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This Smallbore Business


By Don Brook


The Psychology of a Champion #4 The “What if” factor. Will this bother you?


The mental excellence of a champion shooter, also includes the process of what to do if something unexpected crops up. There may be things, like a target break down, a safety issue that comes along when the range officer bellows “cease fire” “Unload” and the whole process of the competition comes to a dead stop….


Perhaps you have a round that will not eject, or a stuck case which I have so often seen in full bore shooting…..How about a whole rack of targets disappearing over the front of the butts due to a really rough wind squall, (also full bore)


There are many examples of something that can, and do bring the series of shots to a stop, and so bring the shooter to stop and therefore interrupt a smooth passage through the match. Even, once more in the case of full bore teams shooting, when the Team Coach calls for the next shooter to fire a sighter shot just to confirm the wind and weather prediction for sight adjustment. I have seen and done this many times in full bore shooting when competing in a team event.


All well prepared shooters have a set of 70 Target Shooter


contingency plans in place, and have done the mind stuff to be able to implement them.


This segment is actually a further section of mental rehearsal which we discussed in the third of the articles dealing with “mind stuff,” and it is a simple matter to let your mind roam over the possibilities that could confront you.


I used to visualise the variants, and also wrote them down in my diary, together with ways to overcome the problems should they eventuate. The techniques have actually saved my bacon a few times!


To give you an idea of what can happen, I was shooting in a match on the Nitishi range outside of Moscow, when an American range officer in charge of my section, interrupted me with the inquiry about if I was still shooting sighter shots, or record shots….


I pointed to the disc on the firing point that indicated I was well into the record shots, (36 of them to be exact) and was told the register keeper behind had no record of those shots. He had missed me turning the disc over from sighter shots to record shots according to the colours of the disc.


I was pretty peeved at this because I had lost


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