JOHN BIDWELL says: First things first – let your boy develop at his own speed and don’t put him under too much pressure. If you do, he’s likely to wilt under the weight of trying to live up to your expectations.

Let him enjoy his shooting.


It affects everybody in different ways, and everyone deals with it differently. Oddly enough, most shooters (me included) need to feel an element of pressure if we’re to shoot to our very best abilities. Believe me, it focuses the mind like nothing else!

The important thing is to use pressure positively and not allow negatives to creep in. For instance, adopt the mind set you are going to shoot as well as you can and enjoy your day out, come what may. That’s positive thinking in its very simplest form.

Don’t put yourself under pressure by continually checking the scoreboard or listening to other shooters as they talk about how difficult, or easy, some of the stands are. These only plant negative thoughts in your head.

Don’t dwell on what other people have shot on the course but concentrate instead on shooting to your best ability. The only thing to think about is the next target. The time to think about what you missed should be during the drive home.

Go onto each stand determined to break every target and NEVER allow yourself to think: “I can afford to drop a couple of birds here and still win a prize.” Negatives like this will almost certainly ensure you miss more than than a few.

Remember as well: ‘wanting to win’ and ‘learning how to win’ are two different things – the first is a negative while the second is entirely positive.

Got a question? Contact: or Sporting Gun, PO Box 157, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 9FU