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  • Day file and archives

    My records go back over 3 years and are fairly comprehensive. When I started, I used to carry all the paperwork with me. After all, there wasn't much material at the start!

    However, as the records grew, I realised that if I lost my folder, I would lose ALL my records. So I developed a habit of just carrying my most recent results and then archiving them at the end of each month. This means that if I misplace my folder, the most that I will lose will be a month's worth of data. The completed sheets are then filed into a separate folder that never leave the house.

  • Be honest with yourself

    Personally, I think that it is really important to keep accurate and comprehensive records of our performance. We need to be honest with ourselves about where the errors/failures are if we are going to benefit from them.

    We need to see failures as an opportunity to learn and we need to treat them accordingly. Far too many people either don't keep any records at all, or kid themselves about how well they are performing. Yes, I know that thinking you are a top shot does your ego the world of good, but it won't help you learn how to improve your technique!

    You can see from the material on developing your process that errors are a good source of inspiration when it comes to evolving and improving your technique. If we don't record the errors, then we aren't going to be able to learn from them.

  • If you don't keep an accurate record of your performance, how are you going to know what to practice? I am amazed how much effort (both in terms of time and resources) that people put into training (and competing, for that matter), but then don't keep any record of their performance.

    As a skeet shooter, it costs me between 30-50 to shoot 100 targets (it is probably more by the time I include fuel to get me to the ground etc). But it costs me absolutely nothing to keep a record of how I performed.

    Now, I admit that I am probably at the extreme end of the scale, but I have kept records on every competition (and most practice sessions) going back to 2015. These includes a record of what I was wearing, the gun I was using, colour of the targets, what I ate the night before, the weather conditions as well as a record of all of the targets that were missed or hit.

    A set of completed scoresheets

    It has enabled me to spot potential problem targets or competitions conditions that cause me problems as well as highlighting any differences in performance between competition and practice conditions. It has been an invaluable source of information when it has come to determining what and where needs more work (remember the importance of purposeful practice). As the volume of the data has grown, it has become more powerful.

    Latterly, I even took for videoing myself shooting rounds of skeet. I would edit the sessions together (using tools on the PC) so that I had a complete round on record. I would then redo the video every couple of months. This enabled me to identify issues with technique that only a bystander could see but more importantly I could also see when these errors had started to creep in. Combine this with the comprehensive record keeping and it becomes a powerful tool.

    And the additional cost of keeping the records? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

  • Example record sheets

    I have included soft copies of my blank record sheets in the download section of the website. Feel free to adapt them as you see fit. After all, that is exactly what I have done!

    I keep the following sheets:

    • Monthly planner - showing practice and coaching sessions as well as competitions. For each of the entries, I will have marked the score (even the practice scores) along with a number that relates to the performance diary entry. I have not included this as a download since it is a printed out (blank) calendar page from Microsoft Outlook. Just make sure that you have it "one month" view;
    • Performance diary - this is where I record all the details of a given practice or competition;
    • Score sheet - this shows all the hits and misses as well as any options.

    Here's my performance diary. I believe that it is based on a handout from one of the CPSA coaching courses. I was given it a long time ago as a photocopy. I then re-constructed it in PowerPoint as I wanted to make edits to it and I didn't have the original. It is included here as a PDF. If you want the original PPT file so that you can edit it yourself, feel free to email me.

    Here's my scoresheet. It is a Microsoft Excel file and I have finetuned it a couple of times. You will see from the completed sheets that on the pairs on 4 that I put a H or an L into the box. This is because they can be shot either way around (either HL or LH). This gives me a mechanism for recording that.

  • Objective setting

    At the beginning of each year (normally around October), I will write up some objectives for the forthcoming season. The season normally starts around March each year and the period between October and March is a good time to prepare for next year. Any changes to my kit will be made in this period. I would not change things in February (say) as this is 6-8 weeks before the season starts.

    Once I have decided on my objectives, I can start to plan the year ahead. For example, if I know that I am going to go for the Wales team next year then I will mark up the selection shoots on my yearly planner. I will also work out when I am likely to want to practice each ground. It also allows me to book holiday in and around the selection shoots.

  • Updated: 3/9/20

Further information

Online

There are a number of websites online that can provide more detailed information. I have included a list for you to use as a starting point.

Books

You'll find an extensive list of books included on the Further Info pages. They are all readily available on Amazon.

Lectures

There are some great TED talks available that cover many of the areas discussed on this website. I have included links to many of them on the Futher Info pages.