Monday 1 October 2018

The importance of training

Well been a bit of time since my last post, but that does not mean I haven't been busy with my shooting. The last few months has seen me doing much hard training in preparation for the World Cup which happened last week in Chateauroux, France. I was only competing in the standing event and you can watch the standing VI final on YouTube.

It was a fairly exciting final with the silver and gold medals only being determined right at the end after the final shot. So I won't spoil it and say where I finished at this point. I will mention it at the end of this blog post, but I encourage you to watch the video.

So back to the main topic of this post. As I said the last few months has consisted of lots of training for me, trying to prepare me for the competition. Things like making sure I know exactly what happens when, ensure I would be comfortable with any background noise and also to handle the pressure as it was the highest level competition I have entered to this date. Unfortunately my coach was unable to go with me to the world cup, so I had someone else stand in as my assistant and we did a number of training sessions with them as well to ensure they knew exactly what to do as well. With a couple of excellent training sessions with some personal bests, we thought we had everything worked out when it came to departing for France last week.

Everything seemed to be going reasonably well in France, got equipment control done in plenty of time, was comfortable in the pre-event training and just before the call to the line I was doing all the final preparations, such as stretching and getting my mind in the zone, all to the times I wanted. Then came the call to the line for the qualifying and I was about to do all the very final things, like buttoning up the shooting jacket and putting on the glove, when my assistant broke process and disturbed me and took me straight to the firing line before I could do these final things. This in turn lead to further errors in set up, such as equipment not being on the line when I arrived there and me realising that I had not got my shooting glove on when I was about to pick up the rifle. At this point I was getting quite annoyed and angry, my mind was no longer in the zone and things were not ready due to a small deviation from the process we had agreed. I now had to try and get myself back in the zone and looking back the qualifying is just a bit of a blur to me. However checking the scores, whilst I am not happy with the score I got for qualifying as I don't feel it represents what I can do, it does look like may be I was not fully back to normal for the first series of 10 shots, but after that it looks like may be I did settle down.

Whilst disappointed with the qualifying, it found me in third place and so I needed to try and put it behind me for the final. There is not really much to report on the final, other than to say at the beginning my position seemed to be placing me above the target and it took me a little time to correct my position.This meant I was in second place all the way through the final, however I was closing the gap to first at the end with only 2.1 difference on the last shot. My opponent took her shot before me, getting a 7.9 and leaving a chance for me to win. Unfortunately I was just unable to come up with a 10 and so finished with the silver medal.

I think the thing to take away from this is the importance of the training and sticking exactly to the process. I am certain that without that error in setting up for the qualifying, I would have achieved a much better score in qualification. Whether it made any difference to the final I do not know, I like to think I had the strength to get past it for the final, but there is a chance I still was thinking about it.

Experience of creating shooting videos

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