Sunday, 7 May 2017

Progress with air pistol

Back at the start of March once the British championships were over I took the decision to take a break from the air rifle and really give some time over to the air pistol. Over the winter I had been getting the feeling that postal competitions had slightly taken over my air rifle shooting and were determining what I was prepared to do in my training. The main problem being that I was focusing on keeping the score best for the immediate rather than being able to try out things which might work out better in the long term but with a short term negative impact on score. As I have not done much more than prove the concept with the air pistol until the start of March, I felt focusing on the air pistol would be a good break as I would have no expectations of what I should be able to do and so would not be constantly comparing what I achieve against expectations.

Back at the start of March I was probably getting scores around 90 average for 10 shots, may be low 90s on a good day. Then about a couple of weeks ago something seemed to click with me.

Yes that is a 578 with 60 shots and this week was also similar at 575.

So what had clicked? After all I have not adjusted much since originally trying the air pistol. I cannot be certain, but one thing is that I have become very aware of sensing the position, it is very different to sensing the position with the air rifle. With the air rifle if something is not quite in the right place then another contact point probably will not line up and so you know very quickly something is not right, but with the air pistol there are so few contact points that you really need to feel it internally. Also to help with the position I have placed an elastic band around the support bar of the support stand to provide me with a reference point when checking the placement of the pistol on the stand after loading.

The other thing to come out of spending so much time with the air pistol is that may be I am starting to get more familiar with the VIASS. Back with the rifle I found myself continually comparing it with the Swarovski, both in the sound it makes and also in the scores I achieved and due to needing to shoot postal competitions I would keep changing it back to the Swarovski so that my competition cards would be as good as possible. With the pistol I don't have the choice, the Swarovski won't fit and until the start of March I had no previous pistol scores to compare.

So now where with the air pistol? Unfortunately here in the UK supported air pistol is not widely adopted and there are no competitions. Development of supported air pistol, both for VI shooters and also for anyone else who may find shooting air pistol without a support stand, is one task. Also at my club we are going to see what we can find out about supported air pistol in other countries and whether there is any postal competitions I could compete in. In the meantime I am enjoying shooting the air pistol without the pressures of constantly thinking about shooting competition cards.

Learning from training under time pressure

In the lead up to the World Cup I had been focusing very much on training and getting the correct position. This though meant that I had not...