Insider Knowledge.

Always handy. So, for those of you who don’t know, make a point of checking “” regularly, and indeed, often.

It struck me this morning that it would be handy for some of you to be aware of some of the goings on in the world, and the thing that really prompted it was the ISSF report regarding the progress of the ranges in Changwon for next year’s World Championships. Things seem to be going well with loads of ranges being created. My question would be, how many countries can, or will be bothered, creating a huge white elephant like this which will have minimal use after the event. Where were the last world championships held? I must check and see what’s happening on those ranges. In Changwon, for instance, I see that the 10 metre range has “100 electronic targets.” Now, naturally, I haven’t a clue what this means, but maybe it means 100 chaps and chappettes can shoot at the same time. Great. Competition over. Back to the usual 10 that train regularly. Wow. Big money, and yes, I know, big prestige, but can it continue?

Not really on the same theme, but there is a new, and very wonderful looking, set of ranges in France. All I have seen are pictures. Looks wonderful. Where is it? Three hours, approximately, from CDG in sunny Paris. Handy? No. Not actually. We can be in Malaga in three hours. Why bother to go to these ranges then, where, probably, no one can speak any English. I’m not being insular, just practical. However, no doubt, and quite happily, there will be big competitions there and we will scoot over quite happily.

Tres jolie as they say in Friockheim.


Yes, this is a word. Not a word that any of you want to use however.

The trusty Vostok broke! Now, some of you may not subscribe to nauseating Facebook, and quite right too.  I feel I have to because of things which happened in the past. I remember these things. So I use nauseating Facebook. Can a thing be nauseating but useful? Maybe. Like tripe!!! But the reason I mention FB is that I did report the mighty Vostok breaking.

However, fortunately, the world’s greatest gunsmith was to hand and fixed it in jig time. What a boy. Andrew Coull. Osborne Guns. Auchterhouse, near Dundee. I hope you never need such a magician, but when you do, he is the man.


Enjoyed some therapeutic log cutting earlier as it’s a cool day here. No snow, but it’s nice to know there’s wood there when we need it. Ash. Good wood. Nothing at all to do with the title, but that’s probably pretty common.

So, as it’s cool, following Facebook. (It’s not cool.) Needs must when the devil stabs you in the back. Is there more than one devil? Can there be several? There are squillions of Gods so I imagine there will be devils aplenty. But, again, this has nothing to do with the title. I am about to commence a University of the Heelands CPD course. 15 weeks, with, in the middle and end an essay to submit. 4000 words each time. To one so garrulous that should be a cakewalk. The challenge is that the words must be relevant, not tosh.

OK. I know. What guff are we about to get? Reading Facebook, a chap called John Marchant, shared a quote from Tenrings Coaching. It’s good.

”Once you have confirmed the shot placement, and dismiss your emotions, move on to the next shot and put your full attention to detail into the next shot creation cycle.”

Rather nice thought I. Rather a good alternative to just bog standard “pre shot routine.” I like the words. There’s maybe a bit of Brailsford in there with tiny wee (he never put it that way) gains accumulating beneficially. So, shoot, assess, maybe re-assess, reset and be ready. Have I mentioned Bob Niedeffer before? I’m sure I will have. He’s a great hero of mine in the “resetting” or, in his case, “centring” department.

Much langwige then to consider zaichata on a cold day. I suppose Zaytsef (I always spelled it Zaitsef but it seems to have changed. See langwige. It’s a pain.) was colder many times.

Enjoy folks. Be good.



Creeping out in the dark the other day, as one does, the ducks on the river were giving it big licks in the quacking department. What that means I know not. I’m not very fluent in duck, but I think they were Mallard. What does his matter? Well, we hear, ha, or I hear, all the time, about animals and their vision. What they can see, what colours, or not and so on.

But, here’s a thing. Nobody talks much, in duck talk or any other talk, about those aforementioned dyucks seeing in the dark. Maybe the theories have gone down the Swanney?


Possibly the very worst television programme ever. Why am I watching it?  Cos it’s blowing a hooley outside and I didn’t brave the woods. Indeed, last night, accuweather said a lot of these woods might land on me if I went out! But I digress.

This  chap, Professor Brian Cox was on. Very interesting man. He delivered a fantastic quote, from Richard Feynman.

“The great value of a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance.”

Thats what coaching is all about to me. Knowing that we do not know, but still striving to know. That’s my quote. Not quite the same gravitas, but, as far as I’m aware, God loves a trier.

So, polishing boots, skinning deer and sawing logs on the menu. My own wee version of Life Below Zero!

Second thing.

Because this colum is upside down, the first thing on Tuesday morning was “Wakey Wakey.” I still question who remembers Billy Cotton? But who cares?

