Training and Shooting

Technical - All Disciplines

Introducing The Shooting Diary

The shooting diary is regarded as one of the most important and most often neglected pieces of equipment that a shooter can possess. Used properly, it can help shooters solve problems and progress rapidly. If you are serious about your shooting, you should be filling out your diary every time you go out, and then reviewing it regularly.

What's in the Diary?

The diary is not merely a score book, so it contains more than just what you shot. Knowing that you shot 95% last Tuesday doesn't help you shoot that score or better on Friday. You need details on what you did, where you were, how you felt, what new equipment was used, etc. Successful shooting is in the details: you need to capture them, so you can duplicate them.

Statements of Fact

The first things that we capture are the details of what happened. Try to be as exact and objective as possible. For subjective matters (i.e. how well did you concentrate), try to attach an objective value from 0 to 10. We need to describe everything relevant about the experience, so we can learn from it.

Situational Analysis

Okay, you've shot and captured the data. So now what? If you stop at writing down the day's events, you're not intellectually involved. To make this exercise worthwhile, you need to look at what occurred and how it will direct your future. When you identify an area for improvement (stay positive), you want to find a solution. Similarly, when you perform well, you want to identify, reinforce and duplicate the actions which brought you success.

The only way this can take place is by analysing what you did (everything that you jotted down or felt) and determining the cause or effect of those issues. For instance, you may notice that you had some flyers. Thinking about this, you remember that you were overholding. Similarly, you see that you set a new personal best for consequetive 10s, and you believe that this was caused by exceptionally smooth trigger pull. The key is to determine why things happened in your session today. Let's look at the different types of analysis that we need.

Where Do You Want to Go Tomorrow?

We're almost done. You have the facts and analysis. Now all we need to do is to develop goals for our next session, based upon what we learned today. These goals set up your next shooting session and intelligently direct your work. Based on your Solution and Success Analysis, it will be apparent what you need to do. Act on that analysis.

Additionally, take a look at your annual plan. What period (Preparation, Competition and Transition ) and phase are you in or entering? What are the goals associated with them and how are you supporting them? Plan the work and then work the plan.

Sample Page:
Final Words of Advice on Your Diary:
Remember: If you are not keeping track of your performance and thoughts, then you are liable to repeat non-peak performance.

TargetShooting Canada - Copyright 2003: Patrick Haynes