Throwback Thursday: Overcoming Dyslexia to be a Competitive Shooter

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posted on June 23, 2016
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Editor's Note: This #ThrowbackThursday tale comes from March 2005, when 19-year-old Jaymi Collar dominated Camp Perry, despite having to overcome some tough odds.

Nineteen-year-old Jaymi Collar did something few others have ever done at Camp Perry in 2004—shooting on the Dewar, Randle and William Drew teams. Add the fact that she earned high collegiate honors in 3-position on the iron sight day, as well as earning her master classification, among other awards, and this college sophomore is a real rising star.

But her accomplishments have been anything but easy. They’re the product of hard work, passion for the sport and a down-to-earth attitude. “I have had a lot of great people come into my life at just the right time…a big thanks to them for all that they have helped me do to develop who I am today, and what I have become over the past 2 1/2 years now,” she humbly said.

Collar deals with a condition that afflicts roughly 10 percent of all people—dyslexia. “That’s something that I have had to deal with for a very long time, so by the time I did start shooting, it wasn’t really too big of a deal anymore,” Collar said.

In a sport dedicated to precision—like competitive shooting—this condition might seem to be a big challenge. But that wasn’t the case with Collar. “I have learned how I need to do things, and what works with me,” she said. “The trick is finding someone who understands how my mind works, and having their teaching methods complement my learning habits.”

Coach Al Dart, with the Central Florida Rifle and Pistol Club, was that teacher. Collar’s accomplishments to date, thanks largely to his patience, include several state titles, medals at the 2003 USA Nationals in Fort Benning, a 2003 metric prone title in Orlando, FL, and being named the 2004 Tennessee state Junior Olympic high woman in air and high overall in small bore. She was also named the 2003-04 University of Tennessee Rifle Team MVP and made the Ohio Valley Conference All Conference Team in air rifle. Her accomplishments are made even more impressive by the fact that she never even shot a rifle before April, 2002.

Collar is majoring in biology at the University of Tennessee at Martin, which will complete her course work toward acceptance into nursing school. And, she’s living proof that if you set your sights high, and keep your eye on the target, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

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