Olympics Exclusive Q&A: Derrick Mein, USA Men's Trap - NSSF Let's Go Shooting
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Olympics Exclusive Q&A: Derrick Mein, USA Men’s Trap

By: Daphane Cassidy, NSSF Staff

As the Paris 2024 Olympics approach, Derrick Mein, a standout athlete in the men’s trap shooting, is gearing up to display his skills on the world stage.

In an exclusive interview with NSSF, Derrick talks about his remarkable journey—from hunting with his dad and shooting sporting clays to becoming an Olympic athlete. He shares how his training has evolved since the Tokyo Olympics, focusing intensely on trap shooting. Derrick also speaks about the honor of representing the USA, his ambition to bring home the Gold, and the financial hurdles he faces, highlighting the essential support from industry partnerships.

Learn more about Derrick Mein’s story as he aims for Olympic glory in Paris.

How did you get started in shooting sports? Can you describe your journey from starting in shooting sports to becoming an Olympic athlete?

“I got started in the shooting sports at an early age going hunting with my dad, and then tagging along with him to shoot sporting clays. Since then I have participated in countless competitions all over the world. Early on I had a knack for breaking targets but it took me a while to learn how to compete. Once I got a taste of winning I have never looked back and continue to strive to be better every day. I really enjoy the friends I have made throughout the years while competing in the shooting sports, it is this aspect that keeps me involved in the game. I feel there is no better group of people than my fellow competitors.”

Derrick Mein - medals

USA Shooting Athlete Derrick Mein with shooting medals. Image Source: (USA Shooting/Brittany Nelson)

How has your training regimen evolved since qualifying for the 2024 Olympics? Can you describe a typical day of training in preparation for the Olympics?

“My training hasn’t changed much since qualifying, however, after the Tokyo Olympics I really put a lot of work into becoming a better trap shooter. With the help of my coaches Lance and Jay I was able to rebuild my game to allow me to get to the next level which was winning at the world level.”

How does it feel to be preparing for the Olympics, and what does this opportunity mean to you?

“My preparation for the Olympics is all about making sure I am ready to represent the USA to the best of my abilities. I feel there is no greater honor than representing the USA and everything should be done to do that as well as possible.”

Derrick Mein - Joshua Schave

Derrick Mein competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials. Image Source: (USA Shooting/Joshua Schave)

What are your goals and aspirations for the Paris 2024 Olympics?

“My goal is simple: bring home the Gold.”

What advice would you give to aspiring shooting sports athletes who hope to compete at the Olympic level in the future?

“My advice to aspiring athletes is to learn how to compete. The Olympic disciplines are very difficult and don’t provide a lot of opportunity to compete, so I feel that in order to be successful in them you have to compete in other areas to develop those skills first and then pursue the Olympic dream.”

Have you encountered challenges securing funding or sponsorships to support your Olympic aspirations? How do you manage the financial aspects of your shooting career, including equipment costs and travel?

“I personally have found some great partnerships in the industry that have been a huge boost to my success; there are always limitations to getting the support needed to not only travel and compete but to putting in the work necessary to be successful at the world level. We are competing against true professionals whose job is to represent their countries day in and day out at world competitions. This gives them an advantage because they don’t have to worry about funding. They can just focus on building their skills and competing.”

As Derrick Mein prepares for the Paris 2024 Olympics, his dedication, perseverance, and passion for shooting sports shine through. Derrick’s advice to aspiring athletes and his candid discussion of the financial challenges Olympic hopefuls face provide valuable insights into the realities of pursuing a dream at the highest level. As he sets his sights on Paris, Derrick Mein remains an inspiring figure in the world of shooting sports, aiming for Olympic glory.

Follow and support Derrick and the USA Shooting Athletes as they compete in the Olympics this summer.

How to Get Involved and Support USA Shooting

Join NSSF in supporting the USA Shooting team and be part of their path to Olympic glory. Whether you become a USA Shooting member, donate, sponsor or follow the Olympic sports your involvement, in any capacity, helps elevate the sport and helps ensure our athletes have the resources they need to excel on the world stage.

BECOME A MEMBER: Whether you want to compete in USA Shooting-sanctioned events, or if you’re just interested in following the sport and supporting USA Shooting, there are membership options for you.

DONATE: Show your support by donating to USA Shooting. Whether you make a one-time donation or a recurring gift, every dollar helps put our athletes on the podium.

SPONSOR: USA Shooting offers several sponsorship categories, each providing unique benefits and opportunities for businesses and organizations.

Learn more about the USA Shooting Athletes Heading to the 2024 Olympics

USA Shooting Athletes Qualified for 2024 Paris Olympics

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