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only one point of the 30 shots fired…

The R.O. was very apologetic, and the discussion eventually went the way of starting those record shots again!

I must admit that my contingency planning did not encompass that possibility, so back to work I went, and duly finished a 96 shot English Match with 592 points, with four minutes to go! So, I shot a 60 shot match with another 36 shots added, and it was really due to the high standard of training for endurance that I was able to complete that shoot, but it does give you an idea of what can go wrong.

Even my Team skipper could not foresee that problem, and there was quite a discourse under way, which I had also to shut out of my mind to complete the match in the allocated time.

Also as a foot note to this, I had always been able to shoot quite fast, with a good rhythm, and I did not feel any real issues with the endurance factor involved. I just shot the rest of the match from the beginning, and let the powers that be sort out the issues! (To no avail, as it turned out. The score should have been a 597, but there was nought we could do!) THAT made an interesting diary entry!

As a result of that issue, a new page developed in my contingency planning notes, where I made sure that I always had an observer behind with a spotting scope focussed on the electronics monitor, and a plot sheet, of every ten shot string with the score noted, That was not going to happen to me again.

The above is a good example of cause and effect, though I never had to use it subsequently, as I made sure the record keeper was up to speed!

The mental rehearsal topics for contingency planning are up to the fertile mind of the shooter, and also to give you an idea we had a full bore team fill a very large white board of the possibilities, during a team “Thrash” session, together with the methods to overcome the problems.

So, what are the mental rehearsal exercises that

are contained within.?


As I said at the footnote on the last issue with this topic of the Psychology of a Champion, “How well you shoot is directly related to how well you think.”

Staying relaxed is the whole issue of high standard competition, and it makes it a lot easier to switch on your thought processes. The reasoning to evolve above the problem is necessary. Your whole attention is to develop a set of circumstances that you can practise at home, with an imaginary problem developing, and a way to get through the problem with little or no affect on your results.

You also need to understand that a range officer is there to help you (if needed) as well as to administer the match.

With the example of how I overcame the problems outlined above, with a spotter on the target machine screen, much can be said for thinking ahead.

My good Mate from the Brit shooting team, Barry Dagger, always had areas he had to work out because of his small stature. Even to making arrangements to allow him to miss the barrier in front of the firing points on the range in Suhl, (East Germany as it was then). A couple of times I saw him competing from a pallet placed on the firing point just so he would not blow holes in that chunk of wood in front of him. We often had a chortle about that! Still, Barry, with his superb mind, managed very well to deal with that problem, and this is also a good example of the strange contingencies that confront a shooter, and have to be considered.

By far the most difficult item I had to deal with was the noise factor on the range in Caracas, Venezuela. The noise was incredible, as the range backed onto a major highway, as well as the interior noise from spectators. Even during the training days we had the 300m shooters belting it out directly above us on the next level of the firing points. The shots were loud, and regular of course, and I swear some were using

Target Shooter 71

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