Czech Shooter František Smetana Focused on 2024 Paris Olympics

With the Paris Olympics just around the corner, we chat with Czech shooter Frantisek Smetana.

Wade McElwain
Wade McElwain

Last Updated: 2024-02-02

Umaima Saeed
František Smetana

As the 2024 Paris Olympics draw near, Czech air-rifle shooter František Smetana has his sights set on peaking at the perfect time. In an exclusive interview with Wade McElwain from SportsBoom,  the world championship medalist opened up about his rigorous training, competitive mentality and primary goals leading up to the Paris Games.  

Building Functional Strength

With many gruelling workouts ahead, Smetana is focused on building full-body strength and stability tailored to his sport. “I realised my left knee is falling backwards, my right knee is pushing forward, so I’m working on my ankles and building more stability around my knees,” he explained. By identifying even small weaknesses in his form, Smetana can target his strength training to shore up those areas. “I use the gym as information to think about what’s important for me to fix,” he said. His strength work aims to support his expert shooting technique with a solid foundation.

Honing Mental Focus

In addition to physical training, Smetana prioritizes his mental focus and discipline. Under the guidance of his longtime coach Matthew Emmons, he’s learned to control nerves and distractions. “When I’m nervous, bad ideas come into my mind. But you need to guide your mind like a little kid, say 'no, we need to focus,'" Smetana said. To regain his composure, he starts with deep breathing exercises. "That's the core, the basis of mentality,” he said. Smetana also repeats mantras like “do it calmly, as a rhythm” to find his calm, confident state of mind even under immense pressure.  

Frantisek Smetana 3.jpg

Embracing Teamwork

As part of the dominant Czech shooting team, Smetana feels a duty to lift up his teammates. “The individual event is about your own pride and responsibility," he said. "But in the team event, you know you have two of the best shooters in the world with you.” Smetana draws motivation from supporting his team’s success. “My goal is not just to go to the Olympics and try to win, but we have such a strong team, I need to be there for the team."

Shooting for Peak Performance

With Czechia expected to contend in Paris, Smetana is focused on one overarching goal: “Be prepared before going there, be there prepared. What matters is what condition we go in.” After a lifetime refining his shooting skills, Smetana now has his sights set on peaking at the perfect moment in 2024 to bring Olympic glory to his team.

František Smetana and his Czechia teammates will be looking got gold, as they shoot their way to the Paris Olympics in 2024. 

Wade McElwain
Wade McElwainSenior Sports Writer

Wade McElwain is our Mr. NFL, a bona fide North American sports nut who knows about NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA plus MMA boxing and more. Originally from Canada, Wade is also an international award-winning stand-up comedian; host of numerous TV game shows; and a TV producer & writer. He also runs NFL in London-the largest NFL fan group in Europe, and has hosted NFL events at Wembley and around the world. Yes, he lives alone and does nothing but watch sports.