Meet Jalise and Justine Williams - two incredible young ladies who have taken the competitive shooting world by storm! At just 15 and 16 years old, they are already seasoned USPSA, 3-Gun, and Steel Challenge competitors with dozens of titles under their belts. Justine is a USPSA Production Grand Master and Jalise is a Single Stack Master, which means these ladies rank at the very top of all USPSA shooters!
We sat down with these two amazing young ladies and asked them some questions about how they got started and what they love about shooting. Read on to learn their inspiring story and discover some great tips that will help you with your shooting!
When was the first time you shot a gun, who taught you and why?
Jalise was 4 and Justine was 3 when we shot our very first gun. The gun was a .357 Marlin because our parents didn’t own any .22’s. My dad is a big hunter and wanted us to learn how to hunt and shoot. Our dad taught us how to shoot shotguns and rifles.
When did you get started in competition and what kind of competition was it?
We started to shoot handgun competition at ages 9 and 10. We never knew how to shoot a pistol until we found our home range Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range. They helped us learn how to properly shoot handguns and helped ease us into competition.
Our first competition was a local Tuesday Night Steel. After that, we were hooked on practical shooting.
What drew you to competition and what do you like best about it?
We have always been thrill seekers. We look for the biggest adrenaline hype we can find. We love to find the biggest roller coasters or scary ride we can find. We participated in swimming, gymnastics, dance, and got our black belts in Karate. But when we started shooting, it was unlike anything we had done before.
We love the rush the timer gives you. The way you move through a stage like a dance or a form in karate. The way you have to be precise like hunting. It is so different and so interesting that we can’t stop! The people are also great -they are the nicest people you will meet.
You’re also instructing now - what made you decide to get involved with training?
When we first learned how to shoot at the range they taught us a specific way using specific principles. They used Ron Avery’s Tactical Performance Center training, which is the only way we know how to shoot. The systems he designed are amazing and they work! We want to share that knowledge with others so that they can do good in competition as well.
What do you like best about training other people?
We love it when students finally understand something we have been teaching them. We call them "AHA" moments. They get so excited and have a light in their eyes that you can’t find anywhere else! We just love those moments!
What's your favorite gun and why?
Jalise loves to shoot her single stack! She feels like she is one with her 1911, plus it is small enough to fit in her hand easily.
Justine loves her open gun. It is a 2011 style gun with an optic on top, and a compensator. She loves going fast and the open gun can keep up with her.
Is there any advice or wisdom that someone else has given you that made an impact on you?
Our dad always tells us to forget about the past stages. Whenever we have a bad stage he always comes up to us and tells us to analyze where our opportunities are, learn from it and then forget about it and move on to the next one.
If you keep thinking about the mistakes you made and dwell on the last stage, you will struggle on the next stage because you are thinking about how bad the last stage was and now you must make up all the points you lost. By doing that, you just lost even more points because you aren’t staying "in the moment".
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start shooting competitions?
Find a partner. Find someone at your local range that is close in skill with you. You can train together, talk about stages together, travel, and push each other to the next level. We believe that if you have someone to train with you, you improve faster and better. That's how we got to the level we are at. We have each other to push and do better than if we only had ourselves to train with.
Can you share a training drill with us?
We always start with accuracy. Any training session we do starts with accuracy, which helps us identify if our gear is off or we need to train fundamentals that day.
Here's a good drill we do often - it starts with a metric target at 15-25 yards (depending on your skill level). We do this drill at 25 yards. We then shoot the head of the target 5 times in a row. This documents where your shots are landing, your group sizes, and checks to see if your fundamentals are good.
Jalise and Justine can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JaliseandJustine and on Instagram at @jaliseandjustine. They are sponsored by Berry's Manufacturing, Trijicon, Safariland, Robinson Armament, ISCOPE, Tactical Performance Center, Liberty Gun Lubricant, House of Hearing, Peak Performance Ammo, and Targets USA.
Meet Julie Waasted, a woman with an incredible story of perseverance. She's a very active 3-Gun competitor who took up shooting after complications from brain surgery caused her to lose her eyesight in one eye.