No time to hibernate

Anita North offers some advice on making the most of the winter break in competitions

Winter is upon us, and if you are active in competitive shooting, that means a break in competitions. So what do you do when the competition season is done? Is it time for a break, a change – or do you keep cracking on and keep up the same level of shooting? 

It is certainly a good time for reflection. It is good to look back and review how your competition season went – what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what you want to work on to move forward and keep developing your shooting. 

This review can help you develop your plans for next year. That’s if you have a plan. Do you have a plan? If you do, what does it look like? How much detail goes into your plan?

I’ve previously written about pen and paper being an essential part of your shooting kit. It can be enormously valuable to you in your development as a competitive shooter.

The end of the competition season provides an opportunity to work on some technical aspects of your shooting, be they physical or mental. You can work on these things with your coach. Remember to be willing to experiment in your training.

Do so in an organised way, setting objectives. Is what you do the best/optimal for you? If you are not willing to experiment, then how do you know that?

It’s also a great time to think about your gun. Are you happy with your gun fit? Does your gun need some loving care – is it time for a service? If you have been considering changing your gun, then now is a good time to do that, so that you have time to settle with it before the next competition season is with us.

It’s also an opportunity to focus on training away from the shooting ground or range. Some time spent participating in another sport may refresh your focus and appreciation of shooting. It may bring something to you and your shooting as well as being good for your general well-being and health. 

Finally, have you read a good book recently? I’m talking about books that could help your shooting. I can recommend two books in particular that I found to be beneficial to my shooting when I was competing: ‘Zen in the Art of Archery’ by Eugen Herrigel and ‘The Inner Game of Tennis’ by W Timothy Gallwey. I would be interested to learn of your recommended reading.

And remember: keep enjoying the work and the training. Have fun! 

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