I suspect that I'm not alone in thinking about ways & means by which I may improve my scores in comps. And my performance in general, in terms of consistency and raising my performance. I know that the more you practice the luckier you get. And that the inverse is probably equally true. However, I know from experience [of 50years of bike racing] that if you don't know what you're doing, then practice only makes you more proficient at being inept [not much good]. If you're going to practice, it must be the practice of a programme of identifiable improvement. Practice, for the sake of practice is an utter waste of time. I know of people who have practiced [gone out training] for 400 miles a week on their bike. But when it comes to the race, they have no tactical understanding of what is required of them and no strategy to enable them to stand a chance of winning. They're as much use as a dentist in a maternity ward. And practice, without aptitude, seems to me, to be similarly ineffective. I don't put a lot of credence upon 'talent'. I'm sure that there are 'talented' people in all forms of sport, but my experience again tells me that those who are most 'talented' are also those who work hardest and practice most effectively. I have known genuinely talented junior bike riders. But everything has been easy for them. Winning has been easy. But for the majority of them, because the success has come without hard work, persistent practice, and determination to improve, they've become bored - discovered girls/beer/ciggies/cars etc. and are no longer the potential bright star in the sport. But there must be some basic aptitude. Otherwise you are practicing to develop something which isn't there. There is no doubt that much can be learned by experimentation. Trying something to see if it works. If it does, adopt it. If it doesn't, dump it. But sometimes it needs someone else - someone who knows - to suggest; to advise; to provide direction; to illuminate with a few subtle hints. To turn you from merely pointing at the target, to concentrating your focus upon the kill zone. To helping you to not only be set-up properly, but also helping you to be sufficiently relaxed to allow the gun to place the pellet in the kill zone and knock the target over. To enable you to see that it is not all about 'just' knocking the target over ~ that the crucial issue is 'was it a good shot?' And have I done my best today? And if I could have done better - what could I have done better? It's more about what is between my ears, than what is between the breech and the muzzle. After twelve months I'm beginning to believe that there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Until a couple of months ago I was so totally surround by darkness that I didn't even know that there was a tunnel. I'll never be a good shot. But I do enjoy the shooting fraternity. I am looking forward to 2014 and the comps to come. I have enjoyed the Midland Winter League comps. But that's understandable. MFTA is the tops. Be tolerant: when you're as old as me, you'll probably be a rambling loon too.