Sunday, April 29, 2007

Practice range photos and archery resource on 'Mental Skills'

I got back to the city tonight after heading back to my hometown of Gibsons, BC to do some practicing there with the makeshift practice area my Dad and I built.
Al Harding's Practice Range

My practice area consists of a small table with a hand crank target carrier mounted to it. The pulley system lets me hand crank the target back and forth down the hall 10m (32.8') into the other room. A couple of lights focused on the target in the other room help light the area. The target carrier was purchased about 5 years ago from Cibles Canada Targets.

After seeing some archery on TV earlier today I decided to search and look around to see what was around BC. I found the BC Archery Association website and found a great Power Point presentation titled "The Importance of Plans and Practising Mental Skills" by Anne Muscat, a Certified Canadian Mental Trainer. Although the Power Point is intended for an Archery audience it applies to many sports, especially other precision sports like pistol shooting.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

2007 BC Provincials Details

I just finished booking a place to stay in Victoria near the Airport. It's a couple kilometers from the shooting range so that's not too bad. It will be nice to be around Sidney, BC and explore the area.

Here is a link to a map of where the shooting range is located.

More event details are available on the BCTSA website:

The PDF registration form is available for download here:

Photos and other preparation details will be posted over the next few weeks.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Less than four weeks to prepare for Provincials

It has literally been years since I've attended a shooting competition. Normally, I'd be training for a specific amount of time before an event in order to have peak performance at that particular event.

For this upcoming shooting match, it is the only one coming up that doesn't require travelling out of the Province so I'm going to it primarily for fun and to see my fellow shooters from around BC. I'm telling myself it is for fun because I want to ensure I'm setting realistic expectations for this first match... and well, I'm due for a vacation so that's what this is.

That said... I still want to do the best I can given the situation, so here is a short list of tasks I need to complete before going to Victoria next month:
  • Victoria travel and accommodations planning and booking
  • Air Pistol maintenance, cleaning
  • Check grip and make any changes to adjust for any changes in my hand's strength and shape over the last 4 years
  • Clean my shooting glasses (and possibly get a new lens made to account for any changes in my vision)
  • Weigh my pistol's trigger and make adjustments to ensure I'm within the rules and regulations
  • Check my air pistol's shooting velocity
  • Continue physical / cardio training
  • Continue strength training
  • Get out to the practice range in Richmond a few times
  • Practice where and when I can
  • Dry firing
  • Final equipment preparation

Al Harding's Steyr LP10
There are a few place to practice around Vancouver, New Westminster, and Richmond so I'll discuss them as I find out more information. I've also created a practice area back at my parent's house in Gibsons, BC. I'll post up some photos of this... basically I practice by shooting down a hall, past a pool table, and into my Dad's workshop. Like I said... practice 'where and when I can'.

This coming week I will get my accommodations and travel arrangements sorted out and go through some of the basic maintenance of my equipment. I'll post up photos along the way.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Welcome to my new blog

Hi! Welcome to my new blog. My name is Al and I've started this blog to talk about competitive pistol shooting. I competed for many years in my youth and was a National Junior Champion. I also hold the BC Junior Record of 566/600 for air pistol shooting which I scored at the 1995 Western Canada Games. The Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) for the Olympics is 563/600.
I left competitive pistol shooting, unintentionally, for several years as I spent time trying to move to Vancouver and find some work. These were some difficult years to say the least. I'll write about this stuff later... for now let's fast forward to 2002.

In 2002 and 2003, I made a brief attempt to get back into the sport, but by this point career commitments were quite high. Let's fast forward again... I'm skipping a lot, but it's best saved for a non 'Welcome' type post.

Fast forward some more and here we are in 2007. Life has been adventure and challenge filled, it has also been filled with a lot of tough times. I have been emailing and chatting with friends from the BC Handgun Association (which is now amalgamated with rifle as BC Target Sports Association) and decided, that with everything going on in my life, now was the time to come back to this sport.

I have no idea how well I will do after not being very active in the sport for over a decade. I'm going to use this blog to post photos, talk about my return, training, upcoming shooting matches, and anything else that is relevant.

You're more than welcome to check in and tag along on this journey.