I was only 13 years old when I learned the most important lesson I’ve ever learned about air pistol shooting. If you truly want to improve your scores, you can’t “just shoot”. You have to practice.
You have to really concentrate on what you do on the range and at home. The fun part is competing as you can just relax and let everything you’ve learned in practice just happen.
Air pistol training is firstly learning the right techniques. Right doesn’t necessarily mean something that other people tell you. More important than doing things like others do is to do them the way you feel comfortable. Of course there are guidelines and best practices that are universal. But there also is plenty of things you can adjust according to your own liking.
When you’re practicing air pistol techniques, you should practice only one thing at a time. Stance, grip, aiming and pulling the trigger are the main elements but they can be divided into more detailed processes. For every practice session you choose an element you’ll concentrate on.
There are two main reasons why you practice only one thing at a time.
1. Air pistol shooting is fairly complicated process as there are a lot of little things that are happening simultaneously. If you’re not concentrating on one single thing, there’s just no way you can perfect your process because your brain can’t register all the things that happen during a shot.
2. To be able to shoot easily in a competition you have to have your shot process stored into your muscle memory. You know of course that muscles grow when you rest after a workout. The same thing applies to muscle memory. If you first practice one thing and the another on a same session, your muscles remember only the last thing you were practicing. Muscle memory won’t develop for the first thing.
I started air pistol shooting when I was 12 years old and I soon made it to the Finnish national junior team. Then I stopped for many years but came back few years ago. In my first competition I shot only 543 and my old shooting buddies were asking if I had some problems with my weapon. Then I remembered the most important truth about air pistol training, designed a training schedule for myself and three months later I shot 575 and 577.
So I know what I’m talking about when I say: You can’t just shoot, you have to practice. If you want to learn more about air pistol training, go and claim your copy of my Free Air Pistol Training Tips eBook. You’ll find it at www.airpistoltraining.com.