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You achive stability through balance, statics, conscious relaxation and through shooting attire. A stable shooting position is steadier and offers greater resistance to the shot.
Our thoughts have a stubborn character. We can hardly steer them away from something. Should, for example, a light panic take hold of us during a competition, our mind would clutch the nega-tive pictures and fears. As with stubborn children, however, a trick can help to release this fixation. The knack lies in captivating the thoughts with a different topic. Sensibly enough in sports, these are subject matters that benefit the action- Such as breathing or certain, technical details. Whoever concentrates on the balance and statics of his shooting position automatically forgets everything negative. Try it with your next panic attack. Simply think of your next shot, and the bad thoughts will disappear, as of their own accord.

The stability of your standing shooting posi-tion only affects the steadiness of your stance. Furthermore, it has a considerable influence on the gun's deflection when a shot is tired. When your stance is firm and your body parts are braced together, your smallbore rifle will not jump nearly as much, upon releasing a shot, as when your stance is relaxed. With an air line, this difference is not so noticeable, but it has an equally strong effect on your shooting accuracy. A solid shooting position "absorbs" minor mistakes, when a shot is released, because the position's stability offers greater resistance to such impulses.
A vital factor in the stabilization of the shooting position is the shooting attire. Jackets and trousers made of stiff canvas envelope the body like a casing and thus absorb many disturbances resulting from your swaying, mistakes with the release and the recoil of the gun. Consequently, your movements increase considerably when you shoot without a jacket, and the deflection of your rifle is far greater when you fire a shot.

Shooting without a jacket or even without trousers and shoes is an excellent way to per-ceive and improve the stability of your shooting position. Before beginning your normal shooting, you should fire ten to 20 shots without your usual shooting garb in order to preserve your sturdiness.
Increased sturdiness is achieved through various measures, that are taken one after the other. so tliat the rirle is ultimately steady and stable.

1. Balance: As explained in part one, you should make sure 
   that your weight is equally distributed over your heels 
   and toes.
2. Statics: Weight is placed on your bones and joints. 
   Muscular tension is reduced as much as possible.


3. Breathing: Breathe deeply from the stomach and let 
   yourself "sink together". While you sink several 
   millimeters in yourself, your sta-bility increases 
4. Inward rotation: When you turn your shoulders toward 
   the target, the mucles and tendons of your upper body 
   stiffen. Find the right extent here which must always be 
   the same. When you breathe out and relax, your torso 
   stabilizey even more.


5. Feel the shot: Concentrate on the impulse upon releasing 
   a shot and observe the deflec-tion of the muzzle 
   (maintain your hold!). 
   Try to increase resistance by modifying your shooting 
   position and muscular tension intuitively.
6. Release: Your stability is right, when nothing more 
   occurs with the shot release than a small jump which is 
   caused by the system. After the shot, the front sight 
   should exactly return to the center.

Following this practice, you should put on your shooting jacket. You will be amazed how much stability your shooting position gains by this. Since you practically shot "undressed" be-fore, you had to work more carefully and neat-ly. This training experience will have clearly
improved the precision of your preparation.

Shots fired without a jacket are also naturally I allowed during trial shooting before a match. They draw your attention to the technique and give you additional confidence after you put on your jacket.
Heinz Reinkemeier

Copyright 1998-2001.
ISSF International Shooting Sport Federation. All rights reserved.


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