In This blog article, I am listing out some of the incredibly stupid things some coaches and senior shooters tell their students to follows. I will also provide you the reasons why I call these exercises as ‘stupid’.
- Holding with Bricks, Water Bottles for hours
This is a very popular practice followed by most shooters, specifically in India, propagated by half-baked coaches.
Shooting is a mental sport, requiring very fine neuromuscular control of the arm, wrist, and muscles of the hand. It also requires tremendous eye/hand/ spatial balance co-ordination and concentration. It is just like threading a needle.
It is the difference between a neurosurgeon wielding a scalpel and a blacksmith hefting the hammer in the forge.
‘Holding’ for hours with bricks and water bottles is akin to the blacksmith hefting the hammer.
Secondly, shooting is a mental sport which requires tremendous mental discipline. When the sights come into the aiming area, the top-level shooters mentally discipline themselves to focus on a single thought process – which is to execute shot follow through.
Precisely like the neurosurgeon who focuses his mind to make that fine small cut with his scalpel. At the moment of making the cut, what do you think will happen if the surgeon starts thinking about his electricity bill.
While ‘holding’, what does the student think?
After getting bored doing a few holdings, the mind of the shooter will drift to other entertaining thoughts, like the latest movie, time out with his girlfriend, etc. As a result, his mind will get into the habit of flitting from one thought to another instead maintaining the mental discipline to focus on one single thought for a long period of time.
When the same shooter picks up his pistol, undoubtedly, he will be able to hold the pistol steady but will he be able to maintain the same steadiness of mind?
Finally, hours and hours of holding leads to serious injuries which may lead the shooter to give up the sport altogether. The most common injuries due to excessive holding are related to the cervical column, specifically the neck region. The other common injury is the tennis elbow and frozen shoulder.