Thursday, August 20, 2009

Every Second Counts: typical slowfire shooting session

This morning I spent some time on the range doing 1-shot prone drills.

Taking only one shot at a time narrows the focus to just the set up process (getting into position), my breathing to the first shot (kind of like yoga, you have to breathe with every movement) and the 1st shot (a combination of breathing, a short hold on the target just before the shot, and the subtle pull of the trigger and the hit of the target). Per kept time throughout each shot giving me by-the-second updates throughout each shot of the process with the goal of reaching the optimal speed in all parts. This doesn't necessarily mean the quickest speed, but rather moving in the most efficient way. Getting into position is relatively quick - 10 seconds or so - and the time to the next shot can take almost half or the same amount of time depending on how hard I was just skiing beforehand and how well I can control my breathing. Fast forward to racing this winter - save 4 seconds per stage in a Sprint (prone and standing) that amounts to 8 free seconds. This does not seem like a lot, but the women's field is competitive and 1st to 60th is often only different by a few minutes. Every second counts.

On any given day there are three ways of shooting: dryfire (without live rounds, usually done at the OTC gym in the morning, with the purpose of working on the process of shooting and visualization) slowfire (shooting at the range without a heart rate, a wide variety of drills that accentuate different parts of shooting and enable a shooter to focus on and improve speed, accuracy, position and precision) and combo (done either running, but mostly skiing with low to high heart rate). Tomorrow - an easy combo workout before this weekend's races.

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