Sunday, 22 September 2019

Changes in my prone

Since I started my prone back at the end of march this year we have made many alterations to my position as we keep learning things. I thought I would give a bit more detail on how my position has been evolving and why we are still changing things when there is only weeks to go until the World Championships.

Right at the beginning we started by trying to have me square on to the target facing down range, so my upper body was somewhat like the standard prone position. I just could not get on with that position at all,I kept dropping my left shoulder, the rifle never felt correct in the right shoulder, etc. Then there was the problem of the pain in my left hand, although that might have been related to the glove I was using.

The next thing I tried was to sit at an angle to the target. This brought my shoulders round to something closer to my standing position and I seemed to have much less trouble with keeping the shoulders level. Whether this was to do with the position being better for me or whether it was that it was just more familiar because of it being closer to my standing I am not sure. After changing the glove I had a position comfortable enough that I could start thinking about shooting a full 60 shot match.

I stuck with this position for a while getting used to it and it was the position I used whilst out in Croatia at the World Cup. The problem though was that the angles of my arms were quite low and so we had fitted a long extension to the butt plate. This made it difficult to reach to load with the rifle in position and the only way to adjust the sights was to take it out of my shoulder. This is when we started looking at a forend extension and reducing the length of the butt to bring everything back towards me. At first I was borrowing a forend extension from a club member, this did seem to help as it reduced the stretching when loading, I could adjust the sights in position and it moved the weight back a bit. The forend extension I borrowed had a height adjustment piece which unfortunately was getting in my way and so we looked at making a forend extension.

The custom forend was not going to be attached for long as last Friday we had Mike, one of the coaches at British Shooting, come to have a look at my prone and give us some help. His suggestion was to increase the angle of my arms, which we did by raising my seat. By bringing the arms up a bit means that they are better able to support the rifle and my hold seemed to improve when we did that. It also means my left hand is not as far forward and so we could remove the forend extension.

I may have joked about all these changes and how it seems like I have something different every time I go training. However I think now probably is the time to do all this as I don't want to get too attached to one position which might not really be ideal. We have much learning to do and we won't find things out unless we experiment. Based on how well I did in the World Cup, hopefully with these improvements, I should be in with a good chance at the World Championships and I am feeling quite positive.

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