Being Women

Maithili Mishra – A Success Story Of Power, Grit And Determination

Presenting Maithili Mishra, a dedicated Air Pistol Shooting Athlete. A national-level shooter, she has represented India and won several International Tournaments

Maithili Mishra is a dedicated Air Pistol Shooting Athlete and a Human Resources Consultant.

Within three months of picking up a pistol, Maithili qualified for the State Level and was also ranked 8th in the state of Maharashtra. Within the next two months, she qualified for the Pre-national and became eligible to participate in the National Shooting Championship. She was ranked 3rd in the entire Western Zone. Within eight months, she became a national-level shooter and represented the state of Maharashtra at the National Shooting Championship. She won medals at the club, district, state, and zonal levels. Currently, she participates in World Cup and International Tournament Trail competitions.

Learning from Every Competition

After every competition, irrespective of the result, I feel I could have done better. When I lose or perform badly, it hurts a lot, but I get over it quickly and start working on my errors. I trust my preparations and everyone around me.

In November 2023, she had the opportunity to participate in the 37th National Games in Goa, India’s biggest sporting event held every four years. In 2018, she represented India at the International Shooting Competition in Hannover, Germany, and the Intarso Reflex Shooting Cup in Belgium. Apart from air pistol shooting, Maithili has played basketball for the YMCA for five years. She is a district-level bronze medalist in Taekwondo and holds a junior diploma in Indian classical dance, Kathak.

The 1% Rule: Quiet Focus

At the shooting range, I am generally very quiet and keep to myself. I always know what I have to work on and avoid any interaction that disrupts my flow. I always believe in getting 1% better than my previous training session.

At the 37th National Games

Finding An Unexpected Passion In Shooting

I used to play lawn tennis, and the shooting range was just the opposite. The first time I walked into a shooting range, I liked the environment; it was bright, cool, and silent. People practising looked more like meditators than shooters. After which, I often visited the place to cool down, and hence I started shooting just for fun. By the time I realised I was addicted to the sport, and before I realised it, I shot my first state competition.

During graduation, she pursued Psychology from Mumbai’s prestigious Mithibai College and, thereafter, a Diploma in Human Resource Management from XLRI (Xavier School of Management) in Jamshedpur. Her contribution to the area of performance management and her internship with the Usha School of Athletics earned her the highest grade. As a student assistant, she assisted the School Counsellor in student counselling sessions for optimal mental and emotional maturity, which was highly appreciated.

An All-rounder To A Sharp Shooter

I was an all-rounder in school and very actively participated in extracurricular activities, but I had never imagined that I would take up shooting professionally.

Internship with the Usha School of Athletics

Balancing Academics And Shooting

Balancing sports with academics was not easy; it kept me on my toes. XLRI coursework was very demanding, but I managed both well. I used to wake up around 5 in the morning, reach the shooting range by 6 a.m., practice till 8 a.m., and be in the class at 9 a.m. It was a truly transformational experience; for me, learning occurred both inside and outside the classroom. I was forced out of my comfort zone regularly, and hence I learned to prioritise well.

Being an athlete requires her to travel extensively, and most of the time she is all by herself. Every trip has its own story—some pleasant, some not so pleasant—but it leaves an impact on her and moulds her. One such incident happened during her national competition in Trivandrum.

Persistence Pays Off

My train was five hours late and reached Trivandrum around 1.00 AM. Luckily, my hotel was close, and I reached it within 10 minutes. Other shooters were waiting to check in as well, but I did not know them. As soon as I unpacked and went for a shower, halfway through, the water supply stopped, and I waited with shampoo in my hair for 10 minutes. The next morning, I had my tournament. After 10 minutes, I put on the same clothes, packed my night dress in a small bag, and with shampoo in my hair, walked back to the railway station, explained my situation to the waiting room guard, and requested that she let me use the shower facility. She took pity on me and allowed me to shower. I got back to my room around 2.00 AM; the next morning I shot my competition and qualified for international tournament trials.

Apart from sports and work, she is a government-certified artist and enjoys crafting candles. She co-owns Joy Candles along with her sister Meenakshi, a transportation designer at IIT Hyderabad. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, mainly sports-related ones, watching tennis and Formula One, and volunteering at Bosco Boys Home as a part of her social responsibility, where she mentors 10 adolescent boys.

At Bosco Boy’s Home

She admires Andre Aggasi, Novak Djokovic, and Lewis Hamilton.

Meditation – My Secret Weapon

The mind is an incredible thing and always has thoughts racing through it. To calm down, I practice meditation regularly to improve my concentration and focus. Because when I can’t focus, everything just takes so much longer to do. For me, meditation is like having a meeting with my energy.


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