Ear Trump – et?

Why should I mention the great man? Well, on Radio 4 the other day, there was a piece on the Donald, (who is eligible to shoot for Scotland incidentally), talking at Davos, that annual jolly of those who I suppose actually run the world.

As we would say in Scotland, “he’s no daft” although many would suggest that he was, but the reviewer was pointing out that he altered his tone and his words to suit his audience. So, at Davos, very quiet, very reasonable, very suitable for speaking to the band of world leaders who really want to keep the peace and keep making plenty of loot. Sod the masses of course, unless they can be used to what – yes you’ve got it – make plenty of loot.

Now, why all this tale? Well the aforementioned reporter used a rather good phrase – “the ear of the beholder.” Normally it’s always the eye of the beholder we go on about, and, I suppose, in a visually oriented sport like shootin’ that’s quite understandable.

But the ear of the beholder matters plenty too and one of the things I have to assess and reassess constantly is what I’m saying, and is it making any sense to the listener. Words are just that and it’s playing with them, changing them, moving them around, trying to get on the same wavelength as a client that is so important. Sometimes, in fact often, someone will say something to me which makes such perfect sense that I wish I had thought of it -and then, irritatingly, I often forget it. Having had a good kicking in that department last week I intend, in future, to note the words down quickly. Then I might be better.

You will, I hope, appreciate, that it’s not for the lack of trying, it’s just that, as I don’t know what anybody else sees, I don’t know what they, not so much hear – as, I suppose, they hear the words, – but how do they assimilate those words. Register them. Specially when they are shooters and “hauf deef” anyway. ‘Sno easy this coaching game, but, together, we will make ourselves great again – as Donnie might say. But maybe not in Davos, or maybe not using that language of his mother.

That’s Life.

But not Esther Rantzen’s version. Sitting, musing in Malaga, as one does, Steve McQueen’s, famous – or maybe not – phrase came to mind.

Now, of course, as it’s me, I have to alter it a bit. But Stevie lad said, or something along these lines, – “it’s all racing, everything else is just waiting.” How true. So, in my happy case, it’s all hunting, everything else is just waiting. Spot on.

That can be adapted to shotgun competition of course too. Which maybe brings me to another important thing to remember – and this contradicts the above – and that is “Live in the now.” I remember Jimmy Connors, who was a pretty famous tennis player for those of you who don’t remember, saying that the greatest thing about the big matches was that all he had to do at that time was “play tennis.”

This then goes in a circular way to the previous post about “shoot the technique.” And that’s all you have to do. “Just shoot” is the best possible advice, but oh my golly, there’s so much in those few words. But start to make that your mantra and see where it takes you.

Good hunting.


Viva España.

Yes. Like everyone else – or over 200 “elses” – I was in Malaga. Shooting this time. Not Ibex or Barbary Sheep although they need to be attended to in due course, but Olympic Trap targets. Quite a few of them as there are five layouts, so, each day, I managed a few rounds. Not as many as I would have liked as, interestingly, I find OT much more tiring than Skeet. Probably because I’m only learning how to shoot it. How can I put that better? I know the how, but it’s not engrained within me yet. Yet. So, all I have to do, as I keep telling people is – “shoot the technique.”

Now, I’ve been accused, maybe too strong a word, in the past of that phrase being too simplistic. “Its not enough.” Well I don’t think so you see, so I’ll keep doing that small thing. A work in progress.

Watch this space.

Now I’m going out on a bit of a limb here, but I’m thinking that this website – above – will be worth a look and a listen.

Coming home early from the shooting ground, due to manflu, I caught a snippet about the site and thought that it sounded interesting. So, have a look. Have a listen and ponder what’s in it. It’s all about coaching and high level coaching at that. Must be good.

As are we. Night night. Thank goodness for Ibuprofen.

Same old, same old.

Been stalking this morning in the -7/-8 temperatures. Very enjoyable, of course, although I forgot my heavy jacket – which I had brought in from the truck to air. However, being a shooter, I have a truck load of others so all was well – even if no deer.

All of the above can be ignored, but it leads up to the fact that I am sitting here at noon watching “The Daily Politics” and the rigmarole of the Cabinet reshuffle, with input from a number of correspondents.

So, to my point. What does the new chairperson (I suppose) of the Conservative Government have to do???? Wait for it. Fanfare now.


Ooooooo, what a giggle. But it’s nice that it’s not the SCTA or STS or whatever. Obviously even the great powers need members. I might keep an eye on the new person and see what they try. Then we shooters can apply that too.


Add .com to that title and you will enter the website of the great man.

How and ever, I am having a great challenge. Nothing new there. And that challenge? Well, it’s a use of language thing. What does “sport agnostic” mean? Of course I’ve researched it and there are a number of mentions in a number of contexts. It really just means that I am struggling to get my head round it. I will of course. Eventually. Of course.

I recommend going into the site as there’s a lot in it. One of the little snippets was along the lines of “there are lots of tenths of seconds lying around on the floor.” Fantastic. Brailsfordish indeed. Obviously all great minds do think alike.

Be good.

Wobble trap?

Coaching. Yesterday. Proper coaching actually with a highly experienced shooter. Great. Just what a chap wants to be doing.

We hear plenty about “vision control” nowadays as if it was something new. Of course it isn’t or shooters from whatever era wouldn’t have done what they did. Maybe the chaps with the matchlocks weren’t so conscious of keeping their eyes still right enough. More likely keeping their eyes shut waiting for the bang. But I digress.

