Rocketeer.

Sunday afternoon. Having a day off. But, as ever, so many things jump out.

Here’s a quote from a magazine. I’ve changed some of he words a little just as an amusement. Then I’ll tell you the truth, or the full story.

”A lot of shooters didn’t shoot with much confidence and you didn’t fancy their chances, whereas xxxxx would hit one after another – bang, bang, bang -and you thought he was never going to miss.

Part of his secret was that he spent hours PRACTISING, PERFECTING HIS TECHNIQUE.” (My capitals of course.)

”often the secret to successful shooting is getting the basics right.”

How often do I make comments like those above?  Constantly I hope. If not I’m being lax.

So, who’s words are these? The rocket man. No, not Elton, but Ronnie O’Sullivan. Whom does he refer to? Steve Davis unsurprisingly. All I’ve done is substitute shooting words for snooker words. But the message is the same.

I asked a young lad last week how much dry training he had done in the week since I last saw him.

“Yes, I did some on Wednesday night.” Shocked, I asked why only on Wednesday . He replied that that was the night the club was open. I was at pains to point out that it was an every day thing. Constant. Unrelenting. Vital. Important.

So, referring again to Steve Davis’ training, it matters not what the sport is, you have got to put the hours in. I often comment to the shooters, and particularly shooters resident in sunny Scotland, that they are unlikely to shoot 20,000 cartridges a year, a number often regarded by many coaches as an absolute minimum, but that they can certainly do 20,000 dry mounts per year. Add to that visualisation, imagery -call it what you will – and the hours all build up – as, naturally, do the skill levels.