Once you know how to shoot a ‘10’, then you must be able to repeat it ‘easily’. For this, you need to shoot dry and live for a minimum of 300 shots per day.
The present World No. 1 in Air pistol shooting, shoots anything between 300 to 500 shots (live & dry). When you watch them shoot, you feel they shoot ‘10’s so easily and marvel at their consistency. This is not achieved overnight but after years of working hard. Practising the same technique for shooting a ‘10’ again and again, hundreds and thousands times.
This hard work takes a heavy toll over their bodies leading to injuries. In order to minimise injuries, these shooters follow a strict physical fitness schedule which strengthens the specific muscle groups required for shooting longs spells.
In order to keep their mind and body fit, they also follow a proper diet and take breaks to mentally rejuvenate themselves. This aspect of their training is called as ‘recovery’. Recovery is crucial for improving performance in all sports.
Sometimes a coach plays the role of a physical fitness trainer, psychologist, nutritionist besides handling the technical aspect of training. However, it is not uncommon to find top level shooters having a support staff who specialise in psychology, nutrition, physical fitness, and motivation.
Merely shooting 300 to 500 shots with no proper planning and holistic training is a sure shot recipe for ‘burn out’. Burnout is a term used for athletes who have their careers ‘cut short’ due to physical or mental burn out.
While physical burn out is easy to understand since it is related to physical injuries, mental burnout results from a lack of motivation or ‘will’ to continue training. In a mental burnout situation, the athlete loses his desire for winning. This is where a motivational expert steps in to redress the situation.
From the above, you can see that reaching the top is hard work and when you reach the top, to continue staying on top is also hard work.
Here are some real life experiences;
1. One parent tracks the scores of each and every competitor in his child’s event, then ahead of the next competitions, comments as follows;
“ She has only scored +++/600, you can easily beat her and stand first”
Result: The child came under pressure and shot her worst score in the match.
2. Another parent continuously says:
“ Her IQ is low, she does not pick up things very fast “
I told the parent that henceforth, you will not comment on her IQ, she is a brilliant girl and IQ just measures one aspect of your child’s intelligence.
In addition to ticking off her father, I told the girl that she was really talented and brilliant.
Result: The Child won a Gold Medal in the National School Games Championships.
3. Yet another parent expects National Level Medal winning performance from her daughter who practises only for one and half hour.
I explained to her mother, that though her daughter was talented, expecting a medal with only an hour and a half training is not going to work, considering that the National Champions are putting in five to six hours of training each day!
4. An extremely talented 17 year old boy, who shoots 583/600 in practice was threatened by his grandfather that he would no longer support the boy’s shooting in future since his National Competition scores did not match his practice scores.
So, what should I say to him?
Undoubtedly, the role of parents in the development of a shooter’s career is critical.
The question is; How much should they be involved in the day to day training of their child?
Ninety nine percent of the parents have no shooting experience, hence my sincere advice to them is that they find a good coach and leave it to the coach to train their child.
If the progress is satisfactory, continue supporting the child financially and mentally. But they must be prepared to be PATIENT for FIVE YEARS at the very least!
In the Maharashtra State Government Sports Academy, parents were allowed to spend time with their children twice during the summer and Diwali vacations. During the training period, parent visits were restricted for just a few hours, once each month.
This government policy of keeping the parents at arm’s length was so effective that the Sports Academies produced many international medal winning sportspersons.
Trigger control separates the men from the boys, the international shooter from the also rans.
What is Trigger Control in the 10 M Air Pistol event?
- The shooter should be 100 % mentally focussed on trigger operation before, during and after the shot is fired (follow through)
- The trigger operation must be smooth and continuous before during and after the shot is fired – Trigger follow through.
- The shot should be fired with correct trigger timing.
In order to maintain 100 % mental focus on the trigger operation, the shooter must have 100% confidence in the aiming process, which is as follows;
10 M Air Pistol Aiming Process:
When the sights come into the aiming area, the shooter is confident that his sights will be steady and aligned, his arc of movement will be reduced to the minimum and his focus on front sight is locked.
Mastery over the aiming process enables the shooter to completely focus mentally on trigger operation follow through.
Module No. 3 Training Methodology provides the exercises (1 to 8B) which help the shooter attain mastery over the aiming process.
10 M Air Pistol Smooth trigger operation:
Smooth trigger operation is linked with mental focus and mastery over the aiming process. A shooter can achieve smooth trigger operation but to ensure that it is CONTINUOUS before, during and after the shot is fired (follow through) requires specific training which is explained in Module No. 4: Advanced Training Methodology.
10 M Air Pistol Trigger timing:
Trigger timing depends a lot on the shooters breathing technique, if the shooter is out of breath due to an over extended trigger operation, invariably he will loose control on his mental focus on keeping the trigger smooth and continuous. Correct breathing technique must be synchronised with mental focus on smooth continuous trigger follow through.
Modules 2 to 6 provide unique exercises based on yogic breathing techniques which enhance concentration and enables the shooter to exert more control on the trigger operation.
These 10 M Air Pistol Yogic Breathing techniques have been adapted to shooting and provide amazing results in trigger control. Members of Foresight Shooting have personally experienced these amazing jump in scores ( 15 to 20 pts)!
Finally, mastery and confidence over trigger control ensures that the shooter reaches new heights in his shooting career.
Most 10 M air pistol shooters train with the next match in mind. Training with the next match in mind does provide the motivation and intensity during training but the downside is when you shoot badly in your training session, you will get tremendously frustrated.
Some of the questions which pop up in your mind when shooting badly are as follows;
Oh My God! Is this how I am going to shoot in my match?
I just have to improve my shooting before the day of the match!
