One of the quickest ways of improving your clay pigeon shooting is to work on your focus.

The top shots have their own way of doing it. On one extreme you’ve got those who are zoned in throughout their entire round and are unapproachable and quiet; on the other you have those who are jovial and chatty right up until they walk into the stand – then they switch on. However you decide to do it, the key is to be consistent. Shotgun shooting does require you to stay relaxed at all times, but relaxed isn’t the same as sloppy. Far from it. Build a routine that works for you and stick to it. Don’t be put off and rattled by others. Be purposeful, shoot in a timely manner and have the mindset that there’s only you in the stand, so there’s only you that matters. It’s you that hits the targets and you that misses them, so you’re the only competition you need to concentrate on.

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Top tip for those who shoot with both eyes open

Just before you shout pull, open your eyes as wide as you can and hold them like that for the duration of the shot, whether single or pair. This little trick helps you gather extra light into your eyes and makes the targets appear with more clarity. It is also a good brain cue to make you switch on and focus on the shot. Try it next time you’re on the shooting ground, you might be surprised how much of a difference it makes.