People often mistake them for twins. They’re not. The Williams sisters, Jalise and Justine, are 16 months apart. The girls shoot for Team Springfield and team member Rob Leatham calls them “J-Squared.” Although they both love the shooting sports, they veer off in different directions on other topics, such as life goals. Jalise has the dream of being a competitor at the World Shoot and serving in the Army Marksmanship Unit. Justine wants to win a National Title and be an action movie star.
We visited with the sisters recently, and found out more about them.
NRA Family: Do people mistake you and Justine for twins? How close are you two in age?
Jalise: People always mistake us for twins. We are 16 months apart. Now that my sister is taller than me, people are starting to think she is the older sister.
NRA Family: Why do you think that you and your sister are attracted to the shooting sports?
Jalise: I think it started because we liked to go shoot and go hunting with my dad. We also love competition and were competitive in karate. So, when we learned we could shoot and compete, it was the best of both words. Plus, we are kinda adrenaline junkies.
NRA Family: What is your family history with shooting?
Jalise: My father grew up hunting. His father and grandfather taught him and he taught us to shoot rifles and shotguns and go hunting. We only shot a little bit of pistol until our mother took us to a Ladies Night at Southern Utah Practical Shooting range and we really loved shooting pistols.
NRA Family: What’s your training schedule like, especially before competitions?
Jalise: During the school year, we practice 3 days a week after school for 1.5 to 2 hours. During the summer, we practice 3 days a week for 4 hours. We basically compete all year and stick to that schedule. We shoot almost every Tuesday at Tuesday Night Steel and most every weekend, shoot a match.
NRA Family: So far, what has been your biggest challenge in the shooting sports?
Jalise: I put a lot of pressure on myself and can get upset when I do not perform my best. Competing comes with a lot of pressure, but I have to learn not to be so hard on myself.
NRA Family: Do people think that you want to compete in the shooting sports because your sister does? How are you two different from each other, on and off the range?
Justine: We are alike on and off the range because we are both really competitive in everything we do. No matter what we are doing, we are competing. We are both very outgoing. On the range, we are totally different. I am all about speed and my sister is about accuracy. Off the range, we are also different. We dress different and wear our hair different. I am more artistic and like theater, dance and play the guitar. My sister is more studious.
NRA Family: Do you two critique each other while training?
Justine: Oh, yes … and our coach gets mad at us.
NRA Family: What were your best matches this past summer?
Justine: There aren't a lot of matches in the summer. Most of the matches are in the fall and spring. However, we did shoot the Alaska Sectional and I did really well. I took High Production Overall and High Lady.
NRA Family: Which gun models from Springfield Armory do you and your sister shoot?
Justine: We shoot Springfield XDMs and 1911 A-1 Professionals.
NRA Family: Do your parents compete in matches, too? What have you learned from them about competition?
Justine: Our parents compete mostly just at local matches, but they do not compete when we go to large matches. We learn a lot of shooting skills from our dad, especially about shooting rifles. We learn a lot from our mom about being a good competitor and helping others. We really learn a lot from our coach Glen Wong. He is the best role model ever.
The Williams sisters also are sponsored by the following companies: Berry's Manufacturing, Robinson Armament, House of Hearing, Safariland, Tactical Performance Center, Liberty Gun Lubricant and Iscope.