The above questions give rise to a lot of negative emotions which BLIND you from making true progress.
You also lose the joy in the shooting which leads to a depressive state after most training sessions. Which in turn spoils not just one day but many days to come in your valuable life!
True learning and improvement in your performance will only begin if you have the courage and the patience to take the following steps;
Correct 10 M Air Pistol Training.
First and foremost be realistic. You cannot become an international class shooter in six months or for that matter even 1 or 2 years!
A realistic timespan would be 3 to 5 years, that too if you train correctly.
So please stop dreaming and get real!
Next, you must train under a good coach (somebody who has shot at least 570+ in a match) who can actually demonstrate how to shoot a 10 regularly in front of you.
If such a coach is not available then you can subscribe to Module 1 to 6 on this website.
Next, work on your Basic Techniques Module No. 1 Basic Techniques gradually move on to Module No. 2 Technique for shooting a 10 and Module No. 3 Training Methodology.
When you subscribe to Module 2 onwards, you begin training under my daily guidance as follows;
1. You can post training related questions on our WhatsApp group. All questions posted on this group are answered by me within 2 to 3 hours!
2. You may also call me directly.
3. You may also speak to me one on one via video conferencing.
4. You can post pictures of your gripping method, position etc on WhatsApp or use video conferencing.
5. You may if you wish can also obtain personalised training in the academy’s shooting range.
The final step that you need to take is to develop the correct attitude towards your training.
Attitude matters a lot!
Once you have mentally accepted that your training time frame is 3 to 5 years, then you are on your way to developing the correct attitude towards your training.
Your training is a journey, where each and every shot you fire (live or dry) is a step along this journey. For each and every shot you shoot, stop and check where you need to improve and above all rejoice on the points where you have made good progress.
For example, if you are mastering sight alignment congratulate yourself if you can keep the sights steady and aligned for 3 seconds initially.
Keep your daily training goals small and realistic.
An unrealistic goal would be to keep your sights steady and aligned for 6 seconds (if you are a beginner).
Maintain a goal for each training session.
For a beginner, to keep the sights steady and aligned for 3 seconds against a blank wall is not only realistic but also easier to achieve within a few training sessions (10 to 15 sessions of 1 hour each).
Key to rapid progress in the 10 M Air Pistol training:
The key to making rapid progress is to keep your goals easy to achieve and to rejoice on successfully achieving your goal for each and every shot you shoot.
This way, after each training session you will be happy and charged up positively to take on your next training session.
When a student asks a question (related to the technical, physical or mental aspects of 10 Meter Air Pistol Shooting) to a coach, the coach should provide a correct answer, based on the skill level of the student asking the question.
For example, “Sir, when I am about to shoot, I find that my pistol moves to the left of the target. Why does this happen and what should I do to correct this?
In case the student is a complete stranger, then the coach must first and foremost find out, how many months or years the student has been shooting.
If the answer is less than a year then the coach, based on his experience should address the following points;
- The shooters position and stance.
- Whether the student knows what the natural Point of Aim (NPA) is.
- Whether the shooter has warmed up correctly before the training session.
The above points – Stance & Position, NPA and Warming up Drills are aspects related to 10 Meter Air Pistol Basic Techniques.
However, if the shooter has been shooting for say two to three years and is say shooting above 560/600 then the inferences drawn by the coach may be as follows;
- Mental Focus on Trigger Follow through is missing.
If the coach, without finding out the skill level of the student, tells the shooter who has been training for less than a year – “You must mentally focus on trigger follow through”.
The reply will leave the student more bewildered and confused.
Therefore, a good 10 Meter Air Pistol coach must first and foremost, assess the skill level and maturity of the shooter before replying.
And it goes without saying that the coach himself should know the following;
- How to take a correct stance and position.
- How to get the correct NPA
- What warming up drills are.
- What mental focus on trigger follow through is.
10 Meter Air Pistol Coaching Knowledge Timeline.
A good coach must have a mental timeline in his mind. On this timeline, from the left to right, he must have all the knowledge necessary to take the student from a fresher, novice category to the end of the timeline (to the right) which is an Olympic Medallist or World Record holder.
For a club level coach, the extreme right end of the timeline may be the knowledge for taking the student up to the National level.
Next, he must have the ability to communicate this knowledge to the student in such a way (Training methodology) which enables the student to correct the faults.
Patience is the next most important quality a good coach must possess because no two students are the same; each student has a different learning curve. Some learn quicker than others, so the coach has to be patient with the slower learners and not make the mistake of comparing the two.
Since no two students are alike, the coach must be flexible and creative in providing the correct training methodology so that the interest of the students is brimming to the full.
A system for daily monitoring the progress of the student is absolutely essential so also is a system of measurement of the students’ inputs. Therefore, the coach must not only monitor each and every session of his students but he must also develop a system for measuring the progress or lack of it.
At Foresight Shooting 10 Meter Air Pistol Academy, the entire spectrum of knowledge which takes a member from the ‘beginner’ level to the Olympian heights is provided through graded 10 Meter Air Pistol Training Modules.
The progress of our members is measured and monitored on a daily basis via our Elite Members Group on whatsapp. Students post their daily session by session inputs. Corrections, encouragements and clarification of doubts are dealt with on a daily basis.
Further, face to face communication through video calling provides closer ties between coach and students.
Additionally, shooters from all over, train under my personal supervision through One to One training sessions in the academy’s shooting range.
Module 1: Basic Skills (Free)
Module 2: Technique for shooting a ’10’
Module 3: Training Methodology
Module 4: Advanced Training Methodology
Module 5: Mental Skill
Module 6: Mental Shot Program