Well with the competitive shooting season coming to a close I’ve received numerous emails about winter training. So I’m going to spend a few pages going through what could possibly help you come out next summer a better competitor than you are now.
As I’ve stated in previous editions a diary and or records of your score cards are essential and will play a huge part in your training and strengthening your weaknesses.
Practice and training are very different entities and should be treated as so,
This is when we go to perfect something we already do, we’re already comfortable with the move we’re just going to the range to perfect it. We perfect it by making the same shot or move over and over honing it in and enhancing the muscle memory of the shot “ not until we get it right but until we can’t get it wrong “
One day maybe swing through targets another practice day maybe pull away targets and day 3 maybe coming out of one method into another method learning to switch methods in pairs for instance. But still practicing the foundations of our methods and shot taking.
TRAINING AND WINTER TRAINING
Training is something I rarely see on the range and is key to moving through the classes and enhancing our shotgun skill set.
So what is training????
Training is a pre planned session of a set number of shots working on a single skill set were struggling with or maybe numerous dialogued problems (depending on training days available and budget). If your heading to the range make sure your research the ground and it has the targets you want to practice 20 minutes further travel may be worth it in the long run.
A normal TRAINING session for me would consist of 75/100 cartridges and 90/115 clays (more on that later). So for instance I’m going to the range to work on fast targets from a FITASC mount as my diary tells me I have been struggling on these of late. So night before my session I make a list of what I believe the issues could be with the missing of these targets and a thought on the cure (diagram here)
So from my notes you can see I’m going to try new things at the hold point and my first 10/15 shots will be purely visible no cartridges in the gun I’m just executing and memorising the move before I entertain shooting it with a cartridge. When I do I go through different scenarios until I’m happy with the outcome and then I nail it in a further practice session.
That’s a typical training session for me so how over the winter months can I help you?? , let’s say we have nov – feb to train that’s a lot of training and practice sessions if we achieve 75/100 per week (over the winter I prefer training to competition)
* hold points + kill points
* body rotation + movement to 2nd pair
There are 5 sessions that are the main causes of plateauing and losses of targets that I am come across on a daily basis. I’m going to cover the first one for you now and give you a detailed training session that should help you push forward.
The best place for this is a fitasc / sportrap layout with the freedom to move around to create different angles, so we pick target A as our experimental target, we now take 5 shots using each of 3 techniques available SWING THROUGH, PULL AWAY AND SUSTAINED LEAD. Now for me the key here is to feel the shot process by that I mean which one feels best and most controlled to you not necessarily which one gave you the best kill as again lead will be another training session. Once you have took your 15 shots then take 2 more with the method you have chosen as the best for the target and document it. Then comes the report challenge I want you to repeat this process but using the A target as the report bird because this changes things, are you still able to apply the same technique coming off a different shot first. All of these things will make life easier for you when in a competition scenario and you have already eradicated all the variables. Then we can either move to the other side of the layout sticking with target A and changing the angle or move on to target B etc. Making sure we document our findings.
In a training session expect to miss and understand this is part of the process of learning what suits you and what doesn’t so when we enter a competition we go to what we know works not doing the experiment where it counts. Even a miss can be a great shot if you executed the move correctly just because you missed don’t write that method off if the shot felt good you may have only missed by the lead being off. Concentrate on the process not the outcome 9/10 the clay is missed by the process being wrong simply fixing the WHERE you missed is the wrong correction and a better understanding of breaking the shot process down will bring more consistency.
Other things to try in a training session are moving hold points in and out taking 3/5 shots from different points and again seeing which hold point gives you the most control over the target and don’t be afraid to try things it the box. Especially trying different hold points on the report bird of a pair some people reaction times change hold points considerably when in motion and their eyes are in transition.