Tactical Pointers

This Is How the Shooting
Champions Do

Sonja Benčina

Feb 1, 2021

It has become almost a tradition in the shooting sport for the coaches to promote the writing of performance journals, on the one hand, and for the young shooters to resist and never do it, on the other. Sometimes the coaches can’t present the shooters with good enough reasons for taking notes after each practice. Sometimes they don’t insist on including dedicated time for writing after each practice. And almost always, the young shooters will happily forget all about their shooting diaries.

The best world shooters are no exception to this unwritten rule. However, what separates them (and, in time, makes them better than average?) is that they try out everything that might help them. They reflect on the advantages and the disadvantages, then decide for themselves. Here is what shooting legend, eight-time Olympian and shooting champion Rajmond Debevec says on discovering the potential of taking notes.

“When I was an aspiring junior shooter at the beginning of my shooting career, my coach kept telling me to diligently write down everything I could think of after each practice. I must say I was against this idea. I didn’t see any sense and had no joy in noting anything else besides my scores and besides drawing statistical graphs – if they pointed upwards, of course.

But as a good pedagogue, my coach also encouraged me to think with my own head. This is why I quickly began understanding that it is sometimes clever to leaf through your old notes and that they come in handy when things don’t go the way you wish and plan.

Today, I am eternally grateful that he kept pushing and insisting. After long years, my sports shooting “library” now holds countless notebooks, pads, even single sheets when I had nothing else close at hand. They are full of notes with present-day value. For example, when I take a break and have to polish my technique in the first months of a new season. Or in the competition period when I am thousands of kilometres away from home, preparing for an important match, and deciding for the best tactics regarding the expected changes in wind during the time of the competition – and am lucky enough that I competed at the same range two years ago and patiently noted down all the good and bad conditions.

Živa and Sonja have my congratulations for their excellent idea, but also for realizing it and publishing their Shooting Notes that will allow sports shooters to systematically record all of the important and useful parameters for their personal (and the coach’s) monitoring and preparation for practices and competitions.

Extremely useful – I would recommend Shooting Notes to everyone from the youngest to the most experienced shooters.”

Rajmond Debevec writing shooting analysis into his performance log

Rajmond Debevec (1962) is a Slovenian top-level shooter. Having competed at the Olympic games a total of eight times, he won gold in 50 m 3P at the 2000 Sydney OG, bronze in 50 m 3P at the 2008 Beijing OG and bronze in 50 m prone at the 2012 London OG. He held the world record in 50 m 3P for more than twenty years until the change of rules in this event. With 115 medals from the highest-level championships, he is the world’s most successful shooter of all times.

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