Résumé de mon entrainement avec le préparateur olympique Daniel Goberville

Stand de tir à Creil, France

Cette année pour mon anniversaire je me suis offert une séance d’entrainement de pistolet à air (discipline olympique à 10m) avec Daniel Goberville à Creil (France), à peine à trois heures en voiture de chez moi. Il est le papa et préparateur de Céline Goberville (#2 dans le ranking mondial et médaille d’argent dans les Jeux Olympiques) et il à était aussi directeur technique de la sélection nationale française de tir.

La séance a été très intéressante et j’ai appris des choses qui vont m’aider. Juste le fait d’avoir pu parler avec lui de tir fut un plaisir.

Et en plus j’ai adoré le stand de tir de Creil Stand de tir à Creil

Ci-dessous les notes que j’ai prises pendant l’entraînement. J’espère qu’elles seront utiles, même avec mon français (corrections bienvenues).

Se concentrer sur le lâcher

  • Se concentrer sur le lâcher, c’est la partie la plus importante de la séquence de tir.
  • Lever mon bras avec plus de tonus, contrôler la levée et garder le poignet verrouillé.
  • Les organes de visée doivent être alignées quand je les contrôle une fois qu’ils sont sur la cible. Pas des corrections excepte pour le devers, mais sans jamais débloquer le poignet. Si les organes de visée ne sont pas alignées, recommencer la séquence.
  • Augmenter le poids de ma détente à 580 grammes (400g pour la première étape, 180g pour la deuxième). Pour un tireur expérimenté c’est 560g. Ma détente était tout juste dans les normes, mais je pourrais être disqualifié si jamais ça bouge un peu à cause des conditions atmosphériques ou du déplacement.
  • Jusqu’à avoir un niveau de 560/570 points en compétition, je dois me concentrer sur avoir tous mes tirs à l’intérieur du 9.
  • 9 fois sur 10 mon lâcher fait bouger le pistolet.
  • Respirer avec le ventre en levant le pistolet. Seulement une respiration par tir (je fais deux).
  • Bloquer la respiration quand on arrive à la bossette.
  • Le tir doit partir 6 à 8 secondes après ceci.
  • Je dois entraîner deux types de lâcher (il y en a un troisième en paliers mais je dois m’améliorer d’abord). C’est qui est important est le principe, pas les chiffres:
    • Progression décroissante: 40g, 40g, 40g, 20g, 20g, 10g, 5g, 5g chaque seconde.
    • Lâcher en continue: 20g, 20g, 20g, 20g…
  • La queue de détente ne bouge pas quand on augmente la pression, seulement quand le coup part. Je dois sentir la pression au bout du doigt.
  • Il ne faut pas chercher un 10 quand on va tirer, sinon travailler une zone qui va me permettre de passer sur le 10 le plus souvent possible (la pelote qu’on voit dans le SCATT).
  • Il faut se concentrer sur une seule chose par entrainement. Ceux-ci sont les cinq éléments principaux et quelques exemples d’entraînement:
    • Organes de visée:
      • Cible blanche, pas armé, ne pas tirer.
    • Prise en main et verrouillage:
      • Penser seulement au verrouillage, pas à la stabilité. Lever l’arme et se concentrer.
    • Lâcher:
      • Commencer par utiliser la plaque derrière les cibles (pas de récompense ni de menace). Se concentrer sur le lâcher sans points de référence.
    • Stabilité:
      • Utiliser un point sur le mur, pas de tir à sec. En dessous du point, comme si c’était la zone. Le plus petit le point, le plus difficile et le plus serré. Ajouter du travail physique pour développer les muscles. Cerveau vs corps.
    • Follow through:
      • Ceci ne fait que partie d’un entrainement, ce n’est pas un entrainement complet dédié.
  • Entraîner six jours par semaine, trois au pas de tir. Le pas de tir est pour tirer seulement. Faire les autres exercices à la maison en blocs de 15 à 20 minutes par jour.
  • On ne peut pas faire la compétition lors d’un entraînement, ni s’entraîner lors d’une compétition. Il y a un mur d’émotions qui sépare les deux:
    • Entraînement = apprentissage (conscient, contrôle)
    • Compétition = exécution (subconscient, lâcher prisse)
  • Ne jamais faire un match de 60 tirs lors d’un entraînement. Les seuls résultats qui comptent sont ceux des compétitions.
  • La saison est composée de périodes d’entraînement et de compétition.
  • Commencer toujours les entraînements avec le travail technique concentré sur un élément, faire des exercices de coordination à la fin. 80% technique, 20% coordination en période d’entraînement. 20% technique, 80% coordination en période de compétition.
  • On peut finir la séance d’entraînement avec une mini compétition avec quelques amis au club de tir.
  • 100 tirs en une séance. Exemple d’une séance de travail du lâcher:
    • 20 tirs sur plaque.
    • 20 tirs sur carton sans ramener la cible ou avec l’écran caché.
    • 20 tirs en ramenant ou avec l’écran visible (pas d’annonce des tirs, un peu plus de récompense et émotion). Il faut combattre le désir de la récompense, le but est de bien lâcher.
    • 20 tirs avec contrat. Concentration sur lâcher.
    • 20 tirs en duel contre quelqu’un. Même ici ce qui est important c’est le lâcher, pas les points.
  • Il faut rester maître de soi, faire ce qu’on veut quand on veut, ne pas se laisser traîner par menace (erreurs) et récompense (bons points).
  • Avec des tireurs expérimentés il travaille le lâcher avec 3 étapes: engager, continuité et décrochage.
  • On ne travaille pas la zone en elle-même, c’est le résultat du travail de stabilité.
  • Les compétitions mensuelles au club sont de l’entraînement, pas une vraie compétition (on tire quand on veut, en annonçant qu’on va tirer le mensuel).
  • Il faut faire le même échauffement pour compétition et entraînement dans une salle séparée, pas dans le pas de tir. Demander si on peut déballer l’arme dans cette salle.
  • Ajouter de la course à ma queue de détente pour ne pas faire action immédiate, progressif, a fur et à mesure que je descends.
  • Un an pour voir résultats des changements.