The next thing was:

”Belarus President promises top-quality 2019 European Games.”

Plenty to think about when a lad has pieces to make, roe sacks to clean, dogs to pet, birds to feed and coffee to make for the boss.

Phew. OT begins to sound attractive.

Wakey wakey!

Ah, who remembers Billy Cotton? But I digress. The opening sentence from this morning was :

”The Geheimschreiber thus successfully produced an enciphered message that appeared at random.”

Pretty much like reading this fine column! I must attribute the quote and it came from “Colossus. Bletchley Park’s Last Secret” by Paul Gannon.

I’ve been on the Bletchley trail for a few weeks now and have come across Gannon. His tome is somewhat technical for a chap who can’t even do sums, never mind the highest of maths. I did work a teleprinter in a past life right enough and that was a torture machine. Those of you who are old enough to have worked on them will recall the challenges with the shift keys. No wonder that sometimes the German operators became lazy.

I’m off now to work out the intricacies of OT. I bet even Turing would have been stressed with that! Good morning.

In the vernacular?

”So so,” I am told, refers to “same old, same old.” Herein lies the basis for today’s fable, as I stress the same old things again. And again. Usually, or often, this is the importance of dry training at home. This can simply be gun mounting but often there is more to it than that. Gun mounting is a start.

I suggest that very few shooters, of the relatively non professional type, can (afford to) shoot 20,000 cartridges a year. Many coaches would suggest that 20,000 cartridges a year is an absolute minimum. There is a gap there. I don’t think I know a shooter, in Scotland certainly, who fires 20,000 cartridges a year although I do know some in Britain who probably do. What then is the answer? Well, simply, dry training. If you do 150 dry mounts per day, seven days a week, fifty two weeks a year, you are at fifty thousand or so. I think you are anyway. Correct me please. It’s not hard to do 150 dry mounts. Up, dry mount. Shower, dry mount. Just before you go out and lock up gun, dry mount. Come home, go to cupboard, dry mount. It’s not hard. But, of course there must be a willingness, a desire there to do it.

I have probably heard every excuse in the book for not doing dry mounting training. And yet the shooters, as I will loosely refer to them, appreciate that dry mounting is a good thing and it will help them. But they don’t do it. Why? Well who knows?

Dont get me started on visualisation or imagery or whatever you care to call it. Or goal setting. Or fitness training. Little wonder they don’t get where they want to be.

If they even have any idea of where that is!

Rocketing – again.

Twice in a short space of time do I mention Rocket. O’Sullivan that is, as there was a rocket shot Olympic Skeet a while ago. Richard somebody from Derbyshire. Annoyingly, being old, I’ve forgotten his name despite being many places at the same time, and, indeed, lending him my Vostok in Wales once to allow him to win the Welsh Grand Prix. The prize was a huge mirror which was impossible to transport! I also remember at an International he shot a 19 on his first round. Unheard of. He went and sat in the car, obviously gave himself a good talking to and finished on 92. But I digress. (His name will come to me.)

This time I mention Rocket as I am home early from the training ground. The weather is grimbo. But some hardy souls were there and thus so was I. As soon as the last one finished on success -I was offski. So, having prepared a late luncheon I was watching the snooker. I like individual sports. Rockets opponent fluffed a shot at one time and the commentators were interested in why. They did not know. The ball, or balls got a “kick” but they couldn’t discern, despite several replays why. Obviously I had no clue.

So, what has all this got to do with anything? Well, the comment was “a kick means bad cueing,” although in this case they agreed that was not what caused it. But, in ‘limpic Skeet, a miss is often attributed to bad gun mounting – which it can be sometimes – but much more often is caused by bad timing at the start. The shooter does not see the target correctly and sets off. Brain goes “why?” Fiddle, faddle, Nothing for the gun to go to, hiccuppy, hoccuppy, gun does not come up properly and a miss results. Shooter rubs Skeet vest and walks off. Sod all to do with vest. Plenty to do with timing. As I was telling a chap in the lashing rain this morning. As I do. In a nice way I hope. As I think people matter. Not like some I could mention. But won’t.

More Pees.

Ruminating on her Dameship’s comments below (see Row, Row etc), a comment made to me the other day came to mind. It may be pure gold -and it may not be unique to him – but Wayne Goldsmith ( raised a very pertinent point perfectly.

People and Performance come before Periodisation and Programming. Something that bullies with boots enjoying brute force often forget – or, in fact, have never thought of in the first place. Human beans are just that. Not machines. Empathy and sympathy do matter – a suggestion many of those that I loathe will laugh at.

I’ve been laughed at all my life.