Sarah Beard takes aim.
Army – Sarah Beard, Rifle Shooting
Sarah Beard took up shooting at the young age of 15, practicing in her family’s basement. Her father, William Beard, was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Shooting Team and was her first introduction to the sport.
“Growing up, I idolized my dad,” she said. “The Olympic movement being tangible, it kind of bred the mindset of having a goal or being so focused on something. (My parents) just really emphasized working hard on right now and what you're doing right now, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Beard was a four-time NCAA All-American and two-time NCAA Champion in both air and smallbore rifle shooting during her time competing for the Texas Christian University Women’s Rifle Team.
Now, in addition to training for the Olympics, Beard serves as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Beard wrote on her personal blog about the important skills she acquired during basic training camp and how they can be applied to her training and performance.
“I turned my focus more inward towards my sport and myself, and my skills started getting up there, I realized more what it meant to represent my country because of the effort and skill that it takes to do it,” she said.
She elaborated that while things like willpower and discipline are emphasized throughout training, discipline is the more important skill in terms of long-term results. Although Beard narrowly missed a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, she has her sights set on the Tokyo Games in 2021.
"I've always watched the Olympics growing up from the perspective of an American kid who’s really proud of their country, never thinking I'd would be able to represent it,” she said. “The military has given a lot to me and a lot of opportunities that I never would've had.”