Ce que j’ai bien fait lors de cette séance: annonce de tirs, changer à une levée du bras plus tonique et contrôlée.

Rapid Fire Pistol Basics

4 shooters practicing rapid fire air pistol

Download the printable PDF 

The rapid fire pistol disciplines are lots of fun and very challenging: rapid fire with 5 targets, duel with 3 seconds to shoot and 7 between shots, standard with 5 shots in 10 seconds in the same target… I tried them out at first just to have a taste and now I’m getting knee deep. Precision air pistol is still my first and main love, but I have found that practicing and training different shooting disciplines end up helping each other out.

Thanks to rapid fire shooting I’ve improved my grip and trigger decisiveness. I’ve even managed to qualify for the national standard air pistol championship!

25m precision and rapid fire targets

My first lessons on rapid fire came from the air pistol director of my club, and from my friend and member of the national team Denis. From Denis session is where most of my knowledge comes from, expanded with a note from my former trainer, books, online reads, and my own experience.

  • Feet are a bit wider apart than in precision shooting. This helps with managing the recoil and also to raise the gun from 45 degrees.
  • Your grip has to be firmer than in precision shooting, this is a more dynamic discipline.
  • Train the movements first, without caring about time. Once you feel comfortable with them then you will start training withing the allotted times.
  • Wrist lock and trigger release make all the difference. Make sure that you don’t unlock the wrist between shots and don’t jerk the trigger.
  • Your upper torso is locked, you move the whole of it not your arm. You have to pivot on your hip.
  • Stop on your target and shoot. Never shoot while moving.
  • After your last target keep the movement as if you where to shoot an extra imaginary target.
  • Use a chronometer in the competitions and training for the one minute set-up time. You will internalize it a bit, but it is important to have the reference and not be caught off guard. At 55 seconds point to the target and hold it until the light turns red or the referee shouts ‘Attention’, then slowly lower the gun to 45 degrees and check that my lock and grip are good, always with your eyes on the target.
  • Get help from somebody or use a mirror to learn where your 45 degree is. Memorize the sensations so you always know where you are. Some people prefer to have their arm lower, it is up to you, but always memorize the sensations of the position.
  • When you are at 45 degrees, reach the break wall of the second stage of your trigger (no slack to catch up to later).
  • Raise your weapon in a controlled manner as fast as you can always looking at the target. As the pistol comes into view slow down until you reach your firing area and change focus to the sights. Don’t lower your eyes to look at the gun, it will slow you down.
  • If the target is the same as in precision shooting, don’t change your aiming, keep it under 6 o’clock. In the other cases, like when using the rapid fire five targets, aim your gun to the center. You will need to keep track of the clicks needed and in which direction to make sure that this transition is easy and error less.
  • Your sights should be aligned when you reach your aiming area (with a little bit of practice they will be!). You will develop a very strong memory of the feeling of your whole arm and hand.
  • Get used to shooting smoothly every time. It is easier to do when you are practicing without time.
  • Develop a shooting rhythm.
  • In multiple shot rapid fire disciplines, the first shot is the hardest and most important one, so give it more time than the rest. It is important to keep the sensation and memory of a good shot for the rest. Give it about 3 seconds.

