Book of the week 1.5(see below)

So, which as I’ve said before is how modern people start sentences, I have received “Psyching in Sport” by Rushall. It’s very interesting – but then I have a fault in me (one of many) – which finds sport psych books very interesting. If I could read the Russian ones I would find them veeeery interesting, but I can’t. Which is a pity as the depth of resource in the greater Russian library would be such a delight.

But, back to reality. In my opinion the pamphlet, or ebook, is actually better than the book. Probably because it’s “updated” for want of a better word.

So, (there I go again, totally modern), today, and in future, I shall continue to think and act like a champion. It’s a good tactic and one I encourage others to do.

A little tip that might help, if things are getting tough, is, pretend you are your hero. It only works. Except with one lad who didn’t have a hero! Ah, the joys of coaching.

Book of the week.(1)

This could be a LONG series – if I bother to continue anyway. But I think this new plan should make me actually get on and write something.

So, where does one start? Well, I’m going to start with a pamphlet, or I think an e book actually that I must have purchased about 30 years ago. So, quite up to date. It’s “Think and Act Like a Champion” (A Manual for Sporting Excellence) by Brent S. Rushall Ph.D, R.Psy. I confess I haven’t looked up what “R.Psy” means. I will though. I see it was published by Sports Science Associates. I also saw, yesterday, when I was googling various matters pertaining to the contents of the ebook, that Rushall had a book “Psyching for Sport” available on glee bay for 399p. Buy now. Of course. Easy. Looking forward to getting that.

11 chapters in the pamphlet. Well laid out. Loads of information. It’s interesting when you reread something as you find stuff that you are ready to accept, or absorb, or understand more deeply, that you skipped over before, and thus it is here. I’m really rather enjoying it.

I shall now take you on a lengthy journey through my library. Bear in mind, in the olden days, when I was doing some of my exams, there was little or no internet. Information was hard to come by and everything one could find on shooting was much treasured. I can’t even think what’s on the shelves, but Tudor Bompa comes to mind.

Don’t hold your breath – but watch this space. What fun.


I don’t know if any of you access Linda Mellor’s posts on nauseating Facebook, but, unusually, (kidding Linda), she had an interesting photograph this morning of a left handed shooter using a side by side. My question was if it was a true left hander as it looked as if, maybe, the triggers were set up “correctly” for that. Have a look and come back with your answer on a new plastic fiver, if, indeed, you can write on them nowadays.


Have a look at the new ISSF handbook. Multiple sections on shooting matters. All very good. Sometimes, amazingly, the ISSF come up with something good.

Parliamentary questions?

The “Ayes” have it. The “Ayes” have it. But, in the case of shooting, it’s very important that the eyes have it.

I maintain, and many disagree – huh, what do they know? – that you must, in many, if not all instances, when shooting, keep your eyes still. Some say that it’s impossible to keep your eyes still. Maybe so. Who am I to say? So keep them as still as possible. Keep them still until the target gets into the fovea, until “you can see it properly” and then go.

It makes a big difference. Some of you may wish to pursue some of the written material on “Quiet Eye.” Have a read and see what you make of it. Some say it helps. Some golfers say it helps. But there are papers on it relating to shooting. It might pass a wet few hours in our summer.

Everybody knows.

So, I’ve not been writing. I’ve been learning! Not how to write, as will become apparent quickly (again), but about deer.

But, to cut to the chase, when I ask about winter inappetance, even the cleverest of brains sometimes go blank.

“Never heard of it.” “It’s a made up thing.” “It doesn’t exist, it’s a layman’s term.”

How and ever, it does exist and is a real consideration in winter for all sorts of livestock, domestic and wild. But see trying to find out about it, especially when I had forgotten the correct spelling. Impotence was a favourite suggestion. Impedance another.

It took a call to a wise one. Or a second call to a second wise one – as the first wise one, a vet, and his vet wife has never heard of it!

Im back on track though and can submit a thought to my learned colleagues at university – and see if they know.

Be good.


Sometimes, amazingly, folk moan at me. About lots of things that I say and do – and even about things that I don’t say and do. Like write on this world famous blog!

So, I must really make an effort to amuse the reader, singular, who actually bothers to have a look now and again.

But I really do need a muse. Or something to amuse me. If not it’s just writing for the sake of it. And what’s the point of that?

Much like this opening salvo of the new era! ‘Nuff said. More later. Maybe.

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.