Technical determinants of competitive rifle shooting performance
Published inStudies in sport, physical education and health
The purpose of this thesis was to identify technical determinants of elite level air rifle and biathlon standing shooting performance and investigate how these technical determinants are affected by training, competition situation, or intense exercise. Forty international and national level air rifle shooters and 17 biathletes participated in the studies. In air rifle shooting, shooting performance, aiming point trajectory, and postural balance were measured from each shot in a simulated competition series in the training situation and in the actual competition situation. The shooters’ competition results were collected from each measured season. In biathlon, the same shooting technical variables were measured in rest and in shooting after competition simulation roller skiing task. Horizontal stability of hold, aiming accuracy, timing of triggering, and cleanness of triggering were the most important technical determinants of elite level air rifle shooting performance, explaining 81% of the variance in shooting score. Postural balance was related to air rifle shooting performance directly, and indirectly through more stable hold and cleaner triggering. Shooting technique test measures were related to the competition results achieved during the season. Long term shooting training improved stability of hold, aiming accuracy, cleanness of triggering, and postural balance. All these aspects of shooting technique deteriorated in competition compared to training situation. In biathlon standing shooting, vertical stability of hold and cleanness of triggering were related to shooting performance, and postural balance affected both of these components. Intense exercise decreased biathlon standing shooting performance and all shooting technical components except timing of triggering. The decrease in shooting technical components was related to the decrease in postural balance. The elite level shooters’ reference values presented in the thesis can be used by athletes and coaches in pursuing superior rifle shooting technique and in assessing shooters’ technical strengths and weaknesses. The results also demonstrated the importance of psychological skills, since all the progress made through technique training could be lost in the competition situation. Postural balance is one clear aspect which affects the important shooting technical components both in air rifle and biathlon shooting. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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