The Goal

The Goal

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Two and a half things

One evening after only a few ales, very wise friend of mine once remarked "You can only do two and a half things well at a time."

This immediately struck me as an enormously smart thing to say for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it states that there's a limit to the number of things you can do well at any one time. Secondly, it implies that the limits of your ability are not quite as simple to define as it might appear at first glance. Finally and perhaps most importantly, it recognises that when you don't do something well, you'll either not do it all or you risk doing a half-arsed/assed* job of it.

This observation is important to rifle shooters because the vast majority of us are amateurs who to work in addition to training for our sport and managing our lives outside shooting. We have to decide which two and a half things to focus on.

Here I have good news and then again, I have some bad news.

The bad news is that if you've not either incredibly talented or you've already achieved a high level of competence, then you have to make shooting one of the two things and not a "half" or a "no" thing if you want to make significant and sustainable progress. For the vast majority of us whose initials are not GCDB there really isn't a good substitute for quite a bit of hard work in training and on the range. This quite naturally has consequences for the other things that you do in your life. Some significant others may object to you SCATTing in the living room while they watch Criminal Minds over the top of you lying on vaguely doggy-smelling shooting mat.

The good news is that compared to, say, marathon running or rowing, the amount of actual training you need to do is comparatively light. For example, to complete a marathon in under 4 hours (i.e. Marginally better than only half as fast as Mo Farah) you need to run about 30 - 40 miles per week (including one long run of 16 - 20 miles) which works out at about 6 hours per week of running at the appropriate pace. The top endurance athletes run well over 100 miles per week, albeit at a much faster pace than 09:00 minutes per mile, on top of which they spend numerous hours in the gym working on their core strength, flexibility and running form. If you spend even two hours on SCATT, an hour on visualisation and another hour or two on a bit of cardio and light weights, you will be streets ahead of most other fullbore shooters and are likely to make significant performance gains as a result.

Pick your two and a half things wisely.

* Delete as appropriate according to preference, cultural heritage etc...

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