You’ve been hearing from our athlete ambassadors Elinor, Ollie, Lindsay and Sam but we also have athletes within the Dell UK family. One of them is Stacey Francis, who you heard from last week. Another is Andrew Addison, Solutions Engineer, who I recently caught up with to hear about how his journey to Glasgow 2014 is progressing and how he got on at the Qatar Open Grand Prix.
My role in Dell is part of the Best Value Solutions team, where we deal with Emerging Markets and Multi-Vendor client support calls on laptops and desktops and I’ve been a proud member of the Dell team for over seven years. However, alongside my work, I’m also a Commonwealth Games hopeful in Shooting. I first got into when I went to my dad’s friend’s farm and had a go at shooting clays off their trap. That progressed into a burning passion and since then I have shot every weekend since. For the last 7 years I have been competing in the Olympic Trap discipline of clay pigeon shooting both at an International and World level.
I recently took a trip to Dohar for the Qatar Open Grand Prix following a period of intense GB training camps. Every weekend I practice focusing on blocking out distractions and working within pressure situations. While I may not be able to shoot during the week I do practise my gun mounting, call and visualisation at home so that I am confident when I step out on the range.
When I am on the range with my coach, we record my shooting so we can play it back at slow speed and watch the minute details surrounding my gun mount and what happens at the exact moment I shoot. When at my best, each video can look the same, however, it is the minor variations that can cost me. We also chart my competition results so that we can review the year to see what sort of trend I am on. If I am on a downward trend then we can evaluate what the problem is and see how we can change it around.
Upon arrival in Qatar I took a day to acclimatise before going to the range and getting a sense of the ground and targets. There is always the urge to just get the gun out and shoot but this was the last thing I needed when tired as any shooting I did would have been subpar and could have hindered me in the long run. Training resumed properly over the next few days with my scores varying but being overall consistent.
I went into the first day of competition feeling rested and confident. My first two rounds were ok with definite room for improvement. I had shot a 22/25 and a 23/25 to score 45/50 on day one. Although this seems like a relatively high score it left me in 13th with 49/50 being the highest score of the day. The second day of competition started well with a 24/25 and a 22/25 meaning that I finished the competition on 113/125 which is below my usual performances. I ended up 15th out of 96 competitors.
Over the coming weeks I will review the footage to see if anything was amiss and liaise with my coach to rectify any issues before competing in March. This was a solid performance to start off my bid for a place in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.