Author

(Updated Mon 02 Dec 2013)

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JP O’Connor, by vocation, is a software and database professional specializing in data warehouse, decision support, and data visualization, primarily for education agaencies. By avocation, he is a coach and official in the sport of Olympic rifle and pistol target shooting. His specialty is applied sports psychology to train athletes to thrive and win under pressure.

Coach O’Connor also enjoys amateur (ham) radio with Amateur Extra license WF4Z, mountain hiking, and photography, both digital and film, including large format. Earlier in life he also enjoyed motorcycle road racing, singing, genealogy (where he was a contributing editor to Genealogical Computing and helped completely reshape the design of modern genealogy software for use by individual researchers), model and high powered rocketry (as Tripoli founder and member number 1), and earned a varsity letter in football as the video tape manager at Cincinnati Moeller High School under Coach Gerry Faust.

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Coach Information – JP O’Connor

Coaching

  • National Coach Development Staff – both Rifle and Pistol
  • Level 3 Certified (Advanced International) Coach – both Rifle and Pistol
  • Writer, advanced techniques column for: “USA Shooting News”, published by USA Shooting; also translated for and published by the Japanese Olympic Shooting governing body; and “USA Archery News”, published by USA Archery
  • Colaborator, revised CMP 3 Position Air Rifle Camp training curriculum
  • Former Assistant National Coach, USA Paralympics Shooting Team – both Rifle and Pistol
  • Former Head Shooting Coach (now Advisor), University of North Georgia – both Rifle and Pistol
  • Former Director of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Shooting facility at Wolf Creek (2000)

Officiating

  • Diplomate, for Volunteerism, International Olympic Committee
  • Assistant Competition Manager and Chief of Classification for 1998 and 1999 ISSF Atlanta World Cups
  • USA Shooting competition Official
  • International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Class B (World Cup) Judge
  • Chairman or Member of numerous national competition juries
  • Chief Range Officer or Range Officer for numerous international, national, state, and local events, including at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO and the US Army Marskmanship Unit in Fort Benning, GA
  • Developed operating procedures and software troubleshooting techniques for electronic targets now used by the manufacturer and the ISSF official’s course
  • Technical consultant to competition juries and venue managers on electronic target issues
  • Managed electronic target operations for numerous national and international events

Primary Teachers and Mentors Include

  • Dr. Dan Durben – 1988 Olympian, 2000 Olympic Team Coach – primary teacher and mentor
  • Dan Jordan – 2004 Paralympics silver medalist and former world record holder
  • Dr. Sean McCann – Director, Sports Psychology – US Olympics Committee
  • Dr. Nate Zinser – Director, Performance Enhancement Program – West Point
  • Bob Foth – 1992 Olympic silver medalist
  • Abhinav Bindra – World Cup champion, former junior men’s air rifle world record holder, 2004 Olympian, 2006 World Champion, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, from India
  • Bill Krilling – Internationally recognized athlete, USAMU coach, and Olympic official – Earned Distinguished Service Cross in Korea, first athlete to shoot a perfect 3200 in NRA conventional prone
  • Gary Anderson – Internationally recognized athlete, double Olympic champion, and Olympic official
  • Alfred Perrot-White – My first target shooting coach. WWI RAF fighter pilot, survived being shot down and went back to flying (1916-1918, as a teenager) – British Army including service in India and the Khyber Pass (ca 1920s) – WWII French Foreign Legion, was captured protecting the rear of the Dunkirk evacuation, then escaped and survived three month trek to freedom and back into service, served in Africa and Europe (1938-1943), then US Army in Africa and Europe (1943-1945). Earned numerous medals, including the French Croix de Guerre 3 times.
  • Numerous others, both in the sport and outside, including my scoutmasters and my high school coaches
  • Each of these people, and many other coaches, athletes, parents, and friends, have made a huge difference in my life and my coaching. If I accomplish anything, it is only through their teachings and belief in me.

