British Pentathlon - Performance

Shooting Training

The Structure of your Shooting Training byBernie Moss

I would like you to structure your shooting training in the following way.

I would like you to shoot live on the range at least once a week and back this up with a minimum of two and a maximum of three dry firing practice sessions. The structure of these sessions so go as follows:

Dry Fire

Dry fire for twenty minutes

Having established the correct aiming mark height, stand close up to the wall raise, pause and lower your gun as per the ?Work Cycle?, when the sights are aligned in the aiming area just concentrate on the ?notches?, trigger squeeze and follow through. This should not be rushed, but each shot should be performed with the maximum concentration and minimum movement when squeezing the trigger.

As an aid to the dry firing I want you to do your specific muscle exercises. This is the roll-ups and shoulder exercises. To perform the shoulder exercises get your coloured bungee and put one end under your front foot. Be sure to set a suitable level of resistance, sufficient to improve your strength but not too high as to cause muscle damage. Remember light/medium resistance, with frequent repetition for ?slow twitch muscle strength.

Adopt your correct shooting pose or stance and grasp the other end of the bungee with your shooting hand. In your normal shooting stance raise your arm as you would to shoot, pausing as you would and gradually lower the arm to the shooting position, stop and hold it, then control it down to the rest position. Repeat this in reps of 5-10 and sets of 1-3 and as this becomes easier increase reps and sets progressively and when you can do five sets of fifteen reps then reduce the rest time between sets. Once you have developed to this level you can go on to a maintenance programme. (Speak to me when you reach this point).

To perform the roll-ups use an empty milk or squash container (Partially filled with water) with some string attached one end to the container and the other to a piece of dowel (round wood). The string needs to be long enough to allow the container to reach the floor when the arms are held out straight parallel to the floor at shoulder height. Repetitions are achieved by rolling up the container (alternate hand rotations) until it reaches its maximum height then pause and lower down in the reverse manner under control.

You should aim to build up the reps and sets over the weeks from a starting point of 1-3 reps and 3-4 sets. As this becomes easier increase the reps and sets and then put more water in the container, then reduce reps and sets as you get stronger increase the reps and sets again (Anyone who does not get the idea then contact me). As with the shoulder exercises, you will get to a level where you will go on to a maintenance programme.

Live Shooting

Your live shooting should take place once a week and be structured in the following manner:

  • One structured training shoot (details below)
  • One performance check (2x20 shot matches)
  • One structured training shoot
  • One performance check (1x20 shot match) scores to be sent to NDC

If your shooting sessions are structured the way I have laid out below then you will be able to get the maximum benefit from each session. You are not able to concentrate at a sufficiently high level for a long period of time without a break. The longer the session goes on, the worse our concentration gets and the more mistakes we are likely to make and if we practice making these mistakes we get good at them.

We cannot do one thing in training and expect something better in a competition (you do not train at running or swimming at one level and then expect to compete at another level in competition). Hence when you are shooting training, to get the maximum benefits, you need blocks of time concentrating and a period of rest between each.

When starting a new training session the suggested maximum period of concentration is 20-25 minutes at the most productive level, followed by a ten minute break. As you continue after the break you carry some residual effects of the previous concentration efforts with you, you are not as fresh. Therefore your next period of concentration should be 15-20 minutes, followed by a fifteen minute break. In the same way the final period should last 15 minutes then pack up and go home. Anything that you want to achieve should be done in this period.

This structured training should be what is termed ?in the separates?. This involves breaking down the individual physical parts of each shot and focusing on these parts for some time during the shoot.

The parts are:

  • Yoga breathing, arm raise to the top of the arc and lower to the top of the target
  • The breathing and controlled take up of the first trigger pressure
  • The prompt word/phrase/thought sight picture and slow controlled descent to the aiming point.
  • Sight picture, squeeze of trigger, follow through and visualisation.

If the first 10 minutes is spent performing number 1 and the second 10 minutes is spent in performing number 2. Then you have your first break of ten minutes. Then you perform number 3 for 10 minutes and number 4 for 10 minutes and have your second break for fifteen minutes. Then you spend 15 minutes combining all the separates then pack up and go home.

During this type of session the only important thing is the way you perform your technique and not the score. It is advisable to record what you are doing as you do it so that at the end of each session before you leave the range you know what went well and what requires working on. You can then set out your aim for the next session. You may consider that this is more effort on your behalf, but it will concentrate your mind on what you are doing with your shooting and will improve your competition shooting scores.

The first performance check should follow a twenty shot match, a ten minute break and then the second twenty shot match.

The second performance check is a twenty shot match with individual shots recorded and the scores sent to the NDC.

It is time to get away from the perception that as modern pentathletes in this country we can run and swim but cannot shoot. You are all in a position to have received the best shooting training information and knowledge in this country, based on the best practice of the leading medal winners in international shooting competition. The sport of modern pentathlon has not been in this position before with its youth athletes. You all owe it to yourselves to take advantage of this for your own performance improvement. Attached is a document which you may find helpful in your training.



Selection Competition 1 more...


Granville Jones more...


National Triathlon Championships more...


Selection Policy 2008 more...


National Triathlon Championships more...


Sealions & Whitgift Competition more...


Olympic Hopes Results more...


Olympic Hopes 3 more...


Olympic Hopes 2 more...


Olympic Hopes 1 more...