It’s not just the hares that go crazy in March; shooters’ training and competition schedules do too. Leah Southall embraces the chaos.
March was busy for me considering the season hadn’t started yet. On 2 March it was off to Mid Wales Shooting Centre for a training session with Phil Morgan.
Coaching is vital for me, because sometimes bad habits creep in that affect my performance. It is also necessary to keep an eye on my gun fit, as it seems that I am still growing.
Thankfully, that hadn’t changed on this occasion, which meant we could concentrate on dusting clays and correcting my recent tendency to lift my eye too high. We seem to have eliminated that problem now.
On 10 March, I returned to Mid Wales to shoot my first competition there since September last year. Although I generally practise there on a weekly basis, it doesn’t compare to the adrenaline of a competition there.
I had the privilege to shoot with Phil for the first time in competition. There were 40mph winds throughout the day, which affected the flights of the clays, and to make it worse the constantly changing light conditions made seeing the clays difficult.
I started off well with a 24/69 and a 25/72 on my first two lines, but my third line threw me and I only managed 24/66. I picked up my score on the last line with a 24/69, giving me a total of 97/276. I would have liked to shoot better, but I did my best considering the conditions.
Next weekend I made a seven-hour round trip – 300 miles in total – to North of England Shooting Ground. This was my first time shooting at this ground. One of the England selection shoots is being held there in May, so I thought it would be best to have a ride up and get a good idea of what the ground is like.
I thoroughly enjoyed it; it was a great experience shooting there, and a new ground brings new challenges, which I battled through as well as I could. I look forward to shooting there again as soon as possible.
I was at Mickley Hall on 24 March for the 2018 Staffordshire presentation day. I won Junior Shooter of the Year for 2018. Unfortunately the trophy wasn’t returned so I don’t have it as yet, but I’ll get it soon.
I was also up for Lady Shooter of the Year, but came runner up to GB Olympic Skeet shooter Lara Dale, who thoroughly deserves the award. While I was there, I decided to give my dad a lesson on DTL. He wasn’t a good student because he thought he already knew what he was doing (he really doesn’t) and he didn’t listen to me.
I am looking forward to the beginning of the 2019 season, when I will be competing in my first major shoot of the year, the DTL Grand Prix at Fauxdegla.