A massive lesson to learn in shooting is 'be prepared'. This can mean so many things. Here’s a few to start you thinking:
· Be prepared for the competition season.
· Be prepared each and every time you go out training.
· Be prepared to do some hard work to improve your shooting.
· Be prepared with all of your shooting equipment – have a kit bag with spares, clothing, etc.
· Be prepared when the shooting starts – be ready to start blasting clays by being in the right place at the right time.
· Be prepared for things going wrong around you.
· Be prepared for early mornings.
· Be prepared – familiarise yourself with rules and regulations for your discipline.
The competition season is here. We can be prepared with a little thought and some forward planning. I once heard and expression 'failure to plan is planning to fail', and I always remember that one. Shooting does not start with the first competition. There is work to be done before that time.
Goals and objectives set, training sessions to be completed, shooting muscles to be strengthened up. Working with a coach you can be ready when the major competitions come around.
A champion sporting shooter friend recently said that she had lots of work to do before the first trip abroad, aspects of shooting that had been identified for training, honing skills. So whatever your discipline, there is always pre-season work to do.
I recently kicked off the shooting year by going to Malaga in Spain for a week of warm weather training including taking part in the third International Grand Prix at the Club de Tiro Jarapalo. Well, so much for warm weather. Guess what – they had snow that settled for the first time in the Malaga area since the 1950s!
Luckily, after many years of shooting, I have learned one lesson. I had thermals with me. I had kept an eye on the weather forecast and there was a dip in the temperatures forecast.
However, during my week there, I had a little niggle of a problem with my gun and to investigate it, I needed to remove the pad off my stock. This requires a Phillips screwdriver. Guess what I did not have in my gun case. You guessed it! No Phillips screwdriver. Luckily, with a little help from a friend, one was sourced and my problem was sorted. I immediately made a note to get a Phillips screwdriver to keep in my gun case.
When you go out to train, do it with focus and with a goal. Be prepared to work at your shooting. Things do go wrong, guns break, ejectors don’t work, springs break. It's knowing what to do that helps. I use a Perazzi. The trigger action is detachable. I carry a spare trigger action in my gun case, just in case.
So, getting planning and get ready.