Activities & Accomplishments

  • Planned and conducted 6 day high performance smallbore and air rifle camp for juniors, with World Cup (and later Olympic) champion Jamie Beyerle Gray assisting, in Florida (2003).
  • Planned and conducted 3 day high performance pistol camp for National Team and other adult athletes, with world record holder and Paralympic silver medalist Dan Jordan assisting, in Georgia (2004).
  • Provided significant practical teaching methods, application content, and structure to the revised CMP rifle camp curriculum (2004 & 2005). (In collaboration with primary author Dr. Dan Durben.)
  • Planned and conducted high performance camps and clinics around the country and at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO for high school and college teams, clubs, and groups. (Ongoing since 2002 through present)
  • Ongoing one-on-one coaching with numerous National Team & individual students. (Since 1995)
  • Student profile:
    • Age range from 8 to 50 plus (mostly age 12 to 28), teams and individuals.
    • Primarily rifle and pistol. (Also archery, modern pentathlon, golf, tennis, swimming, musicians, and others.)
    • Air gun, .22, some centerfire and muzzle loader (international team).
    • USA (NRA) and international (Olympic) style competitions.
    • Beginners through Olympics finalists/medalists.
  • Examples of the kinds of students who have asked for assistance:
    • Daisy/US Jaycee BB gun national champions.
    • College national champions in both rifle and pistol.
    • USA Shooting national champions (open & junior) in both rifle and pistol.
    • Camp Perry (NRA) national champion (open & junior) in rifle.
    • World Cup (later Olympic) champion in rifle.
  • Have taken many courses and participated in many coaching conferences as part of ongoing continuing education.

Athlete Comments

  • “You are not just my shooting coach; you are my life coach.”
  • “You believed in me when nobody else did. I didn’t even believe in me but you did.”
  • “I finally learned at JP’s camp the things I thought I would learn at the advanced camps.”
  •  “If shooting is Poetry, and I am a Poet, then you are my Muse.”
  • “Thank you for your counseling, you have no idea how much I appreciate it.”
  • “Once again thanks for caring deeply for all of us. Know that you are fulfilling your call one shooter, one parent, one coach at a time. We are all learning from you. Thanks for taking your call seriously.”
  • “Thank you JP for the helpful tips on my mental training. You are an awesome coach!”
  • “I have worked with about 50 coaches. None of them is like JP.”
  • “Hi JP,hope you can see the picture title: “Source of the Nile.” You’ve taken me back to the source of all shooting… why’s and how’s and it is AMAZING! Until now, I’d never had that floating peaceful shooting feeling carry over at ALL, let alone so strongly into the NEXT DAY!!! ;)”
  • “If you would have asked me a year ago, ‘Where will you be in your shooting by this time next year?’ I probably would have replied, ‘I guess coming back to Rock Eagle for my one match a year and hope for a trophy.’ JP pulled me from my comfort zone of only 4-H shooting and threw me into a world of shooting I never even knew existed.

    In just one year with JP I have found myself at matches such as the NRA Nationals in Illinois, many PTO’s at Fort Benning, a qualifying match for Junior Olympics, and finally the Junior Olympics itself. JP helped me to accomplish dreams and goals I never even imagined possible.

    JP was patient with me, showing and teaching me new things when I was ready for them, helping me by not just throwing me an idea and making me figure it out on my own, but helping me every step of the way. When I would get frustrated and just want to take a break, JP would ask his famous question, ‘How good do you want to be?’ At the time I hated him for it, but when practice time is over and I go to a match, like Junior Olympics, I know that I am well prepared because I answered the question, ‘As good as I can be!’

    The Junior Olympics was an incredible trip for sure, but far from the end because ‘Success is a journey, not a destination.’”

  • “JP was talking to me before the final started and told me that I could
    and would win. All I had to do was trust myself and it would happen. I doubted
    that I would win. I told him “Yeah, right coach, you go on and think that.” But he
    just told me to trust myself and to take my time and I would surprise myself.JP was the only one who had faith in me to win. All I had to do was
    trust myself and I could accomplish my goals. My school coach never believed
    that I could win. My teammates believed in me less. My own boyfriend never
    really congratulated me or believed that I could win either. My parents were
    happy for me; however they were just as surprised as I was because of my low
    qualifying round score. Only one person believed in me and it wasn’t even me.

    The final taught me to believe in myself and that I can accomplish anything. This lesson in what I am capable of greatly shapes how I now approach difficult or impossible looking tasks. I know now that if I only trust myself and follow the task through to the end I can accomplish anything.”

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