My shooting friend says I should enter Open registered competitions to get some experience, but the thought frightens me. What would you recommend?

SHOOTING DOWN THE LINE

John Bidwell

Strikes me the main drawback here is a very obvious lack of confi dence in your own abilities; if you can hit 23 (albeit with a few second barrels) then there’s no reason why you can’t start hitting a few straights as well.

If you want my advice, buy a lesson with a trap shooting coach and let him see how you shoot.

Chances are he will spot a few weaknesses in your approach to this quite demanding discipline – one where missed targets are more often down to lapses in mental concentration than they are shooting technique.

In this respect your friend is spot on in wanting you to get involved in bigger Open competitions than the sort you are presently used to.

Yes, you will come up against new pressures in trying to pace yourself over 50, 75 and then 100 targets but these pressures will actually make you concentrate better.

Not only that, but you will progress much faster by pitching yourself against much better shooters and watching how they prepare themselves, and shoot the targets.