I have not yet figured out which breathing is best for me (hold breath before raising or breath while raising).

To internalize and train the timing I use two Android apps Pistol Timer and 25m Pistol Timer. I may just listen to them while commuting or use them instead of a target to dry fire. I’ve also found an old phone I don’t use anymore that I want to use on top of a real target, but I have not gotten to test it yet (we have electronic targets with green and red lights for 25m at the range, we are missing the lights in the air stand electronic targets).

Is there anything you recommend or do differently?

Download the printable PDF

Long Distance Remote Training Has Not Worked for Me So Far

So far remote training has not really worked for me. I’ve had the chance to meet a great coach and to work with him in person once, but with the arrival of the new baby I have been unable to take a plane to bridge the 1800 km that separate us. It is like a long distance relationship, not easy to maintain.

I’ve learned a lot and really enjoyed having biweekly training plans like this one, but communication is not easy. Instant messaging and email are asynchronous by nature: it can take very long to have a full conversation. Things that could be solved in a minute or less in person take forever by text exchange and don’t always get solved.

You have to remember to take videos and pictures in every training, but these are usually from a single point of view. If you focus too much on the video recording you end up being too distracted for training. The whole set up can get too complicated. When you meet in person the trainer positions himself wherever he wants and can get a lot of information really quick.

So I’ve spoken with the coach and stopped our ongoing training. Whenever I travel back to Spain, I will meet him to train. He’s been very open and supportive troughout training and still is. I know I have an open door to ask questions and talk to him if needed.

What I’ve done now is relaunch my search for a local trainer or at least someone that is not too far away. I may have found a couple solutions at 1h and 3h drives and I’m really looking forward for a few sessions to see if there’s a good training match.

Have you been able to make remote coaching work? How?

Pistol Shooting Training Diary / Journal / Log (Free Download)

air-gun-targets-stand-sauvagere-shooting-range-brussels.

Download the pistol shooting journal/log/diary (printable PDF and Word)

I’ve been keeping my shooting stats from the first day I started shooting. Soon after, when I started to feel the addiction growing, I also started keeping a diary following the wise advise of Jean-Luc (my club’s air shooting director) and what I read in With Winning in Mind.

At the beginning I was just writting notes in a column of the spreadsheet I was using to track my stats, but it was hard to write on my mobile phone. Then I started writing a paper diary which allowed me to write more freely and to read more easily, but it was lacking structure. I downloaded a bunch of shooting journals from around the web and tried them, but they tended to be too cumbersome for me at the time.

When I decided to write my own pistol shooting diary I wanted it to:

  • Fit in one page
  • Have a simple structure with just a few sections that could encompass all that I thought mattered.

These are the sections I ended up including:

Header

It contains the administrative data, like name of the shooter (I’ve written my name in my document to have it always printed), if it is a training session or a competition, date… I keep track of when I start and end the session. I track how motivated I am. So far it has always been high except one day when I was really tired and I had not slept well in a while.

After I’m done wiht a competition I write three stress assesments for the beginning, middle and end (eg: 6/5/5). During training sessions I only write one stress assessment at the begining.

Goals

I always have at least one goal per session. If I reach it I add a check mark to the right of it. If I don’t reach a goal, I don’t make any marks.

Influences

Whatever I think may have an influence in the session. If there’s pain anywhere I write it here, and also medication, tiredness (I’ve just had a second baby, sleep is random at best), food, long drives…

Exercises

All the exercises I do including warming up at the beginning of the session and stretching at the end. I write the number of repetitions/shots or time first, then the type of exercise. For times I use ‘ for minutes (eg: 10’ warm up means I’ve warmed up for 10 minutes). For reps/shots I use an x (eg: 15 x Dry fire white target means I’ve done 15 dry fire shots using an all white target).

Problems and solutions

Every single problem that I may encounter I write down and follow it with a possible solution (even if it is just ‘research’). The focus is on seeing issues as problems that can be fixed and that you are going to address, not as personal failings.

Positive

Always include something positive about the training session in the journal.

Success Analysis

What happens with the solutions you’ve tried to problems you’ve found. If not successful, what are you going to try next?

If you need to write more, you always have the back of the page.

Downloads

You can download and print this shooting journal in two formats: Word and PDF.

If you just want to print it I recommend you use the PDF shooting journal. If you want to edit it and add your own modificaions I recommend the Word shooting diary.

Download the pistol shooting journal/log/diary (printable PDF and Word)

My First Pistol Cheat Sheets

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about how to train my technique and mind for pistol shooting. My notes are a bit too extensive and it is difficult to refer to them in training to make sure that I act upon a few points beyond the goals of my training session.

