Performance Coaching for Shooting
methodology & technique
Positions that avoid excessive strain and that utilise the best movement capabilities of our joints are preferable to over stylised positions. I’ve always believed that the greatest beauty in sport performance is expressed through utilising the most natural capabilities of the body. This I see when watching sports where balance and control of movement are the key skills.
The structure of a good shooting technique shares the same fundamental basics of any high-level sporting activity. They involve coordinated movement, hand-eye coordination, reflexes, excellent vision, balance, strength, flexibility, control and mental strength. This list is not exhaustive but it illustrates some of the many skills and personal attributes we will have to strengthen and develop in our athletes shooting performance.
Within the ISSF Academy, the teaching methods and syllabus are designed to train coaches to work in a structured way. Whatever the shooting discipline or the technique we are teaching, we need to create a set of fundamental building blocks or components that will create the shooting style that best matches the athlete and that gives the coach a framework in which to do this.
The focus of the framework is to create an anatomically balanced and efficient shooting system. The ISSF Academy framework takes the shooting process and breaks it down into a series of linked coaching components. These components can in turn be further divided into specific skills and actions that in turn go to make up the physical coaching that is given to a shooter and it is at this level that the coaching work is actually performed.
Preparing the body and overall position of the shooter. How the feet are positioned and the torso of the shooter is arranged. Elements of balance and shooter stability are introduced.
Gun and Eye Hold POINTS
Where the shooter looks for the target and where the gun is pre-positioned to make the initial movement to the target. Where we look is the key to target recognition and determining the correct flight path and hence the correct movement path for the gun.
How the shooter can most effectively ensure the alignment of the gun barrel to their shooting eye. Ensuring the correct gun/eye alignment and having the correct physical connection at the hands, shoulder and cheek of the face are the key elements in ensuring correct gun-to-body fit.
Calling for the Target
The process of producing an audible sound that will release the target whilst not affecting the ready position of the shooter. The different calls used by shooters and the characteristics of each type and how these calls affect the release of the target and of the physiological response of the shooter.
Moving to the Target
Recognising and determining the flight path of the target. The initial reaction and beginning of the movement once the target has been recognised in flight. Controlling the initial movement with sufficient inertia to generate the right amount of gun speed to catch the target in the control zone where it is shot.
The particular style of shooting or method the shooter uses to hit the target and the method is best suited to a particular type of shooter. The advantages and disadvantages of the methods are discussed and how they might suit one shooter over another.
The additional features and methods can the coach utilise to increase the shooter’s overall performance. This is where we look at tactical situations and how to manage them to the benefit of our shooters.