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Master shooter at the FRM II
Stretch and lift the arm, hold tension, aim and shoot. Good hit. Lea Kleesattel stays calm and is focused on the target. About one meter to the left and right of her stand her competitors, also fixated on their own targets. But she zones them out, along with the shots firing from their weapons. She focuses only on herself, her technique and her own shots.
Stretch and lift the arm, hold tension, aim and shoot. Another good hit. 60 of these shots are fired in an air pistol competition, but before that, any number of sighting shots are allowed. While one or another grim looking action hero fires this number of shots at the shooting range within a few minutes, professional, competitive athletes have a lot more time. 75 minutes is the set shooting time, which is available to the athletes for 60 shots. This time is also necessary and the highest concentration is required.
Keep calm and withstand the pressure
Back to the shooting range. Stretch and lift the arm, hold tension, aim and shoot. Unfortunately, not a good hit this time. “You should not despair in situations after a bad shot, but tick them off and put the attention on the following shots”, says Lea Kleesattel.“Actually, I build up most of the pressure myself, because I am very ambitious and want to achieve the goal I have set for myself”, she admits. Since 2018 she has been working in instrument control at FRM II where she has also completed her training as an IT specialist.
At 14 already German runner-up
At the age of twelve, she joined her local shooting club and has been shooting with the air pistol ever since. In 2013 she added the sport pistol to her repertoire and one year later she became runner-up in the national championship followed by the German champion title the next year. She continued with more achievements, including several qualifications, another championship title in air pistol shooting in 2017 and the bronze team medal in 2016 and the silver team medal in 2017 at the European Championships. She also established a name for herself at the national level. With her team she has been shooting in the Bavarian league since 2016 and was promoted to the second national league two years later.
Since she was 12 years old, Lea Kleesattel celebrates successes behind the shooting range. What is so fascination about it? "It's the appeal of challenging yourself and trying to outdo your own performance." © Lea Kleesattel
No time left after work and shooting
A lot of training is needed for all this. She trains between three and five times a week. Additionally, there is strength and cardio training as well as training courses and training camps once or twice a month. “There we internalize and refine our technique. In addition, tactical and psychological approaches are discussed “, explains Lea Kleesattel. How does she bring all this under one roof? Work and shooting? “Unfortunately, there isn’t much time left for something else,” she admits. Luckily, there is a training facility in Garching Hochbrück, not far from the research center where her office is. Once a week she goes there for training where she can shoot under the supervision of a trainer. The other times she trains in her local shooting club at home.
Colleagues are feverish at the tournament
Concentration, teamwork, determination, ambition and not losing your head in stressful situations. These are skills that are strengthened by shooting. “That’s why this sport captured me from the very beginning. It’s the appeal of challenging yourself and trying to outdo your own performance,” she says. These skills are important not only behind iron sights, but also very helpful in everyday work. “I think it helps me, especially during time pressures, to keep a cool head.” “That’s true, it’s hard to throw her out of balance,” confirms Jens Krüger, her former and current supervisor at the FRM II. He stands behind her as well as all her colleagues when it comes to shooting. “We always share her excitement when she’s at a competition,” says Jens Krüger. “And we are very proud of her”.
She will certainly need the support. In the season 2019/2020 she will shoot in the first national league. “I’m very excited about it. It is something completely different from the second league. But it’s certainly going to be fun,” she says, before turning back to her PC. Who knows which championship qualification will be the next in line?