As we launch our all new Talent Pathways section of the website, co-ordinator of the pathway, Christian Schofield, sums it what it's all about in this fantastic blog.
The tension built shot by shot, not for the athlete shooting but for the anxious parent and thoughtful coach. The result was brilliant, the athlete’s first 25 straight at Olympic Trap or 10.9 in 10m air rifle. Hopefully, the first of many. It is of course moments like this that people treasure and use to justify the time, effort and expense of getting to a point of relative competence.
This is an age old story and is not unique to the era of the British Shooting Talent Pathway. However, it is perhaps more common now that the Pathway has introduced and coached more than 100 athletes, with an age range from 12 to 49, in the Olympic shotgun disciplines.
There are no secrets to success. Talent alone will not get you to where you want to be. It is focussed hard work that is the key to achieving your goal.
The challenge of shooting the Olympic disciplines has always excited some shooters. A number of these committed individuals have gone on to perform at the highest level and win World Cup, Commonwealth and Olympic medals. Some had help whilst others achieved greatness entirely through their own efforts. So why do we need a Talent Pathway?
It is accepted that the British Shooting Pathway will not be for everyone. However, the Pathway does provide a safe and supportive programme for shooters to experiment with and develop in the Olympic disciplines. All sport is difficult if you play it at the highest level and the Olympic shotgun disciplines are typical in this respect. They are fiendishly difficult to master and it takes people with a special temperament to reach the very top.
You should be focussed, determined, willing to learn and willing to accept failure. You need some shooting talent but the most important ingredient is hard work.
There are no secrets to success. Talent alone will not get you to where you want to be. It is focussed hard work that is the key to achieving your goal. The Pathway will not provide you with the intrinsic motivation you will need to succeed. It will, however, give you a training environment that will allow you to experiment and learn. With carefully focussed training you will learn faster and perhaps more effectively than you would if you were on your own.
There is a place for you on the Pathway if you are committed to developing your shooting and wish to realise your potential. Commitment does not mean that you have to be solely focussed on shooting. It does not mean that you have to be impossibly wealthy. Yes, you should be focussed, determined, willing to learn and willing to accept failure. You need some shooting talent but the most important ingredient is hard work. Yes, it does require money probably about £5,000 per year in the initial years, as you learn the discipline. However, this is no more than you might spend pursuing excellence in other sports.
The British Shooting Pathway can help. Coaching costs are negligible thanks to the generosity of many dedicated people who wish to see our shooting athletes progress. In Shotgun, Cartridges are sponsored and clays are as cheap as they can be, thanks to very supportive shooting grounds. In Rifle and Pistol, many clubs and ranges are warm, welcoming and open to sharing their contact network for equipment, clothing and ammunition. The greatest value of the Pathway is that shooting athletes get to train in a supportive environment with other like-minded and equally determined people.
If you know a young shooter who would like to try the Olympic shotgun disciplines, then please let us know. If you would like to try the Olympic disciplines, then why not visit one of British Shooting centres, see the website for details.
If you would like to support the Talent Pathway or you would like to help coach the Olympic disciplines, or have some other skill that you think would aid the Pathway then please contact British Shooting.
The Pathway is all about awakening talent. It is about making the Olympic disciplines accessible. It is about helping Great Britain become World’s best. Whether your immediate goal is 25 straight or Olympic gold there is a place in the Pathway for you.