UNUSUAL. “Women are as gifted as men”, word of Sylvie Couturier, sports shooting champion

Don’t be fooled by her smile and her curls, Sylvie Couturier from Lyon is a sports shooting champion. She has been practicing this sport since childhood. A formidable competitor who combines maximum concentration and mastery. Shooting is also an asset in her life as a teacher. We met her for VOST.

Eyes that sparkle, a natural authority that points behind a frank smile and above all a good trigger. Sylvie Couturier is also a sports shooting champion. On his right arm, the tattoo of a weapon. “I waited a long time to be able to get a tattoo. It needed something that really represents me”, explains the thirty-something. “It’s my passion, it’s me”, she simply adds.

The young woman is also a history and geography teacher in Lyon, her passion for shooting, she makes no secret of it. Quite the contrary. Far from being intimidated, the students are rather curious and caring. “I have a relationship with my students based on humour. I really like to make jokes. Sometimes I make fun of them when they badly throw a cartridge (of ink) at a neighbour. I tell them that I would do much better but there are no specific remarks”, entrusts the amused teacher. An argument that always hits the mark.

Sylvie Couturier, trains in Saint-Priest, in the brand new center of the ASPLTIR. The young woman already has a nice track record to her credit: team bronze medalist and finalist in the French championship, before the Covid. The 30-year-old has been handling the gun since the age of 9, she is even a born competitor. Preferring already very young the practice of an individual sport to the compromises that suppose a collective sport. Sylvie turned away from basketball very early on, no doubt for the sake of performance and a great need for competition. If she is not reluctant to come and tease the opponent, success depends only on her and that is what she obviously likes. “Here, I am facing myself. It is a sport where you are alone in your action or in training”.

But shooting requires great concentration, absolute self-control. Not obvious for an entire character.

For the young woman, this self-control is a daily challenge. “I have a big flaw, I am very very angry”. She admits it with a broad smile. How does she manage? Simply, in three steps: “We breathe, we relax and we leave”.

She adds : “in competition, it doesn’t always work but we try”. Yet when she misses her target, no outbursts of voices or gestures of anger. The shot allows him to channel his energy. It relativizes. “I grew up, people who know him know I got better but normally I scream”.

Not an eyelash moves either when she straightens her arm and pulls the trigger. “It’s difficult. Especially for me, I’m not a stable person in general. Not moving is perhaps the most complicated thing for me because I’m hyperactive in life. That feels on the shooting range. It’s complicated to stay static all the time”, she assures. We don’t doubt it for a second.

This sport gives me balance in my head. It allows me to be able to breathe and it gives me a framework, it allowed me to be able to calm down, to take it upon myself.

Shooting is a demanding discipline which is not without interest for its professional practice in front of high school students. Three-step relaxation: still and always its secret. “As soon as I have a student who asks me a question for the 4th time… we take a deep breath, we calm down and we manage to be more relaxed”, explains the teacher.

For the champion, training is more mental than physical: “We use muscles that are not used to working. We come out of a session feeling tired, hungry because the brain took a lot of energy. It’s exhausting but more mentally than physically.”

Shooting, a manly sport? Sylvie does not like this qualifier. “I am convinced that women are as talented as men.” she assures.

His training weapon: rather silent is an air gun, a compressed air cartridge used to fire pellets. “As in vogue”, she summarizes. “With a 10 meter compressed air pistol, we are on a weapon that does not look like what we usually think of as a weapon. It does not look like a gangster weapon”, she explains. Paradoxically, the historian is not wary of old calibers. And for good reason, she likes precision.

“I need to be sure that it brings me points when I shoot, that the result is very good on target, it’s a little less the case with old weapons”, explains the competitor. Shooting, a manly sport? Sylvie does not like this qualifier. “I am convinced that women are as talented as men.” she assures.

Last February, in Besançon, at the French 10/18 meter championship, the ASPLTIR member distinguished herself by winning bronze, in a mixed team. The Holy Grail for Sylvie, like any athlete, remains the Olympic Games.

UNUSUAL. “Women are as gifted as men”, word of Sylvie Couturier, sports shooting champion