What was the difference

by Tibor Gonczol, Pistol Shooting Coach.

After spending some frustrating years trying to come to terms with the fact that OUR shooters – in general – are not producing the performances and scores necessary to be competitive in the international arena, I tried to dispel the various myths and discredit the excuses offered for this.

During my trips to international competitions as a competitor, coach or team manager, I have spent many hours in observing and discussing the technique, equipment, training, behaviour, attitude and commitment levels of the best international competitors, with them and with their coaches to decide where we need to make improvements and changes. I looked for the factors decisive in the differences between our and their shooters, coaches, and system in general, and it was obvious that those shooters;

  • Trained frequently, regularly, systematically
  • Trained a lot in groups
  • Their training was planned, controlled and supervised
  • Their technique was analysed and corrected immediately; they were not allowed to practice mistakes
  • Had well set out, appropriate, long and short term goals.
  • Had records of their work which they could compare / relate with the results
  • Thus they had an analytical, planned, structured system to follow
  • Worked hard.
  • Their performances and efforts were recognised
  • Their results were rewarded,
  • Were taught self discipline until it became a second nature.
  • Their training consisted not just shooting but exercises designed to correct and improve all aspects of their technique and to eliminate mistakes.
  • Analysed not only the mistakes but – most importantly – their good shots as well
  • Learned to develop a routine of doing things correctly, exactly the same way, every time, until they became automated.
  • Competed frequently. The Competitions were regarded as part of their training system.
  • Rest was not considered time off from training but also a part of the training system
  • Had frequent discussions with the coaches so they understood what they are doing and why.
  • The techniques they learned and practised were (and are) based on the requirements and results of COMPETITIONS and not just on training.
  • Were physically fit and believed it was very important.
  • Were absolutely committed.
  • Didn’t use excuses, and excuses were not accepted.

Besides these factors, they employed the principles of modern training and coaching techniques, used the best available equipment, technologies and the support of sports science, (biomechanics,

physiology, psychology, nutrition and medicine etc).

It was obvious – however – that when all these elements are employed, the single most important factor to become a champion is commitment.