How do I deal with distractions when I am shooting?

This will depend on when you are distracted.  If the distraction is during the process of taking your shot, then you train yourself to totally ignore them.  You can put yourself into a bubble (zone) where noises and happenings cannot penetrate.

It takes between 5-10 seconds to take your one shot, so the question you need to ask is, ‘Can I concentrate for those few seconds whilst it’s my turn to shoot?’  The answer must be ‘Yes’. If not, then you need to start to practice those few seconds of concentration, not just in shooting, but with other things as well.

If the distraction is between shots, it’s not a problem; there is no need to concentrate at those times. You only need to be focused for your few seconds that you’re shooting,

One way to desensitise yourself from distractions, is to have your mates stand behind you when you’re shooting and ask them to make as much noise as they can.  Or have a music CD playing with annoying sounds or music.  You soon learn to ignore it all and focus on the clay.

I used this technique with a Junior shooter, whilst on a training camp.  He was bothered by noise from the stands caused by 20 of his team mates.  There was seating for about 300 spectators, and I asked him what was he going to do when the seats were full? Turn around and ask them to be quiet!

The noise in the stands at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in Australia was phenomenal. Each time one of the Aussies hit a target, the cheers were unbelievably loud and the next shooter had 10 seconds to shoot, whilst the noise was at it loudest! They were certainly not going to be quiet for anyone!!!!

Anyway, back to the Junior. I stood behind him and said ‘YABBA, YABBA, YABBA’ each time he was shooting. It annoyed him to death to start with, but he soon learnt to ignore it, and now nothing distracts him.

He did get his own back on me though. One day when I was shooting, he stood behind me saying ‘yabba, yabba, yabba’……Yes, of course I hit the targets.

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Posted in Ask the Experts, Coaching
2 comments on “How do I deal with distractions when I am shooting?
  1. Laurence Archer says:

    The Italian coach Renato Lamera says “every shooter needs a ritual”. If you always do the same things you will always have the same thoughts; hence concentration. I practice doing exactly the same things every time, starting from where I place my feet and how I insert the cartridges into the chamber.

  2. Laurence Archer says:

    The Italian coach Renato Lamera says “every shooter needs a ritual”. If you always do the same things you will always have the same thoughts; hence concentration. I practice doing exactly the same things every time, starting from where I place my feet and how I insert the cartridges into the chamber.

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