Field Target: Rumours

Picture By Rob Farnworth

It seems a few people are more interested in what I’m doing than their own shooting so let me address a couple of rumours I’m hearing and things I’m being asked.

“Have you stopped shooting for NEFTA and switched to MFTA?”

No, not sure who started this rumour but it’s completely without foundation. I still shoot on 42424 (NEFTA Region) and I have no plans to change region nor have I ever said I would. Don’t listen to the Fishwives of the sport.

“Haven’t you moved from Anston to Castle?”

Again No, I have a membership at Castle because I spend a lot of time practising there, they have a 40 course out all the time and I was dropping more money in the visitors tin than it would cost to have a membership, so it was more economical to have a membership. I have no plans to move clubs and I’ll be holding membership at both clubs going forward.

“Why haven’t you been showing up then?”
About 4 months ago on a Wednesday afternoon at Emley I got talking to Ian Taylor, he asked me a simple question. “Why wasn’t I improving?”

The reason is a complex one for many reasons but the top and bottom of it is this. With all the stuff I’m doing for the sport and PoP it doesn’t leave much room to focus on what matters, my shooting.

Often I’ll turn up at a place and someone will be into me the minute I land for a moan about something or other and it’s distracting. If it’s some argument about some bullshit then I would find myself carrying it around the course with me. That’s what I told Ian was the reason and I feel it holds a lot of water, yes it still happens but I’ve got a better control of it now.

Shaun warned me this would happen when I took the job, so it’s not like I wasn’t prepared. What I wasn’t prepared for was the childlike moaning and fucking depressing self-entitlement of some shooters, they can suck the life out of anything and are the equivalent of a death at a birthday party.

The other thing I’ve been doing this season is not going shooting if I don’t fancy it, often I’d wake up and just go, kinda automatic. I’ve learned that this doesn’t work for me, when my dad was ill, I thought shooting would be a good distraction, it wasn’t and I just couldn’t get my head into the right space, I shouldn’t have been there.

So, I’ve put a stop to that, if I don’t fancy it or if I’ve got family stuff to attend to then that is that not that I owe anyone a reason, what I do isn’t any of your business.

Does this approach work, well it seems to because my scores are better and the only thing catching me out is the wind. I’m coming off the course learning from my mistakes and feeling better about my shooting. It feels good and you know what I’m going to carry on doing that because it feels loads better than forcing anything.

I will also say that I’ve made a concerted effort to focus on my game because I’ve had stuff going off at Club, Region and National level which kinda peaked out 4 months ago, all I’ve done is rearrange my priorities so all the fucking bullshit can take a hike and fester in the sewer that it is.

I’ve also stopped turning up to clubs that put out in my opinion pointless growlers, I’d rather spend that money going for a meal with the family these days and I’m just not going to show up if that’s what you’re planning. It’s not that big a deal but I’m voting with my feet because if you can’t be arsed to put on a fair, creative and balanced course for the weather or put in a different firing line then why do you have any reason to expect me to turn up if all you are doing is the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.

The data shows that 84% of people that show up are not AA and Conor has also written this excellent guide to course setting. I suppose some people will think I’m asking for easier courses but that’s not what I’m asking for at all. I’m asking for more creative and balanced course for the weather, audience and different firing line. It should also be no surprise to anyone that growlers don’t stop AA shooters so why are you setting an event for just 16% of the people showing up. If I know what your course is going to be like before I set off you’re doing it wrong but that’s just me.

“What’s happened with all the write-ups and photos”

I’m just taking a break from it, I’ve written loads and taken over 10,000 pictures and pushed the sport as hard as I could for 3yrs. I just need a break from doing that and focussing on my game plan, it’s as simple as that. I’m still doing the videos and having a laugh with Phil, we both still enjoy doing that.

So, that’s it really, now you know, that’s where I’m at right now and it’s not a big deal but what Ian said is still ringing in my ears.