With the 2010 S&W USPSA Handgun Nationals officially a part of history, and many ladies with their sights on the 2011 IPSC World Shoot in Greece, we thought it would be fun and interesting to interview the Top Women from ALL Divisions at the Handgun Nationals.

Our interviews will begin with our 8th place women and work in ascending order until we get to our 2010 USPSA National Champions!  We’ve asked a few more questions this year, both of personal and professional nature, and have also incorporated some questions from our FaceBook friends.  Thanks so much for your input!

We also want to thank the women who responded to our interview questions, and we hope you, our readers, enjoy the great responses we’ve received from these top-notch competitors.

So, to begin our 2010 Handgun Nationals interview process, we would like to introduce you to Lisa Levis. Lisa competed in the Production Nationals for the very first time and finished 8th overall among the women.

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WoUSPSA: Lisa, congratulations on your Top 8 finish at the S&W USPSA Production Nationals!  What did you think of the stages at this year’s Nationals?

Lisa: I thought the stages were very difficult. There were many precise shots and several instances where I had to stand on my tiptoes to see targets and stretch my body to reach around barricades.

WoUSPSA: Did you have a favorite stage?

Lisa: Yes, my favorite was Stage 3, Golden Bridge II because I thought the stage design was clever, challenging, and I enjoy shooting from many different shooting positions.

WoUSPSA: What do you think of the range / match location?

Lisa: The match location was ideal for me because it is within a reasonable driving distance from my home.

WoUSPSA: It’s always nice to be within driving distance to a major tournament.  How and why did you decide to shoot the make/model of gun in Production Division?

Lisa: I am less than 5 feet tall, so my hands are small and many guns are not suitable for my hands. In the past years I have shot an XD-9, a G34, and a CZ. The Smith and Wesson M&P with the small grip is a perfect fit for my hands. I can manipulate the M&P without struggling and it feels good to me.

WoUSPSA: Being able to find a gun that works well for your hand size is so critical to performing well.  How would you describe your performance?

Lisa: I gave every stage my best attempt, even though I may not have executed as well as I had planned.

WoUSPSA: That said, were you happy with your overall match?

Lisa: I was happy with the first two days of the match but was somewhat disappointed in how I performed on the last day.

WoUSPSA: Do you get nervous for major matches and if so what do you do to help calm your nerves?

Lisa: YES, I get extremely nervous every night before competing. I was exceptionally nervous because this was my first national level match. I breathe deep, focus on the stage at hand, and the nervousness disappears while I’m shooting.

WoUSPSA: Breathing is great advice for battling nerves.  How often do you compete locally and at major matches?

Lisa: I compete almost every weekend locally and competed in 3 major matches prior to the USPSA Nationals.

WoUSPSA: Do you think that shooting major matches helps you prepare for the USPSA Nationals?

Lisa: Yes. I believe the major matches require a certain frame of mind to alleviate nervousness - a skill obtained by competing in major matches.

WoUSPSA: Great point!  Did you learn anything about yourself as a competitor?

Lisa: Yes. I learned that I could perform very poorly on a stage and not let it affect me the rest of the match.

WoUSPSA: Which is probably why you finished so well in Production.  Nice job!  As a Top 8 contender, do you feel you should always have the choice to shoot with whomever you like?

Lisa: I have never been a Top 8 contender so I have always shot with my husband. To answer this question I believe you should be given the choice.

WoUSPSA: What are the pros and cons of shooting with another squad vs. the Ladies?

Lisa: The pros of shooting with another squad may entail a higher degree of comfort since people who know each other are more comfortable with each other. Shooting with the Ladies would be exciting because they are the best women shooters in the Nation. The opportunity to watch and learn from the top Ladies would be awesome.

WoUSPSA: Was this your last major match of the year or do you still have more competitions on your schedule?

Lisa: I was going to go to Area 2 but our daughter is visiting from college so I will not be competing. The nationals was my last major match of the year.

WoUSPSA: Well, we hope you enjoy your time with your daughter! With the match season rather lengthy, how do you typically unwind after all the matches have settled down?

Lisa: Get ready for the holidays; catch up on the things that were neglected during the match season.

WoUSPSA: What are your long-term competitive shooting goals?

Lisa: I’d like to strive to be a “B” shooter.

WoUSPSA: Looks like you are on your way!  If you weren’t a competitive shooter, what do you think you would be doing?

Lisa: I would be learning how to decorate cakes so I could design specialty cakes, taking art classes, taking piano lessons, and decorating the house.

WoUSPSA: Sounds lovely!  With very diverse interests, what kind of reactions have you had when you tell people that your hobby is competitive shooting?

Lisa: The reactions have been positive. Most people are shocked to learn I am a competitive shooter. They are curious and ask many questions.

WoUSPSA: Lisa, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us.  Congrats on making the Top 8 for your first time, the first of many!

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