Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 40
FEATURE | ALONE
competition with each other along with a
consequence, just as you've done in practice.
This helps make the real thing feel less
daunting and more comfortable, because it's
familiar and enjoyable. You're still just shooting
with your friend!
What if this all sounds like a great idea, but
there is no one in your area who fits the bill?
Use technology to work around the physical
distance. Find someone in a similar situation
as yourself. Perhaps you met at a competition,
or an online forum. Arrange practice times
and use Skype or Facetime to simulate realtime training alongside your partner. Hold
each other accountable. If possible, keep in
touch during competitions if you aren't both
physically there. While this might be more
difficult to maintain than a local partner, it's
more doable now than it's ever been.
Whether you are lucky enough to have
someone at your own club or not, remember
to keep it fun, supportive, accountable, and
challenging as you help each other improve! *
The walk downrange
to change targets is the
perfect time to collaborate
with your partner and
prepare for the next stage.
The author and her brother
Tarl at Camp Perry in 2012.
JULY 2017 | SSUSA.ORG
PHOTO BY LARS DALSEIDE
next time you're running short on time in a
real competition. Interrupt or intentionally
distract each other with random sounds,
calling out names, time left, etc. Identify your
weaknesses or areas you'd like to improve
and invent a way to make it a game with
your partner, putting some pressure on each
of you but keeping it fun at the same time.
Lastly, create consequences for the outcomes
of these games or drills. You can bet money
on the outcome to create real pressure, for
instance. Or the loser must clean up the range
or buy lunch. Choose something that matters
but doesn't feel like an undue burden. It's still
supposed to be fun!
A training partner's benefits will extend
to real competitions as well. You have an
established relationship of mutual support
and competition, so use it. During the match,
keep up the communication by sharing what's
working and what's not. Help each other with
any problems that may arise. Keep the fun
going by making your own personal bet or