The challenge yesterday was keeping the eyes still, and, after much discussion a plan was hatched. Proper coaching, as I say. The answer? Easy peasy.

Instead of putting Optrex, or whatever eye potion in before starting, we would use super glue! Simple but effective. Indeed why did nobody think of it before? And what better way to control one’s vision if one’s eyes are literally glued to the hold point? Fantastic.

I suppose in 2018 I should say, don’t try this at home!!!

Life goes on.

0900. 3rd January 2018. The phone rings. Aghast. It’s the yoof.

“Well darling boy, long time no hear.”

”Shurrup ya old goat (nothing changes), I’ve been studying an’ stuff.”

”Not English anyway.”

”Listen, will you Shurrup? Ahvepassedmatest.”

”Paternity? Maternity? Intelligence? Any of the aforementioned?”

”Aaaagh. You are an old goat. Madrivintest. How stupid can you be? Anyway I’m comin’ to get ya.”

”Oh, and to what do I owe the pleasure? Are you missing me?”

”Don’t be stupid. That’s just stupid. Why would I miss you? I need you to press the buttin (sic). I’m shootin Skeet now. I need you to buttin.”

”Ah well, nice to be wanted.”

”Shurrup and get yer stuff. I’ll be there in a minnit.”

Duly, the apparition arrives. I believe “street cred” might be the title applies to the vehicle. Chrome. More chrome. Funny wheels. Tinted windows. Noisy exhaust. Very low. Horrible. I struggle to get in. The seats are tiny, and shaped for tiny people. Horrible.

”Well, where did you get this tub?”

“Tub? Tub? Are you mad? This is the best machine around. Goes like mad. Listen to it. Listen to the sound system.” Noise fills the atmosphere up to cloud level.

”Aaaagh. Turn the bloody thing down. I’m deaf enough already. What a bloody racket.”

”Birds love it.”

”Only deaf ones.”


Duly, we arrive at the range and I “buttin.” Now, of course he can shoot so it’s all really quite enjoyable. However, eventually, something catches my attention.

”That’s interesting.”


”Those cartridges. Unusual name.”

”What name?




He looks suspiciously.

“You really are an old goat. How stupid can you get?”


”It’s not Proones ya silly old goat. It’s PRO ONES. PRO ONES. HULL PRO ONES. “

Shaking his head, he storms off. I chuckle.

Happy new year one and all.

Tough words.

Slightly paraphrased to suit!

“Some shooters in this country, are equally as skilful (as those abroad) but, when it comes to it, how are they mentally?

Its a tough ask because they won’t cope with the demands (the big guns/they) face every day just to lead the life – diet, nutrition, preparation, concentration, drive, resilience.”

Strong statement, but true. You’ll never guess who said this, but if you want to try I’ll give you a pound if you get it right. Now, how’s that for festive spirit?

More to the point, how do you, your pals, those you coach match up to the words – from a hugely respected international coach incidentally? Something to consider dear reader. Something to consider.

Points to ponder

So, just to beef up some of the questions I raised below. About the World Championships that is. The 2017 competition was in New Delhi. No problemo (as they say in Achiltibuie) there, as they have huge, permanent ranges out there. The Karni Singh ranges as I recall, named after a famous shooter. I think he was a rifle shooter. A full bore shooter actually. But I digress.

The previous one, in 2014, was in Grenada in Espagnol, or is it Espana (as they say in Rhynie) but I do ken (or know) that Grenada didn’t last long and I think is now mostly shut.

The 2013 World Shotgun Championships were in Peru. Handy.

What’s all this about? Politics of course. Nothing wrong with that, but is it sustainable? How many ranges have been built and then bitten the dirt? And, at what cost to the country?

It’s the same with the ‘limpics. What’s the answer? Well, unsurprisingly, I have it. There is an Olympic stadium built somewhere in the world. Greece maybe. Don’t recoil in horror. I do know about Greece’s financial woes. That is irrelevant. How? Well, what happens is that there is an Olympic stadium, with all the ancillary stadia round about, built. What then happens is that for each ‘limpic cycle, whichever country won the bid maintains it. A full time team of super dooper ‘limpic organisers are on site permanently – not the well meaning but totally new teams put together each time – to ensure smooth running.

What’s wrong with that idea? Politics of course. None of the ego maniacs running the various countries would ever agree. They want the kudos, the glory – but, I suggest, not the debt. Montreal. Who remembers Montreal have just, now, or last year at least, paid off their debt for their Olympics. When were the Olympics in Montreal? When? Tell me. Don’t look it up. Bet you can’t. 1976. Yes 1976. Some of you reading this weren’t alive in 1976. Most of us weren’t alive in 1896 either. Those games – “the first of the modern era” almost bankrupted Athens. A rich chap chipped in and helped. However, even super rich are not chipping in now and the great white elephants rumble along leaving destruction, usually financial, in their wake.

Birmingham is bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. I have a bone to pick with them as Shooting is not amongst the sports proposed. Notice the capital at “Shooting”. I don’t do that. This stupid predictive text does it. So it must be important. Anyway, they haven’t got Shooting in their proposal. Nor can they pay their bin men. Rubbish collectors to the uninitiated. But they propose to host the Commonwealth Games. Are the barmy? Yes they are. A little bit like Montreal, they propose a new tax to help pay. Montreal, or Canada as a whole, used tobacco as their medium for money spinning. Fine. That’s a national initiative. Birmingham proposes a bed tax. Or a bed night tax. Will it work? Probably not. Air bnb, if that’s how it’s worded, or initialled, will grow hugely. Watch this space.