Coaching - Grouping Practice #123 May 2019
This article provides a method to evaluate your grouping and measure improvement. For the purposes of this article I shall be referring to decimal scoring such as provided by electronic scoring and training systems. The discussion is based around an indoor 25yd ten bull target but it can be applied equally well to others.
Grouping is the method of identifying how consistently a shooter is "getting them in the middle". This phrase varies depending on your abilities as a shooter. If you are just starting out you may be trying to get every shot within the 8 ring. Top flight shooters will be looking to "hit the pip" every time.
This exercise can be used as a method of measuring improvement after practicing particular elements of your technique.
For this session you need to have an understanding of your group size. This can be considered as being directly related to your average. If your average is 95 then you could consider your group size to be the 9.5 ring. This is not strictly correct as some of your shots will be inside this ring and some will be outside giving you an average score of 95. It will do for the purposes of this article as it gives you something to aim at in terms of reducing your group size and improving your average.
Put up a sighter and a clean 10 bull target. There is no limit to the number of shots but you may need to undertake the exercise in 10 or 15 shot strings if you are shooting at the same time as competion cards are being fired by others.
Set yourself up and fire as many sighters as you see fit.
- Put your first shot on the first diagram.
- If it is within your group size put another shot on the same diagram.
- Repeat 2 until the shot lands outside the group size.
- Move on to the next diagram.
This exercise has the benefit of introducing an element of competiton so that you concentrate fully rather than treat it as "just a practice card". Practice cards are more important than competiion cards as they allow you to identify elements of your technique that require improvement without damaging you competiion average.
An example session is shown below using the 9.8 ring:
Shot 1 - Give yourself a good talking to and move on to the next diagram.
Shots 2 to 7 - Nice group forming until 7th shot went high.
Shots 8 to 10 - Had to break here while detail changed but looking promising.
Shots 11 to 20 - All within the 9.8 ring.
One of the things this exercise is trying to focus on is getting you to concentrate on the current shot and consistent technique. Extending the string of "good" shots can only improve your average.
Maximum string length - 13
Minimum string length - 0