First Person | Baseball |
Tennis | Track and Field | Rifle | Brian Estridge
Redemption in the crosshairs
Thanks to a new coach, Celeste Green rediscovered her love of shooting and
the focus to succeed.
By Rick Waters '95
Celeste Green admits she’s an unconventional shooter.
Before competitions, she walks around, joking and talking, and then about five minutes before the match starts, she gets serious and concentrates.
In a sport that is 95 percent mental, Green’s approach drives most people a little crazy.
“This is how I compete as an athlete,” she said. “One stereotype in rifle is that shooters want people out of their way. They’re meticulous. It’s an individual sport. You don’t rely on teammates as in other sports. I’m just not that way.”
Green, a senior, gets her gear and ammo lined up quickly, takes a few dry fire shots and is ready.
That approach didn’t work for new coach Karen Monez.
While she wanted Green to be comfortable, she thought a little more focus before competition would elevate her performance.
“I was going into matches like I would go into practice - trying not to think too much, just be calm, focus on the black dot and let my muscle memory take over,” Green said.
“But I suggested that a little more concentration to start her routine would make a significant difference in her score,” Monez said.
Despite some initial resistance, Green accepted her new coach’s advice and worked out a few bad habits.
The hard work paid off. Green went on to have the most successful year of any shooter in TCU Rifle history, culminating in a 10th place finish in the individual smallbore event at the NCAA Championships in March.
She was the first Horned Frog to ever reach the national competition.
“This was an important match for me personally, but it was also significant to the program,” Green said.
Reaching the finals was something she thought she’d do annually. But after a freshman campaign in which she thought she had done enough to qualify, she wasn’t chosen to compete.
The next two years Green understandably lost focus. A fire burned the house where she and her sister were living. Then financial setbacks and some flareups with a coach forced her to transfer. She landed in West Point at the U.S. Military Academy, but after a case of dehydration, she was medically discharged and sent home.
She didn’t shoot for a year.
Until Monez called and invited her back to TCU.
“She asked me to try again,” Green said. “And I was excited to learn from her. Basically, she took me and broke me down and built me back up.”
To among the nation’s best.