Olympic Skeet Training
Many people try Olympic Skeet once or twice and then give up. It appears too daunting a task with too many difficulties. Yet as with all problems the secret is first to identify the main problems and then to break them into smaller chunks and tackle them one by one. So what are the main problems?

Those most apparent at the outset are high target speed, fast doubles heading in opposite directions, the random release timer and the low ready position. Even if you are highly skilled in another discipline if you try to handle all these problems at once you are likely to fail. Set about it in the right way, though, and even average performers can shoot good Olympic Skeet scores.

Gun mount
The biggest hurdle for many shooters, familiar with gun-up disciplines or English Sporting, is the low O/S gun position at address. Smoothness and efficiency here is far more important than speed, and gunmount drills to develop these skills will make all the difference. It's important to remember that the gunmount and swing are a combined movement, not two separate movements.

Shooting method
Any of the three shooting methods will work, but most serious O/S shooters find the Maintained Lead system works best. This is because, with proper training, this method allows you to shoot the O/S targets quickly and with relatively little effort. The alternative methods not only look more rushed they tend to feel it, too.

The essentail outgoers
If there is a secret to shooting good Olympic Skeet scores it's understanding the importance of dealing easily with the outgoing targets. These are the high house targets on stations one, two, three and four, and the low house targets on stations, five, six and seven. You might also include low house station four target in this list. Essentially these targets most be broken at the very latest over the target crossing point, or preferably several metres sooner.

Shooting these targets in this fashion makes the second targets of doubles relatively straightforward. However, shooting them this early demands a perfect technique and trained reflexes. Done properly it should look and feel smooth and controlled. If it looks and feels like a mad thrash then something is badly wrong.

It's vital to have a good set up at address, starting and remaining in good balance throughout the shot. Picking up the target quickly with the eyes is largely a matter of where not to look rather than worrying overmuch about where to look. Focussing on anything while calling for the target is wrong. The eyes should just casually look around the area outside of the house (not in the shute) where the target will appear. The eyes will then lock onto the target the instance it shows itself.

What happens next determines the success or failure of the shot. Mount the gun and then start to swing and your reward will be a target that passes the gun and vanishes into the distance. Start the swing as you start the mount, turnng the mount and swing into a single smooth movement, and you will be able to lead the target rather than the target leading you. With practise you will fully mount the gun before the target reaches the centre. As the gun firms into place the shot is fired instantly.

Train the gun mount
Because it is such an important part of Olympic Skeet shooting much time should be devoted to perfecting the moving gun mount. Practise it at half speed until the movement is perfect, then gradually build up to normal speed. Note that normal speed is a smooth controlled action, never a lash!

3 seconds can seem a long time
The variable release timing is only a problem at the beginning of an Olympic Skeet career. It's important to be absolutely ready before calling for the target, otherwise the occasional instant release target will catch you out. Having called stay loose but vigilant. In the initial stages of learning every slight noise and distant shot will have you jumping about, waiting for that target to appear. This is eventually brought under control, but even the best OS shooters will be a bit twitchy on a full 3 second delay.

Learning the all important gun mount is the first stage towards bringing Olympic Skeet under control, get that right and the rest will follow.