Profile:  

Hein Dance

Q. What firearm do you prefer shooting?

A. A STI .40 S&W pistol.

Q. What division do you prefer?

A. Standard Gun Division, IPSC.

Q. What firearm modifications do you regard as essential?

A. Depending on the division in which you compete and what the rules allow, a good trigger job and a good set of safety levers are essential.

Q. Do you have any sponsors?

A. None

Q. What got you involved in sport shooting?

A. My father competed in Bisley shooting when he was younger, which is when I fell in love with sport shooting. I worked on firearms in the SADF, and began sport shooting at a competitive level there.

Q. Do you have any advice for current shooters?

A. Perfect the basics first, such as your grip on the pistol when drawing, the feel of the pistol, reloading, and picking up a pistol from the table. Once these fundamentals have been honed, you can then concentrate on shooting at the range, and working on your shot placement. In an entire day of competition on the shooting range, you only shoot for a few minutes. Hence you have to be prepared mentally. Give yourself time to adapt to what you want to accomplish, and work towards those goals. You have to discover what is best for you, and what makes you more comfortable, in order to allow you to shoot better. I often see shooters trying to shoot above their ability, so as to keep up with a fellow competitor’s ability. Shoot your own match.

Q. Any advice for shooters wanting to start sport shooting?

A. Shooting is as much a team sport as an individual sport. First go and buy the bare essentials you need, such as extra magazines, a normal holster, normal magazine pouches. See if you enjoy the sport before you spend a lot of money on equipment, only to discover that shooting is not for you.

Q. How often do you practice?

A. I dry fire at home every night for an hour. Here I practice holster work, drawing my pistol, perfecting my grip, reloading, sight alignment, and reloading off a table and out of a magazine pouch. I also run to keep fit. You have to find what works for you in terms of training, and work on it to get better. Some shooters do not dry fire and prefer spending time on the shooting range.

Q. What do you believe are the basic practice drills shooters should use in order to advance?

A. Dry-fire drills. When you have the basics right, you are 50% there. The rest is analysing a stage, where to do a magazine reload, and economy of movement, so you can save time over your competitors.

Q. What is the most valuable lesson you learnt shooting internationally?

A. When I competed in Zimbabwe in 2012 I learnt that you need to be respectful towards the sport. At international shooting events, there are many competitors from different countries. Do not judge other shooters on how they look and shoot. Shoot your own match.

Q. How do you prepare for a big shoot?

A. I spent nine years in the ‘Super Squad’. I learnt that mental preparation is important on match day, where the gun and the physical mechanics derived from training and dry fire become second nature. The only barrier is mental. I do not look at the shoot books before a shoot because they are different to the actual stage set-up. Walk through and visualise the shoot two to three times before shooting the stage. Family, sport shooting, and work are important aspects of my life. However, you have to find a balance, and that is why I dry fire every evening to remain competitive in IPSC. 

Last modified on Monday, 08 May 2017 09:32
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