Source: Sherman Publications

Local takes aim at Olympic team

by David Fleet

April 11, 2012

For Justin Broecker, the toughest part of hitting 99 out of 100 clay targets is getting over the one he missed.

“It’s a mental slip—I have to shake it off and move on—I can’t get that clay back,” said Broecker, 15. “I just try not to dwell on it and let the excitement get to me.”

Broecker has plenty of reason to be excited, too.

The Goodrich High School sophomore and Goodrich Skeet Team member is one of 12 student athletes selected from across the United States to attend the Junior Olympic Development Camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The selection was based on his scores at the 2011 National Competition in Sparta, Ill. last July.

“I will be with some of the 2012 Olympic team and work with some of their coaches,” said Broecker. “My goal will be to make the Olympic team for the 2012 competition in London. If not, I’ll try for the 2016 Summer Games. The biggest challenge will be to learn the Olympic style of shooting—that will take some time.”

“When I started, my coaches at Goodrich had a difficult time getting me to shoot,” said Broecker, who will use a Beretta Onyx overunder 20 gauge shotgun in Colorado.

“The coaches did a lot for me,” he said.

“It was tough not to get discouraged when I was first starting out.”

Goodrich Skeet Team Coach Darrell King said mental toughness separates shooters like Broecker from the pack.

“Justin will be getting looked at as a future Olympian, for the U.S. Olympic Team in skeet shooting,” said King.

“He has the work ethic to make the cut—he just never gave up. When Justin started with the Goodrich team his scores were less than desirable, but he stayed with it. He gave 110 percent. The Olympic coaches are looking for the ability to keep on track even after a missed clay.”

The Goodrich Skeet Team is in their ninth season and currently includes 48 members of which 36 shoot skeet and 12 participate in the sporting clays. The team meets at the Grand Blanc Huntsman Club.

Justin is the son of Ryan and Carol Broecker.