Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Tjenar" from Sweden!

I just got back from picking blueberries; they are right out our door and the forest is filled with them. Tomorrow is our day off and pancakes (American style) are for breakfast.

It is great to be back in Sweden, and not just because of the blueberries. We've been here since Saturday and have put in a few days of solid training on Ostersund's rollerski loop and biathlon range. This is the same venue that I have, and will, race at later in December at the start of this winter's World Cup season. Thus, familiarity with the hills and range is a plus. And there is no better way to really learn about a venue than to race on it. This coming weekend is full of it with a cross-country race Friday evening, a Sprint on Saturday and a Pursuit on Sunday. In addition to our team, there will also be the Swedish National Team, a junior Norwegian squad, and some local athletes.

Its also great to be back at a camp with the rest of our team and coaching staff. We're a small group this time; an environment which will lend itself to a lot of individual coaching. This is quite an advantageous opportunity, and one in which I have been looking forward to because I have had a difficult summer of shooting. In the grander scheme of shooting, I have learned a lot in the past two years, so am patient with these ups and downs in shooting performance. But lately, I've been at a loss for how to figure out what is wrong with my shooting. Until, I got to Sweden. Each shooting session so far has been super saturated with advice, ideas, suggestions, ways of doing a number of things better, more efficient, quicker and new drills that have helped me to evolve out of the rut I was in. I am not there yet, but finally have, and feel, the moments of brilliance in shooting that give the confidence, affirm your process and urge you to continue.

Our training schedule is rather normal, even with the transatlantic flight this weekend. Monday started with shooting drills and technique specific combo session, followed that afternoon with a run and then SCATT (laser shooting computer program). We are living in small apartments, Camp Sodergren, right at the venue. It takes just a few minutes to roll down to the range in the morning, and only moments after the training ends you can get in a snack, shower and stretch. This is the first big international camp of the year so it is also good to get back into the routine of traveling, being in a foreign country, and at a training camp. Not to mention, remembering the key items that keep one sane on long trips like enough books and projects. I brought a long some baking supplies this time and thanks to my friend Jen some good muffin recipes too.

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