Hugh Pritchard, Biathlete

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Hugh Pritchard

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Shooting Tips

Many of the 'secrets' of shooting sound pretty inane when stated. It still helps to bear them in mind - a self-instruction as you approach the firing point for standing such as 'point it at the target and fire' can be effective.

These ideas come from all sorts of sources, most forgotten, and most have had some sort of interpretation applied by me. Inspiring sources include Jock Allan, Mike Dixon and the book and recordings of Lanny Bassham.

  • Reaction speed is critical: the shot must go off as an instantaneous reaction to the correct sight picture.
  • If the sight picture is near enough correct at the moment you hit the trigger, you will hit the target: only fire on an acceptable sight picture.
  • Rhythm is fundamentally important: not only the intervals between the shots themselves, but the rhythm of cock, breathe, fire. A loss of confidence reveals itself in a change of rhythm, with a deterioration in speed and probably of accuracy.
  • Towards competition season, decide on a rhythm and stick to it - you can't change these things in a week.
  • 'Let the eye do the talking' (Jock Allan)
  • When you are shooting well, shoot a lot. When you are shooting badly, bin it.
  • The only thing about hitting targets is the will to hit (a Dixon special - sorry).
  • Full-time smallbore shooters training for 3-position spend 6-8 hours a day at the range and fire up to 1,200 rounds a week in heavy training periods. When your coach tells you not to shoot too much, think about that.
  • Shoot as much as you need to. If you are serious about learning, 4 combi sessions a week will probably not be the most you can absorb. You will almost certainly learn faster and more deeply shooting twice a day. Mike Dixon, an exceptionally well-motivated athlete, taught himself to shoot by shooting 3 times a day.