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.

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!