Josh Froelich is a walking testament to the passion shared by those who compete in action shooting sports. The world champion and Federal ambassador from Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, lives for the thrill of fast-paced competition—and a closer look into his career, mindset and training regimen can help you raise the bar in your shooting pursuits as well.
A Simple Start
As fate would have it, Froelich’s journey into the wild world of action shooting began on a quiet trip to the local gun shop. “One of the shop employees mentioned an International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) match was happening that weekend, and I knew I had to give it a shot,” he recalls. “I went back multiple times in the coming months and really began to love the game.”
Froelich’s shooting career took another turn when he discovered the added challenges of USPSA competition. “I quickly became totally hooked on the faster shooting, higher-round-count stages and more strategic problem solving the game required,” he explains. “This eventually led to 3-gun, which I now call my home.”
Arguably the fastest growing (and to its devotees, the most exciting) shooting sport, 3-gun tests shooters’ skills and composure with three different firearms—rifle, pistol and shotgun—at varying ranges and in different shooting positions. Scoring hinges on time and hits, minus penalties, which means the shooter who cleanly puts the most rounds on target the fastest wins.
Sights Set On The Future
Froelich is no stranger to the winner’s circle in matches of all sizes. So far, his proudest moments have come on the world stage. “My two greatest accomplishments so far in my shooting career have been my 2018 IPSC Shotgun World Championship Gold Medal and my 3-Gun Nation National Championship in 2017,” he reports.
Looking ahead, he hopes to retain the shotgun crown while adding other titles to his resume.
“My main goal is defending my world title at the 2021 Shotgun World Shoot,” he says. “Shotgun is my strongest gun and I want to keep my title moving forward. I am also working hard with a goal of winning the USPSA PCC nationals and future 3 Gun national championships. To make this happen, I dry fire daily, live fire multiple times a week, shoot matches weekly, eat well and work hard on footwork, speed and performance.”
He also plans to continue competing and practicing with top-shelf gear. “The last couple years, my shooting skill has grown exponentially since I started running high-end guns and quality ammo,” he says. “I used to have to troubleshoot my gear all the time, but now running Federal ammunition in quality guns, I can just concentrate on shooting.”
While the high-octane, extremely competitive world of action shooting can seem intimidating to those outside the sport, Froelich encourages everyone to give it a try. “The shooting community is friendly and welcoming,” he assures. “The people eagerly support new shooters and welcome them into the sport. Don't be intimidated, just come out and shoot with us!”
He also promises that recreational shooters who’ve never entered organized matches will see their skills improve dramatically once they become involved in competitions. “I am no tactical expert, but I do carry daily and competition has brought my weapon manipulation and proficiency through the roof,” he says. “Competitive shooting won't teach you ‘tactics,’ but through it, anyone can become a better shooter.”
Whether you’re entering your first match or prepping for a world championship, Froelich offers the following sage advice. “The main thing I tell others who want to improve their shooting is that you get out what you put in,” he says. “To compete at the highest level, you have to train like it. Top shooters put in hours of training daily. My recommendation is to take classes from professional instructors and learn as much as you can from them. It’s also helpful to video your match performances and study those videos for weaknesses—then practice, practice, practice to overcome them.”
Keep Your Head In the Game
Froelich also advises fellow shooters to focus on the mental side of the sport. “The biggest challenges I’ve faced so far in my shooting career have all centered on developing a strong mental game,” he says. “It’s taken tons of practice and time—and piles of ammunition—for me to gain the confidence to compete at this level. Match experience is another huge part of how I built a stronger mental game, and that has come through weekly local matches and monthly major matches around the country.”
As for the rewards of testing your composure and skills against those of other shooters, Froelich says he still savors the challenge above all else. “My favorite part of the shooting sports is the tough competition,” he says. “There are so many talented competitors in the shooting sports, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to go head to head with them on a regular basis.”