Rifle Coaching Tips – Balance in the Standing Position

An important skill to develop when you are shooting in the standing position is the ability to hold the rifle and your body in a balanced and stable position.  This means that building stability in your shooting position and feeling when you are unbalanced is very important.  Focusing on building balance in training is the only way to develop this feeling and to have better control over your balance.

Holding Exercise

  1. Hold your rifle in your shooting position with no jacket (Keep your shooting boots, shooting pants and glove on). Focus on feeling your position properly – the balance in your feet, your hips, your arm against your body, how you hold the rifle, how you lean into the position etc.  Don’t worry about where the rifle points at this time – it doesn’t matter – you are focusing on making a good position and developing muscle memory for that position.  5 mins

  2. Hold your rifle in your shooting position with all gear on. Focus on making sure your position feels right.  Next, make sure you have the correct natural point of aim and you are lined up on the target.  Now you are ready to focus on your inner position – the feeling of your balance, your muscles, your feet, everything.  Spend 10 mins getting into position, and standing in your position, focusing on all these things.

  3. When you feel that you have done this, and you are building a good feeling for your position and your balance, step it up, and make it harder. Holding with your eyes closed will draw all your attention to your balance, which will be harder to manage when you can no longer see what you are doing.  To do this exercise effectively, you need to get into your shooting position, and start to aim on the target.  This is the time to close your eyes – no breathing, just holding very still for 5-8 seconds while you would normally be aiming.  You should be able to feel every movement, and then you can work on how to hold your balance. Open your eyes and breathe.  You can spend 10 mins on this exercise.

  4. Dry firing for another 10 mins can now help you to think about aiming and triggering with good balance.

  5. Lastly, you can dry fire with your eyes closed. Begin as for point 3, build your position, aim at the target, and close your eyes.  Feel your balance, and when everything feels stable, you can dry fire.  If the balance does not feel good, then put the rifle down and start again.  You can do this exercise for 10 mins.

If you do all these exercises together, each one gradually increasing the difficulty and requiring you to focus more deeply on balance – you will have completed 45 minutes of holding and had something interesting to focus on each time.

Happy Holding!

Carrie Quigley – Rifle National Talent Coach


Shooting Australia