This is my first cheat sheet:

It includes a couple notes and exercises from the book “The Psyche of the Shot” and general reminders from my latest readings and exercises.

My second cheat sheet was born out of my competition last Saturday: I did not know how many clicks I had to do to set the pistol for the sighting shots when changing from precision to duel, and I also got the direction wrong:

I’m going to use this cheat sheet Wednesday or Friday to test the club’s .22lr guns and write a final cheat sheet with my recommended clicks for each weapon (I use a Hammerli 280 and an old Walter GSP).

What are your favorite pistol cheat sheets? What kind of papers and reminders to you like to carry with you to training?

Sport Pistol Is Now Olympic Pistol

A few days after creating this blog, I started having doubts about its name. I had originally called it Sport Pistol to highlight the sport part of the sport of pistol shooting, hoping that it would encompass all the disciplines I’m interested in. I then noticed that this was also the name of a single discipline and that it could be confusing.

With a lot of good domains that would have fit the philosophy of this site already taken, I’ve settled for Olympic Pistol. It does not encompass all the disciplines I like- it is namely missing free pistol- but I think it is generic enough to understand that we are talking about precision and rapid fire disciplines, mostly ISSF.

Thanks to Nikki Holmes for helping me solve my English shooting language issue!

Living with the Slump

The slump is tough. Since I got back from vacation my shooting stats have not improved. Some things have regressed, others are not getting better.

I’m training better than before, with a more structured approach with the help of a coach. My shoulder and arm strength have improved. Errors that used to be low, are now high, but still I can see no clear progress.

Getting back to shooting after the break was weird. It felt as if my body had forgotten all the routines and steps I was taking before. My memory of what it felt like to hold the pistol and to shoot it was gone. Only three weeks without shooting and I had to start again.

I expected that getting back to my previous shooting confidence and results would take three to four weeks. Then I started working with a trainer, which in my mind should have improved my results even faster. It has not been the case.

Working with the new trainer has been motivating and helpful. I know I have improved a lot of aspects of my performance, but others have suffered. So many things have changed that, together with the slump, I lost confidence in my feelings and sighting. Among other things I’ve changed grip three times, my stance, and the way I release the shots.

One of the reasons may be that I’m trying too hard, but still training should bring improvement.

This slump is really demotivating. Sometimes I shoot with rage against my poor performance. This leads to rushing and skipping steps, like holding after the shot to analyze. My phisical training is suffering because of this, but the core of the issue is mental. I’m stronger and have better balance: I have to improve my mental game.

The first thing to do is focus on the process, not the results. I have to concentrate on the basics and get that good feeling back. When you shoot a good shot you can feel it in your hand and arm, you know it is good no matter what the result is. Easier said than done.

From what I read, what I have to do is focus on the basics. That’s exactly what I have been doing. I do feel a bit more confident and think that my new way of holding the pistol is much better. I’ve taken a few days break and this has helped too. Having some colleagues at the club that also train hard is helpful. Having fun shooting bowling pins and 25m sport pistol does help too. Even though I want to do good in the last two, they are less demanding in my head, after all I’ve just started shooting them.

I’ve decided to also change the way I keep track of trainings in my diary, back to the positive style of the book With winning in mind. I had strayed from it writing only what I felt and keeping track of stress. Back to problem solving and success celebration mode.

My big competition is on the last weekend of January. I know I will do better then 🙂

My First Precision Air Pistol Training Program

Ramon at the range

After a shooting test to see my trends, my coach sent this as a first generic training to get going before we met (I live 1800 km away). There are two training programs, one for home and one for the range. I’ve blocked three days a week to go to the range. This is complemented with one day training at home (total 4 days of shooting training per week). Physical training is not included in this.

Home training plan

  • At least five minutes of body warm-up exercises and light stretching.
  • 20 dry fire shots using a small target as reference (a rifle target or a sticker) with feet together (to work on balance).
  • 20 dry fire shots with a pistol target alternating with eyes closed and open. Aim, close your eyes, pay attention to how you are gripping the gun and your wrist lock, then on your finger in the trigger. Remember the sensations and use on shot with eyes open.
  • 30 dry fire shots with a pistol target.
  • At least 10 minutes of stretching.

If you don’t have time to do all the shots, keep the proportions and reduce the total number of shots.

Range training plan

  • At least five minutes of warm-up and light stretching.
  • 24 shot warm-up: first dry fire with eyes closed, then dry fire with eyes open, then real shot.
  • 20 real shots or dry fire on a thick horizontal line (to work on a problem of my rear sight having a slight tendency to drop to the left).
  • 40 shots on pistol target: for each shot under 9 two dry fires.
  • 6 hold exercises: use a thick marker on the 3 line of a pistol target. Place the target 3 meters away from you (as you get better, increase to 4 meters). Do your aiming routine and, when you arrive to the space between the line you sketched and the black portion of the target, slowly lower your gun without touching either of them and keeping your aim. When you arrive to the bottom, breath a few times holding your aim and then slowly raise your gun around the other side. Do this alternatively clockwise/counterclockwise 3 times each side (a total of 6 times).
  • At least 15 minutes stretching.

Evaluation

After two weeks of training, do a 40 shot control and evaluate. My results of the test and meeting the trainer where that I need to work on my balance, the strength of my shoulder and the lock of the wrist.

My Shooting Stats Tracking Spreadsheet

Luckily for me my shooting range has air pistol electronic targets connected to a printer. Following the advice of Jean-Luc, from my very first day I’ve kept a copy of my results everytime I’ve shot a 60 shot competition in training.

After a while, as my addiction to pistol shooting grew, I decided to keep track of these stats in a spreadsheet. Namely to make sure that I never lost them, that I had quick access to them anywhere, and hoping that I would be able to get some useful insights from them.

The stats

Following what is said in the book The Psyche of the Shot: Sport Psychology and Competition that I’m reading, to increase the psychological pressure of my trainings I’ve decided to make my shooting stats public.

Sorry for the mix of languages. I’m sticking to English now.

Evolution tab

The first tab you will find is a series of graphs and averages to help me visualize progress.

Progress graphs

The top two graphs show the same data in different ways. I’ve not yet decided for one or the other. They are based on the averages per day of shooting. Somedays I’ve shoot once, some up to 5 times (yes, over 300 shots).

Averages

Underneath on the left side you will see The averages of my last 30, 20, 10 and 5 competition shots (by competition I mean 60 shots, training or during a real competition). Green, means better than before; orange, same as before; red, worst than before. The decimals are rounded, this color scheme gives quick insight without having to read long numbers.

White target groupings

This graph tracks my white target exercises: I use the back of a paper target and shoot 10 shots focusing on the sights where it feels natural. Then I use a transparent scoring sheet to see how tight is the grouping. The numbers correspond to the equivalent outer ring of the target.

Air 10m tab

This is the tab that has more data so far. I’ve only started shooting with a .22 a few weeks ago and have not really started training with it: I just shot a box of ammo the first day, and then participated in a 20 shot interclubs competition the second day.

I’ve written down a lot of information. Some of it I think is irrelevant now for my level, like pellets. I think that when you are starting your skills are not good enogh to have a really small difference in the pellets matter. Keeping a list of the ammo that does not work at all is usefull.

X are inner 10. S1 through S6 are the averages. Then you have total points and shooting average per 10. After that I track ear protection and the kind of competition (mensuel is the monthly competition within my club). The notes contain a mix of notes and the beginnings of my shooting diary (which is now a separate paper notepad).

Interclubs Air

Results of air pistol Interclubs competitions. This is a small regional competition where we only shoot 20 competition shots.

The test tab is just to check that the number I write in Total and the sum of the series are the same. This helps me detect errors.

Interclubs 22

Same as before but with a .22 gun. I need to add a lot of info here for my first competition. I only started the page and added the results.

White target

Tracking of my white target exercises. The graph is the same I keep on the Evolution tab.

Carabine Rond 2 30,5

This is an exercise available on the air pistol electronic targets. I shoot with a paper target for pistol, but the scores (1 or 0) are for shooting inside the black part of a rifle target. This is the equivalent of a 9. I did the same exercise with a pistol setting, but I got 100%.

After shooting a few 60 shots series I got bored of this exercise, so I reduced it to three series. This is why you see a three series percentage (3 %) and six series percentage (6 %). I don’t want to loose the data, but I don’t know what to do with it.

Pellets

The pellets I’ve tested so far. Just stay away from Gamo and Norica and you’ll be fine.

Guns

The guns I’ve used. When you see a ‘La defense’ number it means that it is a club gun that I use. Until I bought my airgun I shot with different guns to see which ones I like the best. My favorites are Walther, Hammerli and Steyr. I still have to add the .22 guns. I don’t know if I’ll do it in the same tab or in a new one.

Progress

As you can see, I’m currently a bit stuck, but things are getting better and all the new things I’ve added to my shooting technique are starting to feel good. Better results will follow soon 🙂

Do you track your scores too? Do you have ideas on how to improve my stats and get better insight? Share